5 Western Cape The Ma­rine Ho­tel


South African Country Life - - Country Escapes - 028 313 1000, reser­va­[email protected]­lec­tion­m­c­grath.com – Ann Gadd

The ‘grand old lady’ of Her­manus, The Ma­rine Ho­tel, opened to guests in 1902 with the ball­room be­ing added in the 1920s. Al­though they had no elec­tric­ity or run­ning water in the rooms, it was far grander than the ex­ist­ing Vic­to­ria Ho­tel, and many of the wealthy and fa­mous came to stay, such as ac­tor Noel Coward and Princess Alice. Ini­tially, guests had to en­dure a three-day ox-wagon ride from Cape Town to do so. Back then there were 21 rooms, but with ex­ten­sions this has now grown to 40 in­di­vid­u­ally dec­o­rated suites and rooms. The Ma­rine is perched on the cliffs over­look­ing the spec­tac­u­larly beau­ti­ful Walker Bay. It is one of the es­teemed Re­lais & Châteaux ho­tels with all the lux­ury and ser­vice that go with the name. The ho­tel lives up to its phi­los­o­phy of class, com­fort, cui­sine and calm. It’s a bucket-list stay, and for when you truly need pam­per­ing (there’s a spa as well). From the sofa in our bed­room, I gazed lazily out to sea and spot­ted a whale. I mused that I was the fourth gen­er­a­tion in my fam­ily who had stayed at the ho­tel which, in its ele­gance and at­ten­tion to de­tail, had changed lit­tle. If you do want more ac­tiv­ity, there’s the coastal walk, a ti­dal pool in front of the ho­tel, restau­rants and shops to ex­plore, as well as the mag­nif­i­cent Hemel-en-Aarde wine val­ley. I chose to lap up the lux­ury by spend­ing time in my room with a view.

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