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“Superb”
Review of Birkenhead House

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Birkenhead House
Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Hermanus
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 25, 2007

Just returned from a wonderful two night stay at the Birkenhead House. Everything was first class from the moment we arrived and were greeted with champagne and a tour of the house. There are a variety of rooms at the house so if you are booking well in advance check the web site out and pick your room to suit. Room one is right at the front and seems to have the best views but we were quite happy to be mid house (room 7) which also had good views.

The room was spacious with a large four poster bed with good quality linen, TV, DVD, mini-bar, safe, bath robes and complimentary champagne. The bathroom was very large with walk in shower, bath, twin sinks etc all of a high quality. The room also had two areas for relaxing, one at the rear (via bathroom) which doesn't have views of the sea and is rather enclosed by the adjacent buildings but nonetheless quite private. The area at the front (via the bedroom) has great views and chairs for relaxing and taking in the views.

We didn't use the pools as it was quite chilly when we were there but they looked clean and well looked after. The lounge area was very comfortable with great views out to sea. All the meals were excellent and served by friendly staff. Indeed, I found all the staff to be friendly, they all went out of their way to ensure everything was just right for us during our stay including arranging trips if required.

The hotel is right on the cliff path and takes about an hour to walk into Hermanus although we didn't find a need other than for spotting the whales. Can walk in to town and get picked up by the hotel staff from the Marine hotel.

All in all a great stay, the small touches around the house make this a very memorable stay.

Would not hesitate to recommend the Birkenhead House.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled with family
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2  Thank hogkite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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373 - 379 of 417 reviews

Reviewed November 18, 2007

My wife & I stayed in Birkenhead Villa ( the hotel itself was full). It was fantastic on all accounts & we are glad we were in the villa rather than the hotel, as it felt more intimate & special. We used the hotel for drinks, lunch, lounging etc & would have been more than happy there as well. We only had 2 nights & will return to stay longer.

Design in the villa is modern, with clean lines but not overly minimalist - v comfortable in stylish way. Position out of Hermanus town is great, even though it is not as isolated as you might think. Right on the ocean, great for whale watching. The basis is something we normally avoid like the plague - fully inclusive, bed, breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, laundry etc. But because it is so small it works really well. There is no institutionalised, big hotel, impersonal service feel. It all feels bespoke. Not a buffet in sight, thank God.

Room - good design, well furnished, excellent large bed, great large bathroom. High quality fittings, big bath, huge walk in shower. Top marks.

Lounges etc. Top marks again - enough room never to feel crowded. Good quality sofas, open fire in the evening etc. Helpful but unintrusive staff. You are made to feel like it is your home for your stay. Excellent uninterrupted sea views. Too cold to use the infinity pool but it all looked great.

Food - lunch fantastic, dinner even better, good wine at both. The cook & waiters were good, friendly & were interested in making sure you enjoyed it all.

Overall, we will return for sure. Couldn't be better.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Amanjunkie2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2007

2 nights in October.

1. The strong points:
a) Personal attention - and genuine concern for wellbeing.
You are made to feel like a special house guest. Nothing is too much trouble - e.g. at very short notice they rummaged up a wet suit and surf board for my partner and, later, even went into town to personally download some photos onto DVD at a local shop.
On departure we were waived off by most of the staff! The ratio of staff to guests must be around two to one.

b) The rooms and housekeeping.
Immaculate large room (9) with huge bathroom. Petals on the bed upon arrival! Housekeeping in like a flash as soon as they saw us leave our room - both in the morning and for the downturn service in the evening.

c) The view.
In a word - breathtaking. We went specifically in whale season and were not disappointed. Sometimes as many as seven right in front of the hotel.

2. The weak points:
a) Immediate location and construction.
The hotel is in a residential area with a communal car park on one side and houses on the other and across the road. Upon arrival,as we were shown through the hotel, there were pneumatic drills going off at a plot across the road and even as we were speaking with our host on the front terrace admiring for the first time the great view , we could hardly hear due to industrial tile cutting/grinding next door. Our host did not even apologise for the noise. It was only after I complained, that action was taken by the host , whereupon after some time, the work appeared to be relocated to the rear of the next door property.
We spent most of our time away from the hotel during daylight so I cannot say if the noise continued. It should be noted, however, that there appears to be a fair amount of construction work in the neighbourhood. I would be aware of this in case it is a problem in the future.

b) Food.
Sometimes great - rack of karou lamb. Sometimes very bland - paella. However, the fully inclusive concept works well and I agree with a previous reviewer that the inclusive wines are very good.

c) The pools.
Small!

My review is in the context of the price - which is hefty by South African standards. I would certainly return to experience again the outstanding personal service, wonderful rooms and great view but I would also be sure to check in advance on the construction situation.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank volcanoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2007

We stayed here for 3 nights on our honeymoon, i wish it could have been longer. The setting of the hotel is stunning, perched on a cliff edge on the Atlantic Ocean. The whales were frolicking as we ate our breakfast/lunch out on the terrace, and without asking binoculars were proffered for a better look. This is just one way the staff make a stay here so special. On our last night we were shown to our table in a separate lounge next to a log fire and surrounded by rose petals. All the staff are welcoming, polite, smiley and tirelessly there to cater to your every whim. The food is simple, that is to say not fussy, and beautifully cooked with the best ingredients. We had Room 6 with a wrap-around balcony overlooking the ocean and the hotel pool. Fantastically comfortable bed, free-standing bath and open shower. Whilst a stay is not cheap, once here everything is included (minibar, all food and drinks, laundry), except the reserve wine list, but to be honest there are plenty of fantastic wines on the main wine list. I would recommend also making the most of the spa (not included in the price), i can recommend the indian head massage and the deluxe manicure but there are plenty of other treatments to be tried out. As you can read i cannot speak highly enough of this fantastic hotel, if you're in Cape Town make sure you book a couple of nights here at the very least.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank repchef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2007

My family and I just stayed at the Birkenhead House in Hermanus. unfortuneately, we only stayed one night and how disappointed I was that we did not reserve 2 or more nights. staying at the Birkenhead house is truly an experience. The "hotel" only has 11 rooms and we had room 1 and 2 facing the ocean. the rooms are exquisite. each room has individually selected furniture and art. we were there in the winter season and when we climbed into bed, we had hot water bottles at our feet. we were greated by Daniel, the manager and were served champagne. we spent most of our day walking on the trail around the property and watching the surfers. since we were there in the winter, we missed the whales but it didnt matter since the hotel is so spectacular. the floors are all marble, with several infinity pools. the lounge chairs are so comfortable that it is hard to move. the living room area, with a fireplace, offered wonderful reading material, and any type of drinks and cigars. at night, the house is lit up with small laterns and candles, making the atmosphere extremely romantic.
the food is excellent and the service impeccable. it was wonderful being there in the winter since there were very few people and we really felt we had the house to ourselves. the service is so personal that you truly do feel you live here. The owners have exceeded my expectations and we are making every effort to return again, this time for several days.
While the Birkenhead House is expensive, it is worth every dollar and more.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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1  Thank dianeg50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2007

My wife and I were looking for a romantic beach resort to get married at at the end of our African safari. Our agent picked the Birkenhead and she could not have done better. The property is absolutely beautiful, the rooms fantastic, the staff just so incredibly attentive and warm. The food was amazing and you met with your chef every lunch and dinner to discuss the menu. Whatever activity you want to do, the staff will arrange it for you. What ever you need they will get it for you. Whatever you want to eat or drink, they have it or will get it.
Our wedding was just the most special and moving experience and it was all due to the Birkenhead staff.
Hermanus itself isn't much to see, but the sea cliff walk from the hotel into town should not be missed. The seascape is just breathtaking with a new vista around every curve.
I hope somebody at the hotel reads this because I cannot thank them enough for their efforts. They are just amazing!!!!!

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank Galindenba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2007

Stayed here for a few nights in March 2005 and had a wonderful time. The service, the location and the house itself are all fabulous.

We probably didn't take full advantage of the place as this was the last few days of our holiday so we were content to mostly sit by the pools, linger over the amazing food and wine and get generally spolit by the staff (and they really do spoil you).

The house was less than half full the whole time we were there and this suited us fine as it made for a more private experience. Although there are only a small number of rooms, I think if it were full it would feel a little crowded.

All in all probably the best place I've ever stayed.

  • Stayed: March 2005, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank miss_tilney
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
Location: South Africa > Western Cape > Overberg District > Hermanus
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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 Romantic Hotel in Hermanus
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Hermanus
#2 Luxury Hotel in Hermanus
#2 Family Hotel in Hermanus
#4 Business Hotel in Hermanus
Price Range: $617 - $1,069 (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 And Villa
Birkenhead House & Villa Hotel Hermanus

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