Nature Tourism. The Lofts Boutique Hotel is not only situated in the heart of the Knysna Lagoon, but also in the centre of Knysna, Thesen Harbour Town on the famous Thesen Island and is in the most beautiful natural spot on the Garden Route.
The Atrium in the Lofts Boutique Hotel is the hub where our guests, scientists, environmentally conscious people who care about the environment and nature, meet. This is a special place where research in connection with the health and sustainability of the lagoon has been carried out for many years before the development of Thesen Island .
The aim in the creation and design of the Atrium has been and still is to create awareness and honour those who worked here before us. Also to educate and make available to our guests, the people of Knysna and the tourists, information about the sensitive and valuable natural assets and history about the Lagoon and the estuary .
The lofts employees are all local people who know and understand Knysna. The Lofts team creates a happy atmosphere and place where people are supportive, loyal and happy to share their knowledge.
The staff has the opportunity to arrange flexible full-time and part-time working agreements so that they too can have a family life.
The Lofts buys local food, ingredients and other products from local suppliers. We support local artisans who, over the years have proven themselves as suppliers of food with integrity
Recycle, reuse and reduce:
The structure of the old Boatshed, in which the Lofts Boutique Hotel is accommodated, was once part of a wooden boat building factory. Many wooden hull mine sweeper boats were launched during the Second World War into the lagoon from the space which is now the Atrium space. The railroad tracks in front of the current swimming pool still remains as testament to this.
The wooden structural timber structure of the building for The Lofts Boutique Hotel has been retained . Visitors are intrigued by the unique old wooden posts and trusses. The architecture and decor of the entire building expresses the principal of recycle, reuse and reduce.
Energy saving and sustainable architecture:
After a devastating fire in May 2015 which razed 40% of the Boatshed building, an opportunity arose out of the adversity to rebuild the building as “green” as possible.
Energy saving and natural ventilation, was a priority.
35 Electrical hot water geysers of 3,5 Kw each (122Kw) were replaced with a fully automated solar hot water system and two heat pumps of 3,5 Kw each. (7 Kw) 3 x 1500 Liter sealed water tanks connected to the solar panels and a continuous circulating ring-main throughout the building supplies constant hot water to all rooms and throughout the building. This system alone reduces the energy demand of the building by 65%.
Various large doors on both sides of the Atrium can be opend or closed to regulate the temperature inside the building naturally with no mechanical cooling or heating required.
During 2017 a complete rainwater harvesting system that will harvest 60,000 L of filtered rainwater from the roofs of the Boatshed will be installed to reduce the water demand of the bulding from City water.
All of the above makes the Boatshed and The Lofts Boutique Hotel probably the most energy efficient and sustainable large commercial building in Knysna.