The Fairy Knowe Riverside Family Resort & Hotel

Contact Person: Reception
Contact Number: 044 877 1100
Fax Number: 011 507 6636
Cell Phone: N/A
GPS Co-ordinates: Lat  -33.991689 – Long  22.600583


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Since 1874, three years before George Bennett built the farmhouse which he named “The Wilderness”, Walter and Emma’s seaside home of Faerie Knowe has stood on the wooded hill behind the hotel.

At the time of the great eruption of Krakatoa in 1883 in Indonesia, Roderick, who was 10 years old at the time, recalled seeing the waves washing over the dunes into the river.

When Walter died in 1917 he had fathered 4 sons and 9 daughters. His eldest son, Douglas, had died in 1904. Roderick and Harold were married and in their forties, while the youngest, Bertram, was in his 21st year. In the circumstances it was probably natural that the extensive farming lands were divided between Roderick and Harold. Harold was to build what s now the Fairy Knowe Hotel.

Whatever the actual circumstances on Walter’s death Roderick inherited the Oakhurst homestead and the Kleinkrantz lands between the Touw river and the eastern boundary of The WIlderness, where Freesia Avenue now meets Waterside Road. Harold inherited a part of the Oakhurst farm and the Kleinkrantz lands to the east of the Touw.

As the lower lands on Harold’s portion near Serpentine were prone to flooding, he arranged to buy a slightly raised portion from his brother on the western bank of the Touw. This is where the Fairy Knowe Hotel was developed.

While Owen Grant was developing the Wilderness, he stayed with Harold and Katie (nee van der Westhuizen) and it might have been at his suggestion that they decided to take guests.

In July, 1929 the Herald reported;

“At Fairy Knowe, which can now boast its own train stopping place, a transformation is taking place at the guest house of Mr & Mrs Dumbleton.

It’s rondavels are familiar to many artists who make a long stay there in the summer months. Now a group  of new buildings are rising to treble the accommodation – an indication of the rapid opening up of the lakeland with the arrival of the railway.

There is a new dining hall and kitchen raised on a stone terrace and it looks as though another story is to be added.

On the river’s edge is a long red-roofed building with about 20 bedrooms facing a broad terrace against which boats may be moored.”

Harold is described by his brother-in-law as “the genial proprietor of the well known Fairy Knowe”. Guests were welcome to join their hosts in the “wooden room”, his timber lounge which hosted many a memorable party.

On Harry Dumbleton’s death in 1957, Fairy Knowe, together with certain lands accross the river, was  inherited by his eldest son, Buxton, whose wife Valda (nee Taute) had been the effective manager for several years by then. It was in this era that the hotel developed into today’s familiar form. Buxton also built himself a home on the dunes opposite, where one now finds such names as Dumbleton Crescent and Buxton Close.

Bertram and Desmond, then inherited the hotel and represent the fourth generation of Dumbletons in the district and the third in the longhistory of the Fairy Knowe Hotel.

Sadly Bertram passed away on the 28th April 2015.


8 Rondavels

11 Rooms in the main hotel

21 rooms facing the river in annexe

All rooms have en suite bathrooms and TV facilities

Coffee and Tea station available in all rooms along with Wi-Fi.


  • Internet (Wi-Fi in public areas)
  • All weather floodlit tennis court
  • Swimming pool
  • Direct access to 200m river frontage
  • Meeting facilities
  • Safety deposit boxes
  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Smoking area
  • Bicycle rental
  • Laundry service
  • Airport transfer
  • Car park
  • Service room
  • Tours
  • Sports and Recreation:
  • Water sports (motorised)
  • Water sports (non-motorised)
  • Tranquil garden