This is my kind of place – a bold fusion of French chateaux style décor in a traditional Cape Dutch manor house. More boutique hotel than guesthouse, the Neuk has individually decorated rooms done up with sumptuous flair. A gracious building of interesting architecture, it is conveniently located in the suburb of Morningside in Durban.
Surprisingly affordable for such plush luxury, the Neuk has every possible traveler convenience – air-conditioning, heated towel rails, large flat-screen televisions and plentiful plug points with varied adaptors. The hosting is friendly and professional and the hosts are enthusiastic about their corner of vibey Durban.
But it is the dramatic décor which is the X-factor that sets this guesthouse apart. Decadent wallpaper, chandeliers, intricate wall-mounted lamps, gilded mirrors and antique carved furniture grace every room. Silky linen is matched to each colour scheme. The spacious rooms have original parquet wooden flooring and pressed ceilings, with soft matt flagstone tiling in the bathrooms.
I arrive early and am given free reign to view the house, and every room is lovely. Each has unique features and has been lavished with decorative detail. I especially like the smaller, cosy lounge with its warm red and pink hues.
It is a tough choice for me between the Palm Room and the French Room, but eventually I choose the Palm Room for its outdoor location. It is almost a freestanding cottage, overlooking the pool and pretty garden. It is quiet within the walled garden, and I don’t hear any sounds of traffic even with the double doors of the cottage wide open to catch the breeze. Inside there are two antique French-style beds, a grand wardrobe, elegant desk and lounge chair. The modern bath is one of the longest I have ever had the pleasure of relaxing in - I am able to lie down, full length under water, counting my many blessings at finding such a calm haven.