We spent over 2 weeks at Belvidere Manor. We had a lovely 3 bed cottage which was plenty big enough for us (2 adults, 2 children). Let me start by saying how beautiful the setting is, the lawns are perfectly manicured, the view is amazing and wonderful pool was a stunning attraction for the kids. We really relaxed and enjoyed our time in Knysna. It's a lovely location near Brenton on Sea and Brenton on Lake and only a 5 min drive to the Waterfront. As we were here in 'silly season' things were very busy so we often stayed around the resort with a book and the pool. For the cottage and surroundings this place is fabulous and we would recommend it for families, couples and anyone wanting some peace and tranquility. It's so peaceful and the lagoon nearby is wonderful. The gregarious and friendly Jeffrey was on good form for the holiday and is a lovely guy and very helpful. The cottage could have been better equipped in the kitchen, but generally everything was there and we could cook as necessary. DSTV for the evenings and a DVD player although we had to ask for a cable as it wasn't in the cottage. The showers are a great pressure and the maid came everyday and was pleasant and quick. It was frustrating not being able to use the washing machine in the cottage (only for the owners) and if we hadn't had people living close by would have had to pay hotel prices for washing (and there's a lot of that with 2 kids). As a place to holiday in , totally wonderful and we will be back in a flash.
The minor irritations concern mostly the food and some other service related problems.
We were B&B and at the beginning of the holiday the breakfast was great. Lots of lovely fruit, meat platters and a nice cooked breakfast. As we got later in to the holiday and it got busier, things slipped and there were major issues with seating (shade) and the last day the milk was sour, the granola was going stale and the meat platter consisted of leftover turkey from the xmas lunch 3 days prior. Really not the standard it should have been. Also, no one apologises EVER for things such as sour milk!!
Quite a few mornings we went for early swims around 7.15am. The pool is 'open from 7am' and all the wet towels from the previous day were still lying around and no clean ones out, and the pool hadn't been cleaned.
There is a major issue with shade. Breakfast is generally set up on the stoop of the manor, but by 7.30/8am on a hot day you get burnt alive and there is no way to block the sun on the stoep. So, you can eat on the patio where there are umbrellas. Unfortunately rarely were tables set up on the patio so nearly every day we had to wait whilst someone reset the table. For the life of me I couldn't understand why this wasn't done as standard as everyone wanted shade (lots of families and kids in buggies) Shade also ruined xmas lunch for some families and really a retractable marquee is needed.
Xmas lunch - if you're there again, don't bother. It was a nice idea but poorly executed and managed as though it was the first one ever done. The service was poor, the shade was poor, the watermelon gazpacho looked like sick (out of the mouth of babes...) the turkey was dry and we were lucky as we got there early, but people were complaining after waiting over 1.5 hours for their food! There were a few complaints and grumblings between residents.
Generally the staff are so nice and it just appears they have no proper leadership when it comes to managing a hotel of this rating. Everyone is eager to please but something was lacking in this stay.
Service and food also inconsistent at the Bell Tavern on site (I will leave another review)
The points above are to mainly help the hotel to rectify some of the shortfalls as it really is a stunning place and rectifying the above would make it totally perfect, after all, it has 4 stars.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Historic Belvidere Manor dating from 1834 is situated in landscaped gardens overlooking Knysna's lagoon and offers accommodation in spacious, fully serviced cottages, each with lounge, a full kitchen and 1, 2 or 3 en-suite double bedrooms. A farmhouse breakfast is served on the terrace of Belvidere House, then relax poolside, enjoy boat trips, forest trails and pristine beaches a short drive away. Dinner is served at Caroline's bistro in Belvidere House, or hearty pub meals at The Bell Tavern, voted a Garden Route culinary legend. We offer preferred golf rates at Simola & Pezula clubs, massage therapies, and a garden wedding venue for up to 60 guests. ... more less
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