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“Fun in the forest”

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The Phantom Forest Eco-Reserve
Ranked #9 of 30 Hotels in Knysna
Certificate of Excellence
East Sussex
Level Contributor
25 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Fun in the forest”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 April 2012

This is a great place to stay. Deep in the forest overlooking the Knysna lagoon and some wonderful wetland the location is truly magical with individual beautifully appointed wooden suites connected by boardwalks to the restaurant and bar areas. The food in the restaurant is splendid and the chef and her brigade change the menu daily which must take some doing. All the staff were helpful and charming.We took a canoe with picnic down the river and walked one of the forest trails. Just lovely and fun.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Snippetthewhippet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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344 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bergvliet, South Africa
Level Contributor
45 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 April 2012

We spent three nights at Phantom Forest on our Honeymoon. It was SO special. We stayed in the Upper Tree Camp, the Tree-houses are so magic, with double showers with awesome views, an indoor Victorian bath and very fun outdoor Jacuzzi Bath, where one can sit and see the Southern cross in the Sky while sipping some Bubbly! The six course meal we had on our first night was very special, with some interesting combinations.

We did a lot of activities while at Phantom Forest, we went on a two hour canoe, attempted to cycle to Brenton-on-Sea, managed 15km's ( a lot of steep up hill's), we also went on the Forest trail. So great to be able to return to the stunning setting of the peaceful tree-house. We would also recommend making use of the bubble barrel after a long day's activity, very fun and relaxing. I enjoyed an awesome full body hot-stone massage and foot exfoliation at the Body Boma! I can highly recommend this treat after all the activities, very relaxing.

The breakfasts at Phantom Forest as just the BEST, make sure you enjoy these each morning, as we didn't need to eat again until dinner, as the breakfast was so generous and delicious! Look out for the naughty monkey's and Knysna Loerie's who frequented our breakfast area.

We would recommend Phantom Forest as a very magic place to get away from everything and make you feel relaxed and happy.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank JessicadeJager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
motril
Level Contributor
55 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2012

We really enjoyed staying at this unique lodge, which is totally different in concept and location to anywhere else we have stayed. The accommodation was very different and although rustic we found it to be very comfortable. The local vervet monkeys offered plenty of amusement with their (seemingly) well planned raids to steal food from the breakfast table. The only down side we could find has been mentioned by another reviewer which is the, sometimes, invasive road noise. The food was very good and that fact was supported by the number of non-residents visiting the restaurant for their evening meal.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank theoliversmotril
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
guildford
Level Contributor
55 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 March 2012

We had a super meal here several years ago. The restaurant has now been expanded and has a different and arrogant " chef " who needs to go to catering school to learn how to run a large restaurant.Our food was simply unacceptable. My wife ordered lamb and was given duck. Upon complaining the aggressive and arrogant chef had the effrontery to tell my wife she had not been given duck but that it was lamb. My meat ,whatever it was was tasteless, tough and inedible.
When it comes to food we know what we are talking about and generally eat in the best places we can find...see my review of The Tasting Rooms at Franschhoek.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank hallbower
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KitKnysna, Owner at The Phantom Forest Eco-Reserve, responded to this review, 29 March 2012
When this guest complained, the waiter cleared both servings ( as in-house policy). Chef cooked and presented new portions of lamb (lady) and wildebeest fillet (gentleman). Now he was unhappy and lady satisfied indicating she would prefer to eat her lamb. Chef started again with the game dish . . . new fillet and presented (for the3 third time). Chef now visited the table to share our policy of every guest having an extraordinary culinery experience. Our whole menu of six courses ( with 4 choices on entre, main and desert, changing in entirety nightly).
The guest was sadly very hostile and as we were unable to please, the charge for both main courses was then waivered,.
This extreme, malicious criticism is without doubt intended as damaging to the fine reputation of a very talented and long-suffering chef.
In conclusion we suggested to our farmer that he seperates his ducks and sheep in case of accidental cross-breeding thereby giving a whole new meaning to Free Range !!!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 February 2012

Having had high expectations of this place, it was a very disappointing stay. The positives are that the concept is great, the tree houses are nice and the food is good. Sadly there are more negatives, the room prices are crazy for what you get, we stayed in much better places at a fraction of the price. The whole place looks tired and in parts very neglected. The worst issue was the road noise, you are paying for a forest expereince which you would think is quiet and peaceful, you are in reality facing the N2 motorway and hear road traffic at an excessive level all the time. Lots of people come in for dinner, which is a good idea as the food is good and you sit inside so cant hear any road noise. Staying there was not good value and very disappointing.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank OJennyJo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kentucky
Level Contributor
80 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 February 2012

We very much enjoyed our "tree house" room. The space was lovely and the bathtub view was great. We especially loved the our porch (although solid lounge chairs would have made it much more comfortable) for it's peaceful view. Peaceful that is, until we were visited by three monkeys who were intent on getting my gin and tonic! It was great fun and we were able to get some terrific close up photos. We were also visited several times by the Knysna Lorrie - what a beautiful bird!

The lounge area and pool were also highlites with wonderful views and the restaurant dinner was amazing.

We thoroughly enjoyed our overnight stay and only wished we had been able to stay longer.

Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank binkybird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 February 2012

We enjoyed a 4 day stay at the Phantom Forest Eco-Reserve for our Honeymoon. This is a great place to stay, if you want peace and tranquility. We thoroughly enjoyed it. The whole lodge is a collection of wooden buildings under the forest canopy, linked by wooden board walks.

We stayed in the Upper Tree Suites (Watsonia), but also looked at the Moroccan Suites - they were both spectacular! The rooms are in the forest, on stilts - not technically tree houses - but we knew this in advance. You have very nice privacy - rooms are far apart. The rooms are stunning - the upper tree suites have a outside bath (with jacuzzi jets) on the deck. The shower and bath inside also are surrounded by glass, so you really feel like you are outside. The rooms were perfectly clean and beautifully decorated - and blended in with the natural surroundings.

The staff were great - very friendly and helpful. From the barmen, to the cleaning staff - all extremely polite and helpful. They made as feel relaxed and at ease as soon as we arrived.

The food is really unique and of a very high standard. The chef is extremely creative - even the breakfasts were very good, and never boring. The restaurant only offers a 6-course dinner in the evenings, but each evening, a new menu is printed, from which you can make your selection. They made a separate menu for my wife as she is vegetarian, and she too was very impressed.

The views from the Chutzpah (pool area) and Lounge/Bar area are fantastic - a view over the Knysna Lagoon and estuary.

A few things to note:
* As the rooms are amongst the trees/vegetation, you don;t always have a view of the surroundings - you are under the canopy of trees. You loved the atmosphere, but some might prefer more expansive views - those are only from the Lounge/Bar/Pool areas.
* As the rooms are spaced for privacy, you have to walk a short distance to the restaurant - but the walk is along beautiful board walks.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Greg_SA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Phantom Forest Eco-Reserve

Property: The Phantom Forest Eco-Reserve
Address: 27 Phantom River Street, Knysna 6570, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Knysna
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Knysna
#7 Romantic Hotel in Knysna
#9 Luxury Hotel in Knysna
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Phantom Forest Eco-Reserve 5*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The award winning Phantom Forest lodge and boma restaurant is situated in a private reserve on the Knysna River estuary, a magnificent setting of indigenous forest, fynbos and estuarine wetland. Designed to create only the lightest footprint , Phantom Forest offers superb luxury in complete harmony with nature. Accommodation consists of fourteen evocative "tree suites", perfectly integrated into the forest. Nature lovers can explore the reserve via forest and fynbos trails or canoe trips along the river. The Boma restaurant offers international cuisine served in the classic style while the body boma wellness spa provides a range of natural treatments. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Phantom Forest Eco-Reserve Hotel Knysna
Phantom Forest Eco Reserve Knysna

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