A spoiling small hotel overlooking the sea in a charming fishing village, with an outstanding restaurant plus two separate villas (sleeping 4)”
There’s really no need to leave the hotel if you fall into full-on relax mode. But if you want a change of scene, stroll along white-sand beaches, watch local fishermen tend their traditional crayfish pots, potter around colourful art galleries, and bird watch in nearby nature reserves.
- Gorgeous, sparkly sea views from the restaurant and deck
- The main hotel is perfect for romance - no kids, and a secluded pool court for relaxing
- The two villas are great for families with older kids: independent, with kitchens, pools and beach below
- Paternoster is a memorable, off-the-tourist-track destination, popular with weekending Cape Towners but few others
- We loved sea-kayaking alongside dolphins, seals and whales
- New ownership in 2022 means some changes are afoot - we'll keep you posted
- While teens are welcome in the pool villas, the main hotel (and the overall vibe) is a grown up one
- Not all rooms are sea-facing, and ground-floor rooms open onto the pool courtyard, so are less private
- Two resident cats - take note if you have allergies
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- 12 rooms
- Restaurant & bar (open daily)
- Teens welcome in Pool Villas
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Concierge Service
The 10 suites are chic, calm spaces, all slightly different. Mohair blankets and Tretchikoff prints add texture and colour to crisp, and there are comfy kingsize beds plus the occasional antique dressing table or armoire. All the mod cons are in place, including Smart TVs with a film library, A/C, hairdryers, baths as well as showers, and under-tile heating.
It's worth upgrading to a Luxury Superior Suite for a private patio/courtyard, especially if you get one with a sea view; #5 and 7 are the quietest. The ultimate room is the Superior Seaview Suite; you can watch the sun set from your private balcony. Note, all rooms on the ground floor open directly onto the sheltered pool courtyard.
If you're coming with kids over 12, or as a group, we'd recommend booking one (or both) of the Two-bedroom Pool Villas. Located about 1km from the main house, overlooking Gaatjies beach, they can legitimately claim to be the best self-catering in the village. Each has two kingsize (or twin) bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, an open plan kitchen and living area, outside barbecue and outdoor shower, as well as a small private infinity pool. Villa 1 has a slightly larger living space and a lock up garage, while Villa 2 offers on-site parking.
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- DVD player
- Ipod dock
- Safe box
Paternoster has become a magnet for foodies. There's a clutch of excellent local eateries (reception can advise), and of course the hotel's own restaurant remains excellent (be sure to book ahead). The menu has changed since our visit, but still focuses on local ingredients and West Coast specialities, with a sushi menu to boot. Our highlights were the linefish (kingklip) with summer salsa and spicy tomato sauce, the tender beef fillet with butternut puree, and the dessert: a standout dark chocolate pavé with ginger mousse and strawberry and mint granita. We were really impressed by how well the unusual flavours worked together.
Breakfast is a more casual affair - a hearty buffet of pastries, fruits, yoghurts and cereals. Though the two Pool Villas have the option of being self-catering, breakfast is included and is served in each house.
- Beach picnics (beachnics)
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Vegetarian menu
- Walk along the white-sand shoreline, browse local bric-a-brac shops, and potter in small art galleries
- Kayak in the bay as the sun rises. It's a great time to spot seals, dolphins and birds (cormorants, oyster catchers, Arctic terns, penguins). You may even see southern right whales close to shore during their migration (August to November)
- Day-trip to see the carpets of wild daisies, wildlife and bird hides in the West Coast National Park, or take a 4x4 tour through the unspoilt, natural wilderness and rocky coves of the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve at Tietiesbaai
- Kitesurfing, snorkelling and scuba diving, horse riding, and mountain- and quad-biking are all available locally
- Relax at the spa, which offers massage, aromatherapy, marine algae body wraps and more
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Horse riding
- Mountain biking
- Museums / galleries
- Plantlife / flora
- Quad biking
- Scuba diving
- Shopping / markets
- Whale watching
- Wine tasting
Abalone House welcomes children aged 12+.
Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
The two-bedroom villas are perfect for families with teenage kids. Bedrooms can be set up with twin beds, and they each have a private pool, kitchen and living room (with Netflix and good WiFi).
Abalone House & Pool Villas is in Paternoster on the Cape West Coast of South Africa, 1.5 hours north of Cape Town.
Fly into Cape Town International Airport (155km). It’s served by flights from all over the world - click on the links below for more information.
From the Airport
Hire a car - Paternoster is around 1.5 hours' drive. See our car rental recommendations. The roads are good if a little boringly straight for kilometres at a time.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to South Africa and getting around
- Cape Town International 155.0 km CPT
- Beach 0.1 km
- Shops 0.2 km
- Restaurant 0.2 km