As a resident Capetonian, Knysna is one of my favourite towns to visit for a leisurely long weekend away. Its natural appeal is not the only reason why I find myself going back year after year, there’s just something about this Garden Route hub which many people like myself are drawn to.
While a large part of Knysna’s charm may lie in its scenic surrounding and great weather, credit needs to go to the people of Knysna – a blanket of hospitality is present here and the locals are generally as down-to-earth as they are accommodating. Two of these locals I had the good fortune of recently meeting are Ines and Andy from Candlewood Lodge, a couple hailing originally from Germany who fell in love with Knysna and, well, the rest is history.
Finding accommodation in Knysna is not the easiest task, as the town certainly thrives on tourism and lodges, hotels and B&B’s come aplenty. But a lodge I’d vouch for after having recently stayed there is at the centrally-located Candlewood Lodge, because for me a personal touch always goes a long way when spending a night or few in a home away from home. Owners Ines and Andy bought over the lodge in recent times and have transformed the estuary-facing property into an upscale port-of-call for travellers the world over – evident in their guestbook. Visitors from as far abroad as Finland have stayed here with much delight – and like I mentioned earlier, it’s all in the personal touch.
Upon our arrival from a strenuous yet fruitful day out tracking the Knysna Elephant, we were greeted with warm hospitality and refreshments in the form of fresh ice tea and face clothes doused in lemongrass essential oil, something I found incredibly relaxing which has actually spurned a new love affair with the stuff – but that’s another story entirely. The view here is second to none, panoramic views stretching from lush corner to lush corner with the prize being the estuary and its picturesque isles as a main focal point. A comfortable terrace overlooking this all evokes tranquillity, as did the beautiful touches inside the suite we stayed in.
Candlewood Lodge is built on the ethos of supporting local trade and economy, mostly everything you will find inside is a product of the local economy – from furniture right through to the delectable breakfast items which are served from 8 am. Breakfast is served in an exquisite courtyard complete with a water feature and a number of fresh herbs, making the first meal of the day a relaxing affair in a peaceful setting.
The tree from which the lodge gets its name is a medicinal one, renown for its capabilities from as early as the first settlers here, and going even further back the Khoi knew it as ‘the tree of serenity’ – a fitting name for a lodge that is based on nourishment and tranquillity.
The couple are in love with the town and this is evident by their pledge to support local as much as possible. Visit Candlewood Lodge when you are next in the Garden Route for a luxurious, yet still affordable, retreat with the best view in town.
Where 8 Stinkwood Crescent, Upper Old Place, Knysna
Contact +27 44 382 5104