Overview, trip report, images, and reviews from our visit to Beacon Island Resort.
Beacon Island Resort, in the heart of the picturesque Garden Route region, is one of the Western Cape’s premier holiday destinations. This award-winning Plettenberg Bay hotel and resort offers natural forests, mountains, sun-kissed beaches, and the vastness of the ocean – the ideal relaxing getaway for the entire family.
Perfectly suited to extended breaks, romantic escapes, or even teambuilding and conferences, Beacon Island Resort offers guests a choice of 200 rooms, each with amenities like DStv, tea and coffee stations, electronic safes, fridges, 500mb free WiFi per room per day, and en-suite bathrooms. The nautically-themed rooms create an atmosphere of comfort and relaxation, with 8 sea-facing suites featuring sea-view showers and extended facilities.
Guests at our Garden Route resort can also enjoy the use of a fitness centre, hotel spa, heated indoor pool, outdoor pool, conferencing facilities, and more. Delicious dining options include the Coral Reef, Café Estoril, Gazebo Lounge, and The Playa Bar.
Beacon Island Resort in Plettenberg Bay – your home away from home on the Garden Route.
Beacon Island Resort Trip Report
We are ready.
When the announcement was made that inter-provincial travel will again be allowed, we were a bit hesitant. Planning a holiday where we had to travel by air, stay in a hotel and visit prominent tourist attractions did not seem a wise decision. We decided to bite the bullet and proceed.
Our fears were soon alleviated. Flying from OR Tambo to George went smoothly despite the enforcement of strict COVID-19 protocols and regulations. The Beacon Island Hotel and all the business establishments we dealt with en-route followed suit. We never felt inconvenienced and were never forced to queue for long to be assisted. Fellow travellers adhered to the regulations and provided their cooperation. We are of the impression that the South African tourism industry adapted exceptionally and is equipped to receive international visitors again, without any concerns.
Beacon Island Hotel: admittedly the flagship of the Tsogo Sun Group, in our humble opinion. Back in 2016, when we visited for the first time, we were really impressed with the professionalism, courtesy and competence with which they treated their guests. Now, in 2020, we can confirm that nothing has changed. In fact, we feel they have upped their game, to still deliver such a high standard of service, in these trying times. Thank you, Beacon Island!
Day 1 – Knysna Forest Route
Our first stop is at the King Edward VII Big Tree, not being able to locate the Valley of the Ferns, our original destination. (We heard from the forest ranger on duty that we were actually very close and only had to travel a little further along the same road.)
The tree is located in a very peaceful clearing in the forest with secluded picnic spots, which are cleaned regularly. The main attraction, aptly described as one of the Kings of the Forest, towers above the surrounding vegetation. A worthwhile visit.
Next stop: Jubilee Creek Picnic Spot. Definitely the highlight of the day! What a serene area to spend the day! A small river bubbles over rocks, with picnic tables along its banks. A short hiking trail takes you to a waterfall and some mineshafts. We did not visit these, as we were pressed for time, but we will definitely go back and spend the day!
The last stop for the day was at the Dalene Matthee Big Tree & Memorial. A small memorial stone was erected in this acclaimed author’s memory because of her love of the Knysna forest. Another forest king towers above the area.
All the roads we travelled on were well maintained. Ablution facilities were kept clean. Every place we visited were in a good state.
Day 2 – Noetzie and Knysna Heads
During our previous visit to the area, we intended to visit Noetzie; unfortunately, we did not get around to it. So, this time we made it a priority, and, despite the often-mentioned strenuous climb from the beach back to the parking area, we set out. Assuredly, well worth the effort! It is a very unique setting with rock-faced castles nestled on the slope, overlooking an expansive beach and the ocean.
From there, we drove out to Knysna Heads, and we had our customary meal at East Head Cafe. Super service and delicious food on offer! Be sure to sample one of the dishes of the day. Go there! After lunch, we explored both the lower- and upper viewpoints before returning back to our lodgings. Magnificent views!
Day 3 – Tsitsikamma Area
Our third excursion took us to the Tsitsikamma Big Tree and the Storms River Mouth. We decided to take the Nature’s Valley road instead of the N2, which gave us a beautiful scenic drive. A definite recommendation.
The Tsitsikamma Big Tree was re-opened to visitors during September 2020. A small coffee shop is available, but it was not open at the time of our visit. A wooden walkway winds through the forest and leads to another majestic big tree. There is a hiking trail available for a longer walk.
The Storms River Mouth is located inside the Tsitsikamma National Park. A quite strenuous walk takes you to 3 suspension bridges, crossing the river in various places. Numerous viewpoints allow for amazing views of the surrounding area.
Day 4 – Robberg Nature Reserve
We saved the best for last! Robberg is one of our favourite places to visit, and we were excited to do so again!
Upon arrival, we found that the access hiking trail was altered, for the better, in our opinion. It now allows for easier access to The Gap and the other hiking trails. The original hiking trail is still accessible, on the return leg, if you should wish to follow it. We did not complete the whole route, opting to only go to the small cove located at the bottom of The Gap and to explore the other available viewpoints. There are numerous magnificent views along the various hiking trails and from the viewing decks. Again, a highlight of our holiday!