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“Thoroughly enyoed our stay in this excellent bed and breakfast / boutique hotel.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Benjamin

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The Benjamin
Ranked #6 of 41 Hotels in Durban
Certificate of Excellence
UK
Level Contributor
57 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Thoroughly enyoed our stay in this excellent bed and breakfast / boutique hotel.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2009

In Durban, the location is everything and the Benjamin is ideally located in Florida Road, a very safe residential area of the city so we could visit a different restaurant every night and really enjoyed them all - although Spigo d'Oro and Mo's noodles were particularly good. The second big plus were the staff - friendly and helpful in arranging things like hire car, further trips etc. Breakfast was great, buffet style but with cooked English breakfast available as well. The internet service was fine, although buying 30 minuytes vouchers (reduiced to 15 minutes by the time we left) made the sessions a bit broken up. But what a small quiblle on a lovely experience. The number of return guest signatures in the hotel visitor book says it all.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank RobinLynch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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216 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
uk
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 15, 2009

Enjoyed an excellant stay here during the Lions Rugby Tour,rooms ok,breakfast ok.Plenty of bars and restuarants around the hotel and never felt unsafe at any point.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank sale348
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 30, 2009

I can't really say that we stayed at this hotel, because we left shortly after we arrived. We were first greeted by a very rude front-desk person. We were immediately-put off. We were shown to our rooms (schlepping our luggage up the steps with no elevator or offer to have someone assist us). The room smelled odd, and felt a lot like a college dorm room. The bed was not comfortable. As soon as I went to the bathroom, I found several families of ants crawling around the walls & counters. The bathrooms were run down and sparse. We asked if they had internet access. they do, but only if you bring your own laptop. They had no computer for us to use. When we tried to depart to find an internet cafe, we were informed that we must leave our key at the front desk because if we lost it, that would be very inconvenient for them. I have traveled the world over, staying in everything from youth hostels to five-star hotels. I can be happy in an inexpensive, no-frills place, but some things are just mandatory. Bottom line, if you're into good service and a nice clean hotel, this isn't the place to go.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank sherrihowe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Send, Surrey
Level Contributor
33 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 16, 2009

We stayed for one night at this lovely hotel. Our room was large and comfortable. Only downside it smelt a bit smokey but to be fair we didn't complain as were only there one night. Breakfast was wonderful and very tasty. The hotel is in a good area with lots of bars and restaurants so it was very easy to find somewhere for dinner. Great value for money.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank barobson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sanaa, Yemen
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2008

On its website, the Benjamin (which refers to itself in promotional material as a "boutique hotel") offers the following description:

"Situated in the heart of Durban's restaurant area, behind a tree-lined street, one steps into the quiet sophistication of The Benjamin Hotel. This is one of Durban's historic buildings which has been transformed into a hotel, yet retains the charm of yesteryear."

After having there stayed for a week and a half, one would have to say, in this instance, there would seem to be truth in advertising:

The room (which worked out as R625 per night, roughly £41.66 at today's rate) was clean, well appointed and comfortable, light and airy with remote controlled air conditioning unit, a firm, comfortable double bed, television (six channels of cable TV, SA channels and BBC World, no CNN however!), large free-standing wardrobe, dresser, writing desk, en suite bathroom/shower (all well maintained, with decent water pressure and plenty of hot water) and heavy curtains that were able to keep the light out in the morning.

In terms of the actual room, the whole experience could have been improved slightly if the room had included a small refrigerator/ or frigobar unit (handy for keeping perishable food/beverages in a hot, tropical climate), if there had been mesh window screens installed to keep out insects (for those occasions where one felt like turning off the air conditioning and opening windows), and if there had been a dedicated ethernet port in the room or a wireless internet service included as part of the room price (a wireless service of some description was available but it was not actually provided by the hotel; one would have been compelled to purchase vouchers, of varying durations/prices, not cheap, one day's worth of internet use worked out to be something like R200-250).

All communal/dining spaces were immaculately maintained. The staff (Sandy, Lindsay, Dee, Grace & co) were helpful and friendly, and went out of their way to offer any/all assistance required by guests. The buffet breakfast (offered between 07:00-10:00 daily, served in the dining room, with a view towards the pool and courtyard garden, usually very tranquil) was more than adequate, with a selection of cereals, bread, cold cuts, fresh fruit, juices, coffee, etc, readily available (a cooked breakfast also was available on demand). The swimming pool (salt water, cleaned constantly by a robotic vacuum, commonly referred to as a "creepy crawly" ) was small but perfectly adequate in terms of relaxing and keeping fit; while I was there, I seemed to be the only guest who was using it.

The hotel itself is located on Florida Road, near a number of other up-market hotels, in the pleasant, albeit somewhat sanitized, Morningside section of Durban, (Durban, particularly the CBD, has a well deserved reputation for random, opportunistic, sometimes violent crime; the Florida Road Business Association therefore employs a private security firm to monitor/target criminal activity, helping to keep tourists safe and ensure that the economic vitality of the area is maintained) part of a larger area loosely referred to as The Berea.

There are a number of restaurants, bars, cafes and nightclubs in the vicinity, along with a small Spar supermarket, a pharmacy, and shops selling African curios, ceramics, books (Ike's Books at 48A Florida Road, definitely worth a look), etc. The Windermere Centre is also within walking distance where one can find a couple of larger supermarkets, secure ATMs, clothing shops, hardware store, a small branch of eThekwini Municipal Library, boutiques, restaurants and all the usual facilities associated with shopping malls.

It should be noted that transport in Durban, particularly transport at night, remains a significant problem. Renting a car is probably the simplest option, especially when your hotel has secure parking. By day, in theory, one can safely walk around The Berea and even, if you're not alone/have your wits about you, in the CBD (although one must remain vigilant and take basic precautions in terms of mobile phones, jewelry, valuables, cameras, passports, etc). Blue Mynah buses are reasonably safe, cheap and fairly frequent, larger Durban Transport buses, where available, are even cheaper, there is also the option of taking one of the ubiquitous minibus taxis (if your ears can stand the music).

However, after nightfall, most of these transport options swiftly evaporate. if you need to get around Durban/travel to/from the CBD and don't have a car, especially after dark, would recommend both Mozzie Cabs (their motto is "it's cool to go by cab") http://www.mozzie.co.za/ [-] and Eagle Radio Taxis [-], both offer a clean and reliable service, at reasonable rates (for tourists spending dollars, euros or sterling in any event; from Florida Road to the CBD worked out at R30, approximately £2.00 at today's rate).

In summing up, would recommend The Benjamin unreservedly, definitely would stay there again the next time I'm in Durban.

  • Liked — clean, simple and reasonably priced. Also the pool was an absolute pleasure.
  • Disliked — dearth of reasonably priced on-demand internet service, no refrigerator in the room, no window screens
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank hal_jehlikakik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2007

We recentlty stayed at the Hotel Benjamin in Florida Road, Durban, for 3 nights.
What a fantastic hotel! Nothing was ever too much effort for the wonderful receptionists. The hotel itself is in a lovely location, very secure and within 5 minutes walk of numerous good restaurants. The hotel also has a pool and guests can help themselves to a courtesy bar and sit next to the pool sipping sundowners, or as in our case on the spacious balcony in our bedroom.
Having stayed at Quarters Hotel in the same road previously, I can honestly say that I had a far better experience and more superb accommodation(lovely airconditioned bedroom) at the Benjamin, than I had at Quarters.

Highly recommended.

Helpful?
5 Thank wayne2cat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Benjamin

Property: The Benjamin
Address: 141 Florida Road | Morningside, Durban 4001, South Africa
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Durban
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Durban
#6 Business Hotel in Durban
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — The Benjamin 4*
Number of rooms: 41
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
"Home away from Home"A warm welcome awaits you at The Benjamin located a 5-minute drive from Durban Beaches and in the heart of the vibrant entertainment strip in Florida Road. The hotel features gardens with an outdoor pool and a shaded terrace. Free parking is available on site.The Benjamin and offers free WI-FI.41 rooms where no two rooms are the same open onto balconies and gardens . The cosy rooms offer airconditioning, tea,coffee making facilities,hairdryers,Satellite TV and work desks in all rooms. Overlooking the garden and pool, Benjamin’s breakfast is served in our open glassed conservatory style restaurant and offers a fresh continental breakfast buffet and plated hot breakfasts. Walk out of the Hotel into the restaurant road of Durban and enjoy your dinners and lunches in some of Durbans famous restaurants.The Moses Mabida Stadium, The Rugby Stadium, Suncoast Casino and Durban ICC are within 5km by car from The Benjamin. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Benjamin Hotel Durban
Benjamin Hotel Durban

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