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Where to Stay in Durban
The area of Durban with the greatest concentration of tourist-friendly hotels is the Golden Mile, a long strip of beachfront property reaching from the city center toward the northern suburbs. You’ll want to book your room here if you plan to spend much of your time lounging on the sand or hitting up the major tourist attractions like uShaka Marine World or Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World.
Just west of the Golden Mile’s southern end, Durban’s most exclusive business hotels are clustered around the city’s convention center. Though they’re a short drive from the beach and the neighborhood has little to offer in the evenings, these hotels are the top picks for formal luxury.
Surrounding the city to the west, northwest and north are numerous suburbs with some of the most popular and cheap hotel deals in Durban. While these may be a bit out of the way of some of the city’s top attractions, most are in relatively quiet and affluent neighborhoods with their own bustling restaurant and shopping districts. The suburbs of Berea, Morningside, Stamford Hill and Durban North have the greatest variety of accommodations.
Durban Hotel Tips
The plentiful resorts and hotels that line the beach have a few gems among them, but many are outdated and lack much appeal beyond their proximity to the sand. For this reason, it’s important to book your room far in advance if you want to stay on the water, thereby ensuring yourself a nice room at one of the better properties.
It’s significantly easier to find great rooms and decent values by searching farther inland, both in Central Durban and the surrounding suburbs. These range from five star luxury towers and swanky boutiques to comfortable, mid-range family hotels and intimate bed and breakfast inns.
If you’re traveling on a tight budget, look into Durban’s many backpacker inns. There are several of these properties near the coast and in the suburbs, and their rates can’t be beat.
Durban Hotel Recommendations
For some of the nicest rooms located right on the beaches of Central Durban, look to the Garden Court South Beach, located just minutes away from Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World. The rooms here are not extravagant, but they’re modern, clean and available at great rates considering their proximity to the sand.
Just a short distance west, nearer the Central Business District, the Hilton Durban and The Royal Hotel serve as Durban’s most luxurious properties, catering to a blend of business travelers and vacationers. The Hilton’s features include an outdoor swimming pool, a health and beauty spa, three cocktail lounges and a restaurant specializing in local fare and fresh seafood. The Royal Hotel, one of the city’s oldest and most meticulously maintained structures, has catered to Durban’s most famous and distinguished visitors. The lavishly appointed suites on the upper floors offer astounding views of the city and the busy harbor to the south.
Up the coast, the Beverly Hills Hotel is another oceanfront favorite and one of the best places to splurge; its most opulent suites have private butler service. The on-site restaurant, The Sugar Club, is renowned throughout the region.
If you prefer more intimate accommodations, a cozy six-room inn can be found in the D’Urban Elephant Guest House. Nothing about this property is over-the-top, but the rates are affordable and the rooms are spacious, making it ideal for extended stays.
The Golden Mile is easy to cover on foot, and during daylight hours, so is Central Durban. An alternative mode of transportation along the Golden Mile is the rickshaw, a hand cart usually pulled by a local in a colorful costume. Rickshaw rides are intended more for fun, scenic views of the area than as efficient transportation, however.
If you intend to explore Durban’s outer limits or any areas beyond the city, it’s best to rent a car at the airport after your flight to Durban. A variety of car rental agencies serve King Shaka International Airport.
Alternatively, you can rely on taxis and buses if you plan on sticking to the city and its nearest suburbs. Metered taxis are cheap and plentiful, but you will have to call for every ride, as they do not patrol for fares. Bus service connecting major tourist districts along the Golden Mile and in the Central Business District is provided by the Durban People Mover, which charges cheap one-way fares and sells slightly more expensive all-day ride passes.
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