From the edge of Africa

Words: Jason Whitehouse

Having travelled far and wide across the country, Jason Whitehouse has never stayed in a place that has touched his soul in quite the same way as the Arniston Spa Hotel.

South Africa is a beautiful country with a variety of treasures, wildlife, stunning untouched coastlines, interesting history that connects us with routes in Europe and of course there is the phenomenal history of Khoisan dating back many thousands of years.

I’ve been lucky to have travelled extensively throughout the country, stayed at 5-star lodges, the best beach resorts and city hotels from Johannesburg to KwaZulu-Natal and of course the magnificent Western Cape region.

However, there are those places that touch the soul in more meaningful ways and that has been my experience in Arniston while staying at the Arniston Spa Hotel on the edge of the African continent. I have a passion for the heartbeat within the people that keep tourism alive. For those that keep the wheels turning to ensure customers receive the best service with a South African flavour and I must say that I truly believe we have found a place that offers just that.


Arniston is a small fishing village with a multi-generational history housing +/- 1200 inhabitants, many of who work at the Arniston Spa Hotel.

This 4-star establishment is run seamlessly, and the consistency of the service is of the best I have ever experienced. You see, hospitality is personal and it’s the people rendering the service that make this exactly true for the Arniston Spa Hotel.

I have met countless staff with beautiful stories – hard-working down-to-earth and appreciative professionals that are flying the flag of South African hospitality as high as it could possibly fly!

This has become a spiritual safe haven for me. I love the history and the authenticity, the people and the truly inspiring coastline. The water is crystal clear, jagged rock cliffs run down to rock filled fish traps and amazing sea life. On one morning, my daughters and I found multiple star fish, an octopus, many sea urchins and schools of fish trapped at low tide within the naturally formed rocky outcrops.

The town is named after a famous ship that ran aground many years ago with close to 400 casualties and only 6 survivors. A portion of this wreck is still visible 9km up the coast from the hotel and I highly recommend taking the time to absorb this piece of history, second in fatalities to only the Titanic.


The sunrises over the ocean here and if you are lucky enough you will see the fishing boats launching to spend their days out in the ocean depths, ever hopeful to bring home dinner for their families and fresh stock for the hotel’s seafood menu to boot. These are some of the most inspiring and soul enriching sunrises I have ever witnessed.

The hotel is perfect for families with children – they have created exciting and unique characters that feature in their kid’s club, often placing jumping castles on the vast open lawn in front of the hotel entrance overlooking the ocean.

When it comes to the delicious food served up in the hotel, the menu is extensive and caters for all – I highly recommend the steak as well as seafood options. The bar and dining areas feature a beautiful fireplace creating a wonderful ambience during the winter months.


As for the spa, I must admit that it was simply too tempting to resist having multiple treatments! The sauna, massage, razul room and highly professional staff truly make this one of the top spas I have ever been to.

In terms of the region, there are many attractions within half an hour of the hotel. Cape Agulhas, the southern-most tip of Africa, Die Mond nature reserve, the only shipwreck museum in the country, many farms, walks, famous landmark caves to explore, massive dunes with beautiful endless coastline views and much more.

It is safe, inspiring, relaxing, has heart like no other I have ever experienced, and I highly recommend a stay here!

I’d like to thank Rodger Newman, GM, Barbara, Guest Liaison and Heinrich, reservations manager for everything they have done for me and my family! This is now officially my second home.

Arniston Hotel at a Glance

With 70 rooms and an incredible location, the 4-star Arniston Hotel & Spa has plenty to offer its guests – take a look at its facilities:

  • Heated swimming and kiddies pool
  • 2 restaurants
  • Conference facilities
  • Cocktail Bar
  • Health Spa
  • Pristine Beaches
  • Mountain biking
  • Kids club during school holidays and long weekends

Attractions in the area

  • Waenhuiskrans (Tidal Cave)
  • Kassiesbaai (Historical Fishing Village)
  • Cape Agulhas (Most southerly point of Africa)
  • Wine tasting at the southernmost vineyards, Black Oystercatcher
  • Whale watching
  • Birding picnics at De Mond Nature Reserve
  • De Hoop Nature Reserve

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