Jonas Sandström, a Swedish entrepreneur, came to South Africa in 2002 and fell immediately in love with the weather, the people and that intrepid mountain, Table Mountain. He bought his first guest house shortly before returning to Sweden that same year and carefully and lovingly renovated it to high Swedish standards with an African touch. Bickley House as it was called, was the first house built in the area of Sea Point and was originally a hunting lodge with a stable, at that time situated a little outside the city.

Five years later, it was time for the next guest house, this time in Green Point, a few minutes drive from Sea Point. Antrim Villa was an old Victorian house from the 1880’s. The interiors were decidedly scandi-African and the garden boasted palm trees, lemon trees and shady spots for relaxation.

Both hotels were featured in several international design magazines and books and were successfully run with the help of his loyal right-hand woman, Joy Daniels, for several years until they were both sold.

Gonana Guest House is Jonas’s third guest house. This time, however, Jonas has chosen nature over the city and has chosen to renovate a small 7 room house right on the beach in the Cape west coast town of Paternoster. Employing local staff, and with Peggy Lannon as project manager, the guest house has been renovated and extended to include a deep swimming pool, large sash windows, and an expansive verandah on the first floor overlooking the sea (and incredible sunsets).

Jonas, originally from Stockholm, is a well-known personality with a long and exciting career behind him. Known as a creative and passionate entrepreneur in the gym, restaurant and interior design industries, he managed Koloni Restaurant in the city for several years and then opened a cafe with the same name in Saltsjö-Duvnäs. That was the start of a chain of seven other restaurants with the same name, all placed close to cultural centres or buildings with interesting histories. In typical fashion, his restaurants as well as his guest houses focus on quality over quantity, local over imported.

Jonas now lives most of the year in South Africa except for the European summer months when he returns to run Koloni Restaurant in Skansen together with his husband Martin. In South Africa, he mixes city and country life and stays either in his flat in Sea Point or at his house in Darling, an hour north of Cape Town, where he can visit his mother (spontaneous and brave like him, she moved to South Africa at the ripe age of 70!) play with his dogs and relax.

Gonana Guest House is a short 1 hour drive from Darling, and 2 hours from Cape Town. With so much beauty on the way to and from his two homes, his guest house and his travel business Gonana Travel Jonas has his hands and his heart full.