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Where to Stay in Durban?
Durban’s Golden Mile, overlooking the Indian Ocean and constantly buzzing with people just off the beach looking for a drink and a bite to eat, is a tourist magnet and you’ll find a good selection of three to five star hotels sitting along the strip. If you opt for this location you are only steps away from the Shake Marine World, the Blue Lagoon, popular for picnics, Mini Town miniature replica of Durban, surfers’ paradise North Beach, the Skate Park and the Sun Coast Casino and Entertainment World complex. There are also all manner of hawkers selling traditional Zulu arts and crafts.
Away from the strip, the city centre, to which you can walk from the seafront, also has a good cross section of hotels. Attractions here include the City Hall in West Street which is home to the natural science museum and the city’s art gallery. Inside the nearby Old Court House is the local history museum, which tells the story of Durban through the ages. A must-see for those interested in the racial history of the city is the Kwan Mule Museum on Ordnance Road which explains how apartheid operated and how it came to an end in South Africa.
Durban Accommodation Options
The Golden Mile is awash with high-rise hotels built in the 1970s when tourism first started to boom in the city. However, you don’t have to pay top whack for a view of the ocean and there is a good choice of smaller establishments to choose from. The Bellaire Suites, the Blue Waters Hotel and the Parade Hotel offer affordable rates without compromising on the beachfront location.
In the city you will find more five star hotels plus an emergence of smaller, boutique properties with small pools, apartment style rooms and good restaurants. Durban’s suburbs also offer hotels to those after more space and peace and quiet. In popular Morningside, you’ll find homes turned into family-run hotels with lush foliage, larger pools and easy parking.
Durban Hotel Recommendations?
The Audacious Manor, built in 1928, and restored to hotel standards sits on the slopes of Durban’s Berea district and offers elegant boutique-style living with fabulous pool and poolside bar from which to admire the surrounding countryside. If you need to be more central, boutique City Lodge has exotic gardens and a large pool yet is just two blocks from the Golden Mile. For Victorian splendour in pretty Morningside, Quarters is four period homes turned into one rather lovely hotel five minutes from the beach and near to trendy shopping and restaurant area Florida Road
Transport in Durban
From Durban’s new airport at La Mercy, there will be hotel shuttle buses, a city bus service and hire car facilities to transport you to the city centre. The best way to navigate Durban is by car and there are loads of car rental companies at your disposal, particularly at the airport. If you are not happy about driving yourself around the city than there are also companies that will offer a chauffeur service during your stay. There are buses in Durban but like in many South African cities, the service is not comprehensive and a little unreliable. Of course, if you are staying on the seafront or the city centre you can always just walk – distances between attractions are not huge.
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