Hmmmm, Hermanus. What a gorgeous little seaside town. Just like the flyer says, the air really does taste like champagne from the surrounding Hemel en Aarde Valley vineyards carried on the wind and mixed in with the scents of the sea. Tim and I regularly escape to this quiet little village for whale watching or just for a break in our routine, and the one place we’ve visited twice so far is also our favourite: Ocean Eleven Guesthouse. Situated right on the cliffs and with breathtaking, award winning views, this is one spot you should really put on your travel radar.
Both times that we’ve stayed here, we’ve been lucky enough to stay in the Honeymoon suite which has its own private balcony and sweeping views over the bay. One of the first things we do when we get here is to set ourselves up outside on the balcony with some wine and a good book. Now that’s how to start a weekend away! Everything here is white so that the sapphire blue of the ocean, which is visible from almost every angle at this spot, is the most prized highlight.
The award winning view in question comes from the bathroom window over the bathtub, where one can relinquish the stresses of the day in the stunning tub while overseeing the waves crashing against the cliffs and hopefully a whale or two. To die for. The decor is in a coastal, French style without being overtly whale-centric (always a kitsch element of other spots in Hermanus). The service is always on point, more like a small hotel than a guest house. They arrange lunch or dinner for you anywhere in the village as well as any other sightseeing activities you’d like. There’s tons of little extra touches in the gorgeous suite which I love (an entire caraffe filled and re-filled with Ferrero Roche gets my vote every time), there’s a walk in closet, a private lounge and all the finishes are super luxe.
Out of whale season, Hermanus is much quieter and less touristy, which Tim and I love. Although not getting to see any whales seems to defeat the point of visiting, a relaxing and refreshing time is always had here. There’s not much to do in this town aside from eat, drink wine, relax and spend quality time together – our recipe for a perfect getaway.
The highlight of staying here (and we’ve stayed at quite a few guesthouses in Hermanus) is definitively the breakfast spread. Aside from a rambling buffet table with anything from fruit salad to homemade granola to cheese plates, you can also order a hot breakfast. Tim always chooses the omelette with alternating fillings and I can’t say no to a perfectly made cinnamon pancake. They’re truly great cooks here (we wish they offered dinner too) and they take the time to give your stay your money’s worth. After indulging over a huge breakfast with those stunning views, it’s a quick walk to the centre of town. From Ocean’s Eleven you can walk straight out the back door onto the cliff path for a lovely stroll along the coast. Perfect for morning walks and sunsets on the edge of the water. Divine.
There’s not much to say other than this is one of the best places to stay in Hermanus, hands down. And it’s all that is needed for a much needed break away with your loved one.
Best start packing!