Birkenhead House & Villa, Hermanus
Sitting high on the Hermanus cliffs, the regal Birkenhead House and deluxe adjacent Villa, overlook the whale watching paradise of Walker Bay
Accommodating guests in the utmost luxury, this is the perfect destination for those seeking the pinnacle of seaside living. There are two pools for guests to enjoy and sophisticatedly appointed studio suites offer expansive vistas of Walker Bay or the towering Overberg mountains.
Guests can enjoy magnificent accommodation with ocean views from most of the bedroom balconies. There are 11 rooms in the main house and the main décor features in the ocean-facing Room 1 is a king-size Louis Farouk antique bed, complemented by an 18th century French gold chair, a yellow silk French antique couch and original artworks. Let yourself unwind in the spatial bathrooms with a Victorian bath tub, a walk in shower and two vanities.
World-class cuisine is a matter of course. In true fusion fashion, the food at Birkenhead House & Villa is a delicate mixture of modern African cuisine, 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 fishes ranging from marlin, red roman and kabeljou to crayfish and mussels. Soups are a treat and you can enjoy flavours ranging from vanilla butternut to roasted red pepper tomato.
Lavish meals and seafood delicacies are served at Birkenhead House in your choice of setting: the patio overlooking the ocean; the courtyard next to a dual level pool; the glass fronted dining area; or room service will happily oblige you with a sumptuous meal in the privacy of your suite. Birkenhead Villa boasts a separate kitchen with a dedicated chef on hand to meet your culinary wishes. The only thing lacking is a cocktail bar area to relax and listen to the surf.
Looking out from the terrace, you can see two of Hermanus’ best beaches just a few steps away. The beach on the left is Voëlklip - meaning ‘bird rock’ in Afrikaans - and lends itself to great bathing. The beach on the right is called Nanny’s or Kamma Bay. A picnic basket can be packed to accompany you as you enjoy breathtaking nature walks, pristine beaches and if your visit is in whale spotting season (June to December, with calving season in September), spectacular sightings of the southern right whale.
Grotto beach is the longest strip of white sand in Hermanus, and has been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag status. This award requires cleanliness, environmental protection and rehabilitation, full time lifeguards and security. Grotto lies to the left of Birkenhead House & Villa, an easy ten-minute walk away along the world-renowned cliff path.
The welcome and level of service is genuinely exceptional. The staff's ability - from top to bottom - to create a genuinely friendly, family atmosphere, whilst anticipating and meeting all of your needs is terrific. Children under the age of 12 are not accepted at Birkenhead House but are instead accommodated at Birkenhead Villa where meals are cooked for them whenever required, allowing guests to enjoy some grown-up time! The atmosphere is relaxed, the staff are welcoming and the service is impeccable.