The Marine at the coast of Hermanus
The Marine: Our full report
The Marine is a classic hotel, perched on top of the cliffs just a two-minute walk from the centre of Hermanus. In recent years the hotel has joined the luxury-hotel marketing group, Relais & Châteaux - and is marketed very much as a luxurious, high-end property.
There are 42 rooms at the Marine Hotel, divided into ‘premier’ and standard suites, ‘luxury’ and standard doubles, and two single rooms, with significant variations within these categories. All feature en-suite bathrooms, satellite TVs, direct-dial phones, free WiFi access and electronic safes. For many years the hotel has made a feature of the fact that the décor in each room is different, and the owner has personally selected each.
- The eight ‘premier’ suites all have mixed sea views. The biggest of these suites are split level and feature a large bay window and a spacious seating area downstairs. Two of the suites have balconies, five are split level and two have working fireplaces. Their en-suite bathrooms have separate baths and showers, and five feature twin handbasins
- Each of the other five suites is individually decorated and has a spacious sitting room. All but one have a full sea view, while the last has only a sea view to the side. Two of these suites have a balcony/patio, one is set on a split level and one has a four-poster the bed. The bathrooms all have separate showers and three have twin handbasins
- The 11 ‘luxury’ double rooms are decorated with floral fabrics or heavy silk and their bathrooms have separate showers. Six of these rooms are sea facing, one overlooks the pool towards the mountain and the others have sea views to the side. Three of the sea-facing rooms have balconies/patios and the other room is wheelchair friendly.
- Most of the 16 standard double rooms have mountain views or partial sea views, with 13 featuring a balcony of some sort. Their décor is the same as in the ‘luxury’ rooms.
- Of the two single rooms, one has a view of the courtyard, and each has a double bed (so could be used as a double room). In the en-suite bathrooms, the shower is over the bath rather than separate.
Facilities at the Marine Hotel include the lovely Sun Lounge, where comfortable sofas and individual chairs are arranged into different seating areas. Fronted by big glass windows letting in lots of light, the room is a great place to relax and watch whales. Afternoon canapés are served in the adjacent cocktail bar, which is open to outsiders as well as to hotel residents.
There are two restaurants at The Marine: The Pavilion and Seafood. The Pavilion, where breakfast is served, is also open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday. A beautiful, elegant room, its black-and-white décor is offset by big palm trees in pots that blend almost seamlessly with the gardens through big picture windows. Central to the room itself is a glass-walled wine cellar.
Less formal than The Pavilion, but still very sophisticated, Seafood at The Marine is open daily for lunch and dinner, and has an open kitchen which allows diners to watch the chefs at work. Divided by a glass wall panel, the room is contemporary in style, with pots in bold graphic designs, black-and-white photographs and glass sculptures. The restaurant gets very busy so reservations are recommended.
A solar-heated salt-water swimming pool, the Carchele beauty spa, The Collection Boutique & travel desk and an internet lounge are some of the other amenities on offer at The Marine.
A significant attraction for many guests is the hotel’s own tidal pool, set on the beach and a fantastic spot to see whales close up. The hotel can supply you with towels and a picnic – and there are toilets and an outdoor shower too.
Our viewConsidering The Marine is a five-star hotel we thought it was decidedly unpretentious. It is very elegant and clearly a lot of time and effort has gone into the décor. However, we felt that despite (or perhaps because of?) the rooms having individually chosen fabrics, these weren’t quite to the same standard as the public rooms.
Ideal length of stay: 2 – 3 nights
Directions: The Hotel is located on Marine Drive in Hermanus
Owner: Liz McGrath
Food & drink
Usual board basis: B&B
Food quality: Breakfast is served in The Pavilion restaurant between 7.00am and 9.30am. When we visited, it was beautifully laid out on a long table with a selection of cereals, breads, pastries, cold meat, fruit, local cheeses, yoghurt and fruit juice. A choice of hot breakfasts is available to order from friendly waitresses.
We sadly did not have lunch here.
Dinner is usually served from 7.00pm onwards in either The Pavilion (Tuesday to Saturday) or Seafood at The Marine (daily). On our visit in November 2011 we had a two-course dinner in the Seafood restaurant – opting for grilled Walker Bay sole served with dauphinoise potatoes, broccoli and a drizzle of white wine sauce, followed by a classic crème brûlée. We really enjoyed the food here!
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor Dining
Drinks included: No drinks are included.
Wildlife safaris: Between about July and November, Hermanus offers some superb land-based whale-watching, and the nearby tidal pool is somewhere from where you can view these amazing creatures up close.See more ideas for Wildlife safaris in South Africa
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: Each room has free WiFi access and direct-dial telephones. The hotel has a separate 24-hour internet lounge that is available free of charge. The area has cellphone reception. The area has mobile reception.
TV & radio: The rooms are all fitted with 18 channel satellite TVs.
Health & safety
Malarial area: No
Medical care: There are doctors and a hospital in Hermanus.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: There is a 24 hour security on the entrance gate.
Fire safety: Fire alarm and smoke detector systems are fitted throughout the hotel.
Disabled access: In Place
Laundry facilities: A full same-day laundry service is available at an extra charge provided that laundry is handed in by 8.30am. A valet and shoe cleaning service is also available between 8.00am and 10.00pm.
Money: Each of the rooms is fitted with an electronic safe. The hotel offers a currency exchange service.