When baby boomer travelers ask me, “Where is the most luxurious place you’ve ever stayed?” I don’t even have to think about it. Birkenhead House, on the South African coast, fulfills my luxury expectations with exceptional customer service thrown in for good measure. And did I mention it’s one of the most romantic getaways that Alan and I have experienced?
On our visit to Hermanus, South Africa, Alan and I discovered the elegant property that flows down an ocean-front hillside, revealing one romantic space after another. A series of courtyards, one with a sparkling fountain, another with a long swimming pool, connects the cream colored buildings, which end at a lounge area where glass windows look out onto prime whale watching waters. A patio area with seating for lounging or dining completes the scene.
Upon our arrival, a member of the staff greeted us with a chilled glass of champagne where a cherry floated among the bubbles. After showing us around the flower-filled public rooms, she led us up the stairs to our quarters. Upon opening the door, we were greeted with a room filled with traditional furniture complemented by striking art pieces hanging from the walls. Flower petals had been sprinkled on the bed in an artful design. Red rose petals perched atop plush white towels in the large bathroom. The next morning, we appreciated the heated marble floors and towels warmed by heated towel racks.
Accommodations at Birkenhead House include a cooked-to-order breakfast served in the dining room or on the patio, plus multi-course dinners accompanied by South African wines. On our last night, after a dinner of cauliflower soup and grilled kudu, Alan and I climbed the stairs to our room to the glow of votive candles flickering on the steps. Opening the door, we discovered more candles scattered around the room. Rose petals floated in a waiting bath. Romantic South Africa doesn’t get any better than this.
Besides the romantic escape, active baby boomers will enjoy the walking path that stretches along the coast, boating excursions to see great white sharks, playing a round of golf or wine tasting at nearby wineries. But Alan and I wish we had saved more time to relax in the luxury of Birkenhead House. Guess that means we’ll have to go back.
Thinking about planning an African safari? Check out all the information on our complete Safari Page as well as our experience at quite a few Luxury Lodgings in South Africa, both great resources for active boomer travels in Africa!