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“Excellent”

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Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani
Ranked #2 of 43 Hotels in Durban
Certificate of Excellence
Wirral, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Excellent”
Reviewed 29 August 2013 via mobile

Lovely hotel, very fresh and clean, nothing was too much trouble, service with a smile all the time. Hotel was very busy with World Transplant Games athletes and supporters, but all went well. Breakfast was very busy, we only had to wait one morning, wonderful spread and range of foods which were regularly replenished. Staff happy even at 5am checkout!!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank janedodd
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 review, 8 September 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

I am delighted that you had a memorable stay and look forward to welcoming you back to Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani when you next return to South Africa.

Regards

Samantha
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Potter Bar, Herts (near London), England
Level Contributor
367 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 299 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2013

We stayed at the Maharani and were able to use the facilities and restaurants in both this hotel and the Elangeni which was almost next door.

The hotel is is a great position and the beach and promenade is just across the road.

The staff are all extremely friendly and polite.

The first question may be is this a safe place (i.e. Durban itself and the Hotel). Well the honest answer is the town is a city of 2 contracts and by Day it is all you would expect from a town with vibrant activity and attractions but by night you have to be very careful and walking is not advised. Taking the bus or Taxi's is quite safe. At the end of the day you could end up in trouble in London or Manchester but the chances are more likely in Durban if you are acting like a tourist and visibly displaying valuables. Dress down and do not flask valuables and cameras and you should be quite safe.

The breakfast is superb an apart from all the usual buffet selections, cereal, fruit juice, fresh bread, cakes and buns a chef is on hand to whisk up whatever type of eggs or omelets you may want. They even provide pancakes, waffles and lots more. Your choice of tea or coffee is served at the table and if you want toast this to is served at the table. The breakfast is massive if you can manage it all and it could set you up for the whole day until you have an evening meal.

The staff also offer massage and other treatments on the same floor as breakfast is served.

The hotel pool is on the roof top and was closed for maintenance when we stayed and we were allowe3d to use the pool in the Elangeni which is on the first floor overlooking the beach and sea. This is great in the morning sun but after midday when the sum moves it can be chilly if the wind blows onto to the hotel from the sea.

The hotel has a restaurant which was very good and reasonably priced but apart from eating in once we actually went out for meals at Sun Coast Casino eating at Havana , Kai Thai both found in the Sun Coast Casino on Suncoast beach. Cargo Hold and Moyo both found at Uskaka Marine World Lingela at the Elangeni and at Balmoral Hotel (see my separate reviews for these eating places).

To get to Havana and Kai Thai at Sun Coast Casino the hotel can give details of the free shuttle service and you arrange with the driver when you want to be brought back and he will collect you. A meter taxi costs about 12 -16 rands - this was around £1 when we were there (insist on a Taxi with a meter or you will pay around 40-50 rands (£3-£4) for same trip. The official Taxi firm for Sun Coast is Mozzie cabs and they are all on a meter and very cheap. As you get to the exit from Sun Coast Casino premises they have a pick up free phone to call for a cab. However we visited the Complex which is full of restaurants apart from the Casino we used the free shuttle or sometimes found a line up of Mozzie taxi's anyway. They are very safe, reliable and as mentioned cheap.

To get to Cargo Hold and Mojo at Uskaka Marine Marine World you can catch a bus from the Hotel for 5 rands (about 35 pence!) and catch a bus back.

Durban is the place for souvenirs, clothes and lots of things you might like to buy as everything is very, very cheap as is eating out in style.

Across the road from the Hotel if you walk to the right you will find African ladies selling all sorts of crafts and walk to the left for a good mile you will find even more. We found hats for a few pounds and things are so cheap do you really need to barter. Probably yes as they may look at you and ask what they think you can pay and then they will reduce to a normal price. We are talking pounds not fortunes for most things. Every African lady seems to have the same stuff so in the end you will get confused so it is best to do a short recky and then decide what you want and try to get everything from one or 2 stands.

This may be more than is needed for a Hotel review but so much is on offer in and around the Hotel it may help for you to have this information to hand.

If you go down to the promenade you will find sand artists and more places to eat even Wimpy. This area is patrolled by Police on horseback and in vehicles and a number of Police stations are situated on the promenade which is quite safe during the day as is the beach.

If you want to swim make sure you only do this between the marked flags and you will find a lifeguard on duty.

Room Tip: This hotel and its sister the Elangeni are quite high tower blocks and the higher the room the bette...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Wacky the Wizard
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 review, 8 September 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

I am delighted that you enjoyed your stay, as well as your time spent in Durban. The two towers have been operating as one complex since May 2013, which enables us to offer our Guests a wide variety of facilities.

We look forward towelcoming you back to Durban and to the Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani, when next you visit South Africa.

Regards

Samantha
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 August 2013

Stayed at a very busy time. Found all staff to be very friendly and helpful. The only exception being in the bar where it seemed that they weren't used to being so busy. Breakfast was great, ate inhouse a few times and with one exception the food was excellent. Rooms were clean and very comfortable, loved the separate shower. Great views out to sea and down the coast - would love to return in summer.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank flyingawaay
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 review, 29 August 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

I am delighted that you had a memorable stay - despite the lack of bar facilities. Unfortunately, the operators of the restaurant and bar were in the process of vacating the property during your stay.

We really look forward to welcoming you back to Durban and Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani in the near future.

Regards

Samantha
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
69 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2013

Fantastic hotel staff and a brilliant 8 days.
I stayed during the World Transplant Games, so both hotels were very busy. Its a good position and the view from the room is superb. The Elangeni has the best restaurant and bar, whilst the Maharani have the best lifts I have ever used - absolutely no waiting and a good size. Back to the bar; as I said, the Elangenei's was very good but the Maharani's must have lost out on 50 to 60 thousand GBP, during the week I stayed, due to lack of stock, amateurish staff and closing at 11pm.
Would I recommend staying - yes I would, most definitely. Oh, and the food is very good.

Room Tip: The higher you are, the better the view
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank London99999999
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 review, 29 August 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

I am delighted that the Games were a success and you and your team had a memorable stay - despite the lack of service received from the bar. Unfortunately the operator was in the process of vacating the property during your stay.

I am pleased that you found your way to the Panorama Bar at the Elangeni tower and enjoyed the facilities on offer there. We look forward to welcoming you back i nthe near future, by which time the Spa facility will be available on the back pool deck.

Regards

Samantha
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg
Level Contributor
63 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2013 via mobile

Stayed at the hotel over a long weekend. We arrived 2 hours before the check-in time. The reception lady we were directed to was on the phone for about 15-20mins while we waited there (totally unacceptable - it almost felt like being at a very inefficient government dept.). Other guests who had arrived after us were checked in while we waited. We eventually were helped by another lady. (This was probably the worst check in experience I've had in all my travels)
The superior room (on the 12th floor) was fairly standard and was quite comfortable. We had a great beachfront view as the hotel has a good location on the promenade.
Breakfast was the highlight of the stay - the food selection was great and service levels were generally good, despite the volumes the staff had to deal with. Word of advice, if you are staying at the hotel over a busy period be sure to get to breakfast early (i.e. by 8:30-9:00am) as the queues get exceptionally long as you wait for a table. If this is not an option rather opt for the in-room breakfast option available at the hotel.
The additional parking charge was a bit out of taste, but given that finding parking in Durban is a bit of a problem the ZAR50 per day ( less than US$5) charge is not too bad.
Overall stay was good. I would stay at the hotel again.
The management and staff need to do more work in terms of creating a more welcoming feel at the hotel.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Vido934
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 review, 25 August 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the poor welcome you experienced upon arrival - this is most certainly not the service we pride ourselves on delivering and we will most certainly be addressing this with the team.

I am delighted that this did not mar your overall impression of the hotel and look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Regards

Samantha
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
69 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2013

I stayed in the Maharani towers for a week in July. The room was just fine, the staff very friendly, and the breakfast buffet was well appointed. All together a very good experience, and a practical one since it is quite close to the Convention Center ( if a shuttle is available, it is still highly suggested, since we were strongly advised not to walk..) taxis were always available, and concierge at the Elangani was very helpful. Italian restaurant downstairs was decently priced and quite good.

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing the beach, and if they give you a choice, ask for the Elangeni which seems to...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dgutierrez5
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 review, 25 August 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post y our review.

I am delighted that you enjoyed your stay and look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Regards

Samantha
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
132 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2013 via mobile

I'm in Durban on business every second month and always stay here. The service is deteriorating, despite the facilities improving. Seems as though they are not coping with the changes. Some of the staff members are doing their best to make one feel welcome, while others need some serious training.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Des1963
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 review, 25 August 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

Please accept my sincere apologies for the lapse in service standards that you experienced during your stay. Our management team is currently addressing the service skills with the various teams,

Regards

Samantha
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani

Property: 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 On the Beach Hotel in Durban
#1 Luxury Hotel in Durban
#2 Business Hotel in Durban
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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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