BACKGROUND: ONOMO Hotels operates 21 hotels in 12 African countries – Abidjan, Douala, Libreville, Conakry, Rabat, Tanger, Casablanca, Bamako, Maputo, Kigali, Dakar, Lomé, Dar es Salaam, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. The Durban property was opened in 2018 by King Goodwill Zwelitini.
WHERE IS IT? ONOMO Hotel Durban is situated a short walk from the Durban beachfront. It’s a little over 30km from King Shaka International Airport, and the journey takes about 30 minutes, traffic dependant of course. The hotel’s location allows for easy access to the Durban ICC, Moses Mabida Stadium and other significant landmarks.
ROOM FACILITIES: The five-storey hotel consists of 160 non-smoking guestrooms, including 10 suites, 100 twin rooms, 43 double rooms and seven paraplegic rooms. The room layout is rather modern, with shower and toilet cubicles instead of a traditional bathroom. The basin is separated from the sleeping area by a shoulder-height wardrobe, which contains shelves and a hanging rail. The work desk is adequately sized and the chair is comfortable. The queen-size bed has plug points on both sides which I liked since I sleep on the right side and most hotels only have a plug point on the left. The flat screen TV is mounted on the wall above the desk and offers the standard DsTV hotel selection. The wi-fi is free for seven days, fast and accessed by a code handed out on check-in. Due to COVID, all but the bare essentials have been removed from the rooms. However, amenities – hairdryers, shower caps, vanity kits and more – can be requested from the front desk.
RESTAURANTS & BARS: Ingwe Terrace, on the ground floor, is a gourmet restaurant specialising in regional cuisine made from locally-sourced ingredients in a relaxed ‘shebeen-chic’ environment. I had a burger here and it was really tasty. I also sampled the bunny chow – very good – and the ribs – hands-down winner. The coffee, however, was extremely weak. The newly-opened Topaz Restaurant & Skybar (see story here) is a relaxed rooftop venue available to the public, but can be booked for private functions.
BUSINESS & MEETING FACILITIES: The hotel provides three meeting rooms with complimentary fibre wi-fi, natural daylight, data projector and screen, flip chart and PA + AV system. There is secure, free parking for guests and visitors.
LEISURE FACILITIES: There is an outdoor pool with sun loungers at the hotel if you’re not drawn to the beachfront and ocean.
VERDICT: It might appear unassuming from the outside, but this hotel has heart. Friendly and helpful staff, displays of great art from talented local artists, easily accessible destinations, modern comfortable rooms, free and fast connectivity, good food – it all adds up to a great choice of accommodation in Durban.
Address: 56 K.E Masinga Road, CNR Sylvester Ntuli, Durban 4001