Hermanus itself is not a particularly attractive town -- walking along the streetscape away from the sea, it resembles any other sprawling suburb -- but its position as the whale-watching capital has meant an unprecedented increase in new places to stay, the best of which afford grand sea views. Budget options abound, especially if you're prepared to go the self-catering route (and with the number and variety of restaurants in town, this is no great hardship). House on Westcliff (tel. 028/313-2388; R600-R800 double) offers cheery, cheap-as-chips garden rooms. Plusses are the shady garden, sheltered pool, and location (just across the street from the coastal path and near the new harbor). On the other side of town in Voelklip, a stroll away from a tiny, sheltered swimming beach, you may be lucky enough to bag a few nights at Hartford Cottage (tel. 028/314-0102; R900-R1,200 double, R200 per extra person; self-catering only). An immaculate thatched wonder that Wendy and Gys Hofmeyr originally built for their children, the cottage contains everything you could possibly need, plus a good dose of charm. But they don't take people for just 1 night -- in fact, regulars often book the place out for weeks at a time -- and it's closed from mid-December to mid-January. Right in the center of town is the relaxed Auberge Burgandy (tel. 028/313-1201), where standard rooms start at R1,180 double. Those with balconies and ocean views are probably your best bet -- although the garden options aren't half bad, either. There are a few larger rooms, as well as a penthouse with three double rooms, for R2,950. Breakfast is just across the road at the Burgandy restaurant. Also reasonable is Harbour House (tel. 028/312-1799; R755-R1,095 double): I'd skip the slick new hotel and ask for the Ilona room in the lovely old house; a balcony overlooks cool green gardens, and you'll be able to watch spouting whales from your room. If money is no object, more luxurious accommodations options for you are listed.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.