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“Vitamin Sea in Hermanus”
Review of Birkenhead House

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Birkenhead House
Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Hermanus
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 February 2014

Pole position on the cliff tops overlooking the swirling surf of Walker Bay, there is no better place to wallow in the copious ozone of Hermanus. Quite apart from the breathtaking presentation of the property, it is the staff that really make the genuine holiday experience. Nothing is too much trouble, there is always time for a friendly chat and down to the last waiter, there is a genuine personal mantra about the place. Bar a few vintage wines, it is a completely all inclusive experience. Do not think for one moment that they have cut corners. The cuisine was fresh in ideas, original and delicious. The wine and cocktail list was superlative in its generosity. The breakfast on the cliff terrace were spectacular. Our little stay, included the General Manager Shane personally guiding us out into the rip tides and body surfing for the afternoon. What other hotel would or even could offer that ? Other activities included jogging along the stunning cliff tops to Grotto Beach and out to the lagoon as well as a morning white shark and seal watching off Dyer Island in Gaansbai. The suites are all eclectic in shape and size but with an overriding theme of the sea. Turn down included copious candles and of course the roar of the ocean was omnipresent. A few days here, inhaling the special ionic charge of the kelp filled sea spray and the cobwebs of everyday life completely disappear. Advice: Hang around in the hotel and the cliff tops and nearby beaches below, save the retail therapy for Cape Town. Hermanus town for shopping was disappointing. Yes, at first glance this hotel seems expensive but just a few days here is the equivalent of a month elsewhere. So you do the Maths !!!!

Room Tip: For total sea go for rooms 4 and 5. They hang off the cliffs !! My favourite was actually Room 10. H...
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank edwardgounie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 February 2014

I can't begin to imagine life without having the experience of staying at Birkenhead.

My wife and I stayed at here for 3 nights, in September, for our honeymoon. And let's just say it did not disappoint.

Service: As flawless as can be. Felt like a king the entire time. Friendly and helpful staff. My wife is a big fan of Moscow Mules (who isn't really?) which includes vodka + ginger beer + limes. Problem was they didn't have ginger beer at the hotel. Major problem. Everyone needs some Moscow Mule action on their honeymoon. The hotel quickly went to the town's grocery store to buy the ginger beer and when we returned to the hotel after a day of walking around town, they surprised us with Moscow Mules at the bar, just for us. Classy.

Food/Drink: Every meal at the hotel was fantastic. Be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, all meals were 5 star. We're talking poached eggs, asian crispy steak, beef sirloin, calamari, spring rolls, smoked salmon, gnoochi, cake, brownies, cookies any food you could possibly image. Perfect. We ended up staying at the hotel for all our meals after the first day as the local restaurants simply couldn't compete with the quality offered at Birkenhead. Regarding drinks, please see Moscow Mule above.

Room/Bed: Large room, huge bathroom, comfy bed, balcony. We were able to whale watch from our balcony, which was such a unique experience. Can't say I've ever done that before. Every night we had champagne, roses, strawberries for our fancy. Dark liquors were always around, for free, which I took up most nights (reminder, this was our honeymoon). Bed was large and very soft. Pillows were actually mini clouds. We did have the hot water stop one afternoon, as compensation, they gave us two free massages. I would go without hot water for weeks to get another one of their outstanding massages.

Overall: The hotel is small and therefore never loses it's feel of charm, romanticism or quaintness. There's a great walk along the water and the cliffs into town. Saw tons of wildlife and even some whales while walking around the hotel's area. There was always an adventure to be found. Great White cage diving is also a must in the area, which Birkenhead helps organize for it's guest. It was probably the most intense moment of my life, sitting in the icy water, in a crude cage, watching 20 foot great whites slam into the boat frantically trying to catch the bait. Just writing this gave me the chills.

Anyways, you can not go to South Africa without going to the Birkenhead House. Take my word for it. Or else you're missing out.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MarKJWilliams1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2014

Spend an amazing time at this wonderful hotel. The service there is excellent. The spa treatments like message worse trying and were unforgettable.
And I was truly surprised to see my car being washed and cleaned on the parking spot of the hotel.
It was amazing!!!
I do recommend the stay in this hotel!!!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank 13Anastasia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2014

I used to run along the coastal path past this place every morning when I was a backpacker hanging around in Hermanus and wonder what it would be like to actually stay. It looked so iconic perching on the cliff above Voelklip with its gorgeous white sun loungers. Ten years later I returned as a guest with my husband and some friends and I can say it was well worth the wait! We stayed in the villa slightly along from the house/hotel and we all absolutely loved it. The villa is all about space and personal service, like a really high-end catered ski chalet but at the sea-side. The detail that goes into everything is awe inspiring but all done in such a way we almost instantly felt at home. One night served as an appetiser but a longer stay would be more fulfilling. I could wax lyrical about all the aspects of enjoyment but suffice to say that these guys just get it. And the staff get it. Therefore we, as guests, were totally free to enjoy it. Thanks a million for a memorable experience.

Room Tip: Rooms 1 and 3 are the largest. The villa is perfect for groups to enjoy their own space with the ser...
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Reviewer2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2014

We stayed in Birkenhead House for 2 nights in Nov 2013 as part of a tour around Western Cape. We wished we had stayed longer - and we will next time. The personal service was really what we liked best, with every staff member going out of their way to get to know us personally and to look after our every need. The next best thing here was the food, and actually it was a quite a surprise to find that we had full board (we obviously didn't read the small point) and 3 absolutely wonderful meals each day, all inclusive, together with a selection of fine wines. Quality of food and it's presentation was first class.

With the great food and service, it was difficult to see a fault in the hotel, but our room wasn't one of the best in the hotel, so next time we will make sure we get a finer view. We will return!

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank ViennaJohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2014

We stayed in this hotel for our last night on our honeymoon, if I'd known how amazing this hotel was I would have booked for longer. All I can say is that my husband and I are going back.
From the moment we got there we were made to feel special, from them taking our bags while we were shown round the hotel with champagne, from our own waiter that was with us all day and evening. We had a bottle of champagne waiting for us in our room and when we came back from our evening meal, there was a hot, petaled bath waiting for us with chocolate strawberries and wine.
The room was gorgeous with a huge four poster bed and bathroom.
The meals were delicious and come as part of the price which we were aware of when booking through an agent. There is three course lunches. and on the evening meal the chef came out and told us about the starters, mains and any specials, it was lovely as he was passionate about the food!
This hotel looks a little pricy at first, but you couldn't stay anywhere better.
Look out for the whales from the balacony!

Room Tip: The hotel will put you in the best room they can. All the rooms are diffent, but all I'm sure w...
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Rebecca J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2014

We stayed here in January. Our three rooms had a totally different style, all unique and interesting! The staff was friendly and helpful. They had a transfer to Hermanus. Lots of nice photo books and art in all rooms!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank eleni88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Birkenhead House

Address: Cnr of 7th 11th Street | Voelklip, Hermanus 7200, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Western Cape > Overberg District > Hermanus
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Hermanus
#1 Romantic Hotel in Hermanus
#2 Luxury Hotel in Hermanus
#2 Family Hotel in Hermanus
#4 Business Hotel in Hermanus
Price Range: £480 - £814 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Birkenhead House 5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perched on the Hermanus cliffs, the regal Birkenhead House overlooks 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. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Birkenhead House & Villa Hotel Hermanus
Birkenhead House And Villa

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