This was our first visit to South Africa and we wanted a quiet place in Durban for a night before our Safari at a nearby lodge. We wanted to find a hotel near the water, but now that I have visited the HUGE city of Durban, I know that the hotels "on the water" are actually across the street behind some bushes and only have a view from the upper rooms.
We found St James on Venice, located near "restaurant row" on Florida Street and in an "old world" area of Durban I'm glad we did not miss! This area has old homes that have been renovated or converted into businesses. the streets and architecture was beautiful...my favorite part of town. Our room was right off the private courtyard in the back of this renovated estate. The room was beautiful, with A/C and free wi-fi. The hotel manager could not have been more accommodating and knowledgeable about the area....and the food was wonderful. A full breakfast from the delectable menu was included with our room. We had room service, ordering the most fabulous chocolate mousse. Even if I lived in Durban, I would find this hotel a wonderful getaway for an evening or weekend. This hotel offers high tea and events (weddings, conferences) and a wonderful chef-inspired restaurant.
We walked to the beach...but I would say that visitors should probably catch a cab for $10.00. Durban itself, including the beach, was not very clean and I'm not sure how safe it would be to wander around at night. we had a car so we were able to park (free) at St James and although driving was a bit difficult...we managed it. Downtown was a bit crazy....I would grab a cab. Because you are close to restaurants...you can easily restaurant or bar hop on Florida St.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Originally the home of Corobrick founder Robert Storm who built it in 1892, the guesthouse is steeped in Durban history and retains much of its old world charm. The 15 bedrooms are individually decorated in a classically elegant style with some having a view over the century's old St James church while others look over the hotel's peaceful garden patio. Being close to the trendy eateries of Florida Road, Durban's beachfront, major sports stadiums (Kings Park and Moses Mabhida Football Stadium), golf courses and Jameson and Mitchell Parks means all Durban's attractions are just a short drive away. The guesthouse is ideal for small meetings, conferences and private dinners and is well equipped to ensure business runs smoothly and efficiently. For business guests, the guesthouse is well-placed for access to the ICC, as well as quick freeway access to the Umhlanga Ridge precinct. ... more less
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