We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“the best stay of the 8 places we visited in SA” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Forest Edge Nature-lovers' Retreat

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 2 more sites!
Save
You added Forest Edge Nature-lovers' Retreat to your Saves list
Forest Edge Nature-lovers' Retreat
3.0 of 5 Cottage   |   Farm 118 | Edge of Indigenous Forest, Garden Route, Knysna 6576, South Africa   |  
  |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 80 Specialty Lodging in Knysna
Antwerp, Belgium
1 review
“the best stay of the 8 places we visited in SA”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2010

How is it possible that people complain about such a lovely place? It's exactly like the website shows, very cozy and close to nature. The little houses have more than enough space, are very clean and there was no smell at all. Wood for the fireplace was included, and TV and DVDplayer were raedy for the rainy days.
If you search for a big hotel in town with modern look, than you're on the wrong adress.
If you like tastfull, cozy places to stay in contact with nature, try it . Ronel, the manager, is a very friendly lady, who takes time to help you visiting the things around.
OK, it's driving 4 km on a bad road to reach it, they are still working on the ground (to improve it) and the Drupkelders are not the most fantastic things a saw in SA. But if I had to select a place to go back: this is it!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

361 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    341
    17
    0
    0
    3
See reviews for
135
189
7
3
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (94)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cape Town
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2010

We did not like this accommodation at all. It is very small - so small that you could put your cup on the kitchen counter from a sitting position on your old scruffy lounge chair in the tiny lounge.

The surrounding environment is revolting and definitely not tranquil and peaceful. This dumps gets a ZERO for ambience. The two dams have an awful odour and thick murky sludgy stagnant water in them.

The small grounds are badly kept and surrounded by a barbed wire fence in need of restoration. There are plastic sheets and plastic pipes lying around. Although it said it sleeps 4 people the one room has old pine bunk beds. I could throw a ball from one side of the camp to the other. This place is misrepresented on the website as none of those pictures were taken from that area/camp. Your view is of thick impenetrable bush and awful trees. This place is just like a bad caravan/trailer site and is just NOT a pretty place or nature retreat. This place is certainly not a safe place for small kids either. We would never take our children there.

I did not see anything that was shown on the website. I cannot believe some of the good reviews. - they must be used to 1 star accommodation or the manager has written her own reviews somehow. We have since found amazing accommodation at similar prices in and around Knysna. There are also many good specials at gorgeous guest houses and lodges especially in winter and also in these tough economic times. All we can say is stay clear and shop around more. This place is a dump.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cape town
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2010

We found Forest Edge to be absolutely charming - great service & a "family" type atmosphere. Don't go here if you are expecting all the trappings of the city - but if its peace & lovely walks etc I reccommend it highly.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2010

An Amazing place nestled within the tranquility of the Knysna forest area. Spotless cottages and hospitality rarely seen makes this holiday getaway a winner!

Hint: Book an extra day

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2010

We were very very disapointed. The camp area looks degraded with tree stumps, building stones, potholes and 2 stinky dams full of muck. There were plastic sheets on what one could hardly call lawn areas - it's more like muddy grassy blotches to collect water. And look out for the donkey poo all over the place. The cabin was so very small with awful furniture that looked like it was 20 years old that the dog had been sleeping on for the same amount of time. The pine kitchen looks like something from a squatter camp. The shower is outside with no views or plants - just great big green reservoir tanks and the stinky dam. So ladies especially- this is not for you. There is not even a hand shower in the bathroom. Ask yourself why most of the website pictures are close ups and some are certainly not from the same area. The view from the cottage we had was of dense overgrown bush and a barbed wire fence (not pretty at all) with a braai area that looked like one you would get at a municipal park.

My wife was so disgusted especially for that price that she refused to stay there. The camp just looks degraded and unkempt. This should be a boot camp for men only needing some form of punishment- I am serious guys. This for R1000.00 per night is ludicrous. It would only be worth R350 per night. Ronel the manager refused to give our money back and was exceptinally rude to us and not accommodating at all. She actually told us she would not give us our money back because how else would they pay their staff. When I told her that it is far too much money to pay for a place like this, she said that we should have done our homework properly and that we chose to pay R1000 per night. We are going to take on the AA awards and find out how on earth was it possible that this Lodge received an award???

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
the_forest_fairy, Owner at Forest Edge Nature-lovers' Retreat, responded to this review, July 12, 2010
We have compassion that this guest is clearly not suited to Forest Edge – Nature-lovers’ Retreat and we indeed maintain that they should have done their homework before booking. Our website very clearly shows information relating to the points in dispute and we will gladly alter content if anyone can show that the reality is different from what is presented.
Although Forest Edge booking conditions are clear, up-front, about deposits being non-refundable, we offered to consider a refund if the guest could show us in writing exactly what on our website construes misrepresentation:– we have received nothing from the guest apart from this posted review. These guests were part of a group of 12 people who booked 3 cottages at Forest Edge. Although this couple left without checking in, the other 10 of the same party all stayed on (including the other 2 persons in the specific cottage in question) and they all provided us with good written feedback.
The guest complains about paying R1000, which, for the four of them sharing a 2-bedroomed cottage, works out to R250 pppn, which is considered a budget rate in South Africa, especially given that the weekend in question is for the most popular weekend of the year: the Knysna Oyster Festival marathon.
What is true: There is a small heap of gravel on site, specifically for the reason of filling in any hollows developing in our roads after rain. There are tree stumps on site, proud evidence of our alien invasive eradication project (which is legislatively governed in South Africa). The 4 green tanks near the cottage are rain water storage tanks and therefore have no smell. There is actually 1 dam and 3 ponds on site, all filled with rain water, water lilies, fish, frogs etc. The cabin is 67sqm as per the floorplan posted on our website. The cup baths in the bathroom, in line with our Victorian theme, are not suited to hand showers. Our well-publicised donkeys, Hansel and Gretel, are pictured on our website and it stands to reason that they “poo”, which is why the property is cleaned first thing each morning.
As shown comprehensively on our website, Forest Edge is right on the edge of the Indigenous Knysna Forest in the foothills of the Outeniqua mountains – the thick bush the guest refers to is the healthy indigenous growth of this forest, which is on SANPARKS property on which we border. We have no pine trees (the guest insisted that this is what he expected and wants) as pines are alien and not indigenous forest.
The rest is untrue. Apart from two antique pieces in the cottage (wardrobe and basin stand), none of the other furniture is older than 3 years as it is a recently built cottage; and some brand new (e.g. the 1-day old double bed).
Since the entire interaction was recorded on our cctv system, with witnesses at both ends of the conversation, we can only deduct that the guest considers someone saying “no” to their demands, as rude. The evidence shows that the guest accused Forest Edge of “suckering people” into staying against their will; the guest demanded that Forest Edge releases the names and contact details of all people who enquired about the Oyster Festival weekend to them (which we obviously did not, in line with our privacy policy). They then asked us to phone all those people to “sucker” one of them into staying in their cottage so that they could get their money back (not sure what they wanted us to do with the other 2 people in their cottage). They also suggested that their friends would pay for the money we must refund them. The guest threatened outright to use his extensive professional photography skills to take pictures such as to show everything in the worst possible light without context to aid their cause. They also accused AA Travel of never having seen Forest Edge and handing out rewards for no reason; and that any good feedback about Forest Edge (which is what AA Travel receives 99% of the time) is a result guests somehow being forced.
In summary, just like the best 5-star hotel is not for all travellers, Forest Edge is not for all travellers. We try our best to present ourselves in a way to attract those who are suited and who will enjoy the experience. We believe that this guest did not research Forest Edge before booking which is apparent in the guest’s accusation that we are not in Knysna town as they expected, that they expected a pine plantation and not indigenous forest, and that they kept referring to a map showing the cottages in a circle, which they could not point out to us. We understand the difficulty when a guest realises that they are not suited to a destination, but we do not believe it to be fair to then lash out at the destination in this manner.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2010

From the moment you arrive at Forest Edge you know that the owner is taking an active part in ensuring the property is exceptionally well run and maintained. Plenty of extra touches such as a selection of DVDs and CDs in each cottage for rainy days, fresh herbs planted on your verandah if you are cooking and a self-guided educational walk around the property.
The setting on the edge of the indigenous forest is beautiful. Easy access to Knysna as well as the forest. Excellent location for mountain bikers and hikers. Or just relax on your verandah in the hammock and enjoy the sounds of the forest.
Make sure you have a meal at the nearby Red Barn.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gauteng
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2010

Forest Edge is the perfect getaway! All the little creature comforts are provided. The fireplace was stunning and just set the ambience from the word go. The staff are really friendly and extremely helpful. Although you are just a few kilometres from the town where you can shop till you drop, you are far enough away to feel like you have entered a secret little world. There are lots of stunning little eatery's in the area and lots of activities to participate in. This is the perfect place for any nature lover!!!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Forest Edge Nature-lovers' Retreat? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Forest Edge Nature-lovers' Retreat

Address: Farm 118 | Edge of Indigenous Forest, Garden Route, Knysna 6576, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Knysna
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 80 Specialty Lodging in Knysna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Forest Edge Nature-lovers' Retreat 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Forest Edge is ideal for Honeymooners, Mountain-bikers, Birdwatchers, trail-walkers and nature-loving families. We specialise in romantic getaways to help you destress and re-connect. Ideally situated to enjoy the trails, forest rock pools and picnic spots or to just chill on your veranda with binocs, a book or sundowners. There are 5 free-standing exceptionally well-equipped, comfortable, self-catering cottages; 2 Standard and 3 Luxury cottages. The luxury cottages include complimentary WiFi and Full Satellite DSTV and have a Queen instead of a Double bed in the main bedroom. We offer breakfast baskets by prior arrangement, to be delivered to your cottage for you to prepare when it suits you - convenience at its best! Although there is no spa on site, we have several mobile massage and beauty therapists that can attend to your needs right in the privacy of your cottage. Come rejuvenate in the Magic of the Forest! ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with T4B, Booking.com, Priceline and Odigeo so you can book your Forest Edge Nature-lovers' Retreat reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Forest Edge Nature-lovers' Retreat, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.