WHere should we stay in the garden route?

Old May 29th, 2006, 03:33 AM
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WHere should we stay in the garden route?

We will be spending a week in cape town in the end of july and then we would like to do a week in hermanus and the garden route. In Hermanus we have already booked two nights in a starwood property called the western cape hotel. Now, we have to decide where to stay in the garden route. We have two preschoolers with us so idealy we want a 5 star friendly hotel that is centerally located. We want to stay in one hotel and do day trips around the garden route. We are looking at br /> 1-kurland
2-Knysna Tonquani Lodge
3-pezula resort hotel
4-hunter's country house
5-fancourt hotel

Also, how far is knysna from hermanus?
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Old May 29th, 2006, 04:42 AM
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Knysna to Hermanus is approx. a 5 hours drive. So you might want to spend 1 night in Mossel Bay (I recommend Overzee Guest House) or Swellendam on the way to Knysna. Have a look at www.southafrica-stay.com for accommodation options. I've heard good things about Tonquani Lodge and Stannards Guest Lodge in Knysna.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 10:50 AM
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Thank you Chris..
I didnt think hermanus to knysna would be 5 hours!! Perhaps, I should stay in Mossel bay or George. That way, we can fly George airport and transit in Johannesburg.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 02:37 AM
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It's about 430 km from Hermanus to Knysna. George to Knysna is only 55km.

I hope you will find a nice place to stay.

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Old May 30th, 2006, 02:46 AM
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Hello Browning,

I would recommend splitting your time between Hermanus and the rest of the Garden Route -- Knysna makes a good base for the Garden Route. Hermanus has whale watching but not much else, so you could spend 2 nights there and 5 nights in Knysna.

In Hermanus, I'd recommend The Marine -- a wonderful hotel perched on the edge of a cliff where you can see whales.

http://www.marine-hermanus.co.za/

Another great option is Blue Gum Country Estate in Stanford

http://www.bluegum.co.za/

For Knysna, I'd recommend Pezula or Kurland.

You may also want a night or two at Tsala Treetops for a truly special experience:

http://www.tsala.co.za/

Cheers,
Julian
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Old May 30th, 2006, 03:15 PM
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Browning,

My biggest concern is what are your pre-schoolers going to do to keep themselves amused in a 5 star hotel on the Garden Route when it could well be raining etc. I suppose you have this all under control but to me this could be a problem.

It is for the above reason that I would definitely second Julianís suggestion of the Marine Hotel in Hermanus and furthermore I would not stay in the village for more than 2 nights because as Julian has pointed out you can visit the village, enjoy the whales and thatís it..

On leaving Hermanus I would travel on to Knysna. The journey would take you about 5 hours. In Knysna I would suggest that you stay at Belvedere Manor.

http://www.belvidere.co.za/

The beauty of this venue is that its cottages are fabulously spacious and very well appointed. Furthermore the location of the lodge is excellent to explore the Garden Route. What really would attract me to the Manor House if I had children with me would be the vast lawns and grasslands for your children to enjoy themselves on. This scenario is pretty evident from the pictures on Belvedereís website.

I would suggest that you explore the eastern side of Knysna such as Plettenberg Bay, Storms river etc while you are staying at Belvedere. May I also suggest that while you are at the Storms River area you do the Treetop Canopy safari with you children. They will be allowed to do this adventure and it is 100% safe for them to enjoy it. This will be a great family event.

After three days at Belvedere I would move back to Eight Bells Mountain Inn (http://www.eightbells.co.za/) This place might not be five star but your children wont want to leave it. There is so much for them to do at the venue and you can also use it as a base to explore Oudtshoorn where you can take your children to an ostrich farm (they can ride the ostriches) as well as the Cango Caves. I can remember the excitement that I felt as a preschooler going to the Cango Caves for the first time and I envy your children if they do this adventure. These days I would not advocate the caves as a first priority visit for adults but for children it is an absolute must.

After your stay at Eight Bells you can travel to George airport and fly on to your next port of call.

I see that you are spending a lot of time in Cape Town. When doing so here are some options that you can use to entertain your children while travelling.

Do the ascent of Table Mountain. by cablecar

Visit the penguin colony.

Take a trip to Seal Island by boat from the Hout Bay harbour

Visit the Scratchpatch in Simonstown.

Visit the Cape Town aquarium

Visit the World of Birds in Hout Bay.

Visit the working harbour of Fish Hoek.

Visit and undertake the challenge of finding your way through a real maze of trees in Green Point next to the Putt Putt course.

Go down to the Cape Town Waterfront. This is also a place where your children can have much fun.

Visit the local Saturday morning craft market in Hout Bay. This is a fantastic market and seemingly remains a hidden secret to visitors to Cape Town in that only Capetonians frequent this wonderful market. Kids have great fun at this very child friendly craft mart

I know that you have also asked what you could do with children in Stellenbosch. My general opinion about children and Stellenbosch is that there is very little that will keep them entertained so my feeling is do not stayover in the town. Just visit it for a couple of hours. While in the town you can do the following to amuse your children.

Visit and pat the cheetahs at the Cheetah Foundation near Stellenbosch

Watch how wine barrels are made in Stellenbosch at Van Ryns Brandy cellars.

When travelling in the Franschhoek region to accommodate your children may I suggest that you:

Visit the Butterfly Farm in Simondium.

Have fun at the Huguenot chocolate factory in Franschhoek.

Go to Kei Carpets near to Franschhoek and see how hand made carpets are woven.

Visit the Corkscrew antique shop and view its HUGE hidden secret that everybody misses when visiting Franschhoek.

OK Browning I hope the above helps you in your Western Cape tour planning and most important is that I hope it helps you and your family have a wonderful time in our great country.

Enjoy.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

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