Simon’s Town is special: beaches, Victorian architecture, natural beauty in spades. If you could use an escape to this little naval village just a 40 minute drive out of Cape Town, try visiting one of these affordable Simon’s Town accommodation options, tried and tested by Getaway journos.
Check out our September issue for a more in-depth exploration of what to do in Simon’s Town.
Affordable accommodation in Simon’s Town
1. Port of Call
On a mountain slope in a quiet cul-de-sac this small guesthouse (just two guest suites) gives the best of both sides of Simon’s Town. The rooms all face the ocean, while the house backs onto the fynbos of Table Mountain National Park.
The Admiral’s suite is the pick of the two suites – it’s the largest at 50 square meters and has a sunken bath. The Captain’s Cabin is similarly furnished in beiges and whites, crisp linen and fluffy carpets, but is just a touch smaller. Both rooms have private balconies, floor-to-ceiling windows and beautiful ocean views across Boulders Beach and the golf course below.
Breakfast is served upstairs. (People who want complete privacy and anonymity may not enjoy sitting at the dining room table in the owners’ lounge). But the breakfast is enormous and delicious and includes owner Carol’s signature muesli and apple bake. You can also self cater here as each room has a kitchenette – tastefully done and separate from the bedroom – with microwave and bar fridge suitable for short stays. It’s well kitted out, but small, so don’t plan to cook gourmet meals.
2. The Boat House
A comfortable four-star bed and breakfast with a cruise-ship feel, where every room has a sea view. Each room spills out onto a slatted wooden balcony with views over the harbor. Interiors have a cottage-nautical theme of white, navies and stripes embellished with model ships, port hole mirrors, wicker furniture and fabrics with maritime prints. There are three decent sized double rooms on the upper deck and a family self-catering unit and smaller cabin-style double room on the lower deck. With the owners living off-site, the family pictures and fake flowers try a little hard to make it homely, but this is made-up with a personable and professional hostess. Rise and shine to a quality breakfast on the top deck. Start off with a continental buffet followed by French toast with crispy bacon and maple syrup or a full English if you prefer. Finish with a pot of fresh coffee down the hatch. Only children over 12 admitted due to the heights and close quarters.
3. Honeybush B&B
Honeybush B&B has one room only, a sweet space with a bit of an Asian theme – bamboo headboard, retro movie poster, Tretchikoff’s Chinese Girl print. There’s a double bed and a good-strength shower en-suite. The French doors open onto a reasonably sized garden that ends in a Vibracrete wall, beyond which one can see the sea. The garden comes alive with birdsong in the morning. There’s a braai area that guests are free to use, and an outdoor table with chairs, so one can feel quite at home if staying for a few days. It’s very comfortable and I enjoyed my stay – the owners, Hanlie and Piet Potgieter, are open and welcoming to all, and Hanlie does a very fine breakfast of beautiful, fresh fruit and scrambled eggs.
4. Mariner Guesthouse
Mariner Guesthouse is enchantingly elegant, yet modest with a touch of maritime. Not all the rooms are the same. The honeymoon suite, which I stayed in, is lavish and inside you’ll find a bath big enough for a couple to share. Rooms? Each room has a mini-lounge and spacious balconies. Choose from luxurious self-catering, sail themed for family and executive suites. Most of the furniture you find in the house has a special story but you should visit and get owner Liesel to tell it. She’s just lovely. A computer is available for guests to use in the living room, heated towel rails, WiFi throughout the house, and a spacious braai area for warmer months. The food is thought through and delicious, as is the entire experience.
5. Rocklands Seaside B&B
Rocklands B&B has a welcoming, homely feel, with uninterrupted, 180-degree views from its mountain perch, right across False Bay. On the southern outskirts of Simon’s Town, the property feels secluded amidst the fynbos, a feeling enhanced by the beautiful indigenous garden that falls away from the rooms, and completely hides the quiet main road below. The road is all that stands between you and the sea – just 40m away – and the sea views are wonderful. The owners, Richard and Erica Kenny, live on the property, but are masters of unobtrusive service – attentive and friendly, without being overbearing. The breakfast was excellent: a beautifully presented fruit tray, cereals, juice, bottomless coffee, and a full fry-up to order. I’ll always remember my stay here – it was the only place I’ve ever been where I’ve been woken by the sound of whales, piping and blowing the bay below.
The king-sized bed was excellent. They also have two self-catering studios (sleeping four and five people respectively) and there is DSTV and WiFi on the property.
Rates: Double occupancy from R500 a person a night sharing
Tel: 021 786 3158
Address: 25 Rocklands Road, Murdoch Valley South, Simon’s Town
This spot is on the outskirts of Simon’s Town, and the walk into town for pastries or ice-cream is a decent walk. The advantage of the distance, though, is the magnificent view across the bay. The Chart Room has duck-egg blue walls, deliciously crisp linen, and a decently-sized kitchenette for self-catering. If you’re looking for a family getaway though, you’ll want the Sail Loft, which sleeps up to five and is kitted out in nautical stripes. There’s free WiFi, as well as a private braai area that guests can use.
Warning: the Chart Room and Nautica are directly underneath the main house, so light sleepers may be woken by little feet in the morning. The fresh lamingtons in a jar were very appreciated by this rusk-hater.