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Why did we hand pick Villa Castollini?

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  • Sweeping views of the seaside town from the western Head
  • Decadently decorated, luxurious accommodation
  • Top-class hospitality on offer

Villa Castollini

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: 12 years and older

In Knysna


-34.0587, 23.0054


Situated on the western side of the Knysna Heads, Villa Castollini offers premium luxury and breath-taking views, surpassing the expectations of discerning guests looking for an out of the ordinary Garden Route experience. 

The villa’s lofty perch affords panoramic views of the entire Knysna Lagoon, the surrounding mountains and forests and the town itself. The seven individually-decorated suites and rooms are designed to take advantage of this, featuring large windows and lagoon-facing verandahs or patios. Magnificent furnishings and tasteful attention to detail create a regal atmosphere in each room, enhanced by every comfort a guest could hope for.

The long list of amenities includes air conditioning, bar fridges, tea/coffee facilities, hairdryers, safes, telephones, iPod docking stations, bathrobes and satellite televisions with DVD players. Other lovely touches such as fresh flowers, cookie jars, a selection of magazines and complementary mineral water add a welcoming sense of being at home.

In grotty weather, the spectacular views can still be savoured from the cosy indoor seating areas. Guests are spoilt to a turndown service with treats, while an information folder handily lists Knysna’s best attractions. The spoils continue in the en-suite bathrooms, which come with boutique products and heated towel rails. Apart from one double room with a shower only, all of the lodgings have huge baths and equally-spacious showers. Guests in the five suites will enjoy the added benefit of twin basins.Four suites have King-size beds, with the Cielo Suite housing a romantic four poster.

Guests who prefer to sleep separately can choose the Stella Suite, which offers the option of changing the King-size bed into twins. Slightly less spacious but still extremely comfortable, the two double rooms also have King-size beds that can be converted into twins. 

In the Caprera Family Suite, parents will have a peaceful night’s rest in a King-size bed while one or two children sleep on the double sleeper couch. Guests here are treated to the same scrumptious Continental and English breakfast as those in the other rooms, but a well-equipped kitchenette and dining area allow other meals to be prepared and enjoyed privately.

Breakfast is served in the villa’s elegant open-plan dining room, lounge and kitchen, and is enhanced by special views over the lagoon. Afterwards, guests can stroll through the doors to take a dip in the beautiful swimming pool or relax on the loungers. The villa’s bar area, called the Ferrari Room due to its impressive collection of model cars and motorbikes, is a jovial place to gather for drinks and entertaining conversation before heading out for dinner at one of the nearby restaurants. 

Alternatively, guests can dine in on request, watching every step of their sublime dinner being prepared for enjoyment at the Chef’s table. The evening winds down with a game of chess or a night cap in the opulent lounge, which has a satellite television and a wide selection of books and DVDs.

When it comes to service, the villa staff live by the philosophy that ‘nothing is too much’, doing everything they can to make a stay as hassle-free and entertaining as possible.

Apart from a shuttle service and airport transfers, your hosts can arrange tailor-made itineraries to suit your taste, as well as romantic honeymoon packages and golf specials that allow you to play the nearby Simola and Pezula courses at reduced rates.

Rates & Summary

Stella Double or Twin Suite

Sleeps 2 in King-size/twin beds
En-suite bath, shower and twin basins
Verandah opening onto pool 
Lagoon and town views

Luna Double Suite

Sleeps 2 in King-size bed
En-suite bath, shower and twin basins
Verandah opening onto pool 
Lagoon and town views

Cielo Double Suite

Sleeps 2 in four poster King-size bed
En-suite bath, shower and twin basins
Balcony with lagoon and town views

Sole Double Suite

Sleeps 2 in King-size bed
En-suite bath, shower and twin basins
Verandah opening onto pool
Lagoon and town views

Caprera Family Suite

Sleeps 2 adults in King-size/twin beds
Sleeper couch for 2 children
En-suite bath and shower and twin basins
Kitchenette and dining area
Verandah with lagoon and town views

2 Double or Twin Rooms

Each sleeps 2 in King-size/twin beds
En-suite bath and shower or shower only
Verandah opening onto pool
Lagoon and town views


  • For pricing detail, click on CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE above


Continental and English breakfast included
Dinner by arrangement


Children 12 and older are welcome.

Why Stay Here?

Set high up on the western head of the iconic Knysna Heads, Villa Castollini is a luxurious guest house offering decadent individually-decorated rooms, good facilities and top-class hospitality. The villa offers refined, warmly-decorated luxury and unmatched views over the Knysna estuary, mountains and forests. With a philosophy of ‘nothing is too much trouble’, guests can expect superb service that will make a stay unforgettable.


  • Sweeping views of the seaside town from the western Head
  • Decadently decorated, luxurious accommodation
  • Top-class hospitality on offer

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, swimming costume, swimming towels, fishing gear, binoculars for bird /whale watching and dolphin spotting.

Road Conditions

All roads leading to the guest house are tarred.

Activities & Attractions

  • Swimming pool
  • Nearby: beaches, whale watching, scuba diving, kayaking, lagoon cruises, fishing, bungee jumping, sky diving, paragliding, golf courses, hiking, horse riding, Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, elephant sanctuary, nature reserves, township tour.


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Communal lounge
  • Covered verandah / patio
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Hair dryer available
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Laundry service available
  • Iron and ironing board available
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Breakfast (dinner by arrangement)
  • No Restaurant
  • Licensed
  • Fridge or minibar


  • Water supply good for drinking
  • Electric geysers
  • Eskom electricity

Leisure Amenities

  • Swimming pool
  • Satellite television
  • Library

Business & Connectivity

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Good cell phone reception
  • Limited business centre
  • No conference facilities available

Access & Convenience

  • Not wheelchair friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Covered parking
  • Nearest shops within 2km
  • Nearest fuel within 5km
  • Shuttle service available


  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted


  • Personal safe




Garden Route

Western Cape


The Garden Route encompasses a large section of the Southern Cape coast, bookended by Witsand in the west and Nature’s Valley in the east. In-between are the large towns of Mossel Bay and George, and the smaller, more touristy destinations of Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Wilderness and Sedgefield.

The region is a narrow zone wedged between the Indian Ocean and the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains; and is one of great natural beauty. Despite massive development in recent years, it remains the country’s Garden of Eden. There are gloriously long beaches, lush and mysterious forests, rugged coastlines, amber rivers, and tranquil lagoons. All overlooked by hazy mountain peaks.

The region has been a favourite with locals and overseas visitors for decades. The temperate climate makes it idyllic to visit at almost any time of the year. 

Although the beaches are promoted as the main attraction, the forests are equally important. In fact, they are the gardens of the Garden Route. 

With their magnificent giant Outeniqua yellowwoods (podocarpus falcatus), unfathomable gorges and areas of impenetrable trees, vines, and ferns, the forests have long been a passion for those with a love of nature. Much of their depths remain unexplored and, thankfully, unexploited. Perhaps their greatest treasure is that they are home to a handful of Knysna elephants.

Rivers tumbling from the mountain slopes have carved the landscape into deep gorges and twisting valleys, shaded by steep slopes and plunging cliffs. The Keurbooms and Knysna rivers flow into tidal lagoons at Plettenberg Bay and Knysna respectively. Sedgefield Lagoon, which is also open to the sea, is fed by Swartvlei, the biggest body of water in an area known as South Africa’s lake district. This chain of 5 lakes stretches from Sedgefield to Wilderness.

A large swathe of the region is protected within the Garden Route National Park. The park is made up of disjointed patches of land and therefore has no fixed beginning or end.

The Wilderness National Park, the Tsitsikamma National Park and the Knysna National Lakes area are sections within the greater park

Thanks to the habitats of forest, fynbos, coastline and wetlands, there is a plethora of wildlife, birdlife and marine life. Visitors can also enjoy a vast number of activities and attractions (adrenalin, adventure or relaxation). The innumerable accommodation establishments offer everything from 5-star luxury to basic camping facilities. In recent years, the Garden Route has become something of a gourmet route that will satisfy even the most discerning epicure.

Look out for

National Parks – the Wilderness National Park makes up the western section of the recently formed Garden Route National Park. Situated in the vicinity of Wilderness it protects patches of indigenous forest and fynbos, long stretches of unspoilt coastline and pristine beaches, coastal dunes, rivers and estuaries. It has a series of 5 lakes – something unique in South Africa. The park is renowned for its diversity of activities, which include canoeing, mountain biking, abseiling and kloofing.

Hiking includes the 7km-long Half-Collared Kingfisher Trail; the 5km-long Brown Hooded Kingfisher Trail; the Cape Dune Molerat Trail between Rondevlei and Swartvlei (3km- or 6km-long routes); and the Pied Kingfisher Trail, the longest at 10km.

Birdwatching is popular, with 230 species to be seen, and part of the park is a designated RAMSAR site. There are 3 bird hides - at Rondevlei, Langvlei, and on the Touw River. Accommodation at the Ebb and Flow Rest Camp on the banks of the Touw River takes the form of caravan and camping sites, rondavels and cottages. 

Hiking – the Garden Route is well-known for its large variety of short and multi-day hiking trails. Probably the most popular is the 48km-long 5-day Otter Trail from Storms River Mouth along the coast to Nature’s Valley. The Outeniqua Trail is the longest hike on the Garden Route. It commences at Beervlei hut at an old forestry station just off the Seven Passes Road inland from Sedgefield. From here it traverses 108km of forest and fynbos covering the slopes and foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains. It finishes 7 days later at Harkerville between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. 

The Harkerville Hiking Trail is a 24km-long, 2-day circular trail aimed at fit hikers that don’t have a fear of heights. It starts and ends at the Harkerville Forest Station. 

Kranshoek Coastal Walk is a spectacular 9km-long circular route covering a section of the Harkerville coastline.

The 61km-long Tsitsikamma Trail starts at the Nature’s Valley Rest camp and heads for the slopes of the Tsitsikamma mountains, away from the coast. It finishes at either Storms River Bridge or Storms River Village.

There are also some beautiful slack packing options the 65km-long, 5-day, Garden Route Trail between Wilderness and Knysna; the 48km-long, 5-day Oyster Catcher Trail between Mossel Bay and Gourits River Mouth; and the 17km-long, 2-day Dolphin Trail from Storms River Mouth east along the coast to the Fernery.

Nature Reserves – there are 4 nature reserves in the region. These are the Outeniqua Nature Reserve at George, the Goukamma Nature Reserve between Sedgefield and Buffalo Bay, the Robberg Nature Reserve at Plettenberg Bay, and the Keurbooms Nature Reserve, also at Plettenberg Bay.

All offer good birding and each has a network of hiking trails - except Keurbooms, which has river-based activities instead. 

Forests – these thickly-wooded areas are alive with unique life forms, birdsong, fungi, ferns, frogs and feathered creatures. The towering Outeniqua yellowwoods, some 800 years old, are the pillars of the forests and magnificent in stature. From George through to Nature’s Valley there are several sections of forest where visitors can walk or picnic beneath the canopy. These include the Groeneweide Nature Walk, at Groenkop Farleigh Indigenous Forest near George. 

Around Knysna, there are 3 main forest areas. Goudveld lies north-west of town and is accessed via the rural area of Rheenendal. It is home to the locals’ favourite picnic spot of Jubilee Creek, the worked-out Bendigo gold mine, and the isolated gorge known as Drupkelders. Gouna is north of town and links up with Diepwalle, which lies to the east. The Garden of Eden is a small patch of forest alongside the N2, accessed along boardwalks between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. Also here is the Harkerville Forest. In the east of the region, around Nature’s Valley, the forests of the Tsitsikamma National Park virtually spill onto the beaches and rocky headlands.   

Beaches and lagoons – for many the wide, sweeping stretches of beach that glint like a string of pearls along the coastline are what the Garden Route is all about. These are found throughout the region and most are accessible via minor roads off the N2. If the rough and tumble of surf isn’t quite your thing then the more tranquil waters of the Knysna Lagoon, the Keurbooms Lagoon at Plettenberg Bay, and the Sedgefield Lagoon are popular options.

The Maritime Museum – visitors who enjoy a good museum should head to Mossel Bay. Here the maritime history of the area can be explored at the Dias Museum Complex where you can board a replica of Bartolomeu Dias’s caravel. There’s also a collection of ancient maps from those days and a good shipwreck display. Here too stands the 500+-year-old Post Office Tree. The museum complex houses a Shell Museum, said to be the largest in South Africa. There is also an aquarium. The complex is open from 09h00-16h45, Monday to Friday, and from 09h00-15h45 on weekends and public holidays.

Golf – for those who consider golf to be a large part of a holiday, there are premier golf courses along virtually the entire Garden Route. These include the 18-hole championship course at Pinnacle Point near Mossel Bay; the 3 courses of Fancourt at George; the Knysna Golf Club; Simola Golf & Country Estate (Knysna); Pezula Championship Course (Knysna); Plettenberg Bay Country Club; and Goose Valley Golf Club (Plettenberg Bay).

When to go

To Do

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