Patio View from Birkenhead House in Hermanus, South Africa

Travel South Africa: Picture-Perfect Seaside Luxury at Birkenhead House, Hermanus

South Africa has its fair share of quaint seaside towns. Few so deftly embrace visitors in the slow, steady pace of beachfront living like Hermanus.

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It’s upscale, classy, charming, and breathtakingly beautiful. A place where mornings are spent on one’s oceanview patio, mimosa in hand, watching whales casually breach just offshore; and evenings involve a casual stroll along its coastal small town pathways, watching the sun slowly dip into Walker Bay.

Such is the pace and pulse of life in Hermanus. And few hotels better capture that feeling like Birkenhead House. What to say of this picture-perfect, seaside hotel? Hmm … how about this:

Patio View from Birkenhead House in Hermanus, South Africa
Patio View from Birkenhead House, Hermanus

Do you need more convincing? Really? You drive a hard bargain, fair traveler! Let’s take a look inside then, shall we?


If it isn’t evident from the photo above, a little about the hotel in their own words:

From its exhilarating cliff-top position Birkenhead House offers the perfect Hermanus luxury accommodation for those seeking a superior seaside experience.

The hotel’s contemporary feel is an artful mix of classic beach house style and quirky opulence, and furnishings and artwork are arresting and eclectic … characterised by a relaxed and easygoing atmosphere where you can breakfast at noon, take tea on your balcony, then watch the ocean at dusk over a cocktail or two.

Birkenhead House Perched on a Cliffside in Hermanus, South Africa
Birkenhead House Perched High on a Cliffside, Hermanus


Perched high atop the cliffs along the Cape Coast, Birkenhead features one of the most spectacular ocean views in all of Hermanus. With easy access to the beach and nearby coastal paths, guests are able to amble along the water any time of day for a dazzling view.

In fact, two of Hermanus’s best beaches (Voëlklip and Kamma Bay) are literally just steps from the hotel’s back patio. And staff are even happy to prepare a picnic basket for you for a day on the sand.

A short, 10-minute walk along the connected cliff path will take you to Grotto beach – the longest strip of white sand in Hermanus. They’re quick to point out that it has been awarded Blue Flag Status indicating an ultra-high “standard of cleanliness, environmental protection and rehabilitation, full-time lifeguards and security”.

If you fancy a walk into town, the Hermanus town center has plenty to offer as well. It’s full of quaint boutiques, markets and galleries, and history buffs will love the town’s Old Harbour museum, where old fishing boats and reconstructed fishermen’s shacks are on display.

Nature lovers who care to venture a bit further can head to the northern side of the town. Here, you can explore the species-rich Fernkloof Nature Reserve via its network of scenic trails.

Nighttime by The Pool at Birkenhead House, Hermanus, South Africa
Nighttime by The Pool at Birkenhead House, Hermanus

Features + Amenities

Hermanus is nothing if not an upscale town where you’re more likely to see martini-sipping than beer-swigging. But Birkenhead prides itself on taking that luxury to another level.

The design is “contemporary beach house cool” with modern touches that feel sleek, but welcoming. The decor features plenty of whimsical touches – everything from zebra-print upholstery to shell-framed mirrors. Plus, at just eleven suites “big”, it’s a relatively small property whose size only lends to its charm. It’s like spending the night at a very generous and well-to-do friend’s house.

This all provides guests with a chill, laidback vibe to be sure but you’re always well aware that you’re spending the night in a special place.

Rooms feature include:

  • Vistas of either Walker Bay or the towering Kleinrivier mountain range
  • Equipped with air conditioning
  • Digital Television + DVD player
  • Wifi connection
  • Complimentary minibar
  • All meals are included

But, of course, you didn’t really come here to just spend the night in your room, did you?

Room (front house/upstairs) Birkenhead House, Hermanus, South Africa
Guestroom at Birkenhead House, Hermanus

Pricing + Availability

A variety of room configurations and respective rates are on offer. Prices start around R4,190 for a single room in off-season. (Inclusive of accommodations, full mini bar access, and all means + snacks)

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for beachfront, seaside luxury in South Africa, it’s hard to beat Hermanus for its picture-perfect small town charm. And harder still to beat Birkenhead House for its prime location, exquisite staff, whimsical decor, and intoxicating ambiance. Highly recommended.

Founding Editor

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