Abalone Hotel & Pool Villas

Paternoster, Cape Winelands & West Coast, South Africa
Book from GBP Book from £92 per night

Abalone Hotel & Pool Villas

Paternoster, Cape Winelands & West Coast, South Africa

A spoiling small hotel overlooking the sea in a charming fishing village, with an outstanding restaurant plus two separate villas (sleeping 4)

A spoiling small hotel overlooking the sea in a charming fishing village, with an outstanding restaurant plus two separate villas (sleeping 4)

In the quaint village of Paternoster, Abalone Hotel is an unexpected surprise. On the outside, this 5-star hotel fits in with the whitewashed fishermen’s cottages that line the beautiful shore. But inside, it is chic, airy and spoiling. The reception area greets you with ocean-inspired artfulness - a 'fish-scaled' bar, geometric prints reminiscent of shell patterns, cream and blue sofas to sink into. The restaurant here is a real draw, with superb seafood and a upbeat atmosphere, inside and out. In the courtyard is a pool and a lovely little spa, while upstairs are 21 suites and apartments: calm and peaceful, with the odd whimsical detail (we loved the huge jewel-toned Tretchikoff prints). There's also a pair of two-bedroom villas, overlooking Gaatjies beach 10 minutes' walk away, each with its own little pool.

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.

Highs

  • Gorgeous, sparkly sea views from the restaurant and deck
  • The main hotel is perfect for romance - a peaceful atmosphere and 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

Lows

  • We haven't visited since the new owners came on board, but we hear great things so far
  • While kids are allowed, 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

November-April is South Africa's peak season; February is the best month as temperatures are constant (very hot!) and there’s little wind compared with other months. September’s wildflower season is also popular, and the weather is generally sunny but cool.

Our top tips

If you're here for a special occasion, Abalone Hotel can set up a romantic 'beachnic' for you in a secluded corner of the beach, complete with champagne.

Great for...

Beach
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Romantic
Spa
  • Boutique Hotel & Villas
  • 23 suites + villas (for 2-4)
  • Restaurant & bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car essential
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Concierge Service
Room:

Rooms

The 21 suites and apartments are chic, calm spaces, all slightly different. Mohair blankets and Tretchikoff prints add texture and colour to crisp, and there are comfy kingsize beds. 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.

The 1-Bedroom Apartments, next door to the main hotel, are great for couples looking for more space and independence. They each have a spacious bedroom with a kingsize bed and in-room walk-in shower (not for those who like their privacy), a separate living/dining room (with a sofabed suitable for 2 kids under 12, though the bathroom isn't ideal for families), plus a fully equipped kitchen for self-catering. They also benefit from their own large terrace with a braai and alfresco dining table.

If you're coming with kids over 12, or as a group, we'd recommend booking one (or both) of the 2-Bedroom Beach Villas with Pool. Located about 1km from the main hotel, 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. Discerning families might choose the 2-Bedroom Penthouse Apartment, which has a similar layout to the villas minus the pool and sea views, but with lower rates to reflect this.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar
  • Safe box
  • WiFi

Eating

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 Villas have the option of being self-catering, breakfast is included and is served in each house. The Villas are also steps away from renowned restaurant Wolfgat, a converted fisherman's cottage where exquisite seasonal tasting menus are served beside the sea.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee maker
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian options
Eating: Penthouse
Activity:

Activities

  • 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:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding
  • Kayaking
  • Kitesurfing
  • Mountain biking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Quad biking
  • Scuba diving
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Whale watching
  • Wildlife
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome, but the overall vibe of the main hotel feels more grown-up and romantic. The hotel rooms and apartments only allow kids up to the age of 12. Teens are welcome in the 2-bedroom villas.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

The 2-bedroom villas are perfect for families with older 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). Plus, they're located right beside the beach. The 2-Bedroom Penthouse Apartment has two double rooms, one of which can be twinned, and a spacious open-plan living area. Cots and extra beds can be provided for children under 12 in the main hotel rooms, and the 1-bedroom apartments have sofabeds for up to 2 kids under 12, as well as full kitchens and a braai on their private terraces.

Cots Available

Kid Friendly: Villa

Location

Abalone Hotel & Pool Villas is in Paternoster on the Cape West Coast of South Africa, 1.5 hours north of Cape Town.

By Air:
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

Airports:

  • Cape Town International 155.0 km CPT

Other:

  • Beach 0.1 km
  • Shops 0.2 km
  • Restaurant 0.2 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

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Rates for Abalone Hotel & Pool Villas

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