Famous for its stretch of beautiful beaches, Durban is quickly rising as the new star in South Africa’s holiday destinations. If you’re heading there, ditch the usual sterile hotel experience for a unique, local, and intimate experience with these cool boutique hotels on the east coast of South Africa.
Enjoy a luxurious stay at this small and intimate guest house known as The St. James on Venice. With only 15 classically decorated rooms, guests are pampered to the fullest and receive personalized service in a warm and friendly environment. The age-old house was built in 1892 and is a part of Durban’s rich history. Some rooms provide a clear view of the old St. James church. The professional staff are more than happy to organize a personalized tour so that guests can visit historical sites, coffee shops, artisan markets, and other places of interest.
The Benjamin is another charming hotel located on the buzzing Florida Road. All 43 double rooms are air-conditioned and have en-suite bathrooms. There is a fully equipped conference room that can accommodate up to 40 delegates, as well as a ten-seater boardroom making it the ideal place for business meetings and private functions. Their open-glass conservatory-style restaurant serves delicious meals. There are also many other restaurants in the hotel’s surroundings. They even cater for private high tea and private functions can be held in the enchanting gardens or the poolside.
The award-winning five-star boutique hotel known as Endless Horizons is located in close proximity to the King Shaka International Airport with a stunning 180-degree view of the Indian Ocean. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, you will be thrilled with all the amenities available to you in this hotel. Sleep comfortably in colorfully decorated rooms with mini-bars, enjoy cocktails on the swimming pool’s deck, dine in fine style sampling the mouthwatering dishes prepared by expert chefs in the restaurant, and hold your meetings in a fully equipped conference room. Outside of the hotel you can visit nature reserves, play a game on a golf course, relax on the beaches, and enjoy other attractions nearby.
eMakhosini Boutique Hotel is set in the hip suburb of Morningside, Durban. Once home to the French Consulate, the hotel has been beautifully restored, offering charm and tranquility. The interior décor is a blend of French Colonial with a hint of traditional Zulu. Stay in one of 24 individually appointed guest rooms—each with its own en-suite bathroom and decorated in a fusion of French elegance and African simplicity. Featuring Story Durban, a seasonally inspired restaurant, The Cellar, a private dining experience for those special occasions, and The Gin Bar & Library, which opens up to the large swimming pool and patio which lend themselves brilliantly daytime relaxation. Centrally located in Morningside, the hotel is within easy reach of Durban’s best attractions. It is only a short distance to the Golden Mile, a seven kilometer stretch of sun-kissed beaches and warm oceans; Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World; and the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
If you are looking to experience a unique stay, The Concierge Boutique Bungalows is a good choice. Where else would you be greeted by long oversized sleek black dachshunds? The beautiful dogs add to the homely feel and warmth of the small and enchanting lodging that, while hidden along a small side street, is still located in the heart of the city near the ocean. The Concierge is located inside a lovely courtyard with the feel of a quiet village. There are 12 guest rooms laid out in four bays, each with its own unique colors and design variations. Enjoy mouthwatering dishes from the award-winning Freedom Café housed in a steel container on the same property.
The Quarters Hotel on the trendy Florida Road is hard to miss. This quaint white house where four gracious Victorian homes have been restored by award-winning architects create a unique hotel of immense charm and character. Inside, you will find a subtle combination of modern sophistication and old-fashioned warmth reflected in everything from the décor to the welcoming attitude of the dedicated staff. Trendy eating spots and night clubs are walking distance away from the hotel.
Audacia Manor, built in 1928, is a beautifully restored colonial mansion on the slopes of Durban’s Berea in a quiet residential area overlooking the city and the Indian Ocean. They are mere minutes from the ICC, the famed Golden Mile beachfront and various sports stadiums, such as Moses Mabhida, Absa (“Shark Tank”), Kingsmead, and Kingspark. Spacious individually decorated rooms offer luxury and style with king-sized beds and fully appointed bathrooms with separate showers. All rooms have air-conditioning, heating, a mini-bar, and a television with 49 DSTV channels. The Manor House rooms have balconies providing 180-degree views of the city and the Indian ocean while the Coach House offers private courtyards with outside spa baths and in-door/out-door showers.
Makaranga is well known to Durbanites as a famous Sunday garden outing for families. The property also houses a spacious and luxurious boutique hotel that looks into the gardens. Each suite is tastefully furnished and opens onto a private patio, where the true beauty of Makaranga can be appreciated. If you’re feeling peckish after walking through the beautiful gardens, you can dine at the gorgeously decorated Nona restaurant on the property that serves up one of the best Sunday brunches.