Ocean Eleven: Our full report
Ocean Eleven – occasionally written as ‘Ocean 11’ – is set on the cliffs overlooking Walker Bay, in a quiet ...... residential area of the small coastal town of Hermanus. It’s a comfortable guesthouse in Cape Cod style with stunning views and a good chance to watch whales (from June to November) from the veranda, the cliff top or the comfort of your own room.
NOTE - Ocean Eleven is currently closed with no date set for when it may re-open.
The original colonial features of Ocean Eleven's main house – floor-to-ceiling windows, high ceilings and teak floors – were retained when it was converted into a guesthouse. Even where there are extensions, the owners have tried to keep these in keeping with original style. Large pieces of local artwork adorn the walls, too, from the main areas to the bedrooms.
The lounge at Ocean Eleven has a large fireplace, a few pieces of antique furniture, and bright floral sofas and chairs from which you can admire the sea views.
Leading from the lounge is the breakfast room, which has dark teak floors and tall windows on two sides looking out over the pool and the ocean beyond. With its white walls, white wicker chairs and white tablecloths, it is a beautifully light spot to have breakfast and admire the scenery.
Doors from the breakfast room lead onto a deck by the swimming pool, where comfy loungers afford sweeping views towards Hermanus and across Walker Bay.
Ocean Eleven has ten lovely, en-suite bedrooms and suites and a further two-bedroomed apartment. The rooms are light and airy and most are sea-facing, with large french windows that lead out onto either a balcony, the garden or the pool. The blend of contemporary and dark-wood furniture combines with a neutral colour scheme and crisp, white linens to give a modern colonial feel.
Each of the rooms has a sitting area which looks out over the ocean, and is provided with ceiling fans, wall heaters, minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, satellite TV, hairdryer, dressing gown and slippers.
- Three standard rooms are situated on the ground floor. Two of these are in the main house with all the original features, and lead out onto their own small section of garden, which has two lounge chairs with foot stools and stunning views across the bay. The third room is in the newer extension beside the pool, and has french doors that open out onto the pool deck – so is not very private. These three rooms have a shower but no bath.
- Five ‘deluxe’ rooms are a bit larger than the standard rooms, and have a bath and shower. All are slightly different. Three of them are beside the pool: two upstairs have a balcony, and a third downstairs has doors leading onto the pool deck, so is not very private. Of the other two deluxe rooms, one is upstairs with a private balcony overlooking the garden and ocean, and the other downstairs with a walk-in dressing room and its own small section of garden.
- Two large suites in the loft of the old houseboth have air conditioning and a bath and separate shower. The honeymoon suite has a bath with a view over the bay and the second suite,also with sea views, can take a third person on the sleeper couch.
- The apartment, situated beside the main house, is ideal for a family travelling together. It has two bedrooms, two bathrooms (one en-suite) and an open-plan living area with a dining table, a small equipped kitchen, and a lounge with french windows leading out onto a small private garden with sea views. The larger bedroom is en-suite with a king-size bed and built-in cupboards, and doors that open onto a paved courtyard to the side of the building. The smaller bedroom is not en-suite and has twin three-quarter beds. Neither of the bedrooms is sea-facing.
Although no activities are offered directly from Ocean Eleven, there is a wide selection of brochures and flyers in the reception office on things to do around Hermanus, and the helpful staff are more then happy to book any of these activities for you. (NB: It’s essential that you read the Quadbike warning in the ‘Health & Safety’ section below for our comments on insurance issues regarding this activity.)
Nestled between the Overberg Mountains and the Indian Ocean, Hermanus is a scenic spot to spend a couple of days, and is world renowned for its fantastic land-based whale-watching. From Ocean Eleven you can walk directly onto the cliff paths that run in front of the lodge and all the way along the cliffs to the centre of Hermanus. From here, between June and November, you can often see southern right whales frolicking in the sheltered bays directly in front of you.
You can also go on whale-watching boat trips to get a closer view of these gentle giants, do sea-kayaking, and even try shark-cage diving to get up close and personal with great white sharks!
There are some lovely beaches nearby, and Hermanus has its own wine route where visitors can taste locally grown wines. Some of these wine farms also have a restaurant, so make a good spot for lunch.
This small, owner-run guesthouse offers a warm, friendly atmosphere in a modern colonial setting. Situated on the clifftop path within walking distance of Hermanus, it is a great spot in the winter months for whale-watching, and in the summer months for a beach break.
South Africa expert
- Hermanus, South Africa
- Ideal length of stay
- 2 to 3 nights is recommended to explore Hermanus and its environs.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Bed & Breakfast
- Food quality
- When we last visited in May 2014, a breakfast buffet set up beside the breakfast room offered fresh fruit platters, homemade bread and pastries, a selection of cereals, cold meats and cheeses, yoghurts and fresh fruit. A cooked breakfast , including a choice of sweet or savoury pancakes, was also available to order.
There is a wide choice of restaurants in Hermanus for lunch and evening meals and the Ocean Eleven staff are happy to make reservations on your behalf.
- Dining style
- Individual Tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor Dining
- Further dining info, including room service
- Drinks included
- Fruit juice, tea and coffee are included with breakfast.
Tea and coffee are available in your room, as are complimentary sherry and brandy.
- Wildlife safaris
- Hermanus is one of the best places in the world to watch whales, either from the shore or by boat. The southern right whale can usually be seen between June and November. Humpback whales, African penguins, dolphins, great white sharks and Cape fur seals can also be viewed here.
- See ideas for Wildlife safaris
- Attitude towards children
- Children aged 12 years and over are welcome at Ocean Eleven.
- Property’s age restrictions
- Children aged 12 years and over are welcome at Ocean Eleven, but they can be more flexible in low season and accept younger children on request.
- Special activities & services
- There are no special activities and services for children.
- No equipment is provided for children.
- Generally recommended for children
- We feel that the age limit here suits this guest house. It is located on the clfftop and has an unfenced swimming pool.
- Ocean Eleven has direct-dial phones in each room and there is also full cellphone reception here.
- TV & radio
- TV with limited satellite channels is available in the rooms.
- Water supply
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- There are doctors and a hospital in Hermanus.
Quadbike warning: quad-biking is sometimes available as an activity in this area. As with any potentially dangerous activity, it’s vital that you take responsibility for ensuring that you have adequate travel insurance prior to getting involved. Be aware that some insurances cover quad-bike activities only for bikes with lower engine ratings: check such clauses particularly carefully before you get on a bike.
- Dangerous animals
- Low Risk
- Security measures
- Ocean Eleven has a security guard on duty between 6.00pm and 6.00am, and there are security beams at the front of the property. There are electronic safes in the rooms.
- Fire safety
- Fire extinguishers are dotted around the property.
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- Laundry is available at an extra charge, from R5 per item (about 30 pence) for a shirt, blouse or underwear to R21 per item (just over £1) for skirts, jumpers and trousers.
- Ocean Eleven does not change money but there are lots of banks and ATMs in the area.
- Accepted payment on location
- Ocean Eleven accepts Visa, MasterCard, Amex and Diners Club cards as well as cash in South African rands.
Other lodges in Hermanus
Alternative places to stay in this same area.