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“Worth returning to but The Bell needs to improve its service” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Belvidere Manor

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Belvidere Manor
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Lower Duthie Drive | Belvidere Estate, Knysna 6570, South Africa   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 28 Hotels in Knysna
Canton, Michigan
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Worth returning to but The Bell needs to improve its service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

Our family of four all agreed that Belvidere Manor is one place we should plan to return to. We were provided a chalet with three bedrooms, a lounge area and kitchen, offering the option to self-cater. The chalets are set out across well-manicured lawns, with our rooms being very comfortable, two with en-suite bathrooms. Although we experienced a bit of ‘braai-envy’ at our neighbours who had chosen this route for dinner we decided to try out The Bell, the restaurant on pub on the manor’s estate. Big mistake! We arrived at 7pm and received our salad starters nearly two hours later. Why did we not cut our losses and move on earlier? We had already consumed a bottle of wine before we realised the kitchen was in trouble, so driving anywhere was not an option. Anyway, we eventually got fed and the food was pretty good. That experience aside, it did not diminish our Belvidere Manor experience and after a wonderful breakfast the next morning we departed, planning to return.

Room Tip: Ask for a chalet with a view of the lake
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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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139 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Hampshire
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

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.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

We stayed in one of the cottages for 2 nights as part of a 7 day driving package from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and found it very hard to leave - it was gorgeous. The grounds and gardens are immaculate and breakfast (fresh fruit, yoghurts, cereal, cold meats, cheeses, freshly baked muffins plus a hot menu to choose from) is taken on the verandah in the main house with views of the grounds overlooking the bay. As were are a couple, the 1 bedroom 1 bathroom living room and kitchen with adjoining carport was more then adequate for our needs. We had a fireplace which quite excited us coming from tropical Queensland - fired it up both nights - what a hoot. On the first night we tried the pub on site, The Bell, and it lived up to the reviews we had read on Tripadvisor - the ribs were excellent. We ate at the waterfront at 34 degrees South (10ks away) the next night and it was superb - food and service were first class. Staff are very helpful and give us ideas of what to do and see in the area. Jeff is a real gem and couldn't do enough for us during our stay.
Belvidere Manor is in a beautiful part of Knysna a short drive from town. We drove out to the heads and Buffalo Bay which was beautiful with its secluded rocky beaches. All in all a wonderful stay in Knysna and Belvidere Manor - wouldn't want to stay anywhere else.

  • Stayed September 2012, 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.
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

Belvidere Manor nestled in the enclave of Belvidere on the lagoon in Knysna, is a paradise to behold. The Winter Season Rates are very good value. Caroline's the in house restaurant is superb and charming little pub, called The Bell is my favorite for a pub lunch.

The walks through the suburb of Belvidere are enchanting, the bird life immense and fresh air and beauty will uplift your soul.
The cottages are well appointed with every convenience and the buffet breakfast was terrific.

We have made this an annual getaway.

  • Stayed August 2012, 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.
Milan
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

we arrived quite late at night, during August, and it was quite cold. the rooms had an electric heater and the beds had an electric blanket, but it was still quite cold, a more efficient heating system would be necessary to cater to winter tourists. We had a very large cottage with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths a sitting room and a kitchen. The setting is lovely.
The condition of the baths was unfortunately not optimal.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2012 via mobile

We have again returned to Belvidere Manor using their winter special. It is exceptional value. The Manor itself is a lovely building and the cottages you stay are most comfortable. Love the touches such as the Goody bag and arriving at the cottage with the heater on making it cosy and electric blanket warming the bed. Ate at the Bell Restaurant which is on site, meals are good value and very tasty. Service is excellent. If you want a place to relax and to chill out you cannot do better by staying at Belvidere Manor

Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2012

We've just returned from a fantastic trip to South Africa and Belvidere was one of our stops. We stayed there for 2 nights and it was brilliant - near enough to town to eat at one of the local restuarants on one of our nights (the other night we ate at their pub - delicious) and far enough away to feel like you were in the country - very peaceful. We stayed in one of the cottages overlooking the pool and gardens (and the lagoon). The cottages were very well equipped - you can cook your own meal if you would rather spend the evening in. The service was great too. Would definitely return to this spot!

  • Stayed May 2012, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Belvidere Manor

Address: Lower Duthie Drive | Belvidere Estate, Knysna 6570, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Knysna
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 28 Hotels in Knysna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Belvidere Manor 4*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Overlooking Knysna's lagoon, historic Belvidere Manor built in 1849, is situated in landscaped gardens and offers spacious accommodation in 28 serviced cottages, each with comfortable lounge, a full kitchen and 1, 2 or 3 en-suite double bedrooms. Enjoy breakfast on the terrace of Belvidere House, then relax poolside, take a boat trip, walk forest trails or pristine beaches, all a short drive away. Savour dinner at Caroline's bistro in Belvidere House, or hearty pub meals at The Bell Tavern, voted a Garden Route "Culinary legend". We offer preferential golf rates at Simola & Pezula clubs and a pretty garden wedding venue for up to 60 guests. ... more   less 
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