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Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani
Ranked #2 of 43 Hotels in Durban
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 October 2012

At the moment the Southern Sun is undergoing extensive refurbishment which may have been the reason we were upgraded to a suite. We had a fantastic view over the beach and a very large suite. Our main concern with our stay at the hotel was the smell of a glue like product that was probably being used in the refurbishment. It was pungent and we possibly would not have been able to stay at the hotel for an extended time. The service was good and we would consider staying at The Southern Sun again, but only after the refurbishment is completed.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with beach views.
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled on business
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Thank BL_Cx2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Samantha_Croft, General Manager at Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani, responded to this reviewResponded 16 October 2012

Thank you for takign the time to post this review.

Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience caused during the refurbishment - we are currently completing the last three floors, with the end date in sight!

We look forward to welcoming you back to a fresh, new look North Beach.

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1,732 - 1,738 of 1,964 reviews

Reviewed 4 October 2012

The first thing that struck us about this hotel is how frenetically busy it was in the ground floor lobby....at least on the weekend that we were there. Apparently Durban has South Africa’s largest Indian population and there was ample evidence of that in the hotel which appears to be a favourite among well heeled locals. The only negative effects of this is that the lower floor lifts tend to be very busy with extended delays and the buffet breakfast seems to be a regular habit on Sunday mornings with the locals making it also very busy however the service is very efficient and we found the “buzz” a welcome change after some of the quieter rural hotels.

We had dinner at the Jewel of India restaurant located within the hotel and felt lucky to get a table as there was a local Indian birthday celebration at the restaurant that evening. An Indian restaurant full of local well dressed Indians is always a good sign and this proved to be the case here as well. Not cheap but very good service and food.

We had a room overlooking the sea and the esplanade which afforded marvellous views and a short walk across the road and park put us in the middle of the esplanade and walking among skateboarders, runners, skaters and a big crowd of devotees to some Hindu sect having some kind of morning out. It seems half of Durban is out on the esplanade on a sunny Sunday morning and the place had a real cosmopolitan vibe not witnessed so far on our extensive tour of South Africa.

On more mundane issues, our room was comfortable and functional and we enjoyed the breakfast but of course the buzz, views and location are the big pluses.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Lexus51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Samantha_Croft, General Manager at Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani, responded to this reviewResponded 16 October 2012

Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

I am delighted that you enjoyed your stay and look forward to welcoming you back soon

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Reviewed 30 September 2012

Hotel reception as you arrive is great, welcome drink, good peasant staff and reception. All rooms have sea views, and the hotel is well located. In terms of pricing i do believe that it is decent value for money. The rooms are slightly dated though, remember visiting about 5 years ago and the rooms were exactly the same, perhaps time for a freshen up. Otherwise a nice experience, no real complaints, except perhaps for the over priced business centre

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank Gregory M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Samantha_Croft, General Manager at Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani, responded to this reviewResponded 16 October 2012

Thank you for taking thetime to post your review.

I am delighted that yo uhad a memorable stay and look forward to welcoming you back to Southern Sun Elangeni soon

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2012

I stayed here for five days in September 2012. It's a large business and tourist hotel with easy access to the beach. The views from the upper floors of the coast are spectacular (I was on the 18th floor). The windows open so you can get uninterrupted views and the smell of the ocean. My room was functionable and pleasant - clean and a good size. The shower is powerful and the curtain struggled to contain it all. The breakfasts are busy and a bit of a scrum if there's a conference in town - but plenty of choice. One letdown is the restaurant in the evening, which is a buffet and sometimes you don't want that. However, another hotel nearby offers good value a la carte. They will rent you bikes but ran out when I was there and wasted my time by being a bit disorganised. Taxis outside and the usual Durban rip-off; make sure you get on the meter! The business centre is a rip-off - expensive photocopying and calls. But overall a good choice if you are staying on the beachfront.

Room Tip: Go high. Don'e bother with this hotel if you can't get a good sea view (most rooms do face t...
  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled on business
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9  Thank Roskers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Samantha_Croft, General Manager at Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani, responded to this reviewResponded 16 October 2012

Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

I am delighted that you enjoyed your stay, despite the hotel being busy with a conference.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2012

I checked in on a Sunday evening and every day I had to call each day, twice a day and ask for cold water, each time the receptionist said that they would investigate, followed by a maintenance person knocking on my door, who would open the cold water tap to check and then say that the pump would need to be checked. They did apologise on Thursday with a letter and they gave me a basket with goodies, but nothing is more disturbing for me then not being able to take a shower without calling etc. Water pumps should be in a working condition.

Room Tip: Lower floor may have running cold water...
  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled on business
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Thank food_loverPretoria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2012

On a long weekend, we spent 2 nights at this hotel Hotel is under extensive renovation. Only 3 of 6 elevators are working. If you are staying in lower floor, you will have to wait for long time for an elevator to come.
Our rooms have been renovated as you can see that bathroom has bath tub and a shower booth.
Watch out for shower room door hinges, corner sticks out and you might get hurt. Especially children.
Limited number of electric outlets near TV. You have to choose between using a fridge or pot to boil water. I realized this when the fridge was warm that it needed to be plugged but I had to unplug the electric pot.
I have found bits of electric cables and building material on the corners of the room.

Room Tip: All rooms face the Indian Ocean. Lower floors will hear street noise such as car alarms and loud ex...
  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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Thank NineDragons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2012

Southern Sun Elangeni proved to be an excellent choice for a break-away and I recommend it as a great gateway to Durban's North beaches.

The good:

We arrived very early on a busy long-weekend. Despite our arrival hours before check-in time we were treated well and were made to feel comfortable as best they could manage. The food & beverage manager, Lee, was an exceptionally gracious host and carried us on his hands. He personally arranged some sustenance, provided a site-visit and kept us updated on the prep of our room. What an asset they have in him!

They were able to facilitate an early check in at 10:00 in the morning - despite being 100% booked the previous evening. Well done!

The room was neat and comfortable. The view Excellent! Room service was efficient and I highly recommend their 250g Fillet with some mushroom sauce. Delicious!

We were in the room for turn-down twice during the 3 night stay. The staff were still gracious and it didn't feel invasive. Well done.

The beach is so close and it's a wonderful promenade to walk down. Rent some bicycles or skateboards.. Amazing fun! You have quite a few piers to choose from for a relaxing stroll.

Connor's bar is well stocked and comfortable. We would have preferred, despite the restrictive laws in SA, a smoking section.

The breakfast buffet is the best we've seen in the past two years of travel.. It's clear why Lee is so proud of the selection!

Parking for our rental car was in the basement and there were ample bays available.


The unfortunate:

With a full hotel and guests trying to get to the ground floor for check-out or breakfast made the wait for a lift almost unbearable. We were on the 20th floor and waited 24 minutes for a lift with space to get to Ground.

I recognize that the hotel had no way to influence the situation, but it being a long weekend there were parties set up in huge tents by the beach.. With the music blaring until 01:30. If we were at the party we would have been disappointed with it being shut down before 02:00 but since we were being bombarded with the noise pollution we were surprised it wasn't ended at 23:00! You can't please everyone :p

Maintenance work on the pool deck was a bit invasive and a bar where you could sit and order a cold one would have been fun. The waiting staff were however present and we did not wait long for drinks or food - its just the ambiance which was missing.

The drinks were expensive - utterly unnecessary. R20 for a coke and R21 for a beer is really not acceptable. Use the fridge (tiny, very tiny fridge) in the room to stock up for yourself.

In summary:
Take it easy, enjoy the area and the attentive service. Tip: there is a garage with a shop at the back of the hotel. Get your snacks from there.

Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Freddie v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani

Address: 63 OR O R Tambo Parade | North Beach, Durban 4001, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Durban
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Durban
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Durban
#2 Business Hotel in Durban
Price Range: £80 - £158 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani 4*
Number of rooms: 449
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Radiating energy and elegance across the Golden Mile, Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani invites you to take your place in the sun. From the stylish bedrooms with breath-taking sea-views to the variety of restaurants and recreation facilities, visitors can look forward to the vibrancy, colour and culture of Durban's premier hotel destination offering more choice than ever before, from service and hospitality through to accommodation and dining. Absolutely everything under one sun! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Southern Sun Elangeni Durban
Elangeni Hotel Durban

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