Around The World In 21 Days: Conrad Pezula


  1. Introduction
  2. Delta Comfort+ ECP-ATL-JNB
  3. Hilton Sandton
  4. British Airways Economy JNB-PLZ
  5. Conrad Pezula
  6. Knysna and the Garden Route
  7. Westin Cape Town
  8. Exploring Cape Town + Penguins!
  9. British Airways Economy CPT-JNB
  10. Protea Hotel OR Tambo Airport
  11. Kenya Airways Economy JNB-NBO-DXB
  12. DoubleTree Hotel Jumeirah Beach
  13. Exploring Dubai
  14. Kenya Airways Economy DXB-NBO-SEZ
  15. Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort
  16. Exploring Mahe Island
  17. Kenya Airways Economy SEZ-NBO-BKK
  18. W Bangkok Hotel
  19. Exploring Bangkok
  20. Vietnam Airlines Economy BKK-HAN-NRT
  21. Back In Tokyo!
  22. Delta Air Lines Main Cabin NRT-DTW-ATL
  23. DoubleTree Atlanta Airport
  24. Delta Air Lines Comfort+ ATL-ECP
  25. Conclusion

Over the past few years, I gradually have found myself starting to get drawn to this chain as one of my favorites. Of course, it may be partially a result of several really good stays whilst I was a HHonors Diamond member, but overall I have found each of the properties that I’ve stayed at to be superb. None of the properties edgy or modern in the way that a W Hotel (probably my favorite hotel brand) is, with more of a subtle luxury. Conrad properties tend to feel more relaxed while a W tends to be party, party, party. And this is what I have seen from my several Conrad stays. In 2013 and 2014, I found myself at the Conrad Macau, Conrad Hong Kong, Conrad Miami and Conrad Chicago (how did I never write about that stay – it was just one night, but was amazing!). All were for the most part pretty excellent (exception maybe being the Hong Kong one feeling a little dated, but it is one of the older ones). As I was a Diamond during each of those stays I got phenomenal treatment; that suite in Macau for example was pretty amazing!

So it was only natural that when I first started looking at hotels over the many times that I’ve tried to plan out a trip to South Africa, that the Conrad Pezula would pop up in my results. The pictures of the property definitely stand out with views of rooms and villas that have views of the Indian Ocean, Golf Courses and more. But the surprising bit? The rates. Of course I went and always had been looking at travel to South Africa during their off-season. There were points where the nightly rate at this hotel was about $150US. When you see everything that the property has to offer as well as the rooms, that’s a crazy good deal. Of course, when I went to book the rates were closer to $200+ and I wound up using points for a cash and points award in the end paying 28,000 points + $99US

My interaction with the hotel started about a month out with a hotel representative contacting me to see if they could do anything for my stay or answer any questions. Since I didn’t see any point in trying to set up reservations for anything such as meals or activities, I opted to try to get some information on the area. With some driving directions and a low-down on the weather in June, I was all set.

Now, I feel like I am jumping a little bit ahead here since the events leading up to checking into today will be in the next post that I cover on my drive Port Elizabeth to Cape Town with the couple of days in Knysna. Let me just say that by the time I had arrived at the hotel, I was ready for my day to be over!

It was already after dark when I pulled up to the hotel; circling into the entrance I jumped out of the car and was immediately greeted by the staff. They started unloading my luggage and transferring it to a golf cart while my car was taken away to be valeted as I went inside. I was enthusiastically greeted by the front desk agent who immediately started checking me in. Now, let me step back for a second – when I made the reservation I was still a Hilton HHonors Diamond Member, but I had unfortunately fell to Silver at the end of March (2014 didn’t have much work travel for me) and then got back to Gold in May.

Conrad Pezula – Main Building

Conrad Pezula

As the agent pulled up my reservation he got even more enthusiastic and thanked me for being a Diamond member and started going through all the benefits that I would get and that I had been upgraded from the Junior Deluxe Suite to the Junior Superior Suite. I’ll be honest, at first I thought about saying “Well, I wish I was still Diamond, but I dropped to Gold since I made the reservation”, but after my long day I decided to just roll with it. Once he finished up and gave me the quick info on the property, he asked one of the porters “Could you please take our Diamond guest Mr. Gysi to his room?” Seriously, they were really wanted me to know that they valued their elite guests. Actually, this agent was actually phenomenal over the entire stay as I had multiple interactions with him throughout.

The Room
With my bags on the golf cart, we made the very short trip to my suite, which was in a standalone building with three other suites (two stories, two rooms per floor). If I had to guess, the Junior Deluxe Suites are probably the lower floors while the Junior Superior Suites are the upper floor.

Pathway From The Rooms To The Suites

Building My Suite Was Located In

The porter let me into my room, carrying my duffel bag into the room and then proceeded to show me the features of the room, as you would expect in a hotel of this caliber. First of all, the room was amazing! Granted, I didn’t wind up with the best view on the property, however the room was everything that I expected and then some. For starters, the size – the room had more than ample space being an “open” suite. While there was no separation from the bed and the sitting area, there was so much space that they felt as if they were distinct areas.

Sitting Area + Desk + Fireplace

Large, Comfortable Bed

Another Angle – Shows How Spacious The Room Was

One of the features that I enjoyed very much so was the fireplace in the room. Since it was June, that meant that the Southern Hemisphere was in Winter. Granted, South Africa isn’t that “far south”, so it’s a fairly mild one. Still, having sitting in front of a fire at the end of the day is never a bad thing! Which, later on in that first night after I had dinner, I had called down to the front desk to have someone come and get the fire going (obviously for liability purposes, I’m sure, they don’t leave you matches or anything to start the fire in the room). The enthusiastic front desk agent was down at my room less than 5 minutes after calling and I was in front of a fire with a mini-bar beverage 5 minutes later. The hotel does a good job of keeping a stash of firewood next to the front door of each of the rooms, meaning that if you know how to keep a fire going, you can get probably a couple hours of time in front of a fire.


Speaking of mini-bar, there was an amply stocked mini-bar and a wet bar area located in the main entry way. There was a good variety and a few snack options as well, and everything was *gasp* reasonably priced! I mean seriously, the bottles of Heineken were just over US$2! They could ahve definitely charged more!

Moving on to the bathroom, it was also very spacious with a large standalone tub, large walk-in shower (with excellent water pressure) and a separate toilet room with a bidet (if you are so inclined). The only thing that is of note is that it definitely could take a few minutes to get some properly hot water for the shower – my guess is that the water heater was on-demand, but that’s not that big of a deal.



Additionally, in terms of storage space, there was more than enough space for more than one person to unpack their bags in the walk-in closet.

For Those Closet Aficionados…

Outside, there was a balcony/patio that was definitely good for watching the sunrise and sunset. Take a look for yourself…

Sunset Over Knysna

Yes, those are Baboons on the Golf Course

And finally, the last thing: the room key. For starters, it was an actual key! The second part, it was on a ridiculously over-sized key chain. This meant it was a little awkward to carry around, but on the plus side I guess that makes it hard to lose, especially if you are partaking in the many activities offered by the resort.

Check Out That Key Chain!

I took the opportunity to eat several meals at the Conrad during my stay, considering that they have a number of available options. However, that being said I only found myself in “Cafe Z” which was the more casual restaurant located on property. I actually never even tried the bar, and never felt like “dressing up” for the more formal Zachary’s. That being said, I sampled a dinner, lunch, and the breakfast buffet over the course of my stay.

For the most part, my meals were all very good although there is a little bit of a disconnect in terms of service on the restaurant side. While I was in no rush, that first night I was there, given that I was seated in a corner, I found it difficult to flag down a server when I needed something or was ready for my bill. While, I realize in many countries they won’t present the bill until you ask, it was difficult just to ask. That being said though while I was eating, whom I assume was the F&B manager came by and had a little chat. It looked like she was making an effort to stop by each table to see how the stay was going, what people thought of Knysna and the area and what their plans were. It felt genuine and was a nice touch.

When I went back for lunch the next day before heading out to go Kayaking, the restaurant was not very busy and not being seated in a corner it was a easier to get service. For lunch that I day I opted for a BBQ sandwich based on the recommendation from the server. Actually felt a bit like home considering that it was served with a slaw on top. Definitely wasn’t bad at all!

BBQ Sandwich

On the final day I sampled the breakfast buffet. I had originally planned on doing room service, however I forgot to leave out the card the night before and then didn’t really feel like waiting since I needed to hit the road and drive all the way to Cape Town via Cape Agulhas. I found the buffet to have a decent selection, but by no means to be a massive selection. That being said, I think almost anyone would have walked away perfectly happy and having found something to eat.

The Conrad Pezula is a fantastic property and probably one of the better priced luxury resorts that I have stumbled on. Amenities? They have everything ranging from a private beach, to archery and trips to the surrounding areas. While I wound up not taking advantage of any of the amenities onsite (although I had planned to rent a kayak, but was informed once onsite that they don’t do unguided rentals anymore), based on what they offer, I don’t think anyone could come here and not find something to have a good time. It’s actually with regret that I never made it down their beach, although given the cooler temperatures that may have been for the best. Although I bet it would have been empty and quiet!

That being said, location wise the Conrad Pezula is located in a fantastic area and if spending time driving the Garden Route, it is most definitely worth spending a few nights here. Now, if I were to drive the Garden Route again, I probably wouldn’t try to drive from Knysna to Cape Town in a day like I did; it would be best to stop here for a few days and somewhere else a few hours west for another few days.

And let’s not forget the staff here – while the restaurant staff were either hit or miss, everyone at the front desk, valets, and porters were all very friendly and helpful. To elaborate further, beyond the extremely enthusiastic agent who checked me in, when I went to inquire about renting on of their kayaks and was shot down, they worked to find me an option in town at Thesen Island all while also giving me some great tips for spending my day as I drove around the area and explored a bit. After all, I only had one full day in Knysna given that I got in late my first day and my last day would have me leaving earlier in the morning.

In the end would I come back to this property or recommend it to friends? Enthusiastically!

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