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“Better than Expected”

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Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani
Ranked #3 of 43 Hotels in Durban
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 3, 2009

Stayed here for 3 nights as part of a tour of South Africa. Have to say Durban would not have been on my itinerary if I had had a choice, but we made the most of it. The hotel is large and faces the beach. Our room was perfectly acceptable, spacious, clean (athough the carpet was a bit stained in places) and with good views of the ocean. The bathroom decor took a bit of getting used to (bright orange loo and bath and similar tiles). We did notice some noise from the street outside but it didn't really disturb us.
The staff were very friendly and the breakfast room manager even let us in early as we were doing a couple of trips which required an early start. Breakfast was good with lots of choice.
There is a very good Japanese restaurant next door which sadly we didn't get round to trying. There is also a small convenience store out of the hotel and to the left, and a larger Spar store past the convenience store turn left again and it is down on the right. There is also a craft market just across the road, which some of our party visited and bought some souvenirs. Apparently, on the beach locals do some very impressive sand sculptures.
We went to Hluhluwe Nature Reserve on one of our days which was really excellent - saw loads of rhino and even came across a group of about 6 sleeping that were so close we could have almost reached out and touched them - a bit scary really but wonderful. We also saw giraffe, zebra, warthog, buffalo, impala and nyala. It was a long trip but worth it.
Our second day we went to Isandlawana and Rorkes Drift, this is a very long day out and although we enjoyed it we wished we had picked our guide a bit better because although he seemed to have loads of information on the battles he was not very good or clear in imparting it

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Angel57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,961 - 1,967 of 2,072 reviews

Reviewed August 24, 2009

We stopped here for one night before flying elsewhere, the beach location was excellent we were actually in the hotel with some world beach football teams. The bar in this hotel was very good, the staff were excellent. We did not eat at the hotel but at the sister hotel down the road where the food in the Italian style restaurant and the service was excellent.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank iantoes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2009

I stayed at the Elangeni with a friend on a package arranged by HSBC, sponsors of the British & Irish Lions who were also staying in the hotel, and whose first match against the Springboks we were there to see.

The location behind the beach and the view from the rooms is excellent, but the rooms themselves are a little small (particularly when configured as a twin) and looking a little dated. The service was very good throughout (in fact we found this everywhere we went in South Africa), despite the fact that the hotel was absolutely full and having to deal with the visiting British & Irish Lions rugby team.

The breakfast buffet was a fairly standard international buffet with a few local dishes, and competently done. The bar is pleasant, but it took a while to get a drink sometimes - not unexpectedly given wall-to-wall rugby fans.

The only disappointment was the "Jewel of India" restaurant. We had been told that this was one of the best Indian restaurants in Durban (which has a large ethnic Indian population). In fact we found it to be on a par with a very average UK highstreet "curry house" and nothing special at all. The prices in the restaurant and the bar look very attractive to people from the EU, North America, etc, but the room prices being paid (albeit at a time of peak demand) seemed a bit steep.

I wouldn't have any qualms about suggesting a someone stayed here, but not having stayed anywhere else in Durban I'm not sure how it stacks up against the competition.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank TheSmogs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2009

We were taken the for the ipl matches - rooms overlook the sea - great place

Stayed: May 2009
1  Thank Sadhana_737
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2009

The rooms are comfortable and the hotel has a pleasant airy feel to it. The rooms are not spacious, but they all have a sea view. Because we were on the far side of the hotel we didn’t have a panoramic sea view but we were able to see other parts of Durban to the south.
My teenagers loved the close proximity of the hotel to the beach and we enjoyed several walks along the promenade. We felt quite safe night and day. Only once did we encounter anyone begging and a polite but firm no was all that was needed.
The hotel is situated close to the main road which we took to the Gateway Shopping Centre in Umhlanga Ridge, which had an amazing ‘Wavehouse’ feature – a place for budding surfers – our kids were impressed. The hotel is also not far from the uShaka Marine Life Centre (the 5th largest in the world) which also incorporates a water theme park and is right on the beach where you can (learn to) surf.
The staff were always very helpful and friendly. They were smartly dressed and pleasant, helping us with the information we needed and offering us towels when we went out to the beach.
Parking was very inexpensive, and we were given a permit. We did have a problem parking one night as the hotel had a special rate for Valentine’s Day and although we had a permit there were no spaces left.
We were also forced to miss breakfast the following morning as the queue was an hour long and we were leaving for safari. The breakfasts, though, were very good and there was a huge choice. We also ate at the hotel one evening. There was a flat charge for an evening meal and the food was very good and prices reasonable.
All in all we would definitely recommend this hotel. It is quite close to the new stadium that is being built for the World Cup in 2010. My teenagers loved it here and we would definitely stay at the Elangeni if we were fortunate enough to visit Durban again.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with family
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Thank JCSuffolk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2009

I stayed here for 9 nights (Test Cricket) and without doubt would recommend it for anyone looking for a good standard 4* hotel with wonderful sweeping panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and beach area from the room. The hotel is situated on North Beach which in my view is preferable to South Beach. The beach is about a 100 metres away and there are long walks along the front for about half an hour - very relaxing, enjoyable and safe during the day but not at night.

The rooms are fairly modest but perfectly adequate. My room 1514 didn't have a mini bar and only an old style television. The rooms are air conditioned but for some reason I found them perfectly comfortable without it on. Don't leave your bedroom window open when not in the room as you may have a visit from pigeons! The main plus of the rooms is undoubtedly the great views from it. The laundry available via the hotel is good and cheap.

A slightly unusual lift system in that there are different lifts for different floors. For floors 13 upwards there are 4 lifts which are efficient with no long waits. There are 3 restaurants - Indian and Japanese which are franchised but apparently good. I can speak very highly of the large main restaurant which does really excellent breakfasts. In the evening it is buffet dinner only but again first class and only R185. An excellent variety of food and they will cook you say salmon, steak ofrchops etc while you wait. Also there is a beef and lamb roast every night - the fussiest of eaters would be spoiled for choice. A good sized bar.

Internet access is not cheap at R90 an hour - 2 screens available on the first floor but it is secure although not the quickest and could cut out on occasions although the staff are helpful when this happens. There are two outdoor pools with the one at the front, overlooking the sea, a good size with tables round it.

I found reception friendly and helpful and the concierges were always eager to help - probably too much so, in the expectation of a tip. There are plenty of taxis outside the hotel and it is just as easy to do a direct deal with them than getting the desk to arrange it for you and take part of the taxi drivers fee. Shashis white taxis were very reliable. There is a really superb smallish Spar supermarket just round the corner that just about has everything you could need.

I was here to watch the South Africa v Australia Test series and both teams were staying here although that may partially have been because Southern Sun Hotels were one of the sponsors of the series. However I have been here before when the Australians again stayed here. It is true that you are not recommended to go for a walk outside the hotel at night but that in my view would apply to any hotel in Durban - fact I am afraid but not an issue to me.

In summary, this is a good 4* hotel on the preferable North Beach. Great views from the rooms and excellent meals in the main restaurant. I have stayed here 3 times now, each time for a week+ and would definitely recommend it.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled solo
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Thank Andrew B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2009

We stayed in this hotel, because we wanted an ocean view from the room. Hotel has a nice location right along the beach, and the rooms facing the ocean have stunning views (but no balcony). Other than this, there is nothing much special about the room. Beds are very comfortable, but bathroom was not great. Room service was good, they delivered breakfasts right on time. The front desk however were not very efficient. Although we confirmed several times that we have extended our stay, they messed up our check-out date. When we returned to room, keys did not work, and security were in our room trying to work out what to do with our luggage, which was not cool. Other than that, we found that hotel was a bit run down, with very strange lifts (it took a while to get them running). There is parking available, but you need to pay 50 rants per day. Also, there was internet in the business center, but the prices were astronomic, so we went to an internet cafe nearby. You can stay there for the location (ocean views), but having said that, the neighbourhood did not feel safe at night.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Bahadir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani

Address: 63 OR O R Tambo Parade | North Beach, Durban 4001, South Africa
Phone Number:
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Durban
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Durban
#2 Luxury Hotel in Durban
#2 Business Hotel in Durban
Price Range: $97 - $263 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani 4*
Number of rooms: 449
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Radiating energy and elegance across the Golden Mile, Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani invites you to take your place in the sun. From the stylish bedrooms with breath-taking sea-views to the variety of restaurants and recreation facilities, visitors can look forward to the vibrancy, colour and culture of Durban's premier hotel destination offering more choice than ever before, from service and hospitality through to accommodation and dining. Absolutely everything under one sun! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Southern Sun Elangeni Durban
Elangeni Hotel Durban

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