October 6, 2021
The Lofts Boutique Hotel situated at the heart of the Knysna Lagoon
The first thing I do before travelling to a specific destination is to google the location. When I found out that I was going to a luxury 4-star boutique hotel located on an island in the Garden Route I was overcome with excitement.
The Lofts Boutique Hotel, a Cape Country Routes member situated on Thesen Island in the heart of the Knysna Lagoon, surrounded by streams, lagoons, rivers, the ocean and the ancient indigenous Knysna Forest that the Garden Route is known for is a perfect destination for both adventure and leisure seeking travellers.
Something else that makes The Lofts a perfect destination is the quality of the service that they afford each guest and how personal the interaction is. What do I mean by this? On the morning of the start of my stay at The Lofts – I had flown into George airport and hired a car to drive to Knysna – I received a message from The Lofts offering a warm welcome and assistance with anything that I might need prior to my arrival at the hotel. A gesture I really appreciated. I could not wait to arrive at The Lofts.
I must say the views on the drive from George to Knysna were spectacular. On arriving at Knysna and crossing from the mainland over the venetian-style bridge to Thesen Island I was transported to another world – a world of nature, beauty and tranquillity that added an indefinable essence to my holiday experience at The Lofts.
Set within the remodelled timber frame of an old Knysna boatshed, the architecture and design of the hotel took my breath away. On entering The Lofts reception – designed to give an ‘indoor-outdoor living’ feel – the first thing I noticed was the lagoon and I instantly felt a sense of calm. I could not wait to sit on the sundeck and enjoy the day by the splash pool – a quiet little haven with stunning views of the lagoon, as I later discovered.
The stylish yet comfortable hotel rooms – there are 18 rooms including lagoon suites, loft rooms with balconies and self-catering, two-bed two-bath units – are decorated with a medley of colours and textures. We stayed in the exclusive Lagoon Suite with a stunning open-plan bedroom, en-suite bathroom and a balcony overlooking the lagoon, and all the luxury amenities such as a flat screen TV, WiFi, air-conditioning, a fully-stocked mini bar (available on request), and a tea and coffee station – the epitome of perfection for me.
Another unique aspect is The Lofts Atrium. A feast for the eyes the Atrium area overlooks the lagoon and is a space with lofty ceilings, loads of character, original industrial elements and resembles an old passenger sailing vessel. It also has various designer jewellery, clothing, interior furniture and décor shops. We spent the whole afternoon shopping.
No relaxation getaway is complete without a spa treatment, and we were not disappointed. The hotel’s aptly named spa, Le Spa Tranquille offers various pamper packages from Vichy shower scrubs, massages, hot stone therapy, reflexology, body wraps to OPI manicures and pedicures. Our treatments under the hands of the expert therapists left us feeling de-stressed, rejuvenated and reenergised.
Every morning we woke to fresh lagoon air flowing through our open glass balcony doors, a ‘kickstart to the day’ cup of coffee on the balcony while enjoying the sight of the boats sailing on the lagoon, followed by breakfast at the Lofts recommended Île de Païn Bakery and Café (well known for Austrian style pastries and breads) which adjoins the hotel. Just the spot to ‘smell the coffee’ and forget the ‘hustle and bustle’ of life.
There are plenty of fun things and activities to do at and around The Lofts including whale watching, sailing and fishing. One option is to step down onto the sand during low tide for a quiet meditative walk. For the more energetic, a hike in the peaceful Knysna forest or a kayak paddle to explore the lagoon. Then again, you can take it easy and enjoy the splash pool – take a dip, relax on the comfortable sun-loungers and watch the boats sail past. My choice was to spend the afternoon with a book in my hand, soaking up the sun, the views, the tranquility.
The beauty and peacefulness of the Lofts, the lagoon and the surrounding green hills viewed from the sundeck, is like no other. The highlight of this trip was being able to spend the afternoon with loved ones in the African sun while enjoying the view, waking up to the sight of the sunrise over the lagoon and our evenings on the sundeck – where we were enjoyed sundowners and dinners . There’s no better place to experience the magic of the setting sun and the view of the lagoon than the Lofts Boutique Hotel’s sundeck.
W: Cape Country Routes
Written by Paballo Makupu for Luxuria Lifestyle South Africa