Victoria Bay, Garden Route, South Africa, beach scenery with surfers

Top 5 Accommodation on the Garden Route

Deutsche Fassung German translated articles
Knysna, Garden Route, South Africa
View over Knysna

The ultimate guide to accommodation on the Garden Route

In mid-November, we embarked on an adventure through the magnificent Garden Route in South Africa. We uncovered the mysteries of the ancient and indigenous forests, meandering rivers, pristine and secluded beaches, lakes, and unprecedented mountain scenery. In the next couple of weeks, we will share in detail our adventures in this breathtaking part of our country and focus on our best stays.

But for those who are still looking for a place to stay or somewhere to go over the holidays, here is a quick sneak peek of our top Garden Route accommodations and recommended activities, starting with Wildehondekloof, Turbine Boutique and Spa, St James of Knysna, Southern Cross Beach House, and the Plettenberg.

Sedgefield beach, Garden Route, South Africa, Soft sandy white beach with holiday makers sitting on the beach under a umbrelle
The prestine Sedgefield beach


A must-visit destination on the Garden Route

Wildehondekloof Private Game Reserve near Oudtshoorn Garden with large swimming pool
Wildehondekloof Lodge offers tranquility and relaxation

Wildehondekloof, an exclusive game reserve 42 km from Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo. This exclusive lodge offers an off-the-grid, solar-powered retreat brimming with wildlife. Guests can enjoy a freshly prepared breakfast made from local produce and Karoo dishes prepared by the resident chef. 

The reserve includes amenities such as a salt-water swimming pool, a natural river for swimming, on-site parking, free Wi-Fi, game drives, massages, conference facilities, laundry facilities, and more. 

The reserve is in proximity to must-visit attractions like Safari Ostrich Farm and the Cango Caves. For the adventurous, self-guided hiking trails and mountain biking options are available. Star gazing sessions are also organised. 

The reserve is managed by a family who excels in warm South African hospitality and knows how to make guests feel special. In our follow-up article, we review this lodge and introduce you to Wildehondekloof’s owners and formidable team.

Knowledgeable game ranger at Wildehondekloof giving advice on the game drive
Quintin, Our Knowledgeable game ranger at Wildehondekloof
Elizabeth of Wildehondekloof Lodge. Handing cold washcloths upon our return from a game drive
Elizabeth of Wildehondekloof Lodge. Handing cold washcloths upon our return from a game drive
Staff members working in the kitchen baking a bread
Annelise teaching Elizabeth how to make a ciabatta bread
The head chef at wildehondekloof, Andre Goliath
The head chef at Wildehondekloof, Andre Goliath

Why stay at Wildehondekloof lodge on the Garden Route?

With a competent team, including a knowledgeable game ranger and a resident chef offering delicious food options, Wildehondekloof ensures a comfortable and enriching holiday experience. 

From the refreshing welcome drink upon arrival to the cold washcloth you receive when you get off the game drive vehicles. You will enjoy the many spoils so much, you never want to leave.  

The Cape Country Routes loyalty programme offers many added benefits to frequent visitors.

Click here for more information about this beautiful lodge.

How To Make A Booking At Wildehondekloof?

Contact numbers: +27 82 551 3019

WhatsApp: 079 144 4577

Email address:


Bed with canopy and lady sitting on bed reading a magazine
The Royalty suite at Wildehondekloof with massive wrap-around terrace

The Turbine Boutique Hotel & Spa

Enjoying Breakfast on our balcony at the Turbine Hotel and Spa with views of Thesen Island
Enjoying Breakfast on our balcony at the Turbine Hotel and Spa

Premier luxury accommodation on South Africa’s Garden Route

The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa, located just 2 km from Central Knysna, is a unique and romantic destination boasting a blend of vintage machinery and chic, modern amenities. Once an old power station, the hotel now offers various accommodation options, including 17 standard rooms, six luxury rooms, a honeymoon suite, and two self-contained suites. 

Each room is uniquely named after its location and offers stunning views of the surrounding canal. The hotel is committed to sustainable tourism, featuring water-saving measures and a solar system. 

Guests can indulge in gourmet dining at the 90-seater Island Café or enjoy a craft beer at the Gasto pub. 

Canal views with accommodation on the canals
A room at The Turbine Hotel and Spa on Thesen island with magnificent views

Why stay at the Turbine Hotel and Spa?

The hotel houses a first-class spa and two large conference rooms suitable for business events. For leisure, the Turbine Water Club offers a variety of water and land-based activities. 

The hotel is conveniently located near several local attractions, including Ocean Sailing Charters, offering a one-of-a-kind lagoon cruising experience. Booking is available directly through their website or by email. Visit our Instagram page to watch our sailing experience.

Also read our review of the Turbine Hotel.

The interior of the Turbine Hotel and Spa showing the old turbine engines
The interior of the Turbine Hotel and Spa
The Turbine Hotel and Spa entrance with glass floor
The entrance of the Turbine Hotel with glass floor showing the original engines
The rim-flow pool with canal views over Thesen Island with sun loungers
The rim-flow pool with canal views over Thesen Island
The rim-flow pool with canal views over Thesen Island
The rim-flow pool with canal views over Thesen Island

How to make a booking at Turbine Boutique and Spa?

Booking can be made directly on their website or by sending an email to or by phone +27 (0) 44 050 3500

Enjoying Breakfast on our balcony at the Turbine Hotel and Spa

The St. James of Knysna

Your ultimate lavish stay along the Garden Route

The St.James Hotel of Knysna - hotel on the banks of the Knysna Lagoon
The five-star St.James of Knysna

The St James of Knysna is an exclusive five-star country hotel ideally located on the banks of the picturesque Knysna Lagoon, South Africa. This recently refurbished, owner-run establishment offers both tranquillity and convenience, with its proximity to the vibrant town of Knysna and George, and the serene beaches of Brenton-on-Sea and Buffalo Bay. The St James boasts two swimming pools and a guest-exclusive jetty and offers breathtaking views of the lagoon from spacious, elegantly furnished rooms.

A wooden horse with a hat on
The wooden-horse mascot of The St.James of Knysa
Our large balcony with Knysna Lagoon views with two ladies standing on the balcony
Our large balcony with Knysna Lagoon views

Despite being ideal for family getaways, weddings and honeymoons, the hotel does not accommodate children under 12 due to its location on the lagoon’s banks. 

Notably, the hotel is committed to sustainable tourism, supporting local businesses and implementing environmentally friendly practices. 

The St James Hotel's boat for lagoon cruising Knysna Lagoon with Jetty
The St James Hotel's jetty and lagoon cruising boat

Why stay at the St. James of Knysna, on the Garden Route?

Guests can indulge in a variety of activities nearby, including beach visits, horse riding, wildlife sanctuaries and, for the more adventurous, ziplining and bungee jumping. 

From the warm welcome of the staff to the exquisite breakfast served on the lagoon’s shore, the St James of Knysna provides a home-away-from-home experience that is both luxurious and memorable.

Click here for our review of th St. James Hotel.

How to make a booking at the St. James of Knysna?

Bookings can be made directly from their website . Or contact them at +27 044 382 6750, or

The Southern Cross Beach House, Plett

A captivating coastal retreat on South Africa’s Garden Route

Colonial building at Plettenberg Bay The Southern-Cross Beach House at Plettenberg Bay
The Southern-Cross Beach House at Plettenberg Bay

Experience the ultimate vacation at Southern Cross Beach House, a splendid boutique hotel in Plettenberg Bay, the jewel of the Garden Route. Originally a private home, now transformed into a hotel by the classy Suzie Ovenstone, it boasts a design inspired by Mauritian tea plantations, resulting in a glamorous yet inviting setting. 

The hotel’s vantage point offers breathtaking ocean views and private beach access, while each room, elegantly decorated, reflects Suzie’s impeccable taste. The hotel also features a sparkling pool for guests, providing exceptional value for a 4-star establishment.

Enjoying tea with Suzie Ovenstone, on the terrace of the South-Cross Boutique Hotel in Plettenberg Bay

A must-visit in Plettenberg Bay is the Old House Shop, a stylish store filled with unique homeware, clothing, and accessories. 

The Old Shop House in Plettenberg Bay
Bernie at the entrance of The Old Shop House in Plettenberg Bay

For food lovers, Enricho’s at Keurboomstrand, offers a fabulous dining experience coupled with a stunning view for dolphin and whale watching. 

For adventure seekers, there’s an extreme abseiling opportunity at Robberg. To conclude your unforgettable journey, book your stay at Southern Cross Beach House by contacting them via email or phone.

How to book a stay at Southern-Cross beach house in Plettenberg Bay (Garden Route)?

To book a stay at South Cross Beach House, email or phone +27 82 4900876

The exquisitely decorated lounge in blue and white in Colonial style
The exquisitely decorated lounge area
The interior dining area of Southern-Cross Boutique Hotel in white and blue
The interior dining area of Southern-Cross Boutique Hotel
The pink outdoor seating area with ocean views - Southern Cross Boutique Hotel Plettenberg Bay
The pink outdoor seating area with ocean views - Southern Cross Boutique Hotel Plettenberg Bay
The garden overlooking the ocean from Southern-Cross Boutique Hotel Loungers overlooking the ocean
The garden overlooking the ocean from Southern-Cross Boutique Hotel

The Plettenberg Hotel

A majestic haven on South Africa’s Garden Route

The Plettnberg Bay Hotel's rim-flow pool with ocean views
Petra getting as close as possible to the incredible ocean views from the rim-flow pool

Discover the exquisite beauty of The Plettenberg, a world-class hotel located in Plettenberg Bay, the prime location on the Garden Route. The establishment offers exceptional services and amenities, including two heated pools with unparalleled ocean views, direct beach access, and top-quality dining options. It boasts 37 well-appointed rooms, a glamorous cocktail bar, an on-site gym, and a wellness spa. 

Embrace the luxury of this pet-friendly hotel, which also offers direct beach access. The extravagance of The Plettenberg extends beyond its physical attributes, with the friendly staff providing top-tier service, ensuring a remarkable experience for every guest. 

Petra highly recommends the calamari at the fabulous in-house restaurant. The hotel’s extraordinary location and charm are captured in photos, but they barely scratch the surface of its actual beauty.

The romantic and exquisite Plettenberg Hotel

How to make a booking at The Plettenberg on the Garden Route?

For booking queries, email or call +27 (0) 44 533 2030. To get the best deals, sign up for fantastic loyalty benefits with Cape Country Routes. 

Experience the unrivalled luxury of The Plettenberg, undoubtedly one of the most glamorous and spectacular hotels in South Africa.

Unique cocktails Moonlight Orange and Mermaid at Plettenberg Bay Hotel's Sandbar
Bernie and Petra enjoying a signature cocktail at the Plettemberg created by Honest, the Head barman at Sandbar. Petra was having a Moonlight Orange and Bernie had the Mermaid


The Garden Route in South Africa is a place that comes with a warning: you will lose your heart! The Garden Route offers a wealth of high-quality establishments, each providing unique and memorable experiences that will entice you to come back for more. 

From the idyllic tranquillity of Wildehondekloof and The St. James of Knysna to the luxury of The Plettenberg and the warm, inviting atmosphere of the Turbine Boutique and Spa, each location is a world in its own right, waiting to be discovered. 

Whether you’re an adventurer, a food lover, or simply seeking relaxation, the Garden Route has something for you. We invite you to stay tuned for our upcoming detailed articles, where we will explore each destination in depth, delving into the unique features and experiences they offer. Embark on this exciting journey with us and discover what makes the Garden Route one of the most loved tourist destinations in the world.

Keep following our blog, as the upcoming articles will explore each hotel in much more detail.

Have a fabulous December! And enjoy planning your next trip to the Garden Route

Your Travel Buddies

Bernie and Petra

The Plettenberg Bay Hotel rim-flow pool with ocean views
The Plettenberg Bay Hotel. Bernie is enjoying rim-flow pool with magnificent ocean views

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About Author

As a freelance travel journalist and seasoned business professional, Bernie van der Linde has made it her mission to explore the world's most unique and luxurious destinations. With a PhD in business studies from the University of South Africa, Bernie has channeled her passion for travel, web design, and writing into founding the travel blog Travel Buddies Lifestyle. Here, she shares her adventures alongside her best friend and travel business partner, Petra, who seamlessly translate and compile articles relevant to their German and European audience.

Bernie's love for exploring new places has taken her to some of the world's most exotic locations. Whether gazing out at the glittering skyline of Dubai or enjoying the tranquillity of a private beach in Mauritius, Bernie is always looking for unique experiences that will inspire and entice her readers to travel.

Through her thoughtful writing and unparalleled passion for travel, Bernie van der Linde has made a name for herself in the world of travel writing. Her knack for uncovering hidden gems and sharing her experiences with her readers has made her a trusted source of inspiration for those looking to explore the world in style.

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