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SafariKZN-Mark
Northampton, United Kingdom

Spice Up Your Life in Durban

Review of The Edward
4.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 09 Apr 2024
On the 16th of January 1994 I took one small step for me and one giant leap in my life when I stepped down onto the hot sun-baked tarmac at Durban Virginia International Airport. To mark thirty years, I was back in Durban, doing all the things, and more, I have grown to love over the years of visiting. The Cattleman Bar on the beach front is long gone but the memories are still vivid. It was in the Cattleman that a friend introduced me to a local lady. Who would have thought that a boy from the middle of England on his first and a one-off trip to South Africa would have his life changed forever. I married Melanie, that local lady, in 1997 and home maybe the middle of England but South Africa, and the province of KwaZulu Natal, is my travel passion destination.

Back in 1994 I spent a few nights at the beautiful and history rich Edward Hotel. What better place to stay on this most recent adventure marking thirty years since that first visit to the seaside city of Durban. My memories may be vivid, but I had forgotten just how beautiful the Edward was and still is. The relatively small hotel opened its doors in 1911 and over the years has lost nothing of its charm and beauty. The art deco style hotel is stylish, beautifully decorated, with fine art ceiling murals, patterned tiled floors, sparkling chandeliers and highly polished dark wood trims. Rooms are a good size, some with balconies and all with ensuite bathrooms. There was a warm welcome at reception, in the foyer, the dining rooms and the bar on every visit. We feasted on a spectacular breakfast to kick start our days and finished them on the terrace bar enjoying an ice-cold beer combating the evening heat. To cool down and relax there is also the roof top hotel pool with views across the city and beyond. Located on the Durban Golden mile, with off road parking, the hotel is ideally positioned for exploring the city.

Just like 1994 I spent some time at Kingsmead Cricket Stadium, walking distance from The Edward Hotel, but things have changed on the field. In January the ground becomes the home of The Durban Super Giants in the relatively new franchised South African T20 cricket tournament. The competition has proved to be a great success and see’s the ground packed with local cricket fans. I am not a big fan of T20 cricket but have really enjoyed everything about my recent evenings spent at Kingsmead. The atmosphere is electric, aided by DJ’s, live bands, flames and fireworks. There are not many better places in the world than here to watch cricket on balmy nights under floodlights.

With South African teams now taking part in the European Challenge Cup, rugby is a near all year-round sport. On a scorching hot Saturday in January, we had a big family trip to Kings Park and a great day out. I am big fan of summer rugby as a spectator, but it is tough for the players. We parked on the grass surrounds to the stadium and set up camp comprising of chairs, tables, parasols, cool boxes and braai (barbecue) for cooking. I would guess this is much like the American tailgate party. We enjoyed a few cold drinks along with snacks and steak rolls before taking the very short walk to our seats. It is a real family day out and I was very impressed to see the players post-match taking the time on the pitch to meet fans and sign autographs. This was probably the highlight of the day for the younger members of our party.

As well as sport fan I am a food fan. I think I look like a big food fan these days. I ate my first bunnychow back in 1994 on the Durban beachfront and on every trip back I make a big effort to try out new places, to me, to eat this humble and delicious street food with it’s origins firmly in the city and it’s Indian population. If you love bread and curry the bunnychow is for you. I love it so much I started World Bunnychow Day to celebrate the dish. Accompanied by mate Paul, out for a holiday from England, we met up with Sagaran “The Bunnyblogger” Govender like we had in the past for a bunnychow experience. Sagaran took us to Gounden’s Restaurant & Take Away. I can honestly say I have never eaten anywhere with such an atmosphere. The place was busy and buzzing. I watched bunnychow after bunnychow being delivered to table after table. It was only a short wait before ours arrived, two mutton and one mutton and cabbage. They were perfectly spiced with, for me, a good chilli heat.

Enthusiastically Paul and I used our lunchtimes wisely in Durban. We headed to the Britania Hotel, a well-known hot spot, famous for its bunnychows. And we were not disappointed, like Goundens it was a wow experience. My mutton was beautifully tender and full of flavour with a perfect amount of thick gravy. Paul went upmarket and was over the moon with his prawn bunychow. I am a bunnychow lover, not an expert, but I did learn a couple of things on this visit about ‘BB’ bread & ‘UTD; potatoes. You are never too old to be educated and enjoy the humble bunnychow.

Along with a passion for food and bunnychows, I am very partial to a beer. And a great new discovery for me was the Durban Brewing Company. We sampled a few of their craft beers on tap and all went down very well. I am hoping on a future visit, and will be back in touch with Kate Lynn, to arrange a brewery tour. The warehouse style home to the brewery also offers food including burgers and pizzas. There is indoor and outdoor seating with views of the harbour entrance. If you are lucky you might get to see one of the giant cruise ships arriving or departing Durban. The brewery, on Point Waterfront, is very handily placed for the new and very impressive looking Nelson Mandela Cruise terminal. We took a stroll to the beach from the brewery and also discovered the small canal system where visitors can hire boats. The area is under regeneration and starting to look very impressive.

Last year we called into the Surf HQ store in Durban where we met store owner Jean-Marc Tostee AKA JM and young surfer Ntando Msibi AKA Biggy and learned of the valuable work that the charity Surfers Not Street Children does. On an early morning beach walk from The Edward Hotel, I noticed a crowd of young surfers. They were from the charity and here again I got to see their work first hand. Maybe next year I should ask for a surfing lesson? I probably said the same thing last year. The Golden Mile and the Beachfront has not changed that much over thirty years. The mini cable car has gone but there are still rickshaw rides to be taken and the street vendors and their stalls are still out in force. I am still a big fan of Durban and if you are into sport and want to spice up your life, plan a visit. As Durban Tourism say, “with summer all round, Durban is the warmest place to be”
Date of stay: January 2024
Trip type: Travelled with friends
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Nicole Munro, General Manager at The Edward, responded to this review
Responded 13 Apr 2024
Thank you for your review and The Edward and Durban. We are so excited to see your happy time in Durban and that the hospitality experienced at our hotel was a home from home experience with such special memories.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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1 - 6 of 467 reviews
Reviewed 22 February 2024

Pleasant stay - Monday and Tuesday 19 and 20 Feb 2024. Was greeted by a porter who assisted with suitcase from where I had parked my car across the road. Check in staff were friendly and efficient. I decided to park my car in the underground parking offered by the hotel which does come at an extra cost. Both porter and reception staff were realistic around security and gave good advice. The hotel while positioned "centrally" along the Durban beachfront is more on the south side and just one block away from the main street from the city centre and this street corner does attract all sorts of individuals. If going for a walk - make sure all valuables like cell phones / wallets/ purse are not visible - tuck these under clothes. Also don't wear flash jewellery or fancy watches. Room was spacious and clean - comes with a small balcony. I was somewhat concerned in being allocated a room on the first floor where I would be disturbed by noise from the street. This did not happen - room is fairly sound proofed and there was no disturbance at night, so slept well - but noting that I stayed on a Monday and Tuesday - not sure if the same silence would be experienced over a weekend. The airconditioner was silent and worked well. Bathroom was somewhat scanty with toiletries given that this is marketed as an upmarket hotel - in fact the Blue Waters - north of the beachfront has an offer more toiletries and gives guests chocolates and large bottle of water on arrival. No chocolate and the smallest bottle of water is provided which you find in the bathroom. As I did not make use of the small water bottle offered it is not known if this small bottle gets replaced each day. I brought in my own water bottles as a I prefer 1.5 litres. Hot water from shower is almost instant so all good from that point of view. Wifi was a little unstable but that is because of load shedding that is being experienced by country. The food from the dining room / restaurant if you want to eat lunch or dinner at the hotel is good and delicious. The breakfast buffet is quite varied with lots of choices.

Room tip: The hotel is across the road from vendors selling bead work and other goods. A courteous no is accepted - they do not continually pester you
Date of stay: February 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Sandi112
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Nicole Munro, General Manager at The Edward, responded to this reviewResponded 24 February 2024

Thank you so much for your Indepth review on The Edward. We are delighted that we were able to give you are good experience and hope to welcome you back soon .

Regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2024

The best hotel to stay in for a quick tripp or vacation.
Most beautifull front of house amd spacious rooms.
Friendlies staff member, and very helpfull.
Check in was quick and easy.
Best food served in the restuarant and delicious breakfasts are served in the morning.
Nicest waiters serving in the restuarant.
Secure Underground parking and entry from inside parking area into the hotel.
Would highly recommend The Edward Hotel anytime.

Date of stay: February 2024
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank mariska k
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Nicole Munro, General Manager at The Edward, responded to this reviewResponded 14 February 2024

Thank you so much for your lovely review. We are delighted you enjoyed your stay with us. Look forward to welcoming you back.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2024 via mobile

Best hotel to stay in. Friendly staff all over. Breakfast was excellent and the dinner to die for... Rooms are spacious and the view incredible.. My new favourite hotel...in the middle between Sun coast casino and Ushaka.. Visible police is a plus

Date of stay: January 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank carelminnie
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Nicole Munro, General Manager at The Edward, responded to this reviewResponded 14 February 2024

Thank you so much for your great review. We are delighted that we are your favourite hotel. Look forward to welcoming you back again.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2024 via mobile

Best hotel on Durban beachfront. Wow moments since we checked-in. Rooms awesome, spacious with a balcony. Great breakfast spread and even better dinner. But i must say, the staff make this hotel very very unique. Cant thank them enough for the wonderful and friendly service. Stayed in almost all the hotels on Durban beachfront but this one is our new home. Well done Edward hotel 🙏😁

Date of stay: January 2024
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank LouisPetersen
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Nicole Munro, General Manager at The Edward, responded to this reviewResponded 14 February 2024

Thank you so much for your great review. We are so happy that you enjoyed your stay with us and consider us a home away from home. Look forward to welcoming you back again .

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2023 via mobile

Shady neighborhood.. we asked for two dishes at the pool we got one.. told us we could charge it on the room then chased us for the whole hotel to pay immediately. There are renovation works (loud and workers everywhere at the pool) and they didn’t advice upon reservation, as would be polite and due. The air conditioning is so loud that it was very difficult to sleep

Date of stay: November 2023
Trip type: Travelled on business
Thank giuliacA7320CF
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Nicole Munro, General Manager at The Edward, responded to this reviewResponded 14 February 2024

I am so sorry that you did not enjoy your stay with us . The air-conditioning is addressed and being sorted. Would like to contact you to chat further.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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