When living in a big city like Cape Town, sometimes it’s nice to get away from it all. In South Africa, one of the best places for a relaxing escape is One Marine Drive in Hermanus. Located just outside of Cape Town, this is the perfect spot to take in the incredible natural beauty of the coast.
When I heard about this small, family-run boutique hotel in the heart of Hermanus, it was the perfect excuse to skip town and hit the beach.
Here’s my experience staying at One Marine Drive in Hermanus.
Getting To Hermanus
Famous for its wildlife and whale watching, the city of Hermanus is a two-hour drive out of Cape Town. The trip there will take you through some gorgeous scenery before the road ends at this cozy escape on the Western Cape of South Africa.
Helpful tip: Be sure to stop at Peregrine Farm Stall along the drive for some local bites and a coffee break!
Arriving at One Marine Drive in Hermanus feels like coming home. This five-star hotel has just five rooms and a staff that is beyond accommodating.
It’s a breath of fresh air compared to staying at big chain hotels.
While this place is centrally located, it feels like you’re a million miles away from anywhere. The secluded courtyard garden is the perfect place to lie back and forget about the world. You’ll find super comfy loungers beside the pool, and during the winter, there’s a lit wood burning fireplace in the living room, which is perfect for warm nights in front of the fire.
One Marine Drive Boutique Hotel is part of the Cape Collection, which also includes the award-winning Blackheath Lodge located in Sea Point, Cape Town.
The Rooms at One Marine Drive
Every one of the five luxury suites at the One Marine Drive Boutique Hotel is named after women in the owners’ families—so cute! Each one faces the ocean and has a private balcony with a breathtaking view of the coastline.
This place has all of the mod cons, like powerful Wi-Fi and satellite TV. Guests also receive complimentary iPads and mobile phones, which is very handy if you’re traveling light and don’t want to swap out for a South African SIM card.
The Food at One Marine Drive
One Marine Drive Boutique Hotel does a tasty homemade breakfast with fresh local ingredients served with a side of panoramic sea views. Since the place is so small, 24/7 service is not available. You’re on your own for lunch and dinner, but fortunately Hermanus has some great options all over.
For a quick bite and a shot of caffeine, Betty Blue Bistro is a local hot spot that caters to vegan and gluten-free tastes. If you’re a seafood fan, this little town is heaven on earth. The Pear Tree and La Pentola are popular seafood spots; you can also just wander around to see what catches your eye.
There are a ton of cute places along that harbor, which is where you’ll want to head to explore the heart of Hermanus anyway.
Activities in Hermanus
While Hermanus might not be a household name outside of South Africa, it’s actually widely considered to be the best whale-watching spot in the world. Try to visit during whale season (July to December).
The Cliff Path, which is seven and a half miles long, offers amazing coastline views of the 5,000-some Southern Right Whales that pass by. You can check them out from above with a once-in-a-lifetime helicopter trip over the South Atlantic or opt for a whale-watching cruise.
Whale watching is one of the top draws, but it’s definitely not the only thing that Hermanus has going for it. This hip town has cool shops, galleries, restaurants, and an amazing nightlife.