Dune House

near Paternoster, Cape Winelands & West Coast, South Africa Book from

Reviewed by Jo Duxbury
A spacious and stylish beach house right on the dunes of Britannia Bay - an idyllic seaside escape for 10
We’re pretty sure your jaw will drop when you walk into this light and airy house. Beyond the sheltered courtyard with its balau decking and swimming pool is an open-plan living area straight out of a magazine - and beyond that, down your private boardwalk, is the sea. If you were any closer to the ocean, you’d be in it. Décor is beach chic, natural and stylish yet comfortable - think sofas piled high with invitingly squashy cushions, distressed white wood furniture, old wooden treasure chests and a seashell chandelier. Huge glass doors cleverly slide back to make the walls of the house disappear, and the sea is visible from all of the living spaces. You'll sit watching it for hours.

This is a wonderful place to come and chill with a group of friends or your family. Up to 10 guests can be absorbed effortlessly into the space (5 double bedrooms plus a bunk room for kids), and self-catering is a pleasure in the extremely well-equipped kitchen. The coast above Cape Town is off the tourist track, but we'd say that's reason in itself to visit. Gloriously empty beaches, charming fishing villages and better value for money.


  • The architecture, openness, space and light are stunning
  • Spotting seals, dolphins and sea birds from the patio. In season, you may even see Southern Right Whales on their migration
  • Great for families with older children; bags of space, right on an unspoilt beach, and pool toys and boogie boards to keep kids amused
  • Sundowner drinks, looking out to sea, with candle lanterns lighting your boardwalk
  • The discreet live-in houseman, Chris, who makes fantastic coffee, cleans up after you and generally ensures you have a fantastic stay


  • The surrounding towns are not inspiring and you’ll have to drive to Paternoster for the best restaurants (25 mins) although there is a restaurant on the estate next door
  • There are no twin rooms
  • Two bedrooms share a bathroom, and others have open-plan bathrooms
  • Can be windy on the beach, but the pool is completely sheltered
  • It’s quite a way from Cape Town (2 hours' drive) but once we got here, we thought it well worth the trip

Best time to go

Summer is November-March, with February being the most popular time as that’s when the wind drops, and December and January being the hottest months. The wildflower season (August to October) is also a great time to come. The house is open all year round, and even winters are hot and sunny in the daytime. The fireplace is perfect for warming you all up on chilly evenings.

Our top tips

  • Wear lots of sunscreen and a hat; the wind can fool you into thinking you’re not getting burned.
  • Hike or take a 4x4 route through the unspoilt, natural wilderness and rocky coves of the Cape Columbine Nature Reserve at Tietiesbaai
  • Great for...

    Great Outdoors
    • = Recommended
    • = Best in region
    • = World favourite
    • Beach Villa
    • 6 bedrooms
    • Self-catering (restaurants nearby)
    • All ages welcome
    • Open all year
    • Outdoor Pool
    • Spa Treatments
    • WiFi
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Beach Nearby
    • Off-street Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    • Daily Maid Service
    • Towels & Bedlinen
    • Bicycles Available
    • Laundry Service
    • Houseman/manager
    • Boogie boards to borrow
    • Billiards


    The 5 double bedrooms are uncluttered and spotlessly clean. Décor embraces sea colours (soft blues, faded greens) and quirky vintage sports gear hangs on the walls. Super-comfortable beds are fitted with crisp, white cotton linens and there are thoughtful touches like chambray robes, hot-water bottles and swimming/beach towels. There's no air con but each room has a fan.

    You can gaze at the ocean from the kingsize bed and free-standing tub of the master bedroom (which can connect to the bunk room). The 2 lower-floor bedrooms share a sheltered patio area and have a pretty garden outlook.

    See full details of the bedrooms and bathrooms.

    Features include:

    • Barbeque
    • Bathrobes
    • Coffee maker
    • Dishwasher
    • Dvd player
    • Extra beds
    • Fan
    • Fireplace
    • Fridge
    • Full kitchen
    • Hairdryer
    • Hob stove
    • KitchenAid
    • Oven
    • Pool/beach towels
    • Radio
    • Satellite tv
    • Swimming pool
    • Terrace
    • Terrace
    • Toiletries
    • WiFi
    • Wifi internet
    • Wine fridge


    The kitchen is perfectly equipped for self-catering. There’s a huge fridge/freezer, a wine fridge, a large range/oven, even a pistachio-green KitchenAid. Behind the main kitchen area is a scullery where you can hide dirty dishes or pop it all in the 2 dishwashers. As if by magic, it’ll all be cleaned and tidied, thanks to Chris’ unobtrusive presence. There are even 2 barbecues - a Weber (kettle barbecue) and a gas-fired one.

    Some basics are provided - salt, teas, coffee, sugar, etc - but you'll need to buy most groceries. There’s a Spar supermarket and excellent just-frozen fish in St Helena Bay (7 mins' drive) and you’ll spot small shops and farm stalls/delis en route. The Woolworths supermarket in Vredenburg should have everything else you need, bar unusual gourmet ingredients.

    The best restaurants in the area are in Paternoster, a 25-min drive away: Reuben’s at Abalone House was our favourite. We also recommend Oep ve Koep if you’re up for trying foraged foods, and tiny Gaaitjie on the beach is ideal for a romantic dinner. There is also a restaurant at the estate next door but we didn't try it.

    Features include:

    • Coffee maker
    • Fridge
    • Full kitchen
    • Hob stove
    • Oven
    • Restaurants nearby


    • Walk or run along the sandy beach, try out the house's boogie boards, or go kayaking, kitesurfing, paddleboarding or surfing. There are 2 popular surf breaks
    • Go fishing from the rocks and pick black mussels at low tide for your dinner
    • The area is a bird-watcher’s paradise, with over 200 species, so bring your binoculars. They'll be useful for spotting dolphins and seals from the house, too
    • Take a whale-watching boat to spot Southern Right Whales on their migration
    • In springtime (Aug-Oct), day-trip to the West Coast National Park and marvel at the carpets of wild daisies. Don’t miss the spectacular Postberg section
    • We love Paternoster, a quaint fishing village 25 mins away, with great restaurants and small galleries
    • Visit local wineries for tastings and lunch
    • There's a 9-hole golf course, a gym, tennis courts, a wellness centre/spa and a bowling green at the estate next door

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Birdwatching
    • Boat trips
    • Fishing
    • Golf
    • Hiking
    • Kayaking
    • Kitesurfing
    • Paddleboarding
    • Plantlife / flora
    • Surfing
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Whalewatching
    • Wildlife
    • Wine tasting


    Dune House is fantastic for children, with lots of space for them to play and plenty to keep them amused. There's a bunk room with 2 beds (and a mezzanine play area), which can interconnect with the main bedroom. There's also a small single bed in one of the lower ground-floor doubles, which would suit a younger child. If you are bringing a baby, you'll need to bring a travel cot.

    Best for:

    Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

    Family friendly accommodation:

    Extra Beds Available

    Baby equipment:

    • A highchair

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

    Kids Activities on site:

    • Swimming pool with toys
    • Billiards
    • DVD library
    • Bicycles and boogie boards to borrow

    Kids Activities nearby:

    • The beach!

    Families Should Know:

    The house is not overly friendly for crawlers, and parents will want to watch out for the uncovered pool and the open stairwell leading down to the pool room/lower ground level. As the grounds are not fenced, keep an eye on adventurous kids who might wander off to the beach on their own


    • Airport: Cape Town International (2 hours' drive)
    • Shops: 5 minutes' drive
    Kid Friendly:

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