I cannot repeat it enough: I totally adore small quirky hotels that know how to combine luxury, unique style, the highest attention to detail and the friendliest, caring and most approachable staff you can imagine.
A place where you will find all this is the amazing Kanonkop Guest House in Knysna.
This beautiful Trip Advisor Winner 2018 for ‘Top 25 Luxury Small Hotels’ and ‘Top 25 Hotels for Romance in South Africa’ gives you a prime position overlooking the stunning Knysna Lagoon with its famous and truly impressive Knysna Heads, the giant sandstone cliffs where the lagoon connects into the Indian Ocean.
There are only seven suites at the property, and the whole place really comes across like a big family home with lots of personal touches everywhere in the rooms and common areas; and indeed typical hotel procedures like check-in are handled in a way that more resembles welcoming a family friend into a guestroom rather than a bureaucratic act.
Speaking about rooms, we were originally booked into one of the Garden Suites but was upgraded to the incredible Selwyn Suite overlooking Knysna Lagoon.
Walking into the suite, which really is a 90 sq m penthouse, definitely gives you the ultimate wow moment. It is shaped like a big L, and whilst I am not too keen on open en-suite bathrooms (unless I am in a room alone), this one was so stunning in its layout and design, it could not have been more perfect.
The elegant colour plate in light cream, brown and blue beautifully elevates the whitewashed walls and totally fitted my taste whilst lots of quirky artworks made the whole layout extra special.
Though the drop dead gorgeous room was hard to top, looking outside the large floor-to-ceiling window front (or sitting outside on one of the two private balconies) overlooking Knysna Lagoon was something almost otherworldly. Honestly, I could have spend the whole day standing/sitting there and observing the tide getting in and out of the lagoon and the changing colours of the water and surrounding hills according to the time of the day!
You will actually get the (nearly) same view from the beautiful small lounge area; which is located just below the Selwyn Suite. Indeed, you can look down into the lounge from the suite; and whilst also the other way round thankfully all you can glimpse of the suite is a small part of the corridor along the window front.
The lounge comes with some additional goodies though. First, there is a large fridge filled with water, soft drinks, beer and wines, and second, a lovely small buffet with home-made cakes in the afternoon. Like the well-filled mini bar in the room, all foods and drinks in the lounge are complimentary.
The gorgeous little library is the perfect place to spend time when the weather is not the best (the Garden Route is notorious for some rapid weather changes and even in summer has a fair number of rain days). There are some really intriguing books about South Africa and lots of other reads.
With the beautiful summer weather to good to stay inside, however, and no other plans on the day of arrival, the afternoon was spend at the pool!
The small garden around the guest house is beautifully curate and offers several quite corners to settle down and simply let time pass.
With only seven rooms, and an abundance of places to eat around Knysna, there is no restaurant on-site Kanonkop House. However, remember me talking about the incredible level of service and attention? Indeed, at the day of our arrival, Kanonkop had already booked us into a lovely little restaurant in the town centre and after getting our preference whether we wanted to drive there ourselves (which we didn’t), arranged for a driver and car to pick us up.
Should you stay longer than one night, staff will also be at hand to give you lots of great tips where else to eat, and will also be a great source of information and help when it comes to what to do in and around Knysna.
In the morning, breakfast is served under a canopy outside the main house or in the small lobby inside in case the weather does not allow to sitt outside.
I had a wonderful stay at Kanonkop Guest House and really can not recommend it enough.
Kanonkop Gueast House
6 Cuthbert Street, Kanonkop, Kynsna