There is nothing more relaxing than a morning of pampering at one of Knysna’s 5-star spas followed by lunch or coffee and a few hours of retail therapy at some of the boutique speciality shops in town.
Knysna is all about spending time outdoors, swimming and sunbathing on the pristine beaches, hiking in the forest, paddling or boating on the Knysna Lagoon. The temperate climate means that, even in winter, daytime temperatures are usually conducive to being outside. But if the weather is not great or you’ve had your fill of the beach, a decadent day spent indulging in two all-time favourite pastimes – spa and shopping – is highly recommended.
Start by booking a package at one of Knysna’s top spas. Two of these are within walking distance of upmarket shops where you can splurge on luxury items or just browse the beautiful goods on display. On Thesen Harbour Town, a quaint commercial hub with numerous shops, the Turbine Spa at the Turbine Hotel and Le Spa Tranquille in the Boatshed cater for both men and women.
The Turbine Spa is a lovely space in the heart of the hotel, which was once an old power station, but has been transformed into a unique 5-star boutique hotel. The spa has single and double treatment rooms, a mosaic-tiled Rasul steamroom, anda menu that boasts an impressive range of body, facial and beauty treatments. Enquire about the Turbine pamper packages which include lunch at the hotel’s restaurant, Island Café.
At Le Spa Tranquille all the therapy rooms have views of the lagoon. Facilities include a hydrotherapy jet bath and sauna. Treatments on offer include shower scrubs, massages, hot stone therapy, reflexology, body wraps, specialised facials, manicures and pedicures. Or you can book a half day or full day package.
After your treatments, you could stroll down to the well-known île de païn and treat yourself to lunch or coffee and one of their famous patisseries. Thesen Harbour Town is full of interesting shops and one can spend hours browsing the art, décor, furniture, clothing and jewellery shops, including those which offer locally made garments and accessories.
The Zen-Sense Day Spa is perched above the town in Upper Gray Street and has a wonderful calming environment. Treatments for both men and women include skin care and body treatments, couples packages, indulgent massages, facials, manicures and pedicures. Nail sculpting, tanning and waxing are also on the menu. After your treatment, if you’re feeling energetic you could take a 20-minute walk to town or drive down Gray Street to the boutique shopping complex at the Rex Hotel where you can you will find a number of high-end clothing and gift shops including Madam Botany, with its unique collection of gifts, décor, garden and homeware. Café Dubois in the same centre offers delicious coffee and a breakfast and lunch menu including pizzas. Across the road, The Tin House Café is set in a quaint garden courtyard and serves breakfasts, lunches and sundowners.