Are you planning a trip to Durban? Wanting to soak up the sun under ever-blue skies on golden sandy beaches? Or explore the Big 5 at a plethora of nearby game reserves? Or perhaps it’s the rich history and culture of Durban you’re after. Or maybe you’re a remote worker or on the lam.
Regardless of the reasons, you’ll need to stay somewhere.
Many of our guests ask us to recommend hotels, B&B’s or lodges in Durban, so we thought we’d put a little effort in curating a list of accommodations options we have either stayed at ourselves, or had great feedback from.
The accommodation sites we’re listing are not only great places to stay, but conveniently established to make it easier for you to get around in Durban or collected by us on a tour.
So, let’s get started.
Umhlanga or Durban
The first thing we need to chat about is which suburb in which to stay. What you need to know is the the closest suburb to the King Shaka International Airport is Umhlanga which is about a 20 minute drive south of the airport.
One of the great advantage of staying in Umhlanga is that all the restaurants (and there are plenty) are within walking distance. The boardwalk along the beach front is fantastic for early or late joggers or walkers and there are more coffee shops around than you’ll know what to do with!
As an added bonus there are a number of shopping centers nearby in case you need to purchase a left-behind item and both metered-cabs and Uber are available.
The city of Durban is also only 10 minutes away so you can visit Durban from Umhlanga and enjoy a tour of the city or perhaps visit the 1000 Hills etc.
For us to collect you, Umhlanga is nice and easy since it’s just minutes away from the freeway.
Durban is about 25 minutes from the airport, a little further south than Durban. A lot of the hotels we recommend are along the beachfront itself which gives for great views and makes it easy to get to and from the airport.
The beachfront is popular to visit, there are great views, safe swimming and surfing beaches and there are a number of entertainment areas such as Suncoast nearby.
While maybe on directly on the beaches, there are a number of boutique hotels that we love and our guests rave about so they should also be considered.
Safety is always a concern in any modern city and Durban is no different. Our advice is too rather take a taxi or Uber to where you are going, to avoid walking by yourself after hours and to let concierge know where you’re going and what time you’ll be back. Having said that, Durban is safe so don’t avoid exploring!
Protea Marriott Umhlanga Hotel
This is probably the hotel we pick guests up from the most. The hotel is situated right on the main street of Umhlanga which means it’s close by to the nightlife and restaurants in the area and getting around from here is easy.
The rooms are perfectly fine, the beds comfy and the pricing is pretty competitive. Staff are friendly and the breakfast on offer was damn good! The only downside is the parking is at the back of the hotel and not really obvious.
The rooms I have stayed in have pretty good views over the Indian Ocean as an added bonus. I would happily stay again.
Protea Fire and Ice
I have no idea why the hotel is called “Fire and Ice” but it’s a great hotel. It’s situated right next to the largest shopping centre in Durbanl close enough to walk to a restaurant safely, but far enough a way not to deal with noise.
The rooms are pretty swanky I thought, and the room rates competitive. Parking is a pan though and weekend traffic can really be a pain.
Breakfast is as good as anywhere else and the setting inside the hotel is very contemporary I thought. It’s a perfectly good hotel to stay at, many airline staff are booked into the Fire and Ice.
The Radisson Blu is the newest hotel on our list and I only include because a) I have picked up a set of guests there and b) I was given an opportunity to stay there one evening.
On the whole, a really nice hotel, but I will mention that when I stayed there 2 or 3 months back, there was still a bit of work going on, not enough to disturb me, but enough to be noticed.
It’s not cheap to stay at the Radisson (also not the most expensive) but it’s really comfortable. My partner did comment that it felt like the hotel was “trying” to hard.
Breakfast was okay, mostly continental – disappointing for a South African lad looking for a full English!
The hotel is also situated a slightly longer walk from the restaurants compared to others hotels, any there is quite a bit of construction going on in the area which naturally will end at some point.
Still, a great hotel though at the rates they are charging perhaps there are better choices.
Oyster Box Hotel
I believe the Oyster Box was the very first 5-star in Durban (perhaps the country, but I could be reaching here). It is amazing. The rooms, the decor, the staff, there is nothing I believe anyone could conceivably complain about. Of course it is 5-star, so it’s not budget friendly for the most of us, but a real treat for a night or two.
The restaurant is considered to be one of the best in Durban and the curry-bar might actually be the greatest culinary experience in the world (according to me).
The rooms look out over the Indian Ocean and the hotel is just a short walk away from the restaurants in the Umhlanga.
Easy to get to, plenty of parking space available, this hotel is honestly worth every penny of it’s 5-star rates.
Beverley Hills Hotel
The Beverley Hills is my favourite hotel in the list, years ago my partner and I used to spend Sunday evenings enjoying coffee at the lounge, listening to the local maestro play the piano – we felt so swanky!
I personally have never stayed in the hotel, but based on my clients comments, they are great. The staff I think, are the friendliest and will pretty much bend backwards to assist you.
Located next door to the Oyster Box, the Beverley Hills offers amazing sea views and has a more-than-adequate restaurant. And, if you do wish to eat out, the hotel is just a 5 minute walk from the high street restaurants.
I spent a night out Suncoast Towers a few years back after hitting a bit of a winning streak at the casino next door – the rooms were really nice if not a little generic but if you looking to just get your head down for a few hours, they are perfectly fine.
The room rates are I think quite affordable and really the hotel is easy to get too and there is plenty parking and the all important breakfast is great!
Next door is the casino complex which does have some restaurants but mostly fast food which is great if you late back from a tour – you would need to Uber or catch a taxi to a better eatery though.
The Towers are right on the beach which is great is you wanting some Indian ocean fun, you can swim, surf, the usual stuff, and you are probably 1 minutes stroll from the beach
The Elnageni is one of the hotels we collect guests from a lot of times. It’s a great hotel on the beachfront with awesome views. THe hotel is easy to get to with great parking. The rooms are perfectly adequate, there’s great service, and the rates are good.
in a way, the Elangeni is kinda like the generic hotel you expect to find in any city around the world. I will say that I do find that there concierge is a little quick to convince you to stay in rather than get out and explore – but more about that another time.
Blue Waters Hotel
The Blue Waters is another of those hotels we collect guests from often. I spent two nights there a few years ago with a group who wanted me to be with them 24/7 and I thought back then that the hotel could do with a sprucing up and then, they did exactly that!
I haven’t been into the rooms since but I’m told they are nice and contemporary and comfortable; what else could you really expect from the hotel I guess.
The hotel is easy to get to being close to the M4 (the road in from the airport) and it’s jsut 5 minutes walk away from Suncoast with all it’s restaurants and about 10 minutes away by car from Florida Road and all the restaurants there.
Blue Waters is also directly on the beach so if you’re a water baby much like I am, you’ll appreciate that you are a 30 second walk away from the Indian Ocean.
This hotel I know next to nothing about but every guests I have ever picked up from there has said it’s a great hotel. It’s just a few minutes south of the Blue Waters and kinda shares a lot of the same advantages.
The last guests I collected from the Belaire Suites in May were really complimentary of the service, so there’s that I guess. They also mentioned how affordable the hotel was.
Unfortunately that’s really all I have to go on for the Belaire Suites – I’ll have to arrange a stay there for a night and report back further.
I was invited to a function one evening and decided that instead of driving back home after the function, I would stay nearby and I ended up booking a night in The Benjamin – and I am so glad I did!
What a great place! It’s situated at the sourthern end of Florida Road which for those that don;t know, is where the nightlife and restaurants of Durban are situated.
Initially I was worried that the noise from traffic and late night revellers would be an issue, but not at all – although I should point out I’m a heavy sleeper.
The rooms felt welcoming and the bed was oh so comfy and the service from staff impeccable. I can’;’t remember off hand how much the nights stay ran me, but since it is a 4-star hotel, it certainly wasn’t cheap. – I should point out that I shared the cost of the room with my partner so cost is all relative.
If memory serves me correctly, I think the hotel is actually one of the old residences of Durban and it has a wonderful pool, perfect for those summer stays in Durban.
An added bonus to staying at the Benjamin is it’s nearness to some of Durban’s best restaurants including my favourite, the House of Curries!
There are so many more hotels that you can choose from in Durban, there are just some that I have either stayed at personally or that I have had first-hand reports from visitors. Over time I will try to expand out list, perhaps even try some more out myself.
Of course if you have any questions feel free to get in touch.