Hermanus used to be known as a fishing village where well-heeled South Africans would head for the summer holidays – away from work and business meetings. Christmas would see a major influx of visitors, many of whom owned holidays homes in the area, and then there would be the exodus back to Joburg at the close of the festivities.
“Coronavirus and lockdowns have transformed the image of Hermanus, certainly from the new home enquiries we are getting at Benguela Cove. Until the Coronavirus and lockdown, Hermanus was seen as a great place for a holiday, but not a practical location for a main residence. Times have changed,” says Penny Streeter OBE, owner of the Benguela Cove Lagoon Wine Estate.
Many CEOs and their employees are considering never returning to the office, certainly not on a full-time basis. Post-lockdown, the need to live in a metropolis such as Johannesburg – or London, Paris or Berlin – has diminished, maybe gone forever. As a result, the property market is seeing a surge in buyers choosing to live in their favourite holiday destinations; the main requirements are for a home office, great internet connectivity and a location as close to a holiday paradise as you can get.
Hermanus seems to tick every box for many seeking a new home, says Streeter. Added to its attractions, compared to other favoured seaside towns, it largely avoided the level of civil unrest seen in Durban for example during the lockdown, which was reported widely in international media.
Hermanus is increasingly seen by the home and global audience as a perfect home base, zoom town for high-net-worth people and their families. It was recognised as the 2019 UNESCO City of Gastronomy, with great restaurants, blue flag beaches, three private schools, the Mediclinic private hospital, as well as the attractions of the whale coast, offering great hiking and biking routes.
And Hermanus has the Benguela Cove luxury estate, which boasts its own winery, vineyards and is a producer of the finest wines.
As a serial entrepreneur – with hospitality and wine estates in the UK as well as South Africa – it is Hermanus that Streeter calls home: “Of all the places I have visited and could choose from, for where to live, Benguela is the place to be. We have large erven where anyone can build their dream home; some of these plots sit side by side and many owners have bought two, and in some cases three, plots adjacent to each other.”
“Whether your idea of bliss is a home within the Benguela Cove vineyards themselves or on the estate’s prestigious ridge with sweeping views of the lagoon and the ocean, a dream home is there for anyone, just waiting to be built. A new build project is a great opportunity; you can take all the features that you have loved from homes you have lived in or visited, and combine them in the house of your dreams. It’s easy too: as the developer, we can introduce homebuyers to excellent builders and architects, or we even build a home for you.”
Waterfront views, vineyard walks, water sports, olive groves and outstanding fauna and flora: these are just some of the many attractions of Benguela Cove, says Streeter. Added to this, the estate has its own 24-hour on-site security as well as a winery, from which homeowners can enjoy an annual allocation of wines.
For more information visit www.benguelacove.co.za