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About

A family legacy to share with your loved ones

One of the first things guests notice about Hunters Country House is the sense of “home”. It starts at the beginning of the driveway with enticing views into secret gardens abundant with butterflies and scented air. Then the team and the House herself just seem to embody a feeling of family and belonging – of coming home. The individual thatched cottage suites are plush and peaceful, decorated in a pale green and oyster palette, accented with a romantic sparkle of crystal trimmed canopies and dainty chandeliers. A privately positioned patio and garden makes for tranquil relaxation, reflection and reconnecting.

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Unique Country House

Your home away from home

Built out of love for family and a passion for creating wonderful experiences for our guests, the Hunters Country House legacy has become a personal journey and a home to all those who entered through her doors.

The thatched cottages, beautiful gardens and inviting living spaces invite you to relax, put your feet up and enjoy the history and charm of this divine hotel. Young or old, it is a place that fills your heart with fond memories and remains with you for a lifetime.

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Location

Situated in the heart of the Garden Route

Ideally situated between the coastal towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape, Hunters Country House is a wonderful location from which to explore the beauty of the celebrated Garden Route, or just to spend time relaxing at the peaceful lodge.

Only 10km from Plettenberg Bay and 22km from Knysna along the N2, our signboards are clearly visible at the entrance to our access road, which leads you to the security entrance to the Estate.

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History

The grand dame of opulence and style

Way back in 1980, Craig and Jill Hunter bought a small farm called Pear Tree Farm just outside the beautiful resort town of Plettenberg Bay.

Alterations and additions to the old farmhouse, including two garden cottages, were soon underway to accommodate their family of five children. Craig, a civil engineer transferred his contracting business from Bedfordview to Plettenberg Bay, and Jill established her antique shop on the premises.
They enjoyed a large degree of self-sufficiency in their new country lifestyle, thanks to a productive farming venture. The children eventually left for university and the Hunters were persuaded to use the cottages as part of a “Farm Bed and Breakfast Association”.
The possibility of a Hunters Country House hotel came to mind. The project was soon underway, including a new home on the recently acquired farm next door.

“We made this leap, having enjoyed meeting and entertaining the most interesting guests, mainly overseas visitors, and also having between us a background covering construction, furnishing and decorating, as well as a love of entertaining “. (Craig Hunter)

The hotel opened in 1989 with ten garden suite cottages. Today Hunters Country House has 21 suites, some with private pools, a 5-star rating, has been South Africa’s Hotel of the Year and is a member of the prestigious Relais and Chateaux Association. It is internationally acclaimed for its service excellence, superb cuisine and beautiful gardens.

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Useful Information

What to bring for your stay

Summer at Hunters Country House is blissful. Here is some useful information to assist in ensuring you have everything you need before you arrive.

What to Bring

Sunscreen and a cap is a must in summer when you head out on activities, go to the beach or laze at the pool. If you are a keen birder, we recommend bringing your binoculars to do some bird watching within the grounds and hopefully catch sight of our indigenous Knysa Touraco.

What to Wear

During the summer months, light clothing is advisable with something to cover up in the evening when the sea breeze blows from the ocean through the forest. We suggest bringing comfortable walking shoes for the activities in the area. For dinners on the Estate, or in the surrounding area, the dress code is normally casual; however there are some restaurants that don’t allow guest to wear shorts.

What will the Weather be?

A comfortably warm summer extends from October to right through to April. In mid-summer the days are gloriously long with the sun setting around seven thirty in the evening and sunrise around five thirty am.

A comfortably warm summer extends from October right through to April. In mid-summer the days are gloriously long with the sun setting around seven thirty in the evening with sunrise around five thirty am. Winter days are generally very mild but nights and evenings can be refreshingly cool. There is a possibility of a cold spell in winter from time to time, however it is normally only a day or two.

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Conservation

Our contribution to the preservation of our natural environment

Birding at Hunters Country House is prolific and, as part of the Hunter Hotels philosophy of support and nurturing our natural heritage, we actively preserve their existence.

The Knysna Touraco is an elusive bird, not so long ago it was nearing extinction but numbers are successfully up and The Country House landscaped gardens are home to dozens of pairs. Where one Touraco flies, another always follows a minute or two later. They have the most extraordinary crimson wings, only visible in flight and their forest green to midnight blue plumage makes them hard to spot in dense foliage until they start their barking call. Our staff would be happy to help you to find them in the morning or the late afternoon. Specialist local birder tours of our gardens at sunrise are a truly memorable experience.

Chorister Robin-chat is usually on hand in and around the House. Also common in the estate are Lemon (Cinnamon) and Red-eyed Dove, Olive Thrush, Terrestrial Brownbul (Bulbul) and Dusky Flycatchers. In the forested areas look out for Knysna Turaco, Emerald Cuckoo, Knysna and Olive Woodpecker, Narina Trogon, Sharp-billed Honeyguide, Grey Cuckooshrike, Knysna Warbler, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, White-starred Robin, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher and Cape Batis, although some of these species are elusive.

The Tsitsikamma Forest also hosts the African Crowned Eagle and African Wood Owl, plus some of the accipiters such as African Goshawk and Black Sparrowhawk. In the mountains one should look for Cape Canary, Cape Sugarbird, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Black Saw-wing and Ground Woodpecker. Also present, though difficult to spot, are the Protea Canary, Victorin’s Warbler, Striped Flufftail and Cape Siskin.

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Community

The support of the people in our community

Hunter Hotels’ four properties – Hunters Country House, Tsala Treetop Lodge and Gorah – have each chosen to support a crèche or educare centre in the local community. The Country House supports both the Masizame “Let Us Try” Children’s Shelter and the Bonholethu “Our Pride” Crèche in Plettenberg Bay.

Masizame Children’s Shelter

Active for over 13 years, this Shelter is home to 23 children who are there for various reasons, ranging from having no home of their own, parents who cannot afford to look after them and abuse.

Bongolethu

Established in 1993, Bongolethu began in the community of Bossiesgif and Qolweni which has no child-care facilities. The centre started with five child minders looking after 50 children in a small corrugated iron structure. In 1996, the centre moved to Kwanokuthula to a building donated by St. Christophers Catholic Church. Bongolethu is a pre-primary day care centre where children are supervised and fed. Over the years the school has grown to accommodate 180 pupils from tiny tots to grade ones.

Through our Human Resources Manager, Julie Smith, and with the assistance of our suppliers and various stores in Plett and Knysna, we are able to provide Masizame with food once a month.
We are extremely fortunate that many of our guests are very generous when it comes to assisting the local schools with funding.

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Partners

Our key relationships that form part of our business

Hunter Hotels and Hunters Country House pride ourselves on the strategic partnerships we have forged over the years that have become pivotal to the success of the company and the growth of tourism in South Africa.

Plettenberg Bay and Knysna are tourism hotspots, It is the responsibility of every accommodation provider and activity-related company to actively get involved in promoting and growing tourism in our area. We want to ensure travellers to South African head down the Garden Route to explore and enjoy this beautiful part of the country. At Hunters Country House we are actively involved in initiatives to increase tourism to this area through these partnerships.