Birkenhead House

Hermanus’ Birkenhead House is the maritime equivalent to a South African safari lodge. Fireplaces, stone walls, travertine floors, chandeliers, large couches, and floor-to-ceiling windows create a homey atmosphere from which to view fur seals, bottlenose dolphins, penguins, and whales. A glass of Champagne welcomes you at check-in, and the staff can arrange horseback rides and tours of nearby wineries during your stay. Accommodations Set on a hill that descends toward the ocean, the resort’s three houses contain 11 rooms with design motifs ranging from African to Asian. Recreation Whale watching, beach walks, harbor cruises, deep-sea fishing, cheese and wine tours, nature reserve excursions, horseback riding, and ATV tours. Dining Meals focusing on seafood and other local ingredients are served either on the sun terrace, the beach, or in the formal dining room overlooking the bay. Worthy Diversion Set out in a boat and, once a dorsal fin appears, descend in a cage to witness a great white shark up close. Rates Rooms range from $535 to $840, including all meals. The entire property rents for about $6,565 per night.

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