General manager Chris Schutte pointed out to us that the renovation project was careful to match the paint colours on the steam and water pipes to the original tones used when the power station was in operation, and it’s this attention to detail that makes the hotel unique. I was treated to a stay in the signature honeymoon suite, which comes highly recommended for loved-up couples who are craving privacy, and offers views of the waterways of the lagoon and the Knysna Heads from a private balcony.
Breakfasts are best enjoyed in the sunny lobby overlooking the water, or in summer out on the terrace, where the gently lapping waves and the cry of seagulls are the perfect accompaniments to the mouth-watering croissants and rich coffee. The eggs benedict, my true test of the quality of a hotel in any country, was to die for.
Pop down to the spa near the reception area to make a booking with one of the hotel’s very capable therapists, if the magic of Knysna hasn’t yet worked its way into your muscles and mind. I highly recommend the full-body massage to ease away the aches and pains of big-city life.
If you’re like me, and there eventually comes a point when you crave some physical exertion to work off the dietary excesses of your holiday, take in the beauty of the lagoon and the town from the seat of a bike. If you’re feeling particularly energetic, cycle out to the Knysna Heads and eat ice cream whilst watching the waves break. Don’t forget to stop in for a refreshing smoothie at Nadine’s Corner on Leisure Island.
Love the water? Then paddle around the Thesen Island waterways. There’s no better way to hunt for your next seaside holiday home than taking in the competition from the comfort of your canoe. Alternatively, step out for an invigorating walk through the ancient Knysna forest, setting of the much-beloved Dalene Matthee classic Fiela se Kind. Be sure to stop in at one of the roadside stalls on the way back to boost your sugar levels with good old-fashioned South African peppermint-crisp tart and a mug of hot boeretroos coffee. The Turbine Water Club and Adventure Centre can organise any of these activities for you and is situated conveniently right across the road from the entrance to the hotel.