A birthday to remember in Hermanus

The last few weeks have been fairly anxious ones with big changes causing all sorts of disarray in my life. My birthday fell smack-bang in the middle of it all and I was really worried the occasion was going to be undone by stress.

Thankfully, past-Sally seemed to anticipate a weekend of self-care was going to be sorely needed by future me and planned something very special.

Which is how the Wild Child and I ended up at The Marine this past weekend.

Anyone who has read my blog knows my obsession with Agatha Christie. Stepping over the threshold of The Marine is like walking into the pages of a Poirot mystery. The white-washed hotel is set on a plunging cliff overlooking the sea. It was easy to imagine the fictional Belgian detective strolling across the lawns exercising his little grey cells, the waves crashing below.

I was immediately struck by a sense of timelessness. From the monochromatic tiled floors and huge arched windows overlooking the ocean, to the comforting creak of the wooden floor under the carpet, every detail evoked a sense of old world charm and elegance.

Full disclosure: Hermanus isn’t exactly overflowing with reasonably priced accommodation, especially during whale season. So instead of trying to find sea view accommodation for two nights that wouldn’t obliterate our savings, we decided to splurge on one night somewhere really nice that offered a special winter rate. This turned out to be the best decision ever.

As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by whales in the bay. Past-Sally had cleverly made a reservation at Bientang’s Cave, a restaurant tucked inside an ancient sea cave. Our table was right on the rocks, where just steps away, two juvenile Southern Right whales frolicked in the shallows.


After lunch, we decided to head down the cliff path to check out The Marine’s tidal pool, which was teeming with urchins and anemones and other pretty things. Then we braved the winter sun and spent the rest of the afternoon in the hotel’s solar heated pool.

While we were away, the staff left some birthday treats in the room as well as a very generous voucher we could use to upgrade our room, book a spa treatment or redeem at Origins restaurant. We decided to have dinner at Origins, which was the right choice as our seafood dishes were absolutely delicious.

Marine pool

The old-fashioned feel, spectacular cliff-top location, and warm hospitality were exactly what I needed to restore my spirits. The whales were there to see us off, and we hung around to enjoy a delicious gelato as the majestic creatures breached in the sunlight.

It was a very good birthday.


Some more pics from our stay:

Tidal pool

Hotel bar

Bientang's cave

2 thoughts on “A birthday to remember in Hermanus

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