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Garden Route hotels

The number of hotels along the Garden Route has exploded in recent years, as more and more Europeans have caught on to this scenic stretch, a mix of California's Route 1 and Sonoma County. While the lion's share of lodgings lie in and around the towns of Plettenberg Bay (nicknamed "Plett") and Knysna—including grande dames like Pezula and the Plettenberg)—there are excellent choices along the entire length of the Garden Route, from oceanfront castles to treetop villas, eco-lodges to funky boutique hotels. It's best to select two or three hotels, driving from one to the next to sample the different scenery, wildlife, and eateries along the way.

Hotels along the Garden Route make the most of their surroundings—perching on cliffs, beside lakes, and along rivers and estuaries—making this an ideal trip for nature lovers and sporty types. Most hotels have guides or will help coordinate tours, and on-site activities can include kayaking, horseback riding, hiking, and bird-watching. Hotels in the area also tend toward the romantic: Fireplaces are de rigueur, and private retreats like Plettenberg Park and Phantom Forest are tucked away amid lush greenery. Hotel restaurants are some of the best eateries along the route, focusing on hearty fare made with local ingredients, washed down with South Africa's famous chenin blancs and cabernets.

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Hotel Photo
Tsala Treetop Lodge, Plettenberg Bay

Tsala's stone-and-wood suites are built on stilts at the end of a gorge some five miles from Plettenberg Bay. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook a canopy of...more

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Editors' Pick
Plettenberg Park, Plettenberg Bay

This private home was extended five years ago into a ten-room boutique hotel perched dramatically on the edge of a cliff. From the rocks in front of the hotel,...more

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Editors' Pick
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The Plettenberg, Plettenberg Bay

Imagine a California hotel—beiges and pale blues, clean lines, massive windows onto the sea—crossed with an English manor house, and you've got the...more

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Editors' Pick
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Phantom Forest Eco Reserve, Knysna

"Eco" and "Reserve" fail to fully capture the richness of the experience at Phantom Forest, a hilltop resort that peeks through the trees to the Knysna River...more

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Editors' Pick
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Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa, Knysna

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...more

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Editors' Pick
Melton Manor, Kwande Private Game Reserve

Melton Manor, a villa with accommodations for eight, is the latest addition to Kwandwe, a privately owned game reserve spanning 62,000 acres in the malaria-free...more

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Editors' Pick
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Marine Hermanus, Hermanus

Part of "The Collection," a group of five-star hotels in the Cape Province from proprietor Liz McGrath (which includes The Cellars-Hohenhort and The...more

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Editors' Pick
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Kurland Hotel, Plettenberg Bay

Ten of Kurland's 12 suites have the words "Paddock" or "Rose Garden" in their name, which tells you a lot about the hotel's twin obsessions: flowers and horses....more

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Editors' Pick
Hog Hollow Country House, Plettenberg Bay

What started out as a backpacker's retreat with a single room has morphed into 16 suites set on the edge of an indigenous forest, just outside Plettenberg Bay....more

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Editors' Pick
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The Grand Café and Rooms, Plettenberg Bay

The name of this central Plett spot may call to mind some sprawling, past-prime behemoth of a hotel. Instead, you'll find a quirky eight-room B&B attached...more

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Editors' Pick
Results 1-10 of 14  |   1 2 next
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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