Welcome to The Belle of Knysna
A spectacular holiday home on the waterfront of Leisure Island...
A spectacular home built on the waterfront of Leisure Isle
Experience the beauty and tranquillity of sheltered island life at its very best. A relaxing holiday at our luxury island guesthouse puts you right on the water’s edge, with awesome views of one of the most beautiful places in the world – Knysna.
The 4 star Knysna Belle rests a mere 15 paces from our safe swimming beach and is one of the island’s special jewels. It offers views of the ever-changing Knysna Lagoon, the famous Knysna Heads and the stately Outeniqua Mountains. The private, luxury guesthouse is named after a schooner that regularly visited Knysna during the 1800’s. All our rooms are named after sailing ships with a history of visiting Knysna.
But the real treasures of Leisure Isle and Knysna are not buried under the white sands of Bollard Bay Beach. Nor are they hidden beneath the sparkling blue waters of the Indian Ocean that gently caress its shore: they are all around it. Only a few minutes’ drive from the centre of Knysna, the island is connected to the mainland by a causeway, manned by security guards. Leisure Isle offers visitors a treasure chest of activities to enjoy while relaxing island style, and the town of Knysna plus the surrounding areas - boast a host of family friendly and adventure activities that promise to entertain and excite.
Contact us today to book the island holiday of your dreams.
The Knysna Belle
Accommodation at The Knysna Belle
Tasteful, comfortable and secure accommodation with an air of relaxed sophistication.A schooner, The Knysna Belle, regularly visited Knysna in the late 1800’s. Today, all the bedrooms of her namesake are also named after sailing ships with a history of visiting Knysna. Nautical themes are carried throughout the spectacular Cape-Cod style guesthouse. Our well-trained and discreet staff will make your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible while you, the captain of your holiday, explore and relax.
The Captains Quarters
Our upper-deck suite offers a luxurious, full King-sized bed (converts to two twin beds), an extra-large en-suite bathroom and comfortable sitting room with a gas fireplace to ward off the chill during winter. Check in with the office from the Captain’s desk in the study, or make good use of the private bar fridge. This tastefully appointed suite faces the Knysna lagoon, and the comfortable seating on the Quarterdeck Balcony is the perfect spot for sundowners. Enjoy panoramic views of the Knysna Heads, Featherbed Private Nature Reserve and the majestic Outeniqua Mountains. Climb to the rooftop Crow’s Nest lookout balcony to appreciate unique views of Leisure Island, Knysna, and all the beauty that surrounds them.
Facing the Knysna lagoon, this suite offers spectacular views. A Queen-sized bed and en-suite with shower welcomes guests to a sanctuary of luxurious comfort. The room boasts an air-conditioner, but double doors open out to the private patio from where scintillating sunsets are best viewed while sipping on a glass of champagne.
Select a King-sized or two twin beds for your stay. Featuring a comfortable sitting area that leads out to a private patio with views of our front garden and the blue lagoon beyond, Nautilus offers guests a private bar fridge, a luxury full bathroom and air-conditioning.
The Paquita offers a Queen-sized bed and en-suite with shower, and overlooks the tranquil garden and onsite pool. The Paquita may be interconnected to the Annie Benn for friends or families traveling together.
The Annie Benn
This large room, with a Queen-sized bed, offers a full en-suite complete with a charming Victorian bath. Overlooking the bird-filled garden and sparkling, onsite pool, the Annie Benn may be interconnected to the Paquita for friends or families traveling together.
The Fredheim is a potential family suite when combined with the Hettie.
Overlooking the lush garden and inviting, onsite pool, this room with a Queen-sized bed shares a full bathroom with the Hettie.
The Hettie is a potential family suite when combined with the Fredheim.
Overlooking the lush garden and inviting, onsite pool, this room with two single beds shares a full bathroom with the Fredheim.
At the Belle, we take pride in giving you a memorable stay. Please make use of the many facilities available.
- Continental or full English breakfast.
- Onsite swimming pool, loungers and towels.
- Four balcony areas where guests can marvel at the wonderful view of the Knysna lagoon while enjoying sundowners after a fun-filled day.
- Mountain bikes make for an easy, scenic and safe ride around Leisure Isle.
- Don’t just take our word for it – our ‘Where-did-you-dine-last-night’, guest-to-guest restaurant rating system provides an authentic review of the local restaurants.
- Picnic baskets, backpacks and water bottles for hiking, riding, kayaking and more.
- Tea and coffee making facilities in all rooms.
- Private honesty bar with red and refrigerated white wine selections.
- Detailed maps and info on Knysna and surrounds.
- 2 Kayaks and a canoe.
- Laundry service.
- Mini, portable Cobb barbeque unit for picnics (please book in advance).
Knysna, is the ideal town from which to explore the Garden Route...
Knysna is a natural Garden of Eden, surrounded by a paradise of lush, indigenous forests, tranquil lakes, endless beaches and inviting oceans. At the heart of the Garden Route National Park Knysna Lakes Section, Knysna nestles on the banks of a breathtakingly beautiful estuary. Now a protected marine reserve, the estuary is home to the famous Knysna seahorse and over 200 species of fish.
Beaches, lakes, mountains and rivers provide endless opportunities for outdoor leisure and adventure activities. Knysna itself beckons with craft shops, markets, shopping, cosy cafés, small town charm and hospitality.
Welcome to a quaint oasis set on the vast Knysna lagoon...
The idyllic picture postcard scene is the reality of everyday life on Leisure Isle. With a guarded entrance, Leisure Isle is linked to the mainland by a narrow causeway. This means that the island is a haven of peace and tranquillity. Here, life is enjoyed at a relaxed pace... cars drive slowly along winding, leafy roads. Kids ride bicycles freely and residents enjoy daily sunset walks or rides around the scenic 4km periphery of the secure island. Holiday makers relax on sun-drenched beaches or swim in the crystal-clear waters of the lagoon.
Leisure Isle boasts an antique shop/art gallery, a coffee shop, a fine dining restaurant and a small boat harbour. Its own nature reserve makes for good bird watching and the island is surrounded by awesome scenery. Less than 10 minutes’ drive from the centre of Knysna, Leisure Isle is perfectly situated for you to take full advantage of all that the town and its environs have to offer, while maintaining seclusion and safety.
The charm and ambience of Leisure Isle lies in the haphazard juxtaposition of the old and the new, reflecting its long history and the changes in architectural style as well as the affluence of its residents. Grand mansions and villas sit comfortably alongside modest seaside cottages. Leisure Isle welcomes everyone with unpretentious warmth and sincere hospitality.
One of many reasons that Knysna is South Africa’s favourite holiday destination, is the easy and inexpensive availability of many leisure and adventure activities.
We will gladly provide detailed information on any of the activities and suggest trusted, experienced activity providers.
Play Knysna’s spectacular Pezula Championship Course, the awe-inspiring Simola Golf Course, the course at the friendly Knysna Golf Club, or the fun mashie golf course at Blackwaters River Lodge. Just up the road in Plettenberg Bay you will find the Gary Player designed Goose Valley Golf Estate as well as the local Plettenberg Bay Country Club (home to the 2019 SA Senior Open).
The rest of the Garden Route offers many challenging, yet enjoyable courses to play within easy driving distance. Please enquire about these when making your booking.
Knysna boasts a variety of quaint shops, flea markets and coffee shops at Woodmill Lane, the Knysna Quays Waterfront, Thesen Island Harbour Town and the Knysna Mall. The town boasts colourful craft markets and locally made gems hidden in the town’s quaint stores.
Knysna has several excellent restaurants for wining and dining. Probably the most reliable and up to date guide to the local restaurants is our unique ‘Where-did-you-dine-last-night’ guest restaurant rating list. Expect the freshest seafood, from the catch-of-the-day and fresh seafood platters to perfect prawns and the famous Knysna oysters. Knysna also offers authentic Thai, Indian, Chinese, Portuguese and Italian cuisine, along with succulent steakhouse fare. Whether it’s fine cuisine or relaxed fun food, Knysna’s got your order.
Health & Beauty
Spoil yourself to a pampering spa or beauty treatment at one of the many health and wellness facilities in Knysna. Ask us for our recommendations.
On The Lagoon
Enjoy one of many daily ferry cruises on the estuary, some of which visit the Featherbed Nature Reserve, take a yacht trip to or through the Knysna Heads, or relax on a champagne fuelled sunset cruise. The lagoon is also ideal for many water sports including angling (remember your license), skiing, wakeboarding, canoeing, snorkelling and stand up paddling (SUP).
Tennis & Bowls
The Tennis and Bowls Clubs on Leisure Island welcome visitors. Experience the friendliness of the local 'islanders' while enjoying some light exercise.
Hiking & Walking
There are numerous hiking and walking trails within the Knysna forests and surrounding areas, with experienced adventure operators offering guided excursions. We are happy to assist with booking your hiking adventure.
Nature Reserve and Gardens
One of the Leisure Island's highlights (of which the residents are very proud), is the indigenous plant garden at the Steenbok Nature Reserve. Stroll through the gardens to enjoy this natural wonder - it's only 300m from the Knysna Belle.
Tony Cook Adventures
Tony Cook Adventures offers Knysna mountain bike tours, Knysna forest tours, kite surfing (and coaching), stand up paddle (SUP) surfing, sea kayaking and more.
Knysna has six of South Africa’s very best, well-marked MTB routes and hosts several MTB races throughout the year.
South Africa’s best mountain bike trails...
When you combine South Africa's largest indigenous forests with the dramatic landscapes of the Outeniqua Mountains, add spectacular views of the Indian Ocean and hardworking SANParks foresters, the result is six of the finest, well-marked, MTB trails in South Africa. Ask us how to easily obtain the necessary permits for entering SANParks property.
The Four Harkerville trails
The Harkerville Trail offers a range of routes suited to all levels of riders. Take the N2 road east out of Knysna towards Plettenberg Bay. Approximately 20km out of Knysna you will find the Garden of Eden kiosk where you can park, obtain riding permits and route maps (+- R25.00)
Yellow Route - 14 km following Jeep tracks, not technical.
Blue Route - 12 km of single track and Jeep track, not technical.
Green Route - 15 km beginning on Jeep track and finishing on single track through lush forest, semi-technical.
Red Route - 24 km of the most scenically diverse MTB trails in SA (some say world-wide). The trail combines the best forest single tracks, near cliff-edge sea views and lush, fern-lined, deep wooded sections. Some technical sections.
Petrus-se-Brand route (North-South direction)
A 24km forest Jeep track (with a short high speed technical single track section near the end – which you can bypass), starting at the Diepwalle Forest Station. Your best option is to do this as a one-way from Diepwalle to Garden of Eden, as the opposite way is not marked.
Take the N2 east out of Knysna. At the top of the hill leaving Knysna, take the Uniondale R339 road on your left. Heading north (at informal settlement), the tar road becomes gravel after a few km. Look out for the Diepwalle Forestry sign after about 18-20km. At the split, take the right fork to the station where you can obtain a permit and start the ride.
Homtini offers an awesome 19km circular ride through the tranquil Homtini Forest. The trail traverses the steep mountain slopes overlooking the town of Knysna, so you can be certain of pan¬oramic views of both the forested slopes and the dramatic river gorge. There are beautiful picnic spots at Jubilee Creek - a few km from the start of the trail.
Take the N2 west towards George/Cape Town. Take the Rheenendal road (off N2) on your right after leaving the bridge over the Knysna River (past the lagoon, heading up the hill). Look out for the Bibbies Hoek/Jubilee Creek/Millwood turn-off and follow that road until you get to the forestry hut at the entrance where you get a permit. Continue up to Krisjan se Nek picnic spot parking area, and the start of this circular trail.