Luxury Meets a Sense of Fun at One Marine Drive Boutique Hotel, Hermanus

Words: Julie Velosa

If you do a lot of travelling, whether it’s for business or pleasure, places can start to blur from one to the next. Every now and then though, you will come across a spot that is unique in subtle, clever ways that set it apart from others. As its name suggests, One Marine Drive Boutique Hotel is located on Marine Drive in the seaside town of Hermanus. This positioning gives it an uninterrupted view over Walker Bay from all of its five rooms.

The boutique hotel is designed in such a way that it maximises the use of all of its space really cleverly, with each corner serving a well-designed purpose. The contemporary space is punctuated by bright pops of colour that in many other spaces would look out of place. Here though, they emphasise the sense of fun and whimsy that is a theme that runs through the hotel. Adding to that is the collection of beautifully stitched whales that you’ll find on your bed, tucked into the corner of a couch and popping up in other spots, reminding you that you’re visiting the famous Whale Coast.

The space gives the impression that the person who designed it did so with a sense of joy, with the intention for this to carry through to guests, and it does.

The hotel has a lovely central pool area, complete with bright green astro grass, which looks perfect no matter what the season. Loungers are dotted around the area and are ideally placed to maximise the morning sun as it pools in the courtyard.

Another really inspired touch, as you go up one level of the hotel, is the reading deck. This is another area that has been created to capture the sunlight and is fitted with comfy raised banquettes. It comes complete with blankets for chillier moments and a whale to keep you company.

If like me, you always travel with a book and are constantly on the lookout for a place to curl up and get in a few pages, it is absolute Shangri-La.

The area is outfitted in bright pink, and this, along with the brightly painted pink communal coffee and tea station, subtly lift the spirit without you even realising it.

The rooms are immaculately fitted as well, with really clever touches for the modern traveller – an iPad in the room can be used to search things to do in the area, or just to catch up on email or social media. All rooms have USB ports for charging phones and a cell phone to dial reception.

The room we stayed in had a feature wall of funky colourful foliage wallpaper, which changes the space from boring hotel room to a bright and fun place to stay. After a busy day of exploring the area, it can be an inviting prospect to just stay in and enjoy the lovely hotel surroundings and so that’s just what we did. A good selection of movies are available to stream in the room and ordering in felt like the perfect way to spend the evening. The helpful reception staff will go out of their way to assist you with anything, from dinner bookings to ordering takeaway and suggesting one of the many must-see places in the area.

Breakfast is served downstairs; if it’s warm enough, around the pool, alternatively indoors warmed by the fireplace. A hot cooked option is offered along with a selection of cheeses, freshly baked pastries, yoghurt, smoothies, granola and fresh fruit. Everything prepared and served by the team.

There are obviously distinct advantages to visiting a busy area such as the Whale Coast and staying in a small boutique hotel such as One Marine Drive, the first and most relevant being the level of personalised service. Absolutely nothing is too much trouble for the friendly team and the size of the hotel makes it possible to consistently maintain that service level.

Another benefit is that the hotel is small enough to offer lots of unique, thoughtful touches that are manageable in the environment. Guests are encouraged to help themselves to a sherry, port or Amarula to warm up from any one of the drinks trays. There are communal beverage stations with coffees, teas and chocolate biscuits. A cake counter where you can help yourself to a slice for afternoon tea, and a dangerously large bowl of sweets on the front desk, which, with a sweet tooth like mine in the midst, was noticeably leaner by the time we left.

Everything at One Marine Drive is immaculate and it is very obvious that every detail has been thoughtfully considered. This is not just another small, well-appointed boutique hotel, this is a home away from home where you can truly relax and feel well looked after. The sense of playfulness that seems to have guided the choices in decór filters through all aspects and removes the stiffness that often comes with a luxurious hotel. We left One Marine Drive after a short stay feeling rested and light of heart and really, I can’t think of a better way for guests to feel when they leave any establishment. | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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