Not many destinations can tick all the boxes: ocean, mountains, fynbos, art, culture, sport, shopping, good food and fine wine.
Well, Hermanus can, and that’s why this seaside town has become exceptionally popular over the years. In fact, it’s constantly growing with exciting new developments and experiences that cater for locals, visitors and the new influx of remote workers.
Hermanus is of course most famous for their spectacular sightings of Southern Right and Humpback Whales that come very close to land between June and November each year. Another must-see (and taste) attraction is the Hemel-en-Aarde Wine Valley, producing award-winning Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in a setting that some would call the most scenic in the country.
Pack your bags, download your favourite playlist and hit the road to Hermanus (only 90 minutes from Cape Town) to stay at one of these top accommodation options:
Five Star Luxury with Sea Views
1. The Marine
The Marine is arguably the most iconic hotel in Hermanus. Like many of the properties in The Liz McGrath Collection, the hotel has an indulgent resort-feel to it. It’s set in a prime location on the seafront overlooking the expansive Walker Bay, and only a short stroll away from a selection of vibey restaurants and cafés. You can bring your furry family along too – the hotel is dog-friendly.
Rooms: Premier suites, luxury double rooms with sea views and double rooms.
Amenities and activities: The Pavilion restaurant, The Sun Lounge and bar, wedding and meeting venues, two salt-water swimming pools, loungers, clothing boutique, Carchele Beauty spa, whale watching from the hotel.
2. Birkenhead House
Birkenhead House is the epitome of boutique opulence, and one of the top five hotels on the continent according to Travel + Leisure.
Settle into stylish contemporary rooms with curated art and décor, and cheers to the good life with Cap Classique while enjoying incredible views of Voëlklip beach below and the expansive Atlantic Ocean. The rates are all-inclusive, ensuring you experience ultimate relaxation.
Rooms: Deluxe superior rooms, superior rooms, and luxury rooms.
Amenities and activities: Restaurant, spa, infinity pool with ocean views, loungers, wedding venue, whale watching from the hotel, mussel picking.
3. Stone House
Gather a group of your favourite people together to share an unforgettable experience at the earthy designer villa, Stone House. This spacious home has large glass doors and windows allowing the ocean views and sunlight to filter through the space. You will love all the nooks and corners with couches and fireplaces – the perfect setting to spend quality time, share stories, and glasses of Pinot Noir.
Rooms: One home with five bedrooms, sleeping 12 guests.
Amenities and activities: Fully-equipped home, multiple living areas, fireplaces, boma and braai area, kitchen, plunge pool, outdoor shower, loungers and boulle court.
Self-catering in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley
If you’re looking for an intimate farm-style hideaway but still fancy all the finer luxuries when you’re on your holiday, Voormanshuis at Creation Wines should be at the top of your list. The architecture of the self-catering cottage is well thought-through with big windows allowing you to have an immersive experience close to nature and the surrounding vineyards.
Rooms: One cottage sleeping two guests.
Amenities and activities: Kitchen (with complimentary Creation wines, rusks, a seasonal fruit bowl, tea and coffee), barbeque, deck, open plan living room, two mountain bikes, walking (or cycling) distance from Creation Wines.
5. The Guardian
Kick off your shoes and take a breath of fresh air at The Guardian, stylish self-catering accommodation on a farm close to La Vierge Wines. With expansive lawns, beautiful views of the mountains and the Onrus river as well as an abundance of birds; it’s the perfect place to recharge after long days of exploring the beautifu Overberg region.
Rooms: Cottage (sleeping four adults) and an apartment (sleeping two adults).
Amenities and activities: Walking trails, cycling trails, beautiful gardens, birding, 16 metre salt swimming lap pool.
6. Hemel-en-Aarde Cottages
The Hemel-en-Aarde Cottages are a serene escape from the fast-paced lifestyle of the city. Put your phone down, go for a stroll through the fynbos paths, soak in the hot tub, take some time to journal, read a good book or take a walk through the labyrinth. Hemel-en-Aarde Cottages now also offer three-night self-retreats, hosted and catered for by the owners.
Rooms: Three self-catering cottages sleeping between two and six guest per unit.
Amenities and activities: Outdoor wood-fired tubs, wellness retreats, artisanal platters and baskets (on request), cycling trails, walking trails, braai facilities, swimming pool.
Great Value in the Heart of Hermanus
7. Auberge Burgundy
If you’ve been to the Old Harbour in Hermanus before, you might have looked twice at the sight of Auberge Burgundy. You don’t really expect to see a yellow Provençal-style building with powder-blue shutters in this part of the world. Book a night here if you’d love to spend the night in a charming boutique hotel with an intimate atmosphere, and romantic room décor.
Rooms: Middle rooms, standard rooms, pool rooms, suites, poolside suites, penthouses.
Amenities and activities: Mediterranean restaurant, foyer and lounge area, courtyard with swimming pool and loungers.
8. One Marine Drive
One Marine Drive is a small boutique hotel situated in the centre of town on the cliff path, right across from the famous Fick’s Restaurant. The rooms are cosy and neat with quality linen and airy beach cottage décor – it’s the perfect place to use as your base while you discover all that Hermanus and the region has to offer.
Rooms: Eight rooms – superior sea view rooms, sea view rooms, ground floor rooms and pool rooms.
Amenities and activities: Zest spa in-room treatments, dining area, plunge pool with loungers.
9. The Windsor Hotel
The Windsor Hotel is a classic Hermanus establishment – and it’s no wonder, the famous white building on the rocks has been around for over 120 years! Some of the rooms are a bit old-school, but they are all very comfortable and neat, and kitted out with everything you might need for a lovely three-star stay in a great location.
Rooms: Hotel bedrooms (sea facing and non-sea facing), annex rooms and self-catering apartments.
Amenities and activities: Restaurant (buffet breakfast included), bar, lounge areas, fireplace, pool table, conference room, outside courtyard and ocean views with whale watching opportunities from the hotel.
A bit of everything
10. Harbour House
Harbour House offers a selection of different accommodation options depending on your needs. You might have seen guests lounging around the pool in front of the historic Manor House with its slate roof? That’s the Harbour House hotel with a sophisticated interior.
But you can also opt to stay in its new wing, or at the more relaxed Harbour Square Rooms, walking distance from the hotel. Or book a self-catering apartment at another property that they manage, Le Paradis.
Rooms: Romantic rooms, family units, studio apartments, studio rooms, studio residences and self-catering apartments.
Amenities and activities: Selkirk restaurant, pet-friendly, swimming pools, loungers, whale watching from the hotel, ocean views, Fijnbosh spa, meeting rooms.