Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Birkenhead House?
Birkenhead House is a luxury hotel located in the seaside town of Hermanus in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It is a scenic, 90 minute drive from Cape Town city centre and from Cape Town airport.
Birkenhead House is located next to Voelklip beach in Hermanus which is a short drive from the centre of Hermanus. We offer a complimentary shuttle service to and from the centre of Hermanus for our guests.
What is included in the rate at Birkenhead House?
Birkenhead House rates are all inclusive which means that all your breakfast, lunch, dinner, hot and cold beverages, spirits, cocktails and house wines are all included. As well as wifi, laundry, your mini-bar and the shuttle service to the centre of Hermanus. We believe that this is the nicest way for our guests to relax.
The only things excluded from the rate are:
- Reserve wines
- Spa treatments
- Curio shop purchases
- Day tours and external activities
- Telephone calls
Is there WiFi at Birkenhead House?
Yes, there is high speed, complimentary WiFi throughout Birkenhead House.
What are the check-in/check-out times at Birkenhead House?
Check-out is at 11am and Check-in is at 2pm.
When is the best time to see Whales and Dolphins from Birkenhead House?
Hermanus is renowned as the best place on earth for land based whale watching.
Whales can be seen from June to November, with the best months being September and October.
Dolphins can be seen sporadically all year round.
Where does the name Birkenhead House come from?
The hotel was named after the HMS Birkenhead. From the hotel terrace there are views out to distant Danger Point in the east where the HMS Birkenhead ran aground, and sank, in February 1852, bringing the lives of 450 passengers to a shuddering halt. There weren’t enough serviceable lifeboats for all the passengers, so the soldiers stood firm on board famously allowing the women and children to escape first. This gave rise to a protocol known the ‘Birkenhead Drill’, which is now a standard procedure in maritime disasters.
Where does the name Hermanus come from?
Hermanus Pieters (ca.1778–1837) was a Dutch teacher who arrived in Cape Town in 1815. He settled in Caledon. He often vacationed at the spring (“fontein”) in present-day Hermanus, where he fished and grazed his sheep, so that the place eventually became known as “Hermanus Pieters se Fonteyn”. 65 years after his death the postmaster decided to abbreviate the name to Hermanus.