Tsogo Sun has spent R220 million on the refurbishment and transformation of two of its hotels – the Elangeni and Maharani – into one hotel complex. The first phase focused on the total refurbishment of the Maharani Tower, including the rooms, core infrastructure, the conference centre and public areas; new food and beverage offerings in the Elangeni Tower; the rework of the Porte Cochere (the entrance to the hotel where vehicles are received); and the renovation of the external building facades.
Where is it?
The hotels are mid-way along Durban’s beachfront Golden Mile, which stretches from uShaka Marine World to the south, to Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World to the north. The beach is a quick walk over Snell Parade, through a sunken garden and around a skate park.
The Elangeni and Maharani offer 734 rooms, and most of them have ocean views. Accommodation ranges from the presidential suite through to executive and standard double or twin bed rooms. There are also three penthouse suites with private patios. My superior king room was comfortable with all the expected appliances, and ‘homey’, with a couch, chair and coffee table facing the flat-screen TV. The bed was comfortable, the linen crisp and inviting. The desk offered ample space for work, and the laptop safe was a convenient place to lock away valuables. Each Southern Sun hotel room across the Tsogo Sun group is allocated 500MB of free Wi-Fi per day. The connectivity was rather speedy. The bathroom was compact, but contained all the necessary amenities. There wasn’t a bath tub, but I’m not a bath person, so that didn’t worry me, particularly as the rain shower offered good water pressure. The thing I liked most about the room, aside from the opportunity to gaze out to sea, was the full-sized coffee mugs at the tea station. I hate those tiny tea cups that so many places still stock.
Restaurants & Bars
You won’t go hungry here. There are two breakfast rooms and six restaurants serving a variety cuisine. I sampled steak from The Grill Jichana – done to perfection – and a spot of sushi from Daruma – delicious. Dinner was served at The Ocean Breeze on the Elangeni’s second floor. The buffet offered everything from seafood to roasts, soups, salads, cheeses and desserts. I indulged in a roast dinner – beef with rice, gravy and vegetables. The roast potatoes had lost their crispness and the baby marrows were a little too ‘al dente’ for my liking, but the rest of the meal was excellent. Dessert was a selection of delicious minis – lemon meringue, chocolate torte, milk tart, cheese cake and half a slice of Black Forest cake. Breakfast was served on the second floor of the Maharani. The buffet offered everything from crepes and doughnuts to eggs and bacon. My omelette and side of streaky bacon were really tasty and the croissant rounded off the meal perfectly.
Business & Meeting Facilities
There are a total of 15 meeting and conference rooms, accommodating anywhere from 12 people in the boardroom to 500 people, cinema style, in the Great Ilanga. All rooms come equipped with whiteboards, AV facilities, flipcharts, a PA system with microphone, data projector, screen lectern and pen, and notepads for delegates. There’s also the option of specialised menus and themed events.
There are two gyms, three pools (one heated), a courtesy shuttle to Gateway Shopping Centre, and there will soon be a Camelot Spa on the premises. But being so close to the beachfront, you probably won’t want to spend too much of your free time indoors.
Helpful and knowledgeable staff, a great beachfront location, and accommodation that is extremely comfortable. My only complaint – too many delicious dishes to choose from!
Address: 63 Snell Parade, Durban
Tel: +27 31 362 1300