Historical Grande Roche Hotel will receive an upgrade this year. Picture: TripAdvisor.

Paarl's iconic Grande Roche Hotel is back in South African hands. After three decades of offshore ownership, the historic five-star property at the foot of the landmark Paarl Mountain is scheduled for a transformation to return it as one of the Cape's premier destinations.

The hotel has been acquired by entrepreneurs Hansie and Theresa Britz. Both born and raised in Paarl, the couple shares a life-long association with the Grande Roche.

Grande Roche's new local owners - Hansie and Theresa Britz. Pic.Supplied

Famous for its sublime old-world elegance and idyllic location that overlooks the mountains and vineyards of the magnificent Paarl Valley, the Grande Roche transcends the ordinary.

The first phase of rejuvenation begins this June, when the hotel closes for a month. In addition to a maintenance overhaul, work will include a revamp of several rooms and the establishment of a completely new restaurant and bar. Décor will be overseen by well-known Cape interior designer Francois du Plessis.

Renowned TV celebrity Chef Pete Goffe-Wood comes on board as chef-patron of the all-new restaurant, Viande. The French name meaning simply meat, is not only in line with the hotel's, but also a statement of culinary direction. 

In addition, all other food and beverage operations will also form part of Goffe-Wood’s involvement, which will include special events, weddings and conferencing. 

Grande Roche - Chef Pete Goffe-Wood

Viande will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with Sunday brunch on the cards as well.

A new cocktail bar will become the hub for the after-work slow-down, serving innovative tapas alongside an expanded range of drinks. Brandies get individual treatment as a showcase not only the excellence of the drink, but to reaffirm the hotel's home-town as source of some of the world's best.

Several exciting additions are scheduled for later phases, including the addition of a luxury spa for which negotiations are currently underway.