Nestled in the lush Imbeza Valley, just 30 minutes from the city of Mutare, lies a little-known gem called La Rochelle. More than just a country house, La Rochelle is a charming country manor that boasts rich history and character, leaving an indelible impression on the heart. The botanical garden is the crowning glory of La Rochelle, a lovely expanse of various species of flora, whose highlights are the beautiful rose garden, orchid nursery and display collection, and aloe gardens.
Built in the 1950s, La Rochelle was owned by Sir Stephen and Lady Virginia Courtauld, a wealthy and influential couple known for their philanthropic work. They migrated to Rhodesia from England, bringing with them a considerable amount of possessions displaying their passionate interests in art, books, and striking furniture. The decor at La Rochelle today still reflects the owners’ artistic taste, as some of the pieces still adorn the home. From the sculptures, wall art, sea shell collection, and antique furniture, the eclectic collection gives the rooms a regal feel.
Today, La Rochelle is open to the public after being bequeathed to the National Trust of Zimbabwe in 1967. It offers several facilities, including accommodation, conference facilities, banqueting (venue hire for weddings/functions), and day visits for nature tours, birding, and other recreational activities. There is also a beauty spa where guests can enjoy relaxing facial treatments, full body massages, and other beauty treatments.
Guests looking for an overnight stay will enjoy the peace and quiet, have the pleasure of dining in the stately Courtauld House, and appreciate the comfortable suites. There are 16 rooms, including a honeymoon suite and a separate cottage that may be utilized as a self-catering unit. Rooms have tea/coffee stations and bottled water for guests’ convenience, and Wi-Fi is accessible in all the rooms. There are various entertainment options in the main areas, including television, music, and indoor games like darts.
La Rochelle is family-friendly, with many activities that will be enjoyed by young and old alike. These include croquet, picnicking, fishing, swimming, volleyball, and nature walks.
Whether traveling for business or leisure, the beauty, absolute comfort, and hospitality of La Rochelle will definitely impress. It is truly one of the must-visit places in Manicaland. And for those planning to tie the knot, La Rochelle offers wedding packages that will make your special day unforgettable.