In this latest article in an ongoing series, Elite Traveler takes a closer look at the luxury accommodations available in one of South Africa’s greatest cities. Here are the best luxury hotels in Durban.
The Oyster Box
The pool at The Oyster Box | ©RedCarnationHotels
The Oyster Box is not only one of Durban’s finest hotels but one of South Africa’s. More than that, it is widely considered to be a national treasure. Continuously hosting guests for over 70 years, the hotel has consistently delivered high-level service despite the country’s drastically changing social and political environment. Sitting on the beachfront in Umhlanga, the hotel offers stunning views out across the Indian Ocean.
One of the hotel’s two dining options is The Grill Room, which is inarguably one of Durban best restaurants. Here, guests enjoy traditional fine-dining fare made from a variety of freshly-caught seafood and local produce. Durban’s Indian influences make curry a local specialty and The Grill Room proudly serves up its own authentic versions of the dish.
The spa also sets The Oyster Box apart from the rest. It uses its own line of products, which are made from African plants, and offers a range of treatments that are true to native KwaZulu-Natal practices.
Top suite: The Presidential Suite
The Presidential Suite at The Oyster Box | ©RedCarnationHotels
Take your own private elevator to the hotel’s two-level Presidential Suite where stunning panoramic views over the ocean are waiting. The view can also be enjoyed on the suite’s private patio, where you will find your own private plunge pool. Take a dip and scout for dolphins out over the horizon. There is enough dining space for eight guests, a private bar and a well-equipped kitchen, making it the perfect place to entertain. Retreat to the master bedroom where further views of the ocean are on offer or relax in one of two lavish marble bathrooms.
Tel: +27 31 514 5000
Fordoun Hotel & Spa
Fordoun Hotel & Spa from across the lake
Take the short drive out of Durban to experience the stunning KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Fordoun Hotel is just over an hour’s drive from the city but feels like a million miles away from an urban environment. From here, you can explore the majestic Drakensberg Park and discover quaint colonial villages. The hotel itself is nothing short of a haven, offering several luxuriously appointed suites with beautiful mountain views. These suites are situated away from the original farm buildings but an on-site cart ferries guests from their rooms to the main facilities. Guests dine at the Skye Bistro Restaurant where Chef Lorenzo Giliomee and his team take great pride in preparing all meals with care and attention to detail using fresh and local produce.
Top suite: The Midlands Suite
One of the hotel’s superior suites, The Midlands Suite is defined by the large piece of local art above the bed. All of the superior suites boast incredible views over the Drakensberg from a private balcony as well as all of the luxurious amenities you would expect such as a king-size bed, separate lounge area and a gas fireplace for chilly winter nights.
Tel: +27 (0) 33 266 6217
The Beverly Hills Hotel Durban
The name gives this hotel a lot to live up to. While there is no relation with its legendary Californian namesake, The Beverly Hills Hotel Durban follows the same ethos of delivering iconic elegance and gracious hospitality. First opened in 1964, the hotel has played host to a number of notable figures including royalty, A-list celebrities and captains of industry. There is no such thing as basic accommodation here. Each of the hotel’s 89 rooms are beautifully appointed, and come with a private balcony and uninterrupted views of the ocean. Guests can dine at the popular Sugar Club, which is as the name suggests is best known for its decadent desserts.
Top suite: Presidential Suites
The hotel boasts two Presidential Suites. Both offer an atmosphere of timeless opulence. Situated on the eighth floor of the hotel, the private balcony offers a stunning view of the Indian Ocean. This view is also available from the spacious lounge through floor-to-ceiling windows. The bedroom comes with a walk-in dressing room and a lavish bathroom.
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Tel: +27 31 561 2211
Audacia Manor Boutique Hotel
This colonial mansion was originally built in 1928 before being painstakingly restored to become one of Durban’s best boutique hotels. Located in the residential area of Morningside, Audacia Manor benefits from the relative peace and quiet but still offers beautiful views of the Indian Ocean albeit from a distance. The hotel has just 10 rooms divided between the manor and the coach house.
Although there is no suite to speak of, each of these rooms offers a level of luxury that would suit almost everyone’s taste. The graceful mahogany furniture and four-poster beds pay homage to the hotel’s heritage. Five of the six Manor Rooms have balconies with amazing views over the city while the Coach House rooms come with access to a private courtyard with jacuzzi spa baths and in-door/out-door showers.
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Tel: +27 31 303 9520
Endless Horizons Boutique Hotel
Another one of Durban’s outstanding boutique hotels, Endless Horizons is situated in the cosmopolitan suburb of Durban North. Only a short journey from the King Shaka International Airport, nearby business parks and a number of golf courses, it is a popular haven for busy executives. The hotel may appear overly modest on first sight but you are soon reassured by the first-class service and understated luxury of its rooms. The large wooden deck and infinity swimming pool offers the perfect place to unwind and doubles up as an al fresco dining area. The hotel’s restaurant offers a seasonal menu created with fresh and local ingredients.
Top suite: Director Suites
Perfect for the business executive, the Director Suites offer a picturesque 180-degree view of the Indian Ocean and Durban coast line. The spacious rooms come complete with an LCD television, surround sound and a range of pampering amenities. Enjoy the hotel’s famous room service breakfast while taking in the ocean views from your private balcony.
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Tel: +27 31 564 0360