A luxurious lagoon-side retreat: The St James of Knysna

On a recent trip up the picturesque Garden Route in South Africa we were delighted to be able to spend a few nights at the St James of Knysna – a boutique hotel that stands as a beacon of luxury and refinement in what is possibly one of the most picturesque spots in the country. Join us as we delve into the captivating world of the St James of Knysna hotel, exploring its elegant accommodations, exceptional amenities, and the enchanting surroundings that make it a must-visit destination.

Luxury defined

knysna-hotelThe St James of Knysna, an owner-run member of the Cape Country Routes, seamlessly combines old-world charm with modern comforts. Its colonial-style architecture, adorned with intricate details, reflects a bygone era where contemporary amenities blend with an old-world charm to create a unique and inviting atmosphere. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a warm and welcoming team and a gigantic wooden horse statue that to the delight of our two-year-old, wore a different hat each day – she was a pirate on arrival, a cowboy by day two and a jester by the time we left.

Walking through the doors and we were immediately affronted by panoramic views of the Knysna lagoon before us with the iconic heads in the distance beyond. A complimentary glass of bubbles was presented, and we sunk down into the cozy lounge chairs – paradise found!

Create comforts continue

travel-knysnaFrom there it was off to our elegantly appointed suite, tastefully decorated and complete with a separate lounge and dining area, massive bedroom and beautiful bathroom where you would find me later enjoying a bubble bath while overlooking the tranquil waters of the lagoon. Around us, the manicured gardens flowed effortlessly into the serene Knysna Lagoon, providing a sanctuary of tranquility and relaxation where we could just forget the worries of everyday life.

A highlight of our stay was the two outdoor swimming pools, where we could enjoy a refreshing escape. One was located in a private courtyard just outside our room while the other was set in amongst verdant trees and surrounded by koi ponds. And when we really needed to unwind, the property offers rejuvenating spa treatments and therapies to be enjoyed in the comfort of our room.

Scenic surroundings

Eknysna-lagoonach day at the St James of Knysna started off on a high note, with a delicious continental breakfast spread (with various hot dishes made to order) to be enjoyed on the private patio enjoying the breathtaking surroundings. After that, our day was ours to do as we please and with complimentary kayaks to enjoy, exploring the Knysna lagoon was a breeze. For those who prefer something a little more subdued, a complimentary 90-minute cruise on the hotel’s very own pontoon barge is also offered to guests. Or you could simply choose to relax on the lawns while watching the local fisherman going about their daily work.ocean-sailing-knysna

If you want to experience even more of what the lagoon has to offer, we thoroughly recommend booking a catamaran trip with Ocean Sailing Charters, a Cape Country Routes activity member. Their authentic and luxurious sailing adventures allowed us to experience the natural beauty of the lagoon, with its rugged cliffs, hidden coves, and even its marine wildlife (we saw some seals frolicking in the water on our trip). While the waves were a bit too rough for us to exit through the turbulent heads on our sail, we did enjoy anchoring up in a quiet bay for a quick swim, some drinks, and delicious snacks.

All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our time at the St James of Knysna, a weekend retreat which provided one of the most relaxing stays we’ve had in quite some time. This is a place to truly just be, to disconnect and reconnect with those most important to you, with nature, and with the finer things in life.

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