My friend Kim and I have known each other since the start of high school. For our 40th birthdays I went to Australia to celebrate with her. And for our 50th birthdays, she came here. Kim wanted to see whales and spend special time alone with me. She had never been to Hermanus and chose this as our whale watching destination. Her sister Sandy recommended that we stay at 138 Marine Beachfront Guesthouse. I must say, that the best thing it has going for it are the views!
138 Marine Beachfront Guesthouse
Given the cost of the accommodation at 138 Marine, I had extremely high expectations. Kim and I arrived mid afternoon and parked behind the house. There is ample parking, but the spaces are narrow. We walked into the door and up the stairs where Desré greeted us. We were warmly welcomed and then taken to our rooms and shown the upstairs lounge. With stunning views of the sea this is the perfect place to sit. There were a variety of complimentary teas, coffee and biscuits on offer. A jug of both milk and tap water could be found in the fridge, and set aside for us for the first night was a baby bottle of sparkling wine. This to me was the first let down. We do such great MCC in South Africa and sparkling wine is not the way to showcase the best of our vineyards in my opinion.
Abalone and Coral
I was in abalone with a door offering a sea view and access to a small balcony. My room had a shower only which was perfect for me. Kim was in coral and beside the separate bathroom she had a bath in her room with a seaview. The rooms have fans only and no air conditioning. They also have underfloor heating, but there is no indication on the dial which setting is hot and which is off, so that was frustrating to me during the night. Tea and coffee plus a small kettle is in each room, but no milk was provided. Neither were teaspoons on the first night which I found odd. A bottle of water and water glasses would not have gone amiss.
Turn down service and bed making
The rooms are turned down each night which is a lovely touch. However, what was not lovely was the fact that the pillows I brought with me were tossed aside the first night. I appreciated the hot water bottle especially on the second night when it was really cold. But by the time I got to bed the bottle was only luke warm. The first morning there was no bath mat, but the second day, that appeared together with teaspoons. Towels were also changed and my pillows were put into the cupboard.
The first morning, after the continental buffet, we were offered poached eggs with bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach. The cooked food was really nothing to rave about. The second morning the offering was scrambled eggs, bacon, flapjacks, stewed apples and maple syrup. I asked for the sweet part of the meal to come separately. As the maple syrup was not genuine maple syrup but rather flavoured golden syrup I gave it a miss. There was a selection of really good looking marmalade, jams and honey and so I used the honey instead.
I found it very interesting that a reservation had been made for us for dinner without asking us what our preferences were. I fell very badly on the first morning, tripping over the glass table as I could not see it! The second morning there were books and a vase over each corner. While we were having our breakfast on the first morning other guests arrived. They were too early to check in but Desré gave them a map and pointed out where they should go for the day. The same information was given to us from Belinda. Belinda however could not give me more information about the places I had spotted to have dinner at.
A few let downs
Given that this is a whale watching destination I would have thought that Desré and Belinda would find out each day if whales had been spotted, and where. But they were clueless about this. Belinda also suggested a walk which she said would take 35 minutes. When I spoke to other tourists they said it took them over 2 hours! One door knob was loose on my cupboard, and and the light in my shower was not working. I could not see which way to turn the shower tap for hot water and when I had figured it out, the hot water took an age to come through.
Contact 138 Marine on +27 28 316 3447 or use this link to book your accommodation and get 10% back after your stay.