Hermanus, South Africa
Looking straight out across the ocean, La Fontaine occupies a prime position for whale watching. It’s housed in one of the oldest buildings in Hermanus and has lots of character. To the front of the guesthouse is a pool and a veranda that looks out onto Walker Bay, allowing you to relax and listen to the sound of the waves.
There’s a comfortable lounge area in which Gail, the manageress, will happily talk you through the long list of activities you can do around Hermanus. With its small number of rooms and personalised service, La Fontaine offers an intimate, homely atmosphere and makes a relaxing base for a whale viewing holiday, golfing break or romantic getaway.
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La Fontaine is an excellent value for money option; we particularly like the lovely views of the sea from the veranda. While just minutes away from Hermanus' shops and restaurants, it still enjoys a peaceful location.
The five guest rooms have their own individual style and differ in size, adding to the character of the property. Tastefully decorated in neutral tones, they’re clean, comfortable and offer plenty of natural light. All feature en suite bathrooms, air conditioning, Wi-Fi access, satellite TVs and tea/coffee facilities. The two rooms on the upper floor boast excellent ocean views and private balconies where you can sit and look out for whales. The rooms offer either double or twin beds.
La Fontaine is situated right on the rugged shoreline, just metres from the ocean and a short walk from the centre of Hermanus with its shops, galleries and restaurants. Cape Town is around a 90 minute drive away, and there are lots of activities that allow you to take advantage of the beautiful scenery, from hiking and cycling to golfing and whale watching along the coastline.
Food and drink
Breakfast is provided each morning, which can be enjoyed out on the patio while taking in panoramic views of the ocean. There’s also an indoor dining room should the weather be bad. For lunch and dinner you could head into the centre of Hermanus, where you can choose from a good selection of restaurants.
Facilities and activities
Relax by the pool in the summer or curl up with a glass of local wine in front of the fireplace in the lounge. From the patio area or your own balcony you can spend time looking out for southern right whales, humpback whales and dolphins, with June being the best time for sightings as the southern right whales head toward the shore to calve in shallower waters.
The surrounding area offers a wide variety of activities, including whale watching trips by boat; although in Hermanus you can simply watch from the shore. Braver guests may like to go shark diving, with great white sharks common in these shores. A number of tour operators offer cage diving, with shuttles leaving from Hermanus daily. Fishing trips, kayaking, windsurfing and canoeing are also available from Hermanus.
There are four golf courses in the area, including a 27 hole course at Hermanus, while the 12 kilometre cliff path makes for scenic hikes, with benches lining the way so you can sit and look out for whales. Alternatively, relax on one of the pristine beaches or head into the town centre for a spot of shopping.
Location & places nearby
Places & hotels on the map
Alternative places to stay nearby
Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.