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Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa, Knysna 
$$$$

The Heads
Knysna
South Africa
Tel: 27 44 302 3303
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Concierge.com's insider take:

Pezula's 78 rooms are scattered in groups of four across a headland that overlooks the Knysna lagoon to one side and the Indian Ocean on the other. Bordering the property are 2,500 acres, with a golf course, an estate for million-dollar homes, and a "field of dreams" specially constructed to attract 2010 World Cup soccer teams. The excellent Zachary's Restaurant serves what might be called pan-African cuisine, and the nine-room spa, which also offers Pezula's own rooibos tea–based Maruwa products, is a must, even if only for the post-treatment room with hot water beds. The only downside is that the property isn't on the beach. Anyone wanting to laze on the sand will have to take a shuttle to get down to Noetzie Beach, which is dotted with old castles built at the turn of the century for use as vacation homes. The hotel recently renovated two such castles and turned them into ultraluxurious suites (the larger one's first guest was Nelson Mandela).

From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
Perched on a dramatic headland, Pezula provides an upscale alternative to the quirky guesthouses found up and down this fashionable stretch of the east coast. There are 78 contemporary African-style suites, four to a villa. Thoughtful touches include huge flat-screen TVs, fireplaces, and indigenous tree-trunk side tables (a nod to Knysna's timber-logging past). Zachary's, the restaurant, treads a line between classic comfort food and innovative dishes inspired by local ingredients. A sumptuous lounge, a cigar bar, a library, and an impressive if pricey spa are all part of the imposing public areas. What disappoints is the incongruous exterior architecture—this hotel could be anywhere.—2005 Hot List

When to go: Summer (Nov.–March).

Which room to book: For maximum peace and privacy, those with a bird's-eye view of the Knysna Lagoon; golfers should request one that overlooks the championship 18-hole course

Amenities: Bar/lounge, Gym, Pool, Spa, 24-hour Room Service, Wheelchair-accessible

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