November 1, 2004
Protea House is nicely situated in a quiet area, less than two kilometres from the Knynsa town centre and well-positioned for day trips outside of the town. There is ample car parking adjacent to the property, but you do have to be fairly fit to drag your suitcase up the winding garden path’s steep incline to the cottages.
Piet and Adri, the elderly owners of Protea Guest House, were not the most sociable of beings, but their outstanding property negates their lack of social skills. We had a single- room cottage with an en-suite bathroom. Through patio doors, there was a large decked area and barbecue (or Braai) facilities, as well as comfortable garden furniture. Inside the large bedroom/sitting area was a comfortable, queen-sized bed, restful easy chairs, and a TV and CD player (unfortunately, I had no CDs to play!). The cottage was well-stocked with tourist information and guidebooks, together with some interesting "coffee table" books. A small but well-laid-out kitchen had a microwave, a small cooker, and a fridge stocked with fresh milk and freshly ground coffee. The milk and coffee are replenished daily, and it was great to be able to have ground coffee on demand.
Breakfast was delivered to our door at a pre-requested time. On our last day, we asked for it earlier, but I think Piet had forgotten or had not understood (his English was not great). It was delivered in a large wicker basket and was comprised of fruit juice, cereal, scrambled eggs, bacon, tomatoes, croissants, homemade jams, and yoghurts. A veritable feast, to be enjoyed on the large decked area overlooking the beautiful garden. We were told to leave our dirty pots in the kitchen area, and as if my magic, they disappeared, only to reappear clean the following morning, delivered by an out-of-breath Piet.
At night, we could hear the hooting of the resident owls, and one day we were privileged to see the Knysna Loerie showing off its colourful plumage on a nearby tree. Unfortunately, I was unable to get a decent photograph of this magnificent bird.
My only reservation about this picturesque guesthouse was the presence of an aggressive-looking Pit Bull Terrier. In my view, it should have been muzzled, and despite Piet’s regular reassurances that it would not attack me, I never felt comfortable in its presence. But if you want a guesthouse with an idyllic view, can manage steep slopes, and aren’t intimidated by vicious-looking dogs, then I would strongly recommend Protea House to you.
From journal A tour of the Garden Route