Hermanus, Garden Route, South Africa
At a Glance
Enjoy breakfast whilst watching whales play below
Walk along the coastal path into Hermanus
A seriously stylish and chic hotel
Delicious food, wine and views
Decorated in creams and whites you can't help but feel relaxed
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Hermanus enjoys a moderate climate all year round. In peak summer season, from December to February, temperatures can climb as high as 34ºC, although winter temperatures can drop to as low as 4ºC. Generally, this season has many sunny days with high wind at times. During the winter months of June, July, and August, expect frequent rains and a couple of chilly evenings. From June to December, the Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis) graces Walker Bay with its massive presence.
To start planning your vacation to Birkenhead House
Perched on a cliff top in Hermanus, Birkenhead House provides a haven of luxury for those traveling along the Garden Route. Only an hour and a half from Cape Town, this boutique hotel offers 11 beautiful rooms.
Situated in Hermanus, Birkenhead House accommodates guests in the utmost luxury and is the perfect destination for those seeking the epitome of stylish seaside living. Decorated to reflect the beauty of its coastal setting, it is adorned with rare maritime antiques and sumptuous fabrics. No expense has been spared in making this the ultimate coastal retreat.
Each of the 11 opulently appointed suites is thoughtfully and beautifully designed and you will find the service impeccable. Enjoy magnificent ocean views from any of the balconies. Rooms feature king and queen size beds, gorgeous antique furniture and original artworks. Unwind in the spacious bathrooms with a Victorian bath tub, a walk in shower and two vanities. Other amenities include digital TV, DVD and minibar.
The terrace, with pool, offers unrestricted sea views along the bay towards Hermanus itself and is the perfect spot for your evening sundowner. Hermanus is also well-known as being one of the best places on the Western Cape for whale watching in season, from July to November. It is often possible to sit on the terrace and watch the whales in the sea in front of Birkenhead House.
Birkenhead House offers 11 rooms. Each room has been individually decorated with gorgeous antique furniture and original artworks, they feature luxurious queen and king size beds (some of which are antique four posters). The large bathroom’s centerpiece is a magnificent freestanding Victorian bath, complemented by a walk-in shower and two freestanding vanities. Other amenities include digital TV, DVD and mini-bar.
Each luxuriously furnished suite has large king or queen sized beds, air conditioning, digital TV, DVD player, WiFi and complimentary mini-bar.
Children over the age of 16 years are welcome at Birkenhead House. Attractions they will enjoy in the local area include Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, the Elephant Sanctuary and Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Center.
Facilities at the hotel include a swimming pool, spa, gym and internet access. The restaurant at the hotel serves a delicate mixture of modern African Cuisine and traditional French techniques with strong Asian and Italian influences.
Whale watching from the coast and swimming are complimentary at the hotel. Other activities in the local area include mountain trails and walks, birdwatching, deep sea fishing, visits to local wine farms and townships, play a round of golf or cycling. For those who crave a more adrenalin-filled experience, shark cage diving is available, as well as quad biking, riding, sea kayaking and scuba diving.
Anna Hearn (Staff)
Utterly blissful, we loved Birkenhead House from the moment we arrived and were welcomed warmly by our hosts the house is actually three houses leading down to the main attraction, an expansive clifftop terrace complete with enormous white squishy sofas and daybeds, a plunge pool and what must be one of the best views in the whole of Hermanus. While the house does have an internal courtyard with a split level swimming pool, the deck is the place to be, where its for whale-watching or enjoying a gin and tonic as the sun sets over the sea. We found it very hard to tear ourselves away! Birkenhead prides itself on stunning cuisine fresh food simply presented and utterly delicious and we were not disappointed! Over dinner we were entertained by a local xylophone band whose melodies drifted over the bay as the sun went down. The rooms at Birkenhead are nothing short of stunning with every little touch catered for and some of the most comfortable beds we had ever slept in.
Dominic Atterton (Staff)
From the minute you arrive at Birkenhead House you feel completely at home. An unassuming house on a residential street in the coastal town of Hermanus, from its exterior Birkenhead offers little clue of the luxury within its walls. Built around a central courtyard and main pool the majority of the rooms are on the upper floors almost of which have views of the sea. The style is contemporary and very elegant, think four poster beds, bathrooms adorned with Chaise lounges and plenty of natural light. The hotel faces right out onto the sea front with steps leading from its second plunge pool with views to die for straight down onto the beach.
On this side of the hotel you have the main lounge area and dining room looking straight out at the huge Atlantic breakers rolling in. Should anyone be brave or foolish enough the hotel will gladly lend you wetsuits and boogie boards to experience the power of the surf.
Everything is included during a stay at Birkenhead, sumptuous meals paired with excellent wines and staff that cant do enough to make sure youre taken care of at any point during the day. Its the perfect place to spend two nights completely relaxing and spoiling yourself before heading down the Garden Route.
Mr Tim Barraclough (Guest)
Perfect! Perfect Perfect! How do they get it so right?! We were blown away by the service here in particular - everything else was fantastic too!
Set on a dramatic rocky bluff, this opulent boutique has views over Walker Baywhere southern right whales migrate between May and December and calve during the month of August. The property makes the most of the vantage point, with terraces and an infinity pool (one of three) overlooking the water, and huge windows in all 11 suites. The guest units are decorated with eclectic antiques from France, Russia, and China, and have especially wonderful bathsrequest Studio 5 for a Zen spa-like sunken tub, or Studio 3 for a claw-foot beauty in the center of the bedroom. The slew of nature-based activities range from the sedate (beach lounging, cheese-and-wine-tasting tours) to the exertive (kayaking, bird-watching hikes on the cliffs) to the heart-racing (cage diving among sharks). Refuel at the end of the day in the guests-only restaurant, which serves fresh-caught seafood, stellar sushi, and homemade focaccia.
Flight over Walker Bay
Take-off from Grootbos' private airstrip for a magical flight over the Walker Bay area, from July to October enjoy incredible sightings of Southern Right Whales from the air.
Fynbos Flower Safari
The Cape Floral Region has the highest concentration of plant species in the world. Staggeringly this recognised UNESCO World Heritage Site holds three times the diversity of species than the Amazon rainforest.
Great White Shark Cage Diving
Great white shark cage diving is an experience like no other. To get up close to the ocean's number one predator in its natural environment is a humbling experience you will never forget.
Horse Riding in the Cape
Enjoy exploring the dramatic landscapes of South Africa on horseback, an experience to be included on any visit.
Paragliding over Hermanus and Walkerbay
Take an unforgettable flight over Hermanus and Walkerbay with experienced and professional pilots. With easy take off and landing spots, all you need is a warm jumper and a sense of adventure!
Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve
Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve is the largest game reserve in the Southern Cape and is in the perfect location for anyone who wants to experience a one day, big game viewing experience along the Garden Route.
Robberg Peninsula Walk
The Robberg Peninsula is an outcrop of land from the western side of Plettenberg Bay. The Peninsula is now a nature reserve and a marine protected area which makes for spectacular scenery, wildlife, flora and fauna.
Sea Kayaking at Walker Bay
Explore the stunning coastline of WalkerBay and see some of its abundant marine life at close range. All of the guides are extremely experienced and after a short training session, you will head out to the Marine Reserve for a unique and fun experience.
Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Center
Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Center at Plettenberg Bay offers guests a truly unique wildcat experience as they are taken on a guided tour of cheetah, leopard, serval, caracal and other wildcats, baboons and birds.
Whale watching on the Western Cape
Southern right whales visit the Western Cape from about June to December every year. These beautiful gentle giants congregate to the shores of Hermanus all the way along the coast line towards Plettenberg Bay.
Location & directions
Hermanus, Garden Route, South Africa
Birkenhead House & Villa are situated in Hermanus in South Africa, approximately 120km (75 miles) from Cape Town. Perched high on the cliffs of Hermanus, overlooking Walker Bay, is the magnificent Birkenhead House with expansive vistas of the Overberg Mountains.
How to get there
The nearest airport is Cape Town International, an eleven and a half hour international flight. The hotel is 128km away, an hour and a half by car. Transfers by car or helicopter can be arrange by Birkenhead House.