La Rochelle Country House Hotel
La rochelle country club.jpg
Coordinates18⁰54′23.71″S 32⁰41′28.27″E

La Rochelle Country House Hotel is a French castle in Penhalonga, Mutare in Manicaland Province. The Hotel is used as a wedding venue and conference centre. La Rochelle Country House Hotel is a property of the National Trust of Zimbabwe and was donated to the trust in 1970. La Rochelle Country House is close to many nearby visitor attractions including the Bvumba, the Honde Valley, Aberfoyle, Osborne Dam, and Nyanga as well as educational institutions such as Africa University, Hillcrest College and the Forestry Commission. The hotel has a big garden with different species of flowers.

Visitors Guide

  • Contact Details :+263 (04) 497 213 / +263 (02) 022 250
  • Email:
  • When to visit: All year around
  • Fee: Entrance fee for visitors to the house and garden
  • Directions

La Rochelle Country House Hotel and Estate is situated in the Imbeza Valley, in the mountainous eastern border area of Penhalonga, north of Harare. From Harare turn left off the A3 at the Christmas Pass Service Station onto the Penhalonga Road, 5.85 KM turn right onto a gravel road at the La Rochelle signpost, 8.85 KM turn right into La Rochelle, 9.22 KM arrive at La Rochelle car park.


In the late 1940’s Sir Stephen and Lady Virginia searched the African continent from Cape to Cairo for a suitable site until, at the end of the 1940s, they flew over the Penhalonga Valley and decided in 1951 they would settle here, planning a house based on the home of Stephen’s Huguenot French ancestors, the Chateau de La Rochelle on the Bay of Biscay . The hotel was eventually built in 1951 as their retirement home. [1]

During their stay at their home, the castle was visited by many celebrities from Europe and they were asked to engrave their signatures with a diamond-tipped stylus on the two large end windows which are of great historical importance.

The Courtaulds promoted arts, music and they funded the building of the Courtauld Theatre, the Queen’s Hall, and the Rhodes Club in Mutare, the Kukwanisa Agricultural School at Watsomba, and the National Gallery and the College of Music in Harare.

In 1970 the Courtlaulds donated the castle to the Zimbabwean National Trust. In addition to accommodation, there is the La Rochelle Restaurant, Main Lounge, Coffee Shop, Snuggery Bar and Day Lounge. [2]


  • garden walks
  • beauty treatment
  • massages
  • nursery visit
  • swimming



  1. La Rochelle Country House Hotel, a National Trust of Zimbabwe property, ZFG, Published: , Retrieved: 2 May 2018
  2. National Trust of Zimbabwe, NTZ, Published: , Retrieved: 2 May 2018