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“Luxury in nature ...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Phantom Forest Eco-Reserve

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The Phantom Forest Eco-Reserve
Ranked #13 of 29 Hotels in Knysna
Certificate of Excellence
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Luxury in nature ...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

My wife and I spent 3 nights at the Phantom Forest Eco Lodge and would do it again tomorrow - we really did not want to leave. The lodge is built into the hillside of the Phantom Forest and blends in with the surroundings like it was meant to be there. It is somewhat remote so if you want shopping, restaurants, beaches, etc. within walking distance, you should consider another place. After a week in downtown Capetown, we appreciated the serenity and remoteness.

Sandy and the other staff were wonderful - we've traveled a lot and have rarely felt this well taken care of. Our home for the stay was the Gecko tree villa - how beautiful. The villa provides a large living and bedroom area with a separate bathroom (the tub is magnificent) and separate shower. A nice deck area completes the package. The weather wasn't condusive to sitting outside much but we did enjoy a late night glass of wine under the stars.

The onsite restaurant is top quality. We had requested vegetarian food before our arrival and were so impressed that for each dinner they had prepared a custom menu to suit with several delicious options. What service! The food was extremely high quality and the wine list left nothing to the imagination. We really felt spoiled.

Our last morning there the resident monkey tribe stopped by for a visit. How can you beat having breakfast with an audience of monkeys? Good times.

Can't wait to go back - we really loved it!

Room Tip: spoil yourself with the tree top villa - it is worth every penny!
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Helpful?
Thank sbrown10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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302 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

What an amazing place for a honeymoon! (or any relaxing holiday for that matter). Such a unique experience in a beautiful, secluded setting. We received great service from very friendly and helpful staff. The tree houses with open shower and outside bath are very private and romantic. The food was outstanding, full of flavour and served with a smile. We stayed for 4 nights and I wouldn’t recommend any less. This is definitely a place we will visit again, hopefully in the near future!

  • Stayed November 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
Helpful?
Thank Inge P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

+ beautiful, remote setting
+ luxurious facilities with a rustic feel
+ outstanding food
+ top service

Perfect place to truly unwind. The tree houses are set in the forest and feel very private despite massive windows giving you great views of the area. Staff were welcoming and helpful, but also give you plenty of privacy.

We only stayed for two nights so didn't get to enjoy all of the resort amenities as much as I would have liked. I would recommend staying here for longer to make the most of it.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Helpful?
Thank TravelSquirrelG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012

We went to Phantom Forest for our honeymoon. Being a same sex couple, we are always a little apprehensive about how we will be received when traveling together. Since this was our honeymoon, we decided to just be totally honest and open about it so that we could just be ourselves.

Well, I'm delighted to say that we were not disappointed. We were treated with the utmost respect by ALL staff and given equal treatment including the customary champagne in our room with our names written on the card. We really appreciated the acknowledgment of our relationship.

As to the accommodation itself - this is really a completely unique experience. You are absolutely in the forest and it is absolutely beautiful. The staff are so helpful and friendly despite having to work in soaring temperatures and running up and down walkways. They really go out of their way to help you.

We made use of the Bubble barrel every morning - that is NOT to be missed. We also enjoyed a massage and the little rooms used for this are high up in the forest so you feel totally alone and totally at peace.

There is, obviously, a concerted effort by the lodge to keep everything eco friendly. That means that there is no aircon. The rooms are well ventilated but it is still very hot sometimes. That is a pity but there is a fan and one should just remember that the point is to be eco friendly. We just walked around in our bathing suits and enjoyed the Summer weather.

The breakfasts are really excellent. The waiters had to run out with paintball guns every now and then to keep the monkeys away. It was great fun to watch all the goings-on. The birdlife is also absolutely breathtaking.

We made use of the pools, the canoeing, the cocktails before dinner and I can't fault any of it. The service was excellent.

One warning - I don't like spiders. I love nature, but I don't like spiders. This is an eco reserve and it happened more than once that a spider dropped down from the roof. This did unsettle me but once again - it's all part of the magic. There is always someone willing to assist you remove any creepy crawly visitors from your room and the beds have nets over them so you can sleep peacefully.

We also LOVED the double showers. It overlooks the forest. The bathroom is luxurious and yet equally "rustic". I highly recommend sipping champagne while sitting in the sunken bath on the deck. The forest is thick and no one can see onto your deck so you can even walk around naked on your outside deck.

I must admit that we were not blown away by the one evening meal we had at the reserve. The food was nice but it was perhaps not their best night. It also became incredibly hot inside the eating area once everyone was inside. It might be more pleasant to eat outside if there is space because the heat can be quite stifling inside, since there's no aircon.

This is really an experience not to be missed. I WILL be back.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Pepper216
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hindmarsh Island, South Australia, Australia
Level Contributor
64 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

This was the experience of a lifetime. From making our booking, arriving at the Reserve, checking in, being escorted to our tree suite, the luxury of the room and the bathroom, dinner, breakfast, absolutely everything - this place does it all perfectly. The uniqueness of the experience and the attention to detail are commendable. The staff are wonderful and the food - well the dinner (and breakfast) experience must be the best we have ever had, anywhere in the world and we are seasoned travelers and in the hospitality game ourselves! Congratulations Kit - you should write a book on hospitality as you have got it 100% right! Congratulations Robyn - as a chef you are up there with the best in the world - beautiful, beautiful food, full of flavour, light and heavenly delicious! We will struggle to find the same experience again and we will definitely be back when we next visit South Africa. A truly good for the soul experience...

  • Stayed October 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
Helpful?
Thank Judy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Wow! what a stunning place and so unique - it is absolutely fabulous. The treehouses are built in such a way that from the road you cant see them at all - you only see the natural vegetation. The views are spectacular overlooking the Knysna river lagoon. The accommodation is amazingly luxurious and the food is wonderful so are the staff - so very friendly and willing to assist in every respect. Magic place to unwind and relax. We didnt want to leave it was so perfect....

Room Tip: All the rooms are stunning....
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
Helpful?
Thank Andrepieterse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BC
Level Contributor
51 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

What an incredible little retreat in the forest with a wonderful view. The treehouses are gorgeously unique and do have all the amenities of a 5 star hotel - heated floors, 6 piece bathroom, beautiful linens, and nature all around you. The meals have been superb and the hiking and walking are great

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jacquieBc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Phantom Forest Eco-Reserve

Property: The Phantom Forest Eco-Reserve
Address: Phantom Pass, Knysna 6570, South Africa
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Knysna
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Knysna
#7 Romantic Hotel in Knysna
#13 Luxury Hotel in Knysna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Phantom Forest Eco-Reserve 5*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The award winning Phantom Forest lodge and boma restaurant is situated in a private reserve on the Knysna River estuary, a magnificent setting of indigenous forest, fynbos and estuarine wetland. Designed to create only the lightest footprint , Phantom Forest offers superb luxury in complete harmony with nature. Accommodation consists of fourteen evocative "tree suites", perfectly integrated into the forest. Nature lovers can explore the reserve via forest and fynbos trails or canoe trips along the river. The Boma restaurant offers international cuisine served in the classic style while the body boma wellness spa provides a range of natural treatments. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Phantom Forest Eco-Reserve Hotel Knysna
Phantom Forest Eco Reserve Knysna

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