It’s always nice to be in on a little secret that most others don’t know about. If you’re that kind of person that needs some peace, space and serenity, with a gorgeous sea view: we’ve discovered a gem of a destination where you can always hide.
Paternoster is a quaint fishing village that alludes a sense of nostalgia with its rows and rows of authentic white-washed cottages on picturesque beaches that overlook the wild and beautiful Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the oldest fishing villages in South Africa and is situated less than two hours north of Cape Town, on the West Coast of South Africa. Here, you’ll still see fishermen heading out to sea from Voorstrand beach at sunrise to catch fish and crayfish. They often return at lunch-time and mostly sell their catch straight from their boats.
And if you’re looking for that perfect place to stay, then look no further than Gonana Guesthouse. Not only is it an exquisitely designed guesthouse with Afro-Scandi spaces that are rich in detail and exquisite in taste − but above all else, it is considerate to the environment. It lies alongside a greenbelt, the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve, with its famous lighthouse and sets the scene for a stylish, cosy and unforgettable stay.
It is the brainchild of the owner, the Swedish entrepreneur and interior designer Jonas Sandström, who for 20 years has been designing spaces that are not only pleasing to the eye, but gentle on the environment. This eco-conscious guesthouse is proudly Paternoster’s first sustainable and environmentally conscious guesthouse and a member of Cape Country Routes.
Gonana’s eight en-suite guest rooms are a study of calm and tranquillity with a neutral palette that encourages you to relax and reconnect with the natural world. Seven of the rooms have private terraces, three of which lead directly to the beach, while the Triple Room upstairs with accommodation for three, has its own private balcony.
The dining and lounge areas are located upstairs. The dining area, furnished with a solid wooden table and bench seating strewn with soft Swedish sheepskins, allows guests to comfortably enjoy breakfast with a full sea view and the adjacent lounge area with skylights and furnished with a collection of comfortable classic leather couches complemented by woven leather chairs, is the perfect place to curl up with a book, a cup of coffee or tea and simply exhale. The wide balcony, edged with ample seating and plenty of soft comfy cushions offers an all-day outdoor ‘theatre’ for viewing the sun setting over the Atlantic Ocean.
The recent addition of two self-catering cottages to its accommodation portfolio has provided the perfect option for guests seeking total privacy. There is the two-bedroom, four-sleeper Acacia Cottage and the one-bedroom three-sleeper Aloe Cottage. Both have fully equipped kitchens, a dining area, patios/balconies with sea views and braai facilities. Located a street away from the guesthouse, they are only a two-minute walk from the beach.
There is also a gorgeous three-metre-deep solar-heated pool where you can swim and sunbathe while enjoying a drink from the Honesty Bar with its assortment of wines, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beers and beverages.
To relax, you can book a relaxing body massage or beauty treatment in the comfort of your own room or at your terrace, with a reknowned therapist.
Paternoster may be small, but it is big on good dining experiences and has loads of exciting things to do.
AND WHEN YOU’RE HUNGRY
A healthy and energising Afro-Scandi continental breakfast is served from 07:30 to 09:30 every morning. You can choose from a variety of fresh fruits, yogurts, cereals, juices, homemade bread, muffins, jams and local cheeses. And if you need to leave early, speak to the duty manager the day before and they’ll have a breakfast ready for you.
OUT AND ABOUT
There are so many lovely activities that will truly make your stay one of the most memorable and fun experiences for you.
Something that you need to do is book one of the eco-friendly and professionally guided e-bike tours with WOWeBikes that will take you on tours along the breathtakingly beautiful beaches and explore the magnificent Cape Columbine Nature Reserve. You can also book a delightful ride along Langstrand and enjoy a picnic fit for a queen along the way.
Another favourite activity with Kayak Paternoster is kayaking in the morning light where you can see Paternoster from the shoreline, watch the seabirds l, and perhaps even meet penguins and see dolphins in their habitat.
You can enjoy a delightful evening at the new Paternoster Wine & Tasting Lounge with a cheese platter and knowledgeable wine connoisseurs. It’s the first of its kind wine bar on the West Coast and a celebration of South African wines, with over 200 wines on their shelves to enjoy in the lounge or at home.
There’s no shortage of restaurants in Paternoster, but not all are of the same quality, so Gonana Guest House has handpicked a few that you can view in the black guest book. But please try out the Gaatjie Restaurant. It is gorgeous, secluded and right on the beach. Gaatjie’s dishes blend local flavours and international influences into a unique offering of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes.
As the name Gonana is derived from the isiZulu word ‘embrace’, it is fitting that all who enjoy and appreciate nature and are environmentally conscious are welcomed with open arms at Gonana Guesthouse − for them, it will be a home from home.