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“Awesome "The Tuscany"”
Review of The Tuscany

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The Tuscany
Ranked #49 of 59 Wilderness B&B and Inns
Reviewed June 21, 2010

Upon arrival from Cape Town via George (air travel), just a short drive up the N1, I knew I had arrived as my country flag was waving in the warm onshore breeze inside the gated grounds. I was greeted with a welcome from Leena and Henk as though I was their long lost son. They gave me a complete tour of the property, which have the most awesome views off the cliffs of “The Tuscany “into the deep blue Indian Ocean. I had a killer corner room on the second floor with a balcony overlooking the well manicured gardens and sparkling pool. After settling in I was invited to dinner in Wilderness after a few beers and glasses of SA wine on the veranda watching the sun set. Do not miss happy hour at Monks and dinner at the Blue Oliver (which Henk and Leena highly recommend) and the locals chill barefooted over wild game entrees and gorgeous SA wines. The vibe in Wilderness is very relaxed, note the barefooted locals, not to be mixed up with “natives” as you will be overwhelmed with diversity. The next morning I awoke to the smell of fresh coffee brewing, waves crashing on the beach, and Leena in the kitchen with her house staff preparing breakfast. The Tuscany is centrally located on the Garden Route as great place for day trips of the coastline. After breakfast Henk and Leena gave me the inside scoop on the Must Do places to see. Please understand I’m NOT a Disneyland kind of traveler, so if you want “Touristy” sorry, but there are some places you just have to see along the journey. My first day trip off to Jeffery’s Bay, if you surf at all you have heard of this place, well worth the drive. Along the way you must stop just after the toll bridge where there is the World’s highest bungee jump sights in Tsitsikamma at 216m. After a long drive and outstanding day I returned to “The Tuscany” to find that Leena had set out wine for me before I was off for dinner. With another great meal in Wilderness and a stop at the Blue Olive for a listen to a local band I was ready to turn in. The next morning after a good night’s rest on the pillow soft bed I made my way down the cliff out the back gate for a run on the beach as I returned my breakfast was awaiting. So off on another day trip, this went on for a week to a different remarkable destination and new experience each and every day. I would recommend “The Tuscany” and you will have a blast and Henk and Leena will take excellent care of you and you party. I hope to return soon and will bring my children for sure. Thanks again Henk and Leena, Cheers!

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled on business
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1  Thank merrell5183
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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12 - 18 of 19 reviews

Reviewed January 30, 2009

My husband had been to Wilderness twice before during Christmas 2003 and 2004 to paraglide and was always raving on about it. Not being a paraglider myself we agreed on a 2 week stay in Wilderness for beach/scenery/paragliding as part of our 4 week trip where we travelled from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth.

Honestly, I didn't have any expectations of the place but boy was I blown away. It was the highlight of our trip to SA.
Wilderness has it all. Amazing scenery, beautiful long sandy beaches, great restaurants and one felt very safe. It's a lovely small village.

What can I say about "The Tuscany" guesthouse. It really made our stay so special. Set on the cliff edge, you awoke to the sound of the ocean & the most amazing views. The guesthouse has private access to the beach where I used to go for walks before breakfast. Breakfasts were really good, fresh fruit salads, homemade bread and fry ups if you so desired.

Henk and Lena were great hosts and they were genuinely interested in all of their guests and they got to know all of their guests on a first name basis over breakfast.

We were in the 1st floor double room for the first few days & this was really nice with 2 bathrooms & separate room for changing etc! The top floor suite is just amazing. The views from your bed will blow you away.

There is a large table & chairs on the cliff edge where you can sit & watch the surf, dolphins from sunset to sunrise & you can use the barbie for those sunsets that you will never forget.

Tuscany is about 30mins drive from Knysna where you can go for a day trip & have oysters etc. (Kynsna is actually a very big town & we were happy we did not stay there but a must for day trip)

The most amazing beach (Kleinkrantz) is just a 20min walk along the beach from Tuscany or a 5 minuite drive to where the dunes start. The dunes are huge & the beach was empty every time we were there. (from Tuscany take N2 in the direction of Knysna & after 150 yards you will see a sign for Kleinkrantz. Take this turn & then drive along the road & take the 4th turn right. Drive to end of cul de-sac & walk straight ahead to the beach. Amazing)

Oudtshoorn is an hours drive away which has the Cango Caves (amazing) & the Swartzberg Pass which is the most scenic & beautiful place I have ever seen. (this will take entire day as you will stop a lot & have to drag your jaw back into car!)

Buffels Baii. - An amazing beach.

George is a big town that is nothing to write home about. The best thing about George is the N2 out of it!

Wilderness restaurants:
Girls - excellent food 5*
Pomodoro - excellent food & outside sitting 4*
Bongos (behind garage) great pizza from €2!

If thinking of going to Garden route go no further than Tuscany & you won’t go wrong!

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AdamDrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2008

My wife and I love this place, we have stayed there twice and will be returning in 09.
We sat on the terrace, sipping on a nice chilled SA white, watching the wales go by.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank ceosmsi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2007

My wife and I just returned from a great two and a half weeks in South Africa, where we spent three nights at the Tuscany Guesthouse, located in Wilderness on the Garden Route. It's an absolutely wonderful place that we very, very highly recommend. It's certainly the nicest bed and breakfast at which we've ever stayed--and one of the nicest places we've visited, period, in vacations in over a dozen countries. We liked the Tuscany so much that I really want to share our impressions even before I return to the "real world" of work

The Tuscany is located on the "beach side" of a small road running through a residential part of the very nice town of Wilderness. That is, there are no roads and traffic between the place and the sea--not that there is much traffic along its road anyway. Tuscany is ideally situated on a bluff that runs along the Wilderness coast; it's perhaps 75-100 feet above the beautiful beach below.

We stayed in the top room in the house--it's otherwise known as the Luxury Suite or Honeymoon Suite. The suite is magnificent, and perfect for a couple. It has complete 270 degree views toward the sea to the south, the coast to the west and (except for a house or two) the mountains to the north. The only sound you usually hear is the sea below.

The room is very private. There was no need at all to draw the curtains on the windows facing south and west, except to keep out the light in the morning. It occupies the entire top floor of the house. One of many nice features of the room is that the wraparound balcony, which provides sourthern and western views, is largest on its western side (which is where its two lounging chairs are situated--the western side can fit smaller chairs, but probably not these) and provides protection from the wind if it's coming in from the sea. So, on the slightly cool and breezy days we were there, we were perfectly comfortable enjoying sunset on that part of the balcony.

The room is very large and comfortable--perhaps 15 by 20 feet??--and is complemented by a very large bathroom/dressing/closet area that itself provides nice views from the large tub and shower. It has a comfy couch and flat screen tv, though a big storm hit right before our arrival so all but the most basic tv service was not working.

The rest of this three-story house and its property are also quite fine. As I've said, our suite occupies the entire top floor. It is one of three guest rooms in the house. Below it (on the middle floor) are two additional guest rooms that share the west-facing balcony. One is a somewhat basic but still very pleasant room; the other more of a suite, with separate living and sleeping areas. Given our experience and how wonderful the top suite is, I would recommend the top suite if your budget permits. But the lower suite also looks great and costs slightly more than half the top suite's price. And the third, most economical guest room (at less than half the cost of the top suite) is certainly fine.

The bottom floor is also great, with a nice spot for breakfast, a spacious living room (with some impressive art) that most guests don't seem to use much (nor did we), and an adjoining outdoor, covered area where guests can do an outdoor grill if they see fit. The owners live in a separate unit on the property--though just a few steps away if there are questions or problems--so the guests pretty much have the house to themselves.

The grounds/garden area around the house are very pretty, and include at least three sitting areas to gaze out to sea. There is a small pool with lounge chairs as well. We were too busy and it was too cool to enjoy it during our visit, but I would think it would make a very good place to sit in the shade and take a dip on a hot day.

The current owners, Henk and Lena, a Dutch-Finnish couple, are wonderful! Getting to know them a bit was one of the many pleasures of staying at the Tuscany. Lena's English is adequate but not great, but she communicates just fine with her sunny disposition and eagerness to help answer questions about nearby restaurants, etc. She puts on a nice breakfast spread of bacan and eggs (or sausages, pancakes, etc.), with a wonderful assortment of great breads, plus fruits, and slices of cold meats, cheeses, vegetables. There was hot water, tea and instant coffee available in our room, but she also has a pot of coffee going downstairs starting at about 7 a.m.

Henk is an equally nice, interesting guy who before he "retired"--not a word he would probably use in view of the tasks involved in keeping the place running--worked all over the world.

The Tuscany reflects their personalities--a comfy, friendly, beautiful, sunny place. The furniture and feel of the place are homey and comfy. Very nice, but perhaps not for those who favor antique items or a boutique hotel feel.

Wilderness itself is great. It's mostly composed of residential and holiday homes, with a healthy smattering of guest houses such as the Tuscany and a nice selection of shops and good eateries in or near the center of town. It's spread out for a few miles on either side of the N2, the national highway that runs along the Garden Route. Before we visited, I had some concerns about whether being bifurcated by the N2 this way would be odd or noisy, but most properties (and certainly the Tuscany) are far enough away to not hear any traffic and the N2 is small enough that crossing over (or, near the center of town, under) it is not a problem.

The center of town, where most restaurants, shops and some guest houses are located, is very pleasant with some good places to eat, and is perhaps a ten minute walk to the beach.

We stopped through several other towns along the Garden Route and found Wilderness to be the one we liked by far the best. It has a lot to offer and has a wonderful, long beach one one side of the N2 and nature reserve by a lagoon on the other side. It did not strike us as crowded or somewhat overdeveloped, unlike some other towns along the Garden Route. But this kind of thing is a matter of individual preference.

The Tuscany is at at least a two or three miles from the center of town. So unless you're up for a walk of an hour or more each way--which we did one day, one way along the beach and then back through town and on the other side of the N2--you need a car to get in and out. There is no taxi service.

The Tuscany''s website, which pops up as the first site listed if you google "tuscany guesthouse wilderness", is decent but slightly dated and really doesn't do this wonderful B&B justice.

A few more bits and pieces:

While the beach just down the hill is accessible from the Tuscany during both low and high tide, you can't walk along all of it during high tide.

The path down to the hill to the beach from the Tuscany was perfectly fine for the two of us--folks in our early 50's who do some hiking, though we're not in extraordinary shape. But it does have a few narrow and steep spots which involve a bit of maneuvering. I would think that Henk or Lena could direct you to some alternative nearby route up and down if you wish.

We ate breakfast alone, but the breakfast table does sit up to six. My wife is more social than I am first thing in the morning, but I would have gladly made the effort to dine around the table with any other guests--and probably would have enjoyed it!--if other guests were around. Or perhaps Lena could set up a separate table if anyone deems that a real priority.

The top suite does not have a door between the bedroom and the bathroom/dressing/closet area. But this area is very large. And it is situated(on the other side of a wall from the bedroom and kind of around the corner from the bedroom) so that there really is not a lack of privacy--hope I'm not providing more information than necessary here!

The bed in the top suite is really two beds right next to each other. While we would have preferred a queen or king size bed, we easily made do--and love so much else about the room and the Tuscany that this was just a minor blip.

Henk is building a self-catering accommodation at the other side of the house from the guest rooms. It doesn't look like it will impinge at all on the top suite, and probably not on the other two rooms. But anyone visiting in the near fututre might ask if there is much noise going on--there was practically none during our visit--and anyone visiting down the line might ask about the availability of what I imagine will be a nice room(s).

If you like dogs, Henk and Lena have a very friendly lab whom my wife took down to the beach one morning to play (and who helped guide her back up the path to the house!). But, if you don't like them, he mostly stays away from the guesthouse and barks only occasionally.

The weather in November in the Western Cape was a bit surprising--not hot summer, but more springlike with a mix of sunny days, some clouds and some rain. Overall, quite nice--the clouds actually provided a pleasant break from the hot sun and it still was usually warm enough for us to walk around in shirtsleeves. But in combination with other recent years' weather and its departure from what weather/cliimate websites describe as a dry month in South Africa, it had some South Africans we encountered speculating about climate change. Not a big problem for our vacation, but food for thought. I'll try posting on perhaps the Western Cape forum about this if I have a chance.

Once again, the Tuscany is a marvelous place that we absolutely recommend!

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank Southside
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2005

We recently stayed at Tuscany Guest House in Wilderness, this is an amazing guest house which is run by Frank and Barbara who provide excellent hospitality. The house is located on Wilderness beach with its own private access. There are amazing views of the Indian Ocean and you can watch the whales and dolphins swim by from your balcony. If you can stay in the penthouse suite this is superb!! This place offers excellent value for money and you can ensure that you will go away wanting to return.

2  Thank LouEzz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2013
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank tatie_kolwezi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2011
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  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
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Thank sadalijuel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Tuscany

Address: 912/8th Avenue, Wilderness 6560, South Africa (Formerly Tuscany Guesthouse)
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Wilderness
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #49 of 59 B&Bs / Inns in Wilderness
Price Range: $98 - $170 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Tuscany 3.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Tuscany is located on the top of the dunes overlooking the Indian Ocean. Stroll down your private path to the unspoilt stretches of Wilderness beach and experience it's tranquility. The house is build in Mediterranean style with three individual suites, three contemporary rooms and one stand alone villa, all seafacing, awaits your arrival as our Valued Guests. ... more   less 
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