Hermanus Beach House

Hermanus & Overberg, South Africa Book from

Historic villa with lawned grounds, a pool and a prime location by Hermanus' endless beach, 90 minutes from Cape Town (sleeps 5-10)
This large villa was built in 1917 as a seaside home for the fruit-farming Pickstones, and it's still owned by the family. They chose the prime location in Hermanus (you can nip to the beach barefoot, or watch whales from the veranda) and ensured peace and seclusion with 3000 sq.m. of lush, lawned gardens. Its thatched roof, teak shutters and limewash walls recall a typical Cape Dutch homestead in Arts & Crafts style.

The villa was beautifully restyled in 2004 to admit more light, and to remodel the kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms. The interior now exudes simple elegance, and sleeps 10 people comfortably in 5 bedrooms. The architects also incorporated a rimless outdoor pool, a Jacuzzi and a barbecue area. The result is homely, shabby-chic style, with uninterrupted views across Walker Bay, and easy access to secluded coves and 12km of pristine beach. Ideal for a large family or small group reunion.


  • The best position in Hermanus: facing the sea just above Grotto Beach (what the locals call "champagne air"!)
  • Large grounds and mature indigenous vegetation ensure privacy
  • Lots of space inside: living room, dining room, excellent kitchen, 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
  • Jacuzzi and pool overlooking the sea
  • Prime spot for whale-watching, surfing and beach walks
  • Historic Cape Dutch house built in Sir Herbert Baker's famous H plan


  • You need to drive 10 minutes into the village for most restaurants - or you can always cook at home
  • The simple, homely décor may not be the last word in style, but it's bright and comfy, perfect for group holidays in the company of loved ones
  • The sea is often cold - but the temperature can be controlled in the Jacuzzi all year round!

Best time to go

The summer season is from November until April; January to March are the best beach months. Whale-watching season lasts from June through to November. The price drops significantly in the 'green' season (South African winter) from May to September - heaters and fireplaces keep the house warm and cosy. The nature reserve behind the house is open all year.

Our top tips

For gourmands, the fine restaurants of the winelands and the Klein River cheese-making farm (near Stanford) are less than an hour away. Cookery lessons in a range of cuisines can also be arranged at the villa and there are countless wineries within easy reach (ask the owners for recommendations). Stop by the Hmeel and Aarde Wine Village where experts will help you choose from the 1600 labels they have on offer.

For nature lovers, we enjoyed our hike up the beautiful Fernkloof Valley to the hidden lake for a clandestine swim.

Great for...

  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Beach Villa
  • 1 villa with 5 bedrooms
  • Self-catering (chef on request)
  • 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
  • Jacuzzi
  • Outdoor playground
  • Barbecue


There are 4 bedrooms on the ground floor, around a sheltered courtyard, and a suite upstairs. Three have ensuite bathrooms; 2 share a bathroom.

White walls and wide windows infuse the rooms with light and serenity. You'll find wooden floors, old dressers, plump pillows and luxurious bedding of 100% cotton percale with satin stitching. In the bathrooms, blue tiles and white wooden surfaces surround contemporary showers and fixtures; there's also a wash-stand in each bedroom.

Bedroom 1, on the seaward side of the house, has a kingsize bed, a fireplace, a green-tiled Arts & Crafts washstand and an array of bright, hand-embroidered cushions from Namibia. It shares a bathroom with Bedroom 4, a smaller twin room with a yellow tiled washstand and kilims on the wall. These 2 make a self-contained family unit, with access to a terrace, a courtyard and a living room. Bedrooms 2 and 3, 1 twin and 1 king-bedded, face inland across the gardens or braai area to the mountains. Both have ensuite bathrooms.

Upstairs from the kitchen, twin-bedded Bedroom 5 has the best view in the house, with a fish mouth window overlooking the bay. It's ideal for kids, with its own entertainment space - a small sitting room with TV and DVD facilities. There is a bathroom with a bathtub and a shower under the eaves.

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Cd player
  • Cots Available
  • Dishwasher
  • Dvd player
  • Fireplace
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Jacuzzi
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet


The open-plan kitchen-dining room has had a complete overhaul, with bright downlighters, smart wooden worktops and white wooden storage units, including a lovely plate rack. There's enough equipment for the most adventurous of cooks: 2 fridges, an oven with a gas hob, a twin sink, a dishwasher and plenty of sharp knives, chopping boards, graters etc. There's a breakfast table for 6 (a toaster, a kettle and coffee pots are on hand), and windows onto the pool deck and barbecue area. The adjoining dining room has a polished antique table which comfortably seats 10, and views out to sea.

You can join the South African passion for braais - there's a built-in barbecue and a 12-seater teak table in a shaded area by the pool. Fresh fish can be bought at the harbour, and other provisions at Hermanus' well-stocked shops and supermarkets (a short drive), you can also pre-order shopping throught the owners. The town has some excellent restaurants, or the Pickstones can book a chef to come to the house - a real luxury for those special celebratory meals.

Features include:

  • Chef on request
  • Children meals
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven


  • Hermanus has some of the best land-based whale-watching in the world - you can see them breach from the terrace or Jacuzzi!

  • Delightful walking: from your front door a "cliff path" follows the coast west into town, whilst miles of pristine beach stretch eastwards, culminating in a lagoon

  • Shop for art and crafts bargains in Market Square

  • Improve your swing at the local 18-hole golf course, or at the Arabella Golf estate 30 minutes' drive away

  • In the summer the town has plenty of restaurants, bars and nightlife

  • Hike into Fernkloof Nature Reserve, whose streams and (swimmable) reservoirs are surrounded by a wealth of colourful 'Fynbos' flora, including some endemic proteas. The owners can arrange guided walks with an expert in local flora, fauna and birdlife

  • For the more actively inclined, there is paragliding off the Olifantberg, surfing and shark cage diving on the coast, and kloofing (canyoning) down 'Suicide Gorge'

  • The southernmost tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas, is a haunting, wave-lashed spot within 2 hours' drive

  • You can always head to Cape Town for the day (90 minutes' drive each way)

  • Given advance notice, the owners can arrange special interest tours, surfboard rental, horse-riding - even weddings!

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Shopping / markets
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Whalewatching
  • Wildlife
  • Windsurfing


This is a great spot for an extended family getaway, a family party, or as somewhere to rent with your friends. It sleeps 10 in total. The owners have children and as a result the house is stocked with plenty of gear for all ages from baby to teens.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

You've got the run of the place. Kids will like the bedroom upstairs from the kitchen, which has a TV and small sitting room as well a great views and twin beds. The master bedroom shares a bathroom with a twin room so it works well for a small family; there are also 2 bedrooms upstairs which would work well for a second family. Two of the bathrooms have a bath and a shower.


The housekeeper speaks good English and loves children. She's happy to babysit (for a small fee), and alternative nannies can be arranged (ask in advance).

Baby listening:

A baby monitor is available to borrow, and its signal reaches throughout the property.

Baby equipment:

  • 2 cots
  • High chair
  • Stair gates where needed
  • Pushchair to borrow
  • Baby bath

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

Children's meals:

You can pre-order shopping and can arrange a chef if you don't want to cook. There's a great family-sized barbecue as well as a fantastically equipped kitchen, which has a blender and microwave for preparing baby/toddler food. There are child-friendly cafés and restaurants nearby as well as takeaways.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Fenced pool with shallow end and Jacuzzi
  • Huge lawn, perfect for kids to run around
  • Whale-watching from the terrace - or Jacuzzi!
  • Outdoor playground
  • Farm animals nearby
  • Beach toys for the pool or beach
  • Children's DVDs
  • Books and toys for babies to teens

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Cliff walks from the house
  • Beaches. Grotto Beach below the house is a blue flag beach with lifeguards
  • Surfing
  • Swings and slides at Grotto Beach

Families Should Know:

There are some steep steps in the house but they can be gated if necessary. The pool and Jacuzzi area is gated and child-safe (though the pool is not heated). There are some good supermarkets and a baby shop in Hermanus village nearby.


  • Airport: 90 minutes
  • Hospital: 15 minutes
  • Doctor: 15 minutes
Kid Friendly:

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