Nature is all consuming, stimulating every sense. The renowned Garden Route is one such place. When we received an invitation to Brenton Haven, we jumped at the chance to completely immerse ourselves on one of our favorite South African routes. Brenton Haven is located in Brenton on Sea, a short distance from Knysna. Our curiosity was peaked and we wanted to see what the new owner, Philip Vermeulen, had managed to build in place of the old venue, that was sadly destroyed in a fire.
The tight knit community of Brenton on Sea gets its name from the Brenton Blue, a strikingly blue butterfly. Thought to have been extinct during the 1980’s, the species then reappeared in this part of the world, much to the delight of the locals. It is now exclusive to the area and the Brenton Blue Butterfly Reserve was established. We wondered if Brenton Haven, much like the butterfly, would reinspire and enchant.
Fortune favours us in South Africa, we are always having our breath taken away by stunning vistas of sea and mountain, but on our arrival at Brenton Haven, we stood for a few minutes, transfixed. The Brenton on Sea Beach, which was awarded Blue Flag status, felt so close we could almost kneel down and feel the sand between our fingers. Brenton Haven stood proud and elegant with the sun showering it in a warm hue of golden light. A blue sign read “Brenton Haven Welcomes You” and what a welcome.
Our night was to be spent in the celebrations of the ribbon cutting ceremony and despite the preparations; we were inundated with smiles and offerings of assistance. The property offers 26 free standing beach homes (self-catering) and 9 luxury suites (semi self catering), the suites are perfectly situated within the main building. The main building also houses the gymnasium and pool, the Butterfly Blu Restaurant and the Indigo Deli that exudes a seaside village charm.
On a tour of the extensive property we were struck by the strong presence of style with well placed splashes of colour, bright blues and oranges immediately drawing the eyes. Designers were contracted to give Brenton Haven its chic feel while still retaining the homely element of relaxation. On inspection we noticed that each suite and each beach house has been named after a particular genus of butterfly. This only enhanced our notion of every detail being attended too. Spacious and complete with braai/barbeque facilities and sea views, Brenton Haven was held in our highest esteem.
With a champagne glass, we watched the sun set on the deck of the Butterfly Blu Restaurant, savouring the feeling of accomplishment that was present on the faces of all in attendance. A speech by Philip himself had everyone hanging on his every word. We came to realise that Brenton Haven was more than a new property, with all of its modish furnishings and pristine location, it was a community united in upliftment and showcasing what this part of the world really has to offer.
We believe that Lord Byron always says it best, “There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture on the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar.”