A whale of a time in Hermanus
As sleek, stylish and eminently cool as a James Bond villain’s hideaway, Birkenhead House is the ultimate Cape escape. Perched high on a cliff just outside Hermanus, the country’s whale-watching hotspot, this boutique bolthole is just the ticket if you’re looking for a tranquil escape away from Cape Town’s hustle. The view from the terrace will leave you speechless, and from June to November, breaching Southern right whales are thrown in for free. And if you can drag your eyes away from the scenery, feast them on Liz Biden’s stunning modern minimalist interiors, guaranteed to make you feel like the ultimate Bond girl….
At the lodge
Step into the glass-walled lounge and enter a streamlined world of soothing taupes and cool marble, spiced up perfectly by a couple of chi-chi chandeliers and vibrant rugs. A long, clear pool runs the length of the central courtyard whilst the main infinity pool balances on the cliff top, surrounded by whiter-than-white loungers. The terrace and its stunning views provides the perfect setting for a spot of gourmet cuisine at any time of the day or night, or something chilled from the well-stocked honesty bar.
The 11 suites are romantic, seductive and worthy of every kind of celebration. White walls, fluffy bed linen and buff floors are offset by warm baroque flourishes and a touch of the Cape Cod beach chic makes each feel relaxed and homely. Some have balconies and sea views, others have four-poster beds and enormous bath tubs – we can’t choose a favourite! Expect rose petals on the floor, hot water bottles on chilly evenings and fresh flowers. They really know how to spoil you here….
Aside from whale-watching and exploring the pretty town of Hermanus, the hotel can also organise scuba and shark diving trips, kayaking, hiking trails and golf. For wine lovers, the Hemel-en-Aarde is on the doorstep and Franschhoek and Stellenbosch are only a short drive away. Eating could also be considered an activity at Birkenhead and we highly recommend leaving a little bit of space (and time) for some of the delicious Asian-inspired cuisine. And if all you can manage is a bit of sunbathing and champagne-sipping, then you’ve come to the right place.