• A Little History About Our Hotel
    A Little History About Our Hotel

About Us

A Little History About Our Hotel

The original property was called Fair Acres and was built in the early 1900’s. The Thesen Family (after whom the Thesen Island Estate is named) were next-door neighbours. During that period, the property belonged to an elegant English lady by the name of Tilbrook. It changed hands after it was occupied by a Captain Weller who was Port Captain of the Durban harbour.

Another English lady by the name of Diana Stanier lived there in the 1940’s.  A couple named Wilkinson, was the next proud owners and they later sold the property to Allan Perrins, who lived there with his sister, Susan Backhouse.  A note on Allan Perrins may be of interest: he came from the very wealthy English Perrins family (Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce) and as a captain in the Welsh Guards had been Equerry to Edward, the Prince of Wales. (Subsequently, King Edward VIII) approximately in the 1930’s.

The name changed from Fair Acres to Madison Manor in 2013 when the Huisamen family purchased it. Louise while in Pretoria saw pictures of the hotel online and within twenty-four hours she flew down and placed an offer on the property.  After procuring it with the financial wizardry of her husband, Michael; over the ensuing two years they fashioned the hotel into much of its present thematic motif and splendour.

Unfortunately, the 2017 Knysna Fires followed by the Covid 19 outbreak in 2020 and additional challenges resulted in the sale of the property in 2022 to its present owners, Otis E. & Patricia A. Rounds. Hailing from the continental US they have invested tremendous vitality into the hotel since its purchase.  Subsequent to their acquisition of the hotel, under the guidance of the facility’s two general managers, first Theo Lunga Ndabukelana and now Nico van Rooyen both of whom have received extraordinary guidance from Hotelian consultant, Ian Shayler, the hotel is set to flourish.  Thus, now under the stewardship of the Rounds as Issaquena Heights Boutique Hotel, it is poised to pursue greater heights as a luxurious offering of the Southern Cape’s crown jewel, the town of Knysna!

Our Facilities


Our restaurant, Issaquena Falls, offers superb meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and its adjoining licenced bar, The Mangrove Lounge, complements an atmosphere in which you neither must leave to either eat delectable food or sip excellent wines or spirits while in Knysna.

Conference Centre

Our Sarah V. Jamerson Conference Centre is ideal for more intimate conferences, board meetings and strategy sessions.  It is fully equipped with top-end AV equipment and highspeed Wi-Fi.

Seating capacity is as follows:

Cinema Style: 64
U-shape: 24
Board room table: 24
Banquet Style: 5 x 8-seater round banquet tables (40 pax)

Soak up the sun on the deck and enjoy the spectacular view away from the ‘maddening crowds’, while sipping your favourite cocktail, a glass of wine or a healthy fruit juice.

Wedding and Function Venue

The magnificent setting of Issaquena Heights Boutique Hotel offers the perfect venue for small intimate weddings and functions. With our beautifully designed koi-pond, all guests will enjoy the view while witnessing a friend’s or families’ special day. Providing both indoor and outdoor areas, a Plan B will never let you down. Weddings/functions of up to 120 - 200 guests can be catered.


At Beauté @ Issaquena Heights we believe there is beauty in all people.  Not only do all women deserve to be her best version, but women also deserve ‘me-time’.  Visit our treatment centre and indulge in massages, heavenly manicures, and pedicures or a ‘date night’ facial.  Whichever treatment is chosen; it will be the embellishment of your day.

Bio Sculpture Gel (nail products) cares about natural nail health.  It is the only 5-star safety rated system and is available internationally.  Bio Sculpture is FIVE FREE, is NOT tested on animals and 100% vegan.