Umbrella Tree House bed & breakfast, in the northern Durban suburb of Umhlanga/Umhlanga Rocks, is a very pleasant little inn, on a residential property in a separate building from the main house. The little building contains 3 double rooms, all with ensuite bath, a breakfast/tea/coffee area and TV sitting room. (Each guest room has local TV; satellite TV stations are on the TV in the common sitting area.) Side stairs lead to a kitchen below, where guests can keep refrigerated items. A deck runs the length of the building, with tables, chairs, and lounge chairs, and glass doors open out, making the living room area very comfortable and open. Throughout, one gets the feeling of a beachfront property, with the dark wood furniture in the common areas, and with the white walls, linens, accents, furniture and billowy curtains in the guest rooms themselves.
The guest rooms and baths are clean (might say 'spotless' -- the stark white surfaces would all show dirt easily), and each seems to have a different layout, with some smaller, some larger, but even the smallish one we slept in was fine for 2 adults and a small child.
The property is protected by a fence and remote-controlled gate, as are most middle-class properties in urban South Africa, and you buzz or use remote control on your room key to let yourself in. There are a few parking spaces available onsite.
The B&B is in fact a long but manageable walk to the beachfront (the rooms' windows do look out over the Indian Ocean) and is slightly closer to Umhlanga Rocks village, and probably an equidistant walk in the other direction to the big mall just off the highway at Umhlanga. Driving to any of these 3 locations from the B&B is very easy and quick.
Hostess Lesley is very accommodating and friendly, and very pleasant to talk to while you enjoy the very good egg breakfast she will fix for you in the morning. She provided helpful advice about where to go in town and how to get to the beach, where to park, as well. She clearly had established good, friendly relationships with the 2 other guests, repeat visitors to the B&B, who were there during our stay.
The air conditioning in our room was broken during our stay, a very humid summer day/night, and she did what she could to help us out (ultimately it was a very kind other guest who didn't mind the heat and offered to swap rooms with us). The B&B also accepted a family with small child (1.5 y.o.) without questions, once the fact that we had a portable crib for her to sleep in was straightened out. Lesley was ready to try to settle us in another location when the A/C broke, but we all realized quickly how difficult that would be to work out with a small child -- not many other B&Bs would accept that.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Lovely self-contained B&B, separate from main house. We offer a clean, comfortable and relaxed stay in the heart of Umhlanga. Close to all main attractions and business areas. All three en-suite bedrooms have beautiful sea views, TV, aircon and ceiling fans. Other perks include swimming pool, DSTV, laundry service, tea & coffee, secure parking, internet access, wireless hotspot. Delicious full breakfasts served. Separate 1 roomed suite has its own kitchen and en-suite bathroom with separate bath and walk-in shower. ... more less
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