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“Great High End Inn”
Review of Birkenhead House

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Birkenhead House
Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Hermanus
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 28, 2014 via mobile

Wonderful food and experience! Loved the staff, view, and set-up. We walked into the room impressed and left impressed as well. The food was incredible at every meal and they accommodated well for my gluten free diet. We saw many whales on the comfortable porch that overlooked the sea, and had a great time.

Stayed: July 2014
Thank Nick G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 3, 2014

This is the most magnificent boutique hotel experience you could ever have. Luxurious rooms with the most panoramic spectacular view. With your own chef and full 3 course lunch and dinner, it is incredible. With all the staff so warm and friendly, I felt like I was at home with family!

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kerrin D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2014

We have fallen under the Birkenhead House spell.

We debated for years about coming – it seemed expensive; were the chandeliers just a bit much; were the other guests going to be a bit snooty, its a bit far out of the town...?

We are glad that we did come, because it is a magical place; its worth the money, the chandeliers are fabulous *darling*, the other guests are wonderful and why stay in the town, when you can have a cliff top location and hear the waves 24/7?!

We were lucky enough to get Room 1 this time (thanks guys!!), which I gasped at as I walked in. Just perfection and the view......well....<sigh>.......writing this at my office desk in West Yorkshire (after a thunderstorm. In summer), I smile at the memories.

I also smile at remembering arriving at BH. The warmth from all the team is wonderful. The welcome drink and then walking through the building towards the front as you shed the layers of the day, and arrive at the view on the terrace......wonderful. The continued smiling faces, the slick service and the crisp, freshly ironed sheets. These are the memories that people can’t take from you, and last a lifetime.

It does seem expensive, but for us, Hermanus town centre & wineries are more of a fantastic long lunch place, so to have your evening meal included in the price is great. The food is exquisite and caters for all tastes. We ate at wineries for lunch <hic> that the lovely guys arranged transport for, and then we came back full, having drunk too much wine to a sumptuous evening meal. Take your “fat clothes” to wear at the end of the stay!!

The walk into town is wonderful if only for the chance to view into people’s houses and see how it is to live in Hermanus. I am very nosey. The cliff top path is safe and a good walk. We also found a new beach (we had never been!), which is turning left out of the hotel and walking for 10 minutes on the cliff path. This beach is divine. No one on it, and you can walk for miles. This is our new favourite place.

Hermanus is about wonderful views and surroundings, relaxing long lunches, walks, wine, good food, and company, and going to Birkenhead puts the cherry ontop of a phenomenal cake.

As always, we shall see you again Birkenhead House Team. Many thanks for the hospitality.

Room Tip: Room 1 - front of the hotel, the views are phenomenal.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Coffee&applepie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2014

I must confess I lose any modicum of professional objectivity when I enter one of the Royal Portfolio establishments. It has to do with the perfect combination of high art décor, extreme luxury combined with personable warmth, which is balanced with respect for privacy. My royal welcome at Birkenhead House (www.birkenheadhouse.co.za) starts with a choice of pink champagne, complementary wine, snacks, tea, coffee, beautifully bottled water and a gift notebook. My host gives a gracious tour of the hotel, then sensing the tone leaves me enthralled to explore on my own.

Personal bias aside, I notice that every guest I encounter has fallen under the Birkenhead spell, and couples wander around with glazed looks and happy grins. We gather spontaneously at the pool on the cliff edge to watch a school of dolphins swim freely by. Birkenhead House has prime location for whale watching and is situated right in the floral rich fynbos region of Hermanus in the Western Cape. With a higher diversity of species than any place on earth, the renowned floral kingdom is accessible simply by walking out the door and up the mountain behind the guesthouse. In front of the hotel is a pretty swimming beach, from which there is access to a 5km coastal boardwalk into town where a complementary shuttle can collect guests for the return.

Guests may choose to stay in the front, middle or upper house, and each faces views of sea or mountains. I choose to stay in room 6 for its wrap-around verandah with both ocean and mountain views. The vast suite has high shuttered windows and three sets of wide glass double doors. The cool, thick, marbled floors are covered with an antique teal carpet. Drama is added with an oversized carved headboard in dark wood, while zebra skin coverings add African flair. Liz Biden’s signature chandelier and oversized everything bring glamour to the scheme.

The characteristically expansive bathroom has a freestanding Victorian-style bath facing double doors and it is set up against a high sash window with mountain views.

There is underfloor heating and air-conditioning which may be set to one’s own comfort. Every traveler convenience has been thoughtfully provided, including mosquito repellant, sunblock and swimming towels. A large flat screen television offers DSTV and there is a DVD library.

Accommodation Experience
A row of 17 candles has been lit to show the way to dinner. A creative four course menu has been designed by a talented young chef, and it includes a snazzy take on a Nicoise salad using seared tuna. We are offered home baked bread, an intensely flavoured mushroom oup, fresh sole or top quality beef and a heavenly crème brule.

I return to a candle lit room and don the silk gown and climb happily into the soft mongrammed linen. The hotel is quiet and I only hear the sounds of the waves and a gentle fountain. I open my double doors to the sea. Though I am tired I am reluctant to let go of this perfect experience. I store up each sense, from the cool breeze coming off the sea, to the cotton linen, to the sophisticated perfumed smells. I am fortifying myself against the stress which I know will be there for me when I leave this serene haven. I comfort myself that I will be able to draw on this memory for many years to come, picturing myself back here in this happy place until one day I do return to be mesmerised again under their pleasing magic.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled solo
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1  Thank Berenice M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2014

Started a 2 week South African trip at Birkenhead House and it made a difficult comparison for everywhere else we went. Set on a cliff overlooking the ocean, our room, number 1, let us look right out to the ocean from a private balcony. Every meal was delicious and we ate there 3 meals a day for 4 days. Meals included a list of house wines but there was also an extensive wine list with both reasonable and expensive (by SA standards) selections. The chefs were willing to make requested dishes and the menu included all of the foods we had heard about before arriving in S.A., like springbok and kingklip. Service was outstanding as both Shane and Kristi always seemed to be around whenever you needed them. We used Alvin as a driver and he was so pleasant and helpful. We look forward to a return visit.

Room Tip: Room 1 overlooks the ocean and afford has a private balcony from which you can sit and watch all the...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank retireeWashingtonDc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2014

Heaven on Earth is, of course, the English translation for the name of the nearby Hemel en Aarde valley, but the phrase could equally apply to the Birkenhead House. We were completely wowed on arrival, and the sun wasn't even out! It wasn't whale season, either.

The location is near perfect - wonderful cliff walks on one side and not far to the fantastic Grotto beach on the other, so the fact that it is 5km from the centre of Hermanus we felt to be an advantage rather than a disadvantage, especially as the hotel staff catered to our every need.

We aim to return - hopefully in the not too distant future.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jonathan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2014

We revisited Birkenhead House , but this time stayed in the Villa. , which is almost next door . We had the most amazing room, with a balcony overlooking the sea . Plenty of cupboard and wardrobe space . Huge bathroom and plenty of fluffy white towels .
We had the choice between staying. At the Villa for food , or going to the House . Both were extremely enjoyable , with the most delicious food and wine ( their choices of wine are fantastic ) .
The staff are fabulous . Engaging , funny and eager to make your stay as enjoyable as possible .
Very enjoyable walks along the very safe , patrolled , cliff footpath .
Very nice vineyards close by . Delicious wines .
I love this place . It has exactly the right balance between casual and luxury . I can't wait to go back .

Room Tip: We had a large room in the Villa (4 I think !) . We had the windows open and I slept the best I have...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank bobbalina
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
#4 Business Hotel in Hermanus
Price Range: $523 - $1,130 (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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