Phoenix House was so named after having risen from the ashes of the spectacular fires that struck the heart of South Africa’s idyllic and breathtaking garden route in June 2017. The house, which was still in construction at that time, is situated in one of the most historic parts of the town of Knysna in the Noetzie (sometimes spelled Knoetzie) suburb. As luck would have it, most of the house was spared unlike 800 less fortunate houses completely ravaged in a disaster that has now become legend and the subject of a coffee table book still sold in Knysna shops. Construction of Phoenix quickly resumed after the affected parts were restored.
With breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean, the storied past of Noetzie is notable for its beach castles, an unplanned visit by a famous writer and early experimentation with racial integration during the country’s Apartheid era. Noetzie beach plays host to more than 10 castles, including some being refurbished after the fire. An unplanned visit by Nobel Laureate George Bernard Shaw, the early 20th century Irish playwright most famous for Pygmalion, the inspiration source for the musical My Fair Lady, helped to put Noetzie on the map. Shaw was traveling the garden route when the vehicle he was traveling in met with an accident and his wife, Charlotte was badly injured. The unfortunate incident led to a 5 week stay in Knysna for the couple. And while waiting for Charlotte’s full recovery, Shaw made frequent surfing outings to Noetzie!
While Charlotte recovered, Shaw wrote his novella, ‘The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God’, which is a book of short stories and is a satirical allegory relating the experiences of an African girl, freshly converted to Christianity, who takes literally the biblical injunction to “Seek and you shall find me” and attempts to seek out and actually speak to God. Both the story and the essay outraged the religious public, ironically creating additional demand that supported five reprintings. A copy is supplied in the Phoenix library.
Noetzie was awarded the status of nature conservancy owing to its natural beauty, wildlife and pristine beach, the majestic jewel in the Knysna crown. If you “seek out and actually speak to God” anywhere, it will be here where God speaks through nature!!!
Against this stunning backdrop, Phoenix has been established as an ultimate getaway venue, situated on a mountain with a breathtaking view of the ocean and far from stress and crowds. The venue’s sense of seclusion, expansive and spectacular sea view and indigenous plant life are among the many features that make it the perfect retreat for families, friends, writers, artists, nature lovers or couples seeking a romantic hideaway.