Country House - Health Spa - Education Centre - Organics


La Rochelle luxury country house hotel & centre is an oasis of tranquility and charm, with a refreshingly relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. Nature, History, Culture and the Arts intersect at La Rochelle to create an ambience of holistic wellbeing.


La Rochelle is a newly re-opened Country House in Penhalonga, near Mutare. It was renowned in the 1950s and 60s for Sir Stephen and Lady Virginia Courtauld’s lavish and warm hospitality and has long been recognised as one of the most celebrated botanical gardens in Zimbabwe as well as an icon of the Art Deco movement. La Rochelle is a place of beauty for Zimbabweans to treasure, a heritage the Courtaulds wanted to share with everyone.



The interior of the house bears all the signs of a much loved home, filled with fresh flowers, art deco furniture and, above all, highlights of the history of the famous Courtauld family. These include the world renowned ‘signature panels’, which have the signatures of royalty, politicians and famous actors and personalities from both Eltham Palace, London, as well as those of the Courtaulds’ friends at La Rochelle.



The Eastern border town of Penhalonga is home to one of Zimbabwe’s best-kept secrets: La Rochelle, a magical cross twixt fairy tale castle and French chateau, surrounded by manicured gardens on the edge of verdant forest-cloaked mountains. This luxury country house is an oasis of tranquillity and charm.

It has a refreshingly relaxed and welcoming atmosphere mirrored by its dedicated management team and aims to be the intersection of Nature, History, Culture and the Arts, creating an ambience of holistic wellbeing.

Whether you are seeking a venue for a wedding or conference, or indeed a relaxing country escape and unforgettable stay at one of the most luxurious lodges Zimbabwe has to offer, La Rochelle is the perfect destination. It is only a three hour drive from Harare - on recently upgraded Harare/Mutare road: 7 km along the Penhalonga Rd - - off the main Mutare road.



The Country House facilities and entertainment areas have been specially designed to make your stay comfortable and relaxing, an instant homely feeling in a luxurious and friendly environment The La Rochelle Restaurant, Main Lounge and Coffee Shop are great spots for larger crowds while the Snuggery Bar and Day Lounge are suited for more private or intimate occasions.

La Rochelle offers excellent small conference and function facilities and is a beautiful setting for a romantic country wedding. The natural and cultural features also attract many special interest groups including those of the Orchid, Aloe and Tree Societies, Birding groups from around the world, the History Society and various Arts groupings.



La Rochelle accommodation consists of seven beautifully appointed and individually designed rooms and suites in the historic Courtauld House (Courtauld Rooms), one free standing West Wing comprising of 5 rooms and a truly magnificent honeymoon suite (The Fantasy) - the epitome of romance, situated a small distance from the Country House overlooking the dam. There are also a couple of more secluded cottages available.

All our rooms reflect the elegance of the Art Deco and 1920's era. Interiors have been carefully chosen to suit the style and are spacious and equipped with the finest materials, linen and amenities giving an instant homely feel.


What's On

Spend a quiet morning exploring the endless trails, which traverse the arboretum and gardens, or visit the nurseries where Sir Stephen’s Orchid collection continues to expand. Spoil yourself or your partner with a relaxing massage or beauty treatment at the Fantasy Spa or just catch up with your reading and emails in one of the sumptuous day lounges.





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Our Plans

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La Rochelle offers excellent small banqueting and conference facilities and is a beautiful setting for a romantic country wedding. It also hosts a number of events such as Music and Arts festivals, Leadership and Executive Development courses, as well as a wide range of specialised sporting events.

Contact the La Rochelle Centre

Please make use of the following information to contact the La Rochelle Centre in Harare for any queries you may have.

  • Office:
  • +263 (242) 885 065
  • Direct:
  • +263 (20) 24 22250
  • Cellphone:
  • +263 714 610803
  • Office:
  • 2 Doon Road
  • Vainona, Borrowdale
  • Harare
  • Zimbabwe
  • La Rochelle Country House:
  • La Rochelle Estate
  • Imbeza Valley
  • Penhalonga, Manicaland
  • Zimbabwe