Birkenhead House & Villa, Hermanus, Western Cape

Perched on the clifftop in Hermanus cliffs, the regal Birkenhead House & Villa offers boutique seaside living, overlooking the whale watching paradise of Walker Bay.

 

This multi-award winning property, offers couples and families the utmost in luxury on the Western Cape. There are two pools including an infinity pool on the cliff’s edge for you to enjoy and magnificent sophisticated studio-style rooms with expansive ocean views over Walker Bay or the towering Overberg mountains from your balcony.

 

Part of The Royal Portfolio, the welcome and level of service at Birkenhead House and Villa is exceptional. The staff have a terrific ability – from top to bottom – to create a genuinely friendly, relaxed family atmosphere, whilst anticipating and meeting all of your needs.

 

There are only 11 rooms, located in three different houses, and all individually decorated by the stylish owner Liz Biden, who has an eye for the unusual. In the main house, the ocean-facing Room 1 has a king-size Louis Farouk antique bed, complemented by a French 18th century gold chair and a yellow silk antique couch, and original artworks. Palatial bathrooms have a standalone Victorian bath tub, as well as a walk in shower. Birkenhead House only allows children from the age of 12 years. If families with younger children wish to visit, they must stay in the Birkenhead Villa.

 

In true fusion fashion, the world class cuisine at Birkenhead House & Villa is a delicate mixture of modern African using traditional French techniques, with strong Asian and Italian influences. On offer are homemade breads, ice creams and sorbets, as well as tempura strawberries (seasonal) and fresh local fish from marlin, red roman and kabeljou to crayfish and mussels. Soups ranging from vanilla butternut to roasted red pepper tomato, are a treat.

 

Lavish meals and seafood delicacies are served in your choice of setting: the patio overlooking the ocean; the courtyard next to a dual level pool; the glass fronted dining area or in the privacy of your room. Birkenhead Villa boasts a separate kitchen with a dedicated chef. The only thing lacking is a cocktail bar to relax and listen to the surf.

From the terrace, you look out over two of Hermanus’ best beaches, which are just paces away. The beach on the left is Voëlklip – meaning ‘bird rock’ in Afrikaans – and is great for sea swimming. The beach on the right is called Nanny’s or Kamma Bay.

 

An easy ten-minute walk along a world-renowned cliff path is Grotto beach, the longest strip of white sand in Hermanus. It has been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag status, which guarantees cleanliness, environmental protection and rehabilitation, full time lifeguards and security.

 

Susie suggests:

  • Time your visit in whale watching season (June to December, with calving season in September), for spectacular sightings of the southern right whale.
  • Order a picnic basket to take on a breathtaking nature walk, or to enjoy on a pristine beach.
  • On the way to Hermanus take the coastal road via Gordons Bay for stunning views
  • Stop at The Hamilton Russell vineyard for a wine tasting
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