Dine, drink cocktails while top local muzos jam at this moody new bar
Looking for a luxury weekend close to the beach?
At Hermanus Guest House you’ll sleep to the sound of waves, wake to fresh fruit salad
Luxury isn’t hard to find in Hermanus. It’s on Marine Drive and it’s called Hermanus Guest House. It’s a boutique guest house with 19 rooms, all deluxe, although some are more luxe than others. The latter are in the “main house” overlooking the sea, which provides a gorgeous, dramatic, constantly shifting backdrop.
Luxurious though the guest house is, it still feels comfortable. This is largely thanks to its people. This guest confesses to walking up the grand staircase barefoot and draped in a towel trailing a bit of sea (not something one should really do in boutique accommodation). “Good morning. Nice swim?” was all the front-of-house person said, without raising an eyebrow.
YOU’RE MADE TO FEEL COMFORTABLE & RELAXED
“We like to be accommodating of our guests’ requests, if possible, and our feel is relaxed and intimate,” says General Manager Mariane Maree. It does feel like that, partly because there are just enough staff to take care of guests’ needs, but not so many that there’s a constant presence, which makes it hard to relax.
And they are accommodating. For instance, a breakfast list is provided and guests tick off what they’d like. However, should an (ahem, fussy) guest ask for none of a particular fruit in the fruit salad; and fresh tomato, rather than fried; olive oil as opposed to butter, then these requests are granted.
THIS IS BED+BREAKFAST DELUXE, WITH LOADS OF FRILLS
Hermanus Boutique Guest House offers a substantial breakfast. There’s a fruit salad, which guests always take note of, says Mariane. It’s made fresh daily and the fruit is seasonal. It could include, for instance, raspberries, dragon fruit, grapes and strawberries. Sweet, a touch of tart, delicious and definitely worth noting. There are also cold options, such as cheese and cold meats. The hot breakfast includes eggs (however you like them), sausage, bacon, tomato and mushroom, and an omelette with a choice of fillings.
Hermanus Guest House does not serve other meals. There are enough excellent restaurants in the area, says Mariane, and people want to go out, too. It’s very central, so guests can walk to restaurants, and if they want to take a taxi back at night, it’ll only cost around R50. However, every day between 5pm and 7pm there are complimentary drinks at the guest house, offering Raka wines, a wine farm in the area. “We do like to support local as much as possible,” says Mariane. “We get our coffee from a local beanery, and our eggs from another supplier in town.”
THERE’S NO SHORTAGE OF COLOUR AND CHARACTER
The range of rooms is wide at Hermanus Guest House. There are 11 in the main building, and eight suites built alongside a long, slim, cool pool under a tree. All the Luxury Pool suites have something unique: an indoor shower that leads into an outdoor one so guests can shower under the sun or stars.
Rooms in the main house are more luxurious and include the penthouse suite – yellows, electric blues, exposed brick, and ample space, including a spacious lounge that overlooks the sea. There are also two rooms ideal for honeymooners, with jetted spa baths and views you could stare into forever if you could bear to look away from your lover. Every room has something unique about it, from art works through to colour details.
THERE ARE OPTIONS FOR FAMILY ACCOMMODATION
Children from the age of 8 years and older are welcome at Hermanus Boutique Guest House (child-friendly spaces, especially at the luxury accommodation level, are worth noting in this primarily upmarket seaside town).
There’s one family suite in the main section, made up of two luxurious rooms with interleading doors. These have vibrant yellow finishes and are spacious and luxurious. There are also two standard Deluxe rooms that have day beds.
THERE’S LOTS TO DO IN HERMANUS
This guest house has one of the best locations in town: it’s on Marine Drive and opposite one of the greatest attractions in the town – Ficks. The steps leading down to Ficks tidal pool and the atmospheric pinchos bar set over it are directly across the road. This setting also makes it very central, and from here the centre of town, with its many restaurants and galleries, is only a 10-minute walk away. Once you’ve landed at the guest house, there’s no need for a car unless you’re exploring beyond the town centre.
For children, Mariane recommends the Wonderland play park, which has an outdoor play area with sandpits and train rides, as well as a paintball-shooting range and even a spray park. There’s also a putt-putt course at Benguela Cove, trips on the lagoon, zip lining and horse riding.
THIS IS WINE AND NATURE COUNTRY
For adults, Hermanus is the centre of a wine culture, which means it’s full of and surrounded by excellent restaurants. Besides visiting some of South Africa’s award-winning wine estates in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley, the outdoor offering is huge. The Overberg region is known for its spectacular nature on land, through which one can hike or mountain bike, and sea (whale watching, canoeing, diving, snorkelling).
However, there’s really no need to go anywhere at all. You could simply stay in, stare at that view, and venture out across the road to eat and swim. Why go further when everything’s just perfect?
Kids, families and couples will enjoy Gabriëlskloof Wine Estate.
To get to one of the best beachside restaurants in the Western Cape, all you’ll need to do is walk out the front door and head about 20 strides across to the entrance of Ficks.
There’s also this popular Hermanus eatery that’s loved by the locals: Burgundy Restaurant.
Hermanus is famous for its sea life. You’ll see plenty of dolphins, but it’s most famous for its whale watching.
Want some ideas on what to do during the day? Here are some ideas.
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