The Garden Route has a lovely scenery with beautiful beaches and verdant forests.
Hunters Country House: Our full report
Hunters Country House is set in a quiet, forested area between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, along the Cape's Garden Route. Once a homestead called 'Pear Tree Farm', it opened in 1989 as first-class luxury accommodation. None of the Expert Africa team has yet visited Hunters Country House, but here is what we know about it…
Hunters Country House boasts 21 thatched suites, dotted around neatly landscaped gardens:
- The Forest Suite is very spacious, and can be used as a large Family Villa, in connection with an adjacent Premier suite. It's a house of its own, with a kitchen, a lounge area, a thatched gazebo and a private pool.
- The Classic suites also have their own sundecks and swimming pools for total privacy, as well as an outdoor shower.
- The Premier suites feature extra dresser and wardrobe space, ideal for longer stays. They have large patios with parasols and sun loungers to relax.
- The Garden suites can also be used as Family suites, accommodation two parents, one infant, and up to three older children.
- The eight Garden cottages are individually decorated and set within the lodge's country garden.
All the suites at Hunters Country House have a fireplace (the Forest suite has two), air-conditioning, an en-suite bathroom with separate bath and shower, a mini-bar, tea / coffee making facilities, and a patio with a table and chairs.
The main facilities at Hunters include a large outdoor pool set in lush gardens with shaded sunloungers, which can be used by all guests. There's no spa, but pampering treatments such as hot stone massages, aromatherapies and reflexology, can be arranged in the privacy of your room. The guesthouse has a supervised play area for children, with toys, games, a paddling pool and a shaded sandpit.
Dining is either at Hunters manor house, where the main restaurant is located, or at the Summerhouse. You may also enjoy breakfast in the sunny conservatory. The lodge boasts an extensive wine cellar.
Whilst staying here, there are a lot of activities to do, both on the lodge's estate and in the nearby area. From romantic picnics for two in Hunters lush gardens, to horse riding in the local forest, treetop canopy tours, visits to the elephant sanctuary, or sunset cruises aboard a catamaran on the Knysna lagoon – there's a lot to explore!
Ideal length of stay: 3 - 4 nights
Owner: Hunters Country House is owned by Hunter Hotels.
Staff: The general manager is Inge Johansen. Hunters' executive chef is Carmen Truter.
Food & drink
Food quality: Hunters' main restaurant serves a weekly changing menu of South African dishes, combined with international trends. The restaurant's executive chef, Carmen Truter, always includes seasonal products, which are only available for short periods during the year. The country house also has a wine cellar, holding 3000 bottle of exceptional South African wines, to go with the meals. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Summerhouse serves a simple menu, focusing on local products, from cheese to seafood. It also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and has become a family favourite.
Under the direction of Carmen Truter, both restaurants are Diners Club Platinum Award Winner 2006, 2007 and 2008.
Furthermore, the Conservatory at Hunters offers breakfast, which is served as a buffet and or as individual tables. Picnics are also available upon advance request.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at Hunters Country House.
Equipment: Cots are available on request.
Generally recommended for children: Yes
Notes: Hunters Country House has two Family suites (the Garden suites), which have a parents room, enough space for a single bed, and a sleeper sofa in the family room to accommodate two children. A cot for infants can also be placed in the Family suites.
Health & safety
Malarial area: No
Dangerous animals: Low Risk