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Surfer Friendly Lofts Boutique Hotel in Knysna, South Africa

The Lofts Boutique Hotel, The Boatshed, Thesen Islands, Knysna, South Africa

South Africa Luxury Surf Hotel

Instruction in English
Maximum 48 participants
Airport transfer available

The Lofts Boutique Hotel's accommodation consists of lagoon suites with uninterrupted and breathtaking views of the lagoon, luxury loft rooms, and luxury self-catering suites all overlooking the beautiful architecture of Thesen Harbour Town. The hotel also offers guests a beautiful splash pool to laze around on sunny days, an Atrium Lounge and Bar, as well as specialized shops and professional therapists who can help you relax!


  • 250 meters from the surf spot
  • Uninterrupted views of the lagoon
  • 150 ZAR breakfast voucher for the Exclusive Lagoon Suites and Luxury Loft Rooms
  • Hotel with a tranquil and relaxed environment
  • Air-conditioned accommodation
  • A swimming pool is available


The organizer also speaks: Afrikaans
Group size: Maximum of 48 participants
Airport transfer available:
George Airport (US$66 per person)
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Check-out Time:


  • Sauna
  • Spa
  • Swimming pool (outdoor)
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Bar
  • Café
  • Concierge desk
  • Dining area
  • Garden
  • Kitchen
  • Lobby
  • Lounge
  • Restaurant
  • Smoke-free property
  • Terrace
  • Bicycle rental
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Meeting room
  • Parking lot
  • Tour assistance
  • Wedding

Set within the remodeled timber frame of the old Knysna boatbuilding shed, the hotel rooms take one's breath away with their industrial refurbishment and design. This fresh, smart-casual approach is far from the ordinary and caters well to every desire. Multiple room options are presented in various styles:

  • Exclusive Lagoon Suites
  • Luxury Loft Suites
  • Luxury Units with Self-catering Facilities

The inviting Lofts Atrium area adds to your enjoyment at The Lofts Boutique Hotel. This relaxed experience includes:

  • drinking good coffee, a fresh juice, gin, or local wines while enjoying a snack
  • enjoying the best food at the world-renowned île de païn
  • buying organic snacks, juices, and ingredients at RAWGANICS
  • retreating to a relaxing space at the end of a stressful journey
  • being treated to beauty and therapeutic treatments by professional therapists
  • browsing in designer jewelry, beautiful clothing, finest interior furniture, and décor shops


All the luxury loft rooms, lagoon suites, and luxury self-catering suites in The Lofts Boutique Hotel have their own television with select DSTV channels on offer. A coffee station in each room has the facility to make tea and coffee.

More luxuries that are provided for guests in the rooms and suites include air conditioning, a digital electronic safe, under-floor heating, hairdryer, free Wi-Fi, large balconies (selected rooms and suites only), crisp, fresh linen of the highest quality, and extra length king beds that can also be made up as two separate twin beds (upon request).


The hotel's friendly service will spoil you and will make your stay memorable. Visit the privately owned Le Spa Tranquille and pamper yourself with luxurious treatments or stroll through the Boatshed and enjoy the specialized shops open for you to experience or enjoy a superb meal at the famous Ile de pain.

Rooms and Suites

The accommodation consists of seven Exclusive Lagoon Suites with uninterrupted and breath-taking views of the lagoon, five Luxury Loft Rooms, and six Luxury Two-Bedroom Units with Self-Catering Facilities; all overlooking the beautiful architecture of Thesen Harbour Town.

Exclusive Lagoon Suites

All suites have unique views, the connection to the effect of nature, the perfect breakaway. Bask in sunsets unique to the Knysna Lagoon, photograph the surrounding views, breathe in the fresh lagoon air flowing through your open glass balcony doors; this is the perfect place for your honeymoon, holiday, or ultimate relaxing getaway. The design includes a large bedroom with an open-plan bathroom and a separate toilet. More luxuries that are provided for you include:

  • Extra length twin beds which can also be made up as a king bed
  • Hanging and packing space
  • Flat-screen television with select DSTV channels
  • Coffee station
  • Air conditioning
  • Digital electronic safe
  • Hairdryer
  • Wi-Fi
  • Minibar on request

Luxury Loft Rooms

Feel the African sun and fresh air on spacious north-facing balconies. All of these rooms have large comfortable and unique balconies with partial views of the lagoon. Each of these rooms has been decorated in a different theme which lends to the eccentricity of The Lofts. The design includes a large bedroom, a lovely balcony with two sun-loungers, a bathroom with either a shower, bath, or a bath/shower, hand basin, and toilet. More luxuries that are provided for you include:

  • Extra length twin beds which can also be made up as a king bed
  • Hanging and packing space
  • Flat-screen television with select DSTV channels
  • Coffee station
  • Air conditioning
  • Digital electronic safe
  • Under-floor heating
  • Hairdryer
  • Wi-Fi
  • Minibar on request

Luxury Units with Self-Catering Facilities

The unit offers spacious comfortable living for four people on two levels. Away from home, surrounded by quietness, comfortable spaces, and a relaxed environment offers you a perfect place for a long stay. You have the choice to eat at the restaurants, all within walking distance, or fix your own meals.

These units are on the south side of the building, lending a very quiet, peaceful, and homely feel to the suites. The units are entered by a "gangplank," similar to a ship over a bridge. A truly great and unique experience! The design in the main en-suite bedroom includes extra length king size bed, which can be made up as twin beds, hanging and packing space and a flatscreen TV with select DSTV channels.

The second bedroom is fun for the young at heart couple or teenagers' “Loft” experience. The bedroom is situated in the midst of the 100-year old, solid, robust wooden trusses. The design in the en-suite loft room includes a queen size/king/twin beds (depending on the unit) and hanging and packing space.

Each unit has a lounge area and a fully equipped modern kitchenette which has the facility to prepare any desired meal of your choice and seats four people; these units overlook Thesen Harbour Town. More luxuries that are provided for you include:

  • Hanging and packing space
  • Flat-screen television with select DSTV channels
  • Coffee station
  • Air conditioning
  • Digital electronic safe
  • Hairdryer
  • Wi-Fi

Please note that The Lofts Boutique Hotel is a non-smoking area for two important reasons:

  • The Lofts wishes to provide safety and security to guests, the building is a refurbished historical wood boatbuilding shed and needs to be treated with special care.
  • The Lofts wishes to offer a healthy, fresh, and pleasant environment for all guests. Furthermore, it will be greatly appreciated if smokers adhere to the rules and make use of balconies and outside smoking areas and also extinguish the cigarettes in the appropriate trays.

The Lofts Atrium

The Lofts Atrium invites you to relax and share the beauty of natural and manmade elements. For the senses, see the space with the original industrial elements, high ceiling, lots of character, and the resemblance to an old passenger sailing vessel. For the soul, feel the power of nature all around you.

ON OFFER: A selection of drinks from the service bar

  • Fine wines
  • Craft beers
  • Cocktails
  • Cool drinks
  • Coffee or tea

FUNCTIONS: The unique place, ambiance, and setting allow for events with a difference. Fixtures and accessories:

  • 3 TVs in the Atrium at different places. TVs can be used to connect your laptop for presentations, photo slideshows, and other visuals. *Alternatively, all can be moved out of the space.
  • The entire space has a wide-ranging sound system with various sound zones regulated separately.
  • Seating arrangement can be altered with ease to suit a variety of requirements.

The Atrium is the perfect location for several different types of functions ranging from:

  • Small/big conferences
  • Meetings
  • Weddings
  • Wine/beer tastings
  • Birthday parties
  • Yoga/health retreats
  • Exhibits

Join The Lofts to enjoy food and wine provided by some of the following exciting local producers:

  • Thai Food
  • Vegan Food
  • Something meaty
  • Delicious curries
  • Local wines
  • Craft Beer
  • Craft Gin
  • Something sweet



Knysna is the center of the Garden Route. Thesen Island is in the center of the Knysna Estuary and The Lofts Boutique Hotel is in the center of it all. What better way to enjoy Knysna than a stay on an island, located not only in the heart of the Knysna Lagoon but also in a Blue Flag Marina in the very center of Knysna?

The unique location of this boutique hotel on Thesen Harbour Town sets the tone for a tranquil, revitalizing, relaxing, and refreshing stay on the island. Driving over the Venetian style bridge, you are transported to the world of nature, lending an invisible and intangible flavor to your holiday experience at The Lofts Boutique Hotel.

The Garden Route has a Mediterranean Maritime climate with moderately hot summers and mild to chilly winters. It is one of the richest rainfall areas, most of which occurs in the winter months, brought by the humid sea-winds from the Indian ocean. Any time of the year is good for visiting the area, depending on if you enjoy a peaceful retreat during the winter months or a bustling holiday destination during the summer.

Knysna is one of the Southern Cape coast's best known holiday destinations, situated between lush forests and the shores of the peaceful lagoon, it offers many activities and attractions of a wide variety.

Thesen Islands

This is a residential and commercial village made up of 19 islands all linked with bridges from one to the other. The waterways are broad, lined with gabions, filled with water, and also emptied daily. The waterways are life-friendly. People fish, view seahorses, enjoy the plant life, and all thrive in this environment.

The commercial area is called Thesen Harbour Town which offers you wonderful shopping, fun, delicious, and relaxing experiences at South Africa’s most desirable address. Thesen Harbour Town has a luxurious feel away from all the noise and stress of everyday life. All facilities are within a safe, five-minute walk. There is ample parking space most of which is close to the water’s edge.

Here you can stay at a hotel, live in an apartment, or just visit. Activities include various water-related excursions, spa treatments, shopping for unique gifts, décor, unique clothing, enjoy a wholesome bread, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is a wonderful opportunity to buy yourself the most sought-after property and have an architect design your house and book your next holiday or even wine and dine from breakfast to dinner.

The Boatshed

In 1870, the Thesen family started a timber and shipping business in Knysna and subsequently the Wharf company, which built the first formal harbor at the site of present-day Thesen Harbour Town. After the Thesens moved their timber processing plant to the island, along with the boat building yard, in 1922, timber was processed on Thesen Island and loaded directly into freighters and shipped for export.

It is this maritime heritage that the architects have strived to preserve in both the re-adaptation of the old building and in the general design and planning of Harbour Town and the Thesen Islands Marina. The Boatshed has been adapted to house several functions. Noteworthy here is the fact that its entire existing timber framework has been retained and all the timber cladding has been re-used.

The old Boatshed was turned into an expo center at first. Examples of windows, doors, paint colors, wall finishes, internal and external fittings, and finishes were illustrated. The south façade of the boatshed demonstrated colors, porches, balustrades, and overall style of the island architecture. Hence, the look and style of that facade.

The exceptional refurbishment of The Boatshed adds interest and character to Thesen Harbour Town. The original structure which was basically fully retained lends a uniquely maritime feel to the building. Currently, the inside of the Boatshed houses retail shops and a spa as well as The Lofts Boutique Hotel.

  • Le Spa Tranquille
  • Paisley and Bloom Interiors
  • Rawganics
  • Gem at Shumbawi
  • Sybaris
  • Sahar Kilim & Rug
  • Eden Telecom
  • Octagon Financials



  • Boating
  • Cycling
  • Golf course
  • Massage
  • Sailing
  • Shopping
  • Spa
  • Stand up paddle boarding
  • Surfing
  • Swimming pool (outdoor)


  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Balcony
  • Bar
  • Beach
  • Café
  • Concierge desk
  • Dining area
  • Garden
  • In-room safe
  • Kitchen
  • Lounge
  • Mini bar
  • Restaurant
  • Smoke-free property


  • Hair dryer
  • Internet access
  • In-room dining
  • Local market
  • Tour assistance
  • Wedding


Breakfast Choices

The Atrium is the lounge of The Lofts Boutique Hotel. This space is created for you to relax, read, eat, drink, chat, correspond, research, or just sit and enjoy. Your first choice is the breakfast in the Atrium; breakfast is served every morning from 8 a.m. For long stays, the vouchers available is to the value of 150 ZAR, which allows you to eat at three other restaurants. Breakfast is included for the Exclusive Lagoon Suites and Luxury Loft Rooms only unless it was requested as an extra for the Luxury Units with Self-catering Facilities.


  • Vegan - Choice of 3 juices
  • Vegan - Choice of stewed apple or fresh fruit
  • Vegan - Specially blended Muesli
  • Yogurt - Locally produced
  • Cold cuts of meat
  • Local prize-winning artisanal cheeses
  • le de pain breads - The best ever
  • Vegan - Broccoli bread with Salsa Pineapple
  • Avo, ginger, and tomato

To order: Eggs

  • Scrambled eggs - Free range organic eggs
  • Poached eggs
  • Boiled eggs
  • With bacon/toast/butter


  • Vegan - Quinoa cooked and then topped with your own choice of fruit, nuts, and seeds.

Seasonal Items available at breakfast

  • Fresh fruit in season
  • Muffins of the day
  • Special salsa to put onto breads
  • Amazing locally crafted goats cheese only available in season

The Atrium Coffee (Drinks and Small Bites Bar): 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.

A breakfast voucher is issued to guests to be presented at restaurants with whom The Lofts have partnered in Knysna to provide you with unique breakfast choices and can be used at any one of the following restaurants. Each restaurant has a unique setting and style, if you are staying with The Lofts, you are recommended to try île de païn but you have a choice to have breakfast at any of the following restaurants:


  • Ile de pain Cuisine: French/Austrian Bakery Fair
  • Trading hours: 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • Ambiance: Authentic culture, comfy, and casual
  • Address: Thesen Islands


  • Cafe Mario Cuisine: Italian, seafood, bakery
  • Ambiance: Comfy and casual
  • Trading hours: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.
  • Address: Waterfront


  • Island Café: Tapas, contemporary, international
  • Ambiance: Contemporary
  • Trading hours: 7 a.m. - Late
  • Address: Thesen Islands


There are also several great restaurants in Knysna. Here are The Lofts Boutique Hotel's favorite choices:

  • Pembreys, Brenton Road - Mediterranean country cuisine, dinners
  • Sirocco Restaurant, Thesen Harbour Town - Laid back lunches, dinners, and cocktails.
  • The Olive Tree, Main Road - Mouth-watering international bistro cuisine, dinners
  • 34° South, The Waterfront - Food emporium, deli, fresh seafood restaurant
  • Anchorage, Gray Street - Seafood and steaks
  • Cruise Café, Featherbed Co. Terminus - Contemporary menu and award-winning wine list
  • East Head Café, The Heads - Relaxed family friendly restaurant, breakfast, and lunch
  • Freshline Fisheries, Long Street - Fresh seafood in a relaxed environment
  • Muse, Old Cape Road - Eclectic family-friendly restaurant growing own veggies
  • 34 Tapas & Oysters, Thesen Harbour Town - Tapas meals, oysters, and entertainment
  • The Orchid Room, Simola Hotel & Spa - à la carte fine dining and sushi bar with views
  • Totties Eatery, Rheenendal - Family restaurant, buffet meals, and awesome burgers


The Garden Route comprises of farms and many creative people. Markets are the perfect place to see what this beautiful area has to offer.

  • Wild Oats Saturday Market - This popular market outside of Sedgefield is open every Saturday
  • Harkerville Saturday Market - This market half-way between Knysna and Plett is open every Saturday
  • Outeniqua Saturday Market - This popular market outside of George is open every Saturday

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegan
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)


The Garden Route is filled with fun experiences for you to choose from. The Lofts Boutique Hotel's team will happily help you to choose from several adventures for you and your family while staying with the hotel. The hotel also offers you a chance to explore the surrounds with the two bicycles or choose the canoe for a unique lagoon experience. At Thesen Harbour Town, you may be so lucky to find your ultimate pleasure. The Loft Boutique Hotel's favorite shops, restaurants, and activities on the island:

  • Aldo Kleyn Leather Designs - Beautiful leather designs
  • Ocean Odyssey - Best way to explore the Knysna lagoon and sea life
  • French Kisses - Beautiful women’s clothing
  • Paisley & Bloom - Creative interior design pieces for your home
  • Time Machine - Everything you need to know about clocks
  • Weylandts - For all your unique contemporary furniture and décor accessories
  • Tapas - Perfect spot for a fun evening
  • Scratch Golf - Golf store with a difference, best in the southern hemisphere
  • CMAI Architects - Design your dream building

Sundeck and Activities

View the beauty and tranquillity of the lagoon and surrounding green hills from the sundeck. Soak up the African sunshine and relax in these surroundings of The Lofts Boutique Hotel. You have the option to step down onto the sand during low tide for a quiet walk or take the canoe out for a paddle to explore the lagoon.

Splash Pool

Enjoy the open-air splash pool. Take a dip or relax on the comfortable sun-loungers. Watch the boats sail past, laze in the afternoon sun with a good book, and enjoy your morning coffee or sunset drink right here. From this spot, there is no better place than to experience the sunset over the green hills.

Activities Provided by The Lofts

The Lofts offers guests the following during their stay:

  • Canoeing

Canoeing on the lagoon is an amazing experience. Take the canoe through the Thesen Islands canals, stop at one of the private beaches on the island and have a relaxed picnic before venturing back. Rowing through the canals is fairly easy for an active person. It is also possible to row over the lagoon to the opposite side or even rowing to the train bridge but this would be for an intermediate rower or active person.

  • Bicycling

Cycle in the beautiful town; take the bicycles into town or to the waterfront for some shopping, strolling, or snacking. Both bicycles have bicycle locks; if you’re an experienced cycler you can venture further to the White Bridge or even to The Heads.

  • Playing Board Games

There is nothing more fun than spending an evening with family or friends playing board games. The hotel has a small selection for you to choose from such as Monopoly, Cards, Rumi Cup, Jenga, and Pick-up-Sticks.

Le Spa Tranquille

Le Spa Tranquille is situated on the edge of the scenic Knysna Lagoon. The location and energy of the water combined with the therapists' expert touch ensure that you leave feeling rejuvenated and de-stressed. Restore your well-being by indulging in treatments on offer from Vichy shower scrubs, massage, hot stone therapy, reflexology, body wraps, specialised Clarins, and Guinot facials and bridal treats to OPI manicures and pedicures, or surrender yourself to one of the half-day or full-day packages on offer that will pamper you from head to toe.

Relax on a lounger on the pool deck and soak up the view before and after a pampering treatment or unwind in a soothing Hydrotherapy Jet Bath or even a eucalyptus-infused sauna cabin before beginning treatments. Le Spa Tranquille has a wide range of treatments on offer to ensure all needs are met.

The spa also caters to groups, personal needs, and requests. The friendly team looks forward to meeting and spoiling you! Le Spa Tranquille is privately owned and all questions regarding packages, appointments, and opening and closing times can be viewed on their website or you can contact them directly on +27(0)44 302 5727.


Knysna and the Garden Route is well known for having superb golf courses. The spectacular coastal scenery and mild climate make Knysna and the Garden Route a golfer’s paradise. Superb golf on the Garden Route is compared with the very best in the world. Here is a list of the favorite courses to play:

  • Pezula Championship Golf Course and Club
  • Simola Golf & Country Estate - A Jack Nicklaus signature golf course
  • Knysna Golf Club
  • Goose Valley Golf Estate - A Gary Player signature golf course
  • 3 Fancourt Golf Courses - One of which was designed by Gary Player
  • Oubaai - An Ernie Els signature golf course
  • George Golf Course
  • Kingswood Golf Course

Other golf activities in this region include fun mashie golf courses. This is a perfect family or day activity for the golfer looking to relax and have fun. Herewith is a list of mashie courses to play:

  • Blackwater’s River Lodge
  • Sedgefield Links
  • Glenwood Short Golf Course - George


The Lofts' friendly team welcomes your questions. Before or after enjoying breakfast, allow the team to organize your program, restaurant bookings, as well as trips for the day. The Garden Route has a variety of activities on offer. You can choose from a relaxing sunset cruise to the more active treetop adventures. Here are some of the guests' favorite choices:

  • Tour of Featherbed Nature Reserve

This is a tour of the untouched western head. This includes a boat ride, a drive up to a viewing point, taking a stroll down to the restaurant, and enjoying a buffet lunch. The afternoon tour does not include a meal.

  • Southern Yachting Start Sailing Adventure

This is the perfect adventure for an enthusiastic person who wants to learn how to sail.

  • Whale Watching with Ocean Odyssey

Whales, dolphins, seals, and other aquatic life can be spotted on a trip out to the sea with Ocean Odyssey.

  • Mitchell’s Brewery Tours

Take a tour of the original craft beer factory. You can also visit them and enjoy tastings or just go for lunch or dinner.

  • Meeting the Elephants at Knysna Elephant Park

This is a magical experience; here you can buy a bucket of fruit and veggies to feed the elephants and once you have fed them, you get to walk and touch them. The guides are very knowledgeable with answers to all your questions.

  • Monkeyland and Birds of Eden

Drive out to these neighboring sanctuaries for a day trip. Learn and spot monkeys and birds for an amazing experience.

  • Sunset cruise to the Heads

A sunset cruise is a must while in Knysna. There are several cruises to choose from for every type of person from yacht tours to a Paddle-cruiser.

  • Treetop adventures around the Garden Route

Ever wanted to be Tarzan and Jane? Well, this is your opportunity! Go tree-topping through the forests for a fun adventure.

  • Learn to surf or try stand-up paddling with TripOut Adventures

Learning to surf is on most people’s bucket list so why not cruise out to Buffalo Bay and take a surf course.

What's included

  • Accommodation of your choice
  • Access to the hotel's facilities, amenities, and services
  • 150 ZAR breakfast voucher (If you book a Luxury Loft Room or Exclusive Lagoon Room)
  • 15% VAT
  • 1% Tourism Levy

What's not included

  • Surf lessons and rentals
  • Activities
  • All meals
  • Personal expenses

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please arrange your flight to arrive at George Airport (GRJ). Transfers from and to this airport are not included but can be arranged at an additional cost of 500 ZAR - 1000 ZAR, depending on the number of people. For more information, please send The Lofts Boutique Hotel an inquiry.

Driving directions from Cape Town

  • When entering Knysna on the N2, drive until you reach the third set of traffic lights (Waterfront Drive).
  • Turn right into Waterfront Drive and continue on this road until you reach the second set of traffic lights (Long Street).
  • Turn right into Long Street and continue straight until you cross the bridge onto Thesen Islands.
  • Once on Thesen Islands, continue until the first 4-way stop, here, turn right and drive towards the Knysna Lagoon.
  • You will find The Lofts Boutique Hotel Reception on the left, right on the water.

Driving directions from Port Elizabeth

  • When entering Knysna on the N2 (Knysna Main Street), drive until you reach the third set of traffic lights (Waterfront Drive).
  • Turn left into Waterfront drive and continue with Waterfront drive until you reach the first set of traffic lights at Waterfront drive/Long street.
  • Turn left at this intersection and drive until you cross the Bridge of Thesen Islands.
  • Once on Thesen Islands continue until the first 4-way stop, here, turn right and drive towards the Knysna Lagoon.
  • You will find The Lofts Boutique Hotel Reception on the left, right on the water.
Airport: George Airport Airport transfer available: George Airport (US$66 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
1 night
from --
Season information
Low Season
  • May 1 - September 30
Mid Season
  • October 1 - December 15
  • January 6 - April 30
High Season
  • December 16 - January 5
Pricing information
All rooms are also available for single occupancy at the following rates:
Exclusive Lagoon Rooms
  • Low Season: 1760 ZAR
  • Mid-Season: 2910 ZAR
  • High Season: 3450 ZAR
Luxury Loft Rooms
  • Low Season: 1380 ZAR
  • Mid-Season: 2540 ZAR
  • High Season: 2990 ZAR
Luxury Units with Self-catering Facilities
  • Low Season: 2560 ZAR
  • Mid-Season: 3960 ZAR
  • High Season: 4520 ZAR

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