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Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
Gibela Backpackers Lodge Durban
If this hostel (a tastefully converted 1950s Tuscan-style home) were a B&B, it would be described as ‘boutique’. One of Durban’s best hostels, it has sparkling surfaces and rooms neat enough to pass an army major’s inspection...
This upmarket boutique hotel is filled with smart rooms of the ‘heavy drapes and floral furnishing’ variety (although the jute carpet is showing some wear), around a pretty paved and green courtyard area.
Making the odd concession to colonial-era splendour, this beachfront place has lashings of understated style and plenty of plush rooms. Ask about special rates.
Gooderson Tropicana Hotel
The bright and breezy Tropicana is another beachfront tower with an '80s feel, with spacious rooms boasting air-con and TV.
Protea Hotel Imperial
With more history than most, the French Prince Imperial rode out from here prior to coming to a sticky end during the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War...
Hilton Durban Hotel
Glitzy and chic, this modern behemoth offers a predictable hotel experience and attracts mainly business travellers. Ask about the specials.
Quarters Hotel Florida Road
Right in the throbbing heart of Durban’s most fashionable eating and drinking quarter, this attractive boutique hotel – at two neighboring locations – balances colonial glamour with small-scale home comforts. A restaurant is on site at both.
The Parade Hotel is a bit old, with a slightly dowdy array of 1970s salesroom furniture and saggy mattresses, but its charming Art Deco dining room resembles a 1950s ballroom. Request a sea-facing room.
Protea Hotel Edward Durban
King of the seafront hotels, this is classic and comfortable, with fresh-polish smells and full-on decor.
Blue Waters Hotel
At the northern end of the beachfront, away from the madding Promenade crowd, Blue Waters is a classic hotel. The quilted bedheads, velvet chairs and pleasant rooms, all of which are front-facing with balconies, are the type your Aunty Dot would love.
Three Cities Riverside Hotel And Spa
It’s hard to miss this white behemoth just over Umgeni River on the right-hand side. The corridors have a touch of bling (LA-style neon-lit colonnades) but the rooms offer all the comforts of an upmarket place...
The Royal Hotel
Overlooking the City Hall, this five-star, slightly old-world institution is one of the city’s most historical and swankiest offerings and has hosted royalty and Nelson Mandela. There is a special floor assigned to female clients.
Hippo Hide Lodge And Backpackers
This clean and cosy hide pulls in the punters with its friendly, informal style, choice of huts and rooms and high standards. It’s a bit of a lengthy saunter to the beach or cafe areas, but staff will help you organise outings.
Tekweni Backpackers Hostel
This old dog ‘keeps on keeping on’; it’s a slightly saggy place that nevertheless attracts the party animals who like raucous, gregarious surrounds.
Travellers praise this comfortable ‘home away from home’. Friendly owners Keith and Pat offer accommodation in all shapes and sizes with a laid-back atmosphere. It’s a bit further out, though within chirping distance of the Umgeni River Bird Park.
St Lucia Bib's International Backpackers
Occupying a series of sprawling buildings, the tarnished rooms in this happening place are as tired as its guests after their day of activities...
Blue Sky Mining Backpackers & Lodge
The best budget accommodation along this strip is Blue Sky Mining Backpackers & Lodge, a designer-recycler’s delight where you can sleep in a converted F250, spin out at the funky psychedelics, and chill by the pool. Seriously revitalising.
Protea Hotel Umhlanga Ridge
This 4-star hotel in Umhlanga is located opposite the Wavehouse and the Gateway Theatre of Shopping. It offers views of Chris Saunders Park and air-conditioned rooms with satellite TV...
Three Cities Docklands Hotel Durban Waterfront
Located on Durban’s Point Waterfront, Docklands Hotel offers contemporary accommodation with a post-industrial décor. It features an airport shuttle service, free Wi-Fi connection and access to a nearby golf course...
This beachfront hotel offers panoramic views of the Indian Ocean from its air-conditioned rooms. The hotel has 2 restaurants and serves a large breakfast with hot and cold dishes...
Peermont Metcourt At Umfolozi, Empangeni
Boasting a casino, this colourful 3-star hotel provides air-conditioned rooms featuring satellite TVs. An outdoor pool with sun-lounger terrace, 2 restaurants, and a bar are on site. A breakfast buffet is served in the morning...
Forest Suites Zimbali Hotel
Situated on a pristine stretch of KwaZulu-Natal’s Dolphin Coast, this exclusive resort is 700 hectares in size and renowned for its luxurious accommodation and expansive beauty...