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“A Hidden Gem” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Alexander

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The Alexander
5.0 of 5 Guest house   |   30 Glenview Road | Pilot's View, The Heads, Knysna, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 99 Knysna B&B and Inns
London
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A Hidden Gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2010

We stayed at Alexander House for the last night of our honeymoon in South Africa. We were greeted by Wayne who was very welcoming. We were shown around the house (which has been beautifully decorated) with a complimentary drink and shown to our beautiful room (with an amazing view of the Knysna heads). Wayne offered a couple of restaurant options for dinner and was happy to make a reservation on our behalf. He also arranged for a complimentary shuttle to take us and collect us from the restaurant, which meant we were able to relax and enjoy the evening. Breakfast the following morning was lovely with a great selection to choose from. There is off street parking if you’ve hired a car. We would highly recommend Alexander House as a place to stay while visiting Knysna and only wish we could have stayed longer – we’ll be back though!

  • Stayed March 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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97 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, ON
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2010

Our trip was planned at the last minute and it led to a mix-up on the booking but Wayne sorted us out a hotel nearby for the first night and still looked after dinner reservations and provided a driver. This is a quirky hotel. We were blessed with amazing weather and when we returned from dinner we laid out on the sofas on the deck under the stars listening the ocean below. We were in the Captains room. A couple of people have referred to the houses between the hotel and the ocean and it definately alters the feel of the place. I think that was our only reservation.
There is a nice infinity pool.
The bathroom is sumptuous. It was like being in a fancy lifestyle magazine and every detail is immaculate. Having two showers in the same shower cubicle made for some fun :)
The bed was fabulous, shame we couldnt steal it to take home.
Breakfast was delicious and plentiful and the public areas are very stylish. Everyone was very friendly, including the dogs. It was a nice place to stay and we would go back.
Thanks Wayne.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Guernsey
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2010

Wow - what a place to stay! Wayne who runs the hotel is welcoming and easy going. It is very much help yourself to the bar and use what was originally his house as yours. Our suite was spectacular with private pool and terrace.Breakfast was incredible with great service. A huge bonus was the complimentary taxi service in the evenings to whichever restaurant you wanted and Wayne certainly had a magic touch getting you into restaurants that were otherwise full.
As long as you like dogs, there are a couple of gorgeous Daschunds running around - Jazz and Jessica.
Only a couple of negatives but no-one is perfect - dripping AC which we switched off anyhow because we had the doors open and lack of internet connection.
We would definitely go back - one of the best boutique hotels i have stayed in.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
London
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2010

Quite simply is the whole package. Room was immaculate and beautifully decorated. Huge deck overlooking the ocean - amazing! Wayne (didn't meet Raeleen) was the perfect host and gave us good restaurant recommendations. A huge and varied breakfast overlooking the ocean every morning with staff who welcomed you by your first name every day. Would definitely recommend staying here rather than in the overcrowded and non-descript town of nearby Knysna.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Cherry Hill, NJ
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2009

We stayed here for two nights during our drive along the Garden Route. If our stay only included the beautifully appointed room with a stunning view of the Indian Ocean, a guest house filled with antiques, a dining area just above the crashing ocean, a delicious breakfast and a location on the Knysna Heads we would have been satisfied. But because of Raeleen and Wayne we also reveived a level of care that is like nothing that we ever experienced. My partner was not feeling well and not up to going out and about. This was not a problem since we could spend the morning over breakfast with that incredible ocean view. We spent afternoons on our private deck enjoying the peace of the ocean. When the air turned cool we just moved into the two comfortable wing chairs in our room, looking out of the sliding glass doors. I would have loved to follow up on Raeleens suggestions for restaurants but my partner was not up for it. Not to worry. Raeleen not only was able to arrange for dinner to be sent in, she also knew what to order. She placed the order, received it and delivered it to our room set up on a tray with china and silver. The well stocked bar provided drinks and wine. The town of Knysna is nice for shopping and dining but the Knysna Heads is the place to stay. Raeleen and Wayne cared for us in a way that we have never experienced in a guest house in all of our travels. On our final morning at breakfast whales appeared near the shore just below the deck and Raeleen fussed over making sure we had enough to eat and wrapped up treats for the road. We hated to leave. This is a first class guest house opperated by people who take pride in their business and know how care for guests. I am so glad that we stayed here and only regret not staying longer.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Czech Republic
Top Contributor
140 reviews 140 reviews
66 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2009

This my review is going to be rather exceptional.
First of all a small introduction just a proof that I have a basic experience: I am traveling a lot, both for business and leisure, for each of the last 20 years visiting 30-40 hotels a year where circa 60% are 5* and 40% are 4* hotels. I think that I am quite exacting and really demanding the right value for the spent money.
Well, I planned to post a review of The Alexander soon after the return from out SA trip; nevertheless it took me more time than I expected to find a suitable space to do it... And maybe it was good to wait a bit.
I can not judge here who from reviewers is right and who is not; and I believe that all of them wrote the review based on their true feelings. But there are some interesting aspects in reviews of The Alexander which I want to share:
There are 13 reviews: 9x 5*, 1x4* and 3x1*, there are 8 reviews from guests “outside” the Honeymoon suite and 5 reviews from guests of the Honeymoon suite.
Results from the “outside” the Honeymoon are: 8x5* and results from the Honeymoon? From 5 reviews three are 1*!!! And looking to the average rating, the Honeymoon scored 2.4 while the rest of the house 5*! It really looks like that Wayne and Raeleen hate honeymooners and that the most expensive suite is neither cleaned not serviced or maintained... I must say that my personal experience is that the more important my stay is, the more I pay, the better is the rating and reviews, the more I expect and the less I can tolerate. I also think that there is nothing absolutely perfect in our world and if we think we found something perfect, then we must be wrong... My guess is that when we are searching for (and expecting) perfectionism, we are on the best way to be disappointed. And any disappointment creates emotions; and that is why there are (with one exception) no 2, 3 or 4’s, just 1* or 5*’s...
And now to our experience: We have spent 5 days in the Honeymoon suite, and we were the honeymooners, too. Not everything absolutely perfect but most of the things yes, and definitely more than in other establishments we visited before. Our experience was so good that we reviewed our plans and we decided to return the next year and spend with Alexander’s most of our newly planned SA stay. I do not want to speak about many details but I want to mention a few things:
• Breakfast – excellent, the banana bread – delicious!
• Staff & service – excellent, where else all the staff remembers your names and calls you by them?
• Cleanness – excellent
• Helpfulness of Raeleen (Wayne was not present) – perfect, she recommended places to visit, helped to book the dinners etc.
• Cedric, the driver – very nice guy! Really not often to have a private driver included in the price...
• Washing and ironing – quick and more than sufficient
To sum up I have to say:
I have really a problem to compare The Alexander with the other hotels or establishments I visited. And the problem is that if I rate the Alexander with 5* then I should reduce all the previous 5* only to 4*. In this case I would wish the same as some of reviewers before – to have a 6* option.
And now I return to discuss again the exceptionally low ratings:
The sub-reason of some low ratings could be also the fact that you can feel that the owners are really proud they operate one of truly the best establishments in the SA. They know and they can be really sure that they provide an exceptional service and experience and so (sometimes) they maybe do not fall back, they do not withdraw. I think that Raeleen and Wayne have full right to be proud on The Alexander; and certainly they understand that it is maybe not the best thing from the marketing point of view... Not easy life when you are one of the best.
P.S.: I plan to add also some restaurant reviews later on...

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Ireland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2009

My husband and I just reciently visited South Africa on our honeymoon and spent two wonderful nights in The Alexander in Knysna. From start to finish we were pampered. Raeleen greeted us with a very warm welcome and showed us to our room where she had a chilled bottle of champagne, chesee borad and rose petals scattered all over our floor ready for us. Our room was beautiful, althought I was a bit worried starting off as it was right next door to reception and was afraid of noise but we couldn't hear a pin drop. It was bliss. The underfloor heating, TV/DVD/CD player was great and easy to use. The room was super clean and comfortable. Raeleen also offered us a free drink on arrival on top of our champagne, which we considered very generous.

Raeleen was very helpful and had some nice helpful tips about the area. She booked us a lovely dinner in a fantastic restaurant called Lush, where she had a driver drop us off and pick us up, free of charge. Great no dodgy taxi's and no need for car.

Breakfast was my highligh, it was fresh and so tasty. The breads were all freshly made and tasted divine. Any cooked food we got was cooked to order. Martha was at our beck and call during breakfast and was so pleasant. The banana bread was delish and on our last morning, Martha wrapped some up for us to take with us and have later, a fantastic touch.

I could see how the two dogs could put people off, but we both love dogs so it wasn't a problem, in fact we had great fun with them.

Having checked out and gone to Franschhoek, two days later I realised I had forgotten my very special necklase. So afer checking EVERYWHERE I rang Raeleen desperate. She and Martha searched high and low until they found it and then kindly posted back to Ireland for me. I was so appreciative and gratefull of this kind gester.

We wished we could have stayed longer and did consider it strongly but time wasn't on our side and there was so much to see and do so we were forced to move on, but we do intend on returning some day......for some more banana bread. I will highly recommend it to anyone who is passing throught Knysna.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.

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Additional Information about The Alexander

Address: 30 Glenview Road | Pilot's View, The Heads, Knysna, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Knysna
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 99 B&Bs / Inns in Knysna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Alexander 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perched in a prime position on the spectacular Knynsa Heads with panoramic views of the Indian Ocean from the middle and top decks of the house, The Alexander takes style, ambiance and personal service to new heights. Each of our six suites and rooms has been individually created using lavish furnishings, decorations and objects d’art to provide guests with a uniquely sensual environment for relaxation and recreation. From the moment you are offered a complimentary welcome drink on arrival you can expect to be pampered. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Alexander Hotel Knysna

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