We have been living here since the beginning of 2006 and often wondered about the history of the house. One part of the house is pretty old, with lovely large rooms, high ceilings, oregon pine floors and bay windows built in the typical Cape Colonial style. The actual Bed and Breakfast (B&B) side of the house was a much later addition although it has been built in keeping with the main house.
Although we know that the house is an historical one, i.e. we cannot make any changes to the outside aesthetics of the building and if we do, they have to be passed by the Historical Society of South Africa.
In July 2013, John Duminy arrived to participate in the MTB cycle race during the Knysna Oyster Festival. His partner had made the reservation and so he was not aware of where they were staying for the weekend. Much to his surprise, as he drove up the drive-way, he was astounded to see that this was the very house that he had stayed in when visiting his cousins when he was a child. It was in fact the family home of his uncle and aunt, Dr Fritz and Renie Leuner.
John immediately made contact with his cousin Bill, who is now resident in Australia, to advise him of his stay at Hide Away. Will very kindly sent us some history on his family and some great photos of the property. As you can see it looked nothing like it does today.
Knysna Historical Society
We belong to the Knysna Accommodation Association which meets four times a year at which time a guest speaker comes along and provides information pertinent to the members. At one of these meetings in 2014, Philip Kavanagh of the Knysna Historical Society gave a presentation on some of the history of the town. On hearing that we were the owners of Hide Away Guest House, he mentioned that it was one of the historical homes of the town and offered to do a trace on the title deeds of the property, which he duly did. We now have a historical plaque on Hide Away (Wegkruip), courtesy of the Society proudly displayed in our reception area for all our guests to see.
One of our neighbours who watched the rebuild from a family home into a guest house, has recently provided us with a number of photos of the remodelling as it took place. Meg and Natale de Candia, from whom we purchased Hide Away, did an excellent job on the remodel. Once the project was complete, they ran the B&B for about a year before deciding that the hospitality industry was not quite what they were interested in. Cecil & I, on the other hand, are passionate about travel and tourism and so took to the business like duck to water!
Welcome to your home-away-from-home when visiting Knysna
Make Hide Away your stop in Knysna and learn more about our beautiful town and its history! One night is not enough!