(18 July 2022, Absolute Mama)
Gonana Guesthouse, situated directly on Bekbaai beach in the tranquil village of Paternoster on the West Coast of South Africa, is the perfect hideaway and the perfect place to take a deep breath… exhale slowly… and relax, unwind, and be at one with nature.
Bordered by a greenbelt of the Columbine Nature Reserve, and a few kilometres from the Cape Columbine Lighthouse, Gonana Guesthouse, an affiliate of Cape Country Routes, is Paternoster’s first sustainable and environmentally conscious Guesthouse.
The brainchild of Swedish entrepreneur and interior designer Jonas Sandström, this eco-conscious Guesthouse is the culmination of his experience and passion for creating beautiful spaces that are rich in detail, exquisite in taste, and above all else, considerate to the environment.
The Gonana Guesthouse – an exclusive blend of authenticity and comfort – offers six Double Rooms, one Triple Room and one Studio. All the rooms, with Scandi-African décor inspired by the natural surroundings, have been carefully designed to give a sense of calm and peacefulness. All the artworks are made locally from recycled material, and the chairs from handmade Malawian cane, while high ceilings, skylights and huge sash windows let in light, beauty and inspiration from the views of the ocean.
For guests who prefer the independence of self-catering options, the recent addition of two fully furnished, self-catering cottages situated within walking distance (a scant 100m) from the guesthouse and a short 150m from the beach, designed to provide convenience, comfort, and privacy, have a great appeal.
There is the two-bedroom, four-sleeper Acacia Cottage, named after one of Gonana’s favourite trees, and the one-bedroom Aloe Cottage that sleeps up to four as it comes with an extra two sofa beds.
The Cottages have all the necessary facilities and amenities needed for a comfortable and enjoyable stay – en suite bedroom, stylishly appointed bathroom equipped with locally handmade fixtures and fittings, locally sourced handwoven towels from Barrydale Hand Weavers, as well locally produced Simply Bee organic toiletry products. The fully equipped kitchen with gas hob and an open plan living area (with a cosy indoor fireplace) leads out onto a terrace area with a braai facility and balconies with stunning sea views. The décor of the Cottages, as with the main Guesthouse, is inspired by a sense of calm that comes with being at one with nature.
Guests of the cottages are welcome to make use of Gonana Guesthouse’s amenities – for an additional fee, breakfast can be enjoyed after 9.30 am at the Guesthouse upstairs in the dining and lounge area. Complimentary tea and coffee, fruit and a mini snack pack are provided on arrival. The Cottages are fully serviced every day and as they are solar-powered, load shedding is a thing of the past. There is both street and off-street parking available, and the property is securely protected with a surveillance camera system, security beams and night security on duty every evening. Children and dogs are welcome – Aloe Cottage recently won the 2022 Afristay Pet-Friendly Destination Award.
Gonana Guesthouse and its two new Cottages are to all intents and purposes, off the grid and fully environmentally ethical. Solar power provides its electricity and hot water, all water is recycled twice – grey water is used for loos and in the sustainable landscaped indigenous gardens, plastic usage is minimal, chemicals are taboo, and décor is all-natural and sourced locally – furniture was crafted locally, and blankets, hand towels, and bathroom amenities were made locally. Gonana operates with the philosophy ‘buy local, think global.’
Derived from the isiZulu word ‘embrace,’ Gonana embraces and welcomes with open arms all those who enjoy and appreciate nature and who are environmentally conscious.
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