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South Africa Safari

The Marine Hermanus

Hermanus, Whale Coast, Western Cape, South Africa

The Marine Hermanus
Return to Map of Overberg & Helderberg          © McGrath Collection

View images of The Marine Hermanus: Marine Images

MARINE HERMANUS RATES: Marine Hermanus Rates

The Marine Hermanus - where an expansive seascape meets dramatic mountainscape. Walker Bay has arguably the best land-based whale watching in the world, and on the towering mountain slopes one of the World's six plant kingdoms jostles for space with some of the most southerly vineyards in this hemisphere.

The Marine Hermanus is unique in its position, perched high atop the cliffs in one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Africa. With its understated luxury and sophisticated décor, the hotel boasts 42 luxury rooms and suites. Spectacular views can be captured from your bedroom window, including the best land-based whale watching in the world.

Enjoy coastal walks with exquisite views across Walker Bay, where there is nothing between you and the Antarctic, other than a few thousand miles of ocean. The "whales-eye" view of the life on the mainland is of a dramatic mountainscape overflowing with African fynbos, the indigenous Cape flora.

The Marine has a long history... Walter McFarlane, who had moved to Hermanus from nearby Elgin in the 1880's, built the Marine Hotel in 1902. The hotel started off quite modestly with a mere 21 rooms and over the years the hotel has seen numerous extensions and changes of ownership.

Following the purchase of the Marine by David Rawdon in the early 1980's and four years of painstaking renovation, thirteen years of successful management ensued. However a new custodian was required to take this grand old lady into the new millennium. Liz McGrath became the new owner of the Marine Hotel in March 1998 and so began the complete makeover of this historic hotel.

As with the sister properties of The Collection, namely The Cellars-Hohenort and The Plettenberg, the world class quality that has become the hallmark of Liz McGrath was injected into The Marine. This was achieved by using exceptionally talented designers to ensure the highest standards of style, elegance and comfort in both the bedrooms and the public areas of the hotel.

After a concerted nine-month restoration period, the Marine reopened in October 1998 as a five star hotel. In January 2000 the hotel was accepted as a member of the Relais & Chateaux Association and secured its position among the finest hotels in the world.

This grand old lady has never looked so glamorous - a fitting tribute to those who built the Marine a century ago - but now possesses all the amenities a modern sojourner could wish for.

Accommodation           For images of The Marine Hermanus, click Marine Images
The Marine has 42 individually decorated bedrooms and suites, each with its own private facilities. Commanding views extend across Walker Bay or over the beautiful internal courtyard, finely manicured gardens and the Overberg Mountains.

Peel back the silk drapes in one of the sea facing rooms to reveal the type of view dreams are made of, each a riot of the freshest, newest colours and fabrics with a real sense of escape. The bathrooms are a study in marble, chrome and luxurious deep pile toweling; the perfect recipe for relaxation amongst the bubbles.

Three exceptionally talented interior designers have worked tirelessly to ensure the highest standard of style and comfort in the bedrooms. The hotel has 42 individually decorated bedrooms and suites - each with private facilities. Many have commanding views across Walker Bay or into the beautiful internal courtyards with swimming pool and garden.

Premier Suites: Eight magnificently and individually decorated suites all have varied views of the sea. The biggest of these suites features a large Georgian style bay window, and is on two levels, which includes a spacious seating area downstairs with picture windows overlooking Walker Bay. Two of these suites have balconies, whilst five occupy a split-level and two have a working fireplace.

Suites: Four of these luxurious suites have wonderful sea views, the other being a spacious side sea view suite. Each suite has been traditionally, yet stylishly and individually decorated and has a large lounge. Two of the suites are set on a split-level, one has a balcony and one a four poster bed.

Luxury Doubles: Six of these rooms are sea view whilst one opens onto a mountain view balcony / patio which overlooks the pool and the other having a side sea view on the west wing. Three of the sea facing rooms have balconies and one is wheelchair friendly. All the rooms are magnificently and uniquely decorated in superb fabrics of floral and heavy silks.

Standard Doubles: These standard twin and double-bedded rooms offer the same exceptional style in decor as is found in the décor of the suites and luxury double rooms. None of these rooms offer a sea view, although a number offer a partial sea view. Thirteen of the rooms include a balcony, these varying in size.

Single Rooms: Both the single rooms have double beds and are stylishly decorated. One has a view of the courtyard, one has a separate shower and one only has a shower.


Stroll along the cliff hugging path to the golf club and view the miles of white sandy beach beyond. The sparkling, heated courtyard pool might beckon, perfect for catching some African sun. Wile away the remainder of your day in the Reading Room, perfect for quiet contemplation after a busy day's whale watching... a glass of champagne... or planning your onward journey.

The Orangery is the place to enjoy a cocktail or even afternoon tea with nothing between you and the South Pole - other than 3,000 miles of ocean, or relax in the Reading Room for warm, cozy fireside evenings during Winter.

Carefully tended gardens add colour and restfulness to your seaside experience.

Carchele Health and Beauty Spa
The Carchele Health and Beauty Spa at The Marine is an experience not to be missed. A comprehensive list of treatments promises an experience that soothes the body; mind and spirit to leave one feeling refreshed and revitalised. Facilities include a Steam Room and a Dynamic Hydro Bath Table for Mud and Gel Body Wrap treatments.

Feel like being daring? Carchele offers an exfoliation Sea Salt Scrub or a Body Massage next to the Tidal Pool whilst listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean. Revive your skin, purify your body, relax your mind, uplift your spirit . . . treat yourself to the health and luxury you deserve in the hands of Carchele’s experts.

Treatments include:
Decleor Facials - Waxing - Tinting - Manicure - Pedicure - Paraffin Wax Treatments - Reflexology - Massage - Aromatherapy - Scalp Therapy - Algologie Spa Body Wraps - Make-Up

Award winning Marine cuisine - an expression of two very different styles.

Seafood at the Marine
Seafood at the Marine is a bright new restaurant in the modern idiom where the only sea view will be on a plate! The atmosphere is informal and busy but with emphasis on fresh fish and great style from the kitchen theatre.

The Marine Pavilion Restaurant
The Marine Pavilion on the other hand, with glorious views of the sea and through the internal courtyard and swimming pool is more traditional in feel. It serves an array of the highest quality dishes with hints of Mediterranean and the East, that highlight the creative talents of Head Chef, Louis van Reenen.

The magnificent wall and ceiling lamps in this elegant restaurant are the originals which graced the Bathing Pavilion at Muizenberg!

About Hermanus
Fernkloof Nature Reserve has over 40 kilometres of walks in the beautiful mountains which form an imposing backdrop to the town. Boating activities and sea kayaking are all popular pursuits or treat yourself to a unique wine tour in the vineyards of Bouchard Finlayson or Hamilton Russel, two of South Africa's premier wine estates just minutes away.

Fishing Charters
The fisherman can take his pick - from rocky headlands, sandy beaches, off shore angling and lagoons, to trout fishing in the De Bos Dam.
Hemel-en-Aarde Valley and Wine Tours
The wine region lies in the Glen Vauloch Mountains on the outskirts of Hermanus. Treat your self to a unique wine tour amongst some of the southernmost vineyards in the world.
Hiking and Fynbos Viewing
Fernkloof Nature Reserve, one of the six floral kingdoms of the world. Walk on paths that hug the coastline from the new harbour to Grotto beach.
Hermanus has kilometres of pristine beaches, tidal pools and sheltered coves, as well as excellent waves for the avid surfer.
Bird Watching
A bird lover's paradise. A bird hide on the Klein River Lagoon offers glimpses of about 130 species.
Old Harbour
A focal point of the village. Take a walk down memory lane with remnants of old fishing days and the World War One Memorial with canons astride.
Perlemoen (Abalone) Hatchery
Researching the aquaculture of abalone, an edible marine mollusc, which is dived commercially, mass harvested and exported to the Far East. Daily Tours.
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
Divers may explore various reefs, the marine reserve and several wrecks along the coast.
Hermanus Golf Club and Arabella Golf Estate boast world class golf. Bowling, squash and tennis are locally accessible. For the more adventurous - why not paraglide off the top of Rotary Way. Bicycles are also available for hire.
Whale Watching
Hermanus boasts some of the best land-based whale watching in the world. Walker Bay has become the nursery and breeding ground of the Southern Right Whale from July to November.
White Shark Adventures
Full or half day educational and adventure trip viewing the sharks at close range.
Stony Point Nature Reserve at Betty's Bay - watch these Jackass Penguins come home from a-day's fishing.
Tidal Pool
Perfect for exploring the ocean's creatures.
Air Charters
Available on request for special whale watching and scenic tours of the Walker Bay coastline.
Arts and Crafts
The market at Lemms Corner on Saturday mornings provides a wonderful selection of handcrafted goods and artworks.

The following are a few of the scenic towns and village within close driving distance from Hermanus:
Danger Point
This dangerous, rocky peninsula extends about 8km out to sea and the lighthouse bears testimony to the danger it poses to passing ships. The notorious Birkenhead Rock, where the HMS Birkenhead met its fate, can be seen at low tide. Tours to the lighthouse and Birkenhead Memorial may be arranged on request.
De Kelders
Well known for shore angling, Duiwelgat Hiking Trail and several caves of archaeological interest that has recently been excavated. The rocky beaches and awesome cliffs provide some of the best vantagepoints in Walker Bay for viewing the Southern Right whales.
Dyer Island
This island, 6km off the Gansbaai coastline, was named after Samson Dyer, who resided on the island collecting guano (bird-droppings used for fertiliser), years ago. It is at present a breeding colony for Jackass Penguins and the waters around the island teem with abundant sea life, as well as the primary feeding ground of the endangered Great White Shark. Not far from Dyer is Geyers Island, a breeding ground for seals. Boat charters to Dyer Island depart daily from Gansbaai harbour.
Well-known artists and writers have settled here over the years, giving the area the status of an artist's colony. Visitors are welcome to go to the workshops and studios to see them in action or to purchase a special souvenir.

This is a peaceful country village on the banks of the Klein River just before it meets the sea in a coastal lagoon. Visit the charming English church, Stanford House and the Birkenhead Brewery.
Betty's Bay
Quaintly named after the daughter of a property developer, this town is now home to a protected colony of Jackass penguins at Stoney Point. The awe-inspiring Harold Porter Botanical Gardens lie in the mountains behind the village, offering hiking trails and paths in the spectacular surroundings. The gardens are also home to the legendary Betty's Bay leopard and 60 bird species.

About Cape Town - The most popular places to visit are Table Mountain, Cape Point and Robben Island, all wonderful experiences. Spend the day visiting Hout Bay, Camps Bay and the Waterfront, or the winelands of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl. Within the Constantia Valley explore the Groot Constantia museum, Constantia Villiage for a shopping experience, and then make a visit to the Constantia Valley wine route, where there are seven of the finest vineyards in South Africa.

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Tour the Cape: Cape Town Tours             Weather: Cape Town Weather

For tourist information and activities in the Overberg, click More Overberg
For tourist information and activities in the Western Cape, click More Western Cape
For further information about South Africa, click More South Africa

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