On Site Reviews


Will H – Hong Kong

To be honest I don’t really want to write a good review of this place. The last thing we want to to attract more people who will want to stay in this unique historic house because we want to keep it for ourselves! But credit must be due I am told so here we go: We haver spent several Christmas holidays here as 2 familys and have always had the most awazing time. Having travelled extensively up and down the coast there really is no other place like it. The relaxed nature and rustic fell, the lack of modern technologys (although it does now have WiFi and cable) and the amazing views inspires the kids to shun the computers and get outside and enjoy life as it should be. Great wine farms nearby (Southern Wright, Hamilton Russell) means that the wine fridge is always full, fresh local produce is on the BBQ and long lazy lnches around the pool daily. Late afternoon whale watching from the Stoep after a game of touch rugby on the lawn. Good local places to eat are in Hermanus but we never wanted to leave the house in the evenings as the sunset stuns every time. We have got to know Iris well and she always makes us feel as if we have never left. So in summary this place is definately not worth going to at all….please don’t…..but if you do………don’t tell anyone else how great it is!


Kildare – London, United Kingdom

We had one of our best family holidays yet in this house – uninterupted views out to sea with whales and dolphins, beautiful and secure private garden, stylish but not ‘done’ interior. The house is genuinely beautiful and interesting – it was the first house to be built – over 100 years ago – on this beach, and has been owned by the same family since it was built. The bedrooms and bathrooms are set around a lovely internal courtyard and have real old-world charm. Most had direct views out to sea.

The owners were incredibly helpful and enthusiastic. The housekeeper is a gem – flexible, kind and full of amusing anecdotes. There are great restaurants in the nearby town, but also a lovely barbeque in the garden – with the best view in South Africa! Local shops sell good provisions.

There are plenty of activities for families. The nearby beach is huge and unspoilt – we spent hours wandering along it and occasionally recruiting local children to play beach cricket. There is horseriding, swimming, walking and sightseeing all available nearby. But nothing could beat hanging out with our 3 small children on the stoep watching the world go

Overall highly recommended and we can’t wait to return.


The Independant Newspaper – UK

Rhiannon Batten
Named as the best beach house in South Africa
and one of the top 5 beach houses in Africa

For surf, sand and style these ocean-front villas are a shore thing!

When La Gratitude was built as a summer holiday house in 1917, the selling point was its proximity to a 12km stretch of pristine beach and a 180-degree view of Walker Bay. It remains the same today.

Now run by the granddaughter of the original owner, the house was revamped in 2004. The arts and crafts structure remains intact, but the kitchen and bathrooms have been updated, and a pool and outdoor Jacuzzi have been added.

It’s a perfect family party house, which can sleep up to 10 guests and boasts a large garden and an outdoor barbecue area.


Conde Nest Traveller

South Africa – The best houses to rent by the sea

La Gratitude began life a century ago as a simple summer holiday home for the farming Pickstone family, associates of Cecil John Rhodes. A recent restoration by Wendy Pickstone, a descendant of the original owner, has brought the Cape Dutch vernacular of its architect, Herbert Baker, back to life. The walls are built of solid stone, the roof is thatched, the shutters are teak and there are uninterrupted 180-degree views of Walker Bay, the haunt of the mating Southern Right Whales in August.

La Gratitude has possibly the best location in Hermanus: it was the first house to be built on this stretch of coast and it is still the closest to Grotto Beach. Set in large private grounds, thick with indigenous Fynbos, this is a no-frills beach house that is as unpretentious despite being a landmark on the Walker Bay coastline. It sleeps 10 in five uncluttered, light-filled bedrooms , in the sitting room are comfortable sofas and good, solid, period furniture, including a gleaming 10-seater dining-room table.

T here’s a large swimming pool with loungers overlooking the bay, a terrace dining area with a barbeque and a huge lawn that is great for young children.