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“Great ocean views, not so good service”

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Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani
Ranked #3 of 44 Hotels in Durban
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 April 2009

We stayed in this hotel, because we wanted an ocean view from the room. Hotel has a nice location right along the beach, and the rooms facing the ocean have stunning views (but no balcony). Other than this, there is nothing much special about the room. Beds are very comfortable, but bathroom was not great. Room service was good, they delivered breakfasts right on time. The front desk however were not very efficient. Although we confirmed several times that we have extended our stay, they messed up our check-out date. When we returned to room, keys did not work, and security were in our room trying to work out what to do with our luggage, which was not cool. Other than that, we found that hotel was a bit run down, with very strange lifts (it took a while to get them running). There is parking available, but you need to pay 50 rants per day. Also, there was internet in the business center, but the prices were astronomic, so we went to an internet cafe nearby. You can stay there for the location (ocean views), but having said that, the neighbourhood did not feel safe at night.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Bahadir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,002 - 2,008 of 2,107 reviews

Reviewed 4 March 2009

My daughter and I stayed here while on vacation for three nights, and the experience exceeded our expectations.  We were especially impressed with the service, which was very friendly and very accomodating.  For example, we were having evening drinks in the lounge (very nice) when my daughter realized she needed a phone card.  We asked the bartender if the hotel sold phone cards or if there was a store nearby where we could purchase one.  She said we shouldn't go out by ourselves after dark, and she called over another hotel employee and instructed him to go buy a phone card for us.  He returend in less than 10 min. with the card in hand!  It was too chilly to take advantage of the rooftop pool for swimming, but we enjoyed the beautiful view and ordered drinks on the house phone, which were delivered promptly.  We had a game drive scheduled for the two days following our stay at the hotel; we were able to store the bulk of our luggage at the hotel until we returned even though we had officially checked out, and had no trouble retrieving it safe and sound when we got back to Durban.  Our room was small but clean and nicely appointed.  We were on the 16th floor, and heard minimal street noise.  We enjoyed socializing in the lobby in the evenings while sipping the house-provided drinks.  If I remember correctly, I think we paid about $89 American per night for our stay, and the exchange rate at the time was about $1 to 7.5 rand, so the advertise prices on this site seem high to me - I would definitely look around for a better deal.

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled solo
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1  Thank bookbug57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2009

What a delight. A 4 star that tries to be a 5. The standard buffets for breakfast and especially dinner were the best I have ever come across. The whole stay was spectacular value for money.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank nigelchism
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2009

Nice hotel, few meters from beach, that's just across the road. All rooms have stunning view of ocean. Our room was spacious and well decorated.
Golden Mile "street" passes right under the hotel, but it has never been a problem for us even in the busy days around Christmas.

Staff has always been friendly and very helpful.

Food, both at beakfast and dinner, has been the best of all Southern suns we've been too. Really good and the choice was quite large.

Definetily would recommend it. Especially the meals. They are really worth the stay....

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank r2008m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2008

The hotel is located across the street from the beach and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the police had set up check points on certain sections of the road in front of the hotel which made me feel safe. The lobby and public areas of the hotel were very nice. The rooms, on the other hand, felt as though they were lacking. I think that it can be compared to a nice three star hotel in the United States. Difference here though is that this hotel is in a central location and has a nearby beach. I was surprised to find that some things felt as though they were missing during the stay. Generally, I am used to finding a clock inside the room but they didn't have one. It was actually quite frustrating as I didn't have a mobile phone or watch with me. The rooms were clean, had working air conditioning and the bathrooms were nice. The hotel elevators did stop working for a couple of hours. The staff was very helpful and tried to fix the problem as soon as they could, so I have no problem suggesting this hotel to anyone as a good place to sleep.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled with family
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3  Thank CityGuy07052
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2008

The overall experience at the Elangeni was very nice. From the friendly check-in, the room (it is a bit on the small side but newly decorated) , the restaurants, bars and the lovely breakfast. I will recommend the hotel for anybody who want to stay on the Durban beachfront. It is also situated in a relative safer area and close to the main beach and lots of great restaurants. I also must mention the great service we got at the breakfast room.
The only beach hotels what is better than this one is the Beverley Hills, The Sands and Cabana Beach in Umhlanga Rocks but no other in Durban itself.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled with friends
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1  Thank SATravelBloem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2008

Stayed at Elangeni June 2008 during a conference. The location is fantastic - just across from the beach. However, the rooms were small - narrow and long to allow every room an ocean view. The carpet and bed blanket looked bit old and worn. The bathroom, although looking clean, had musty smell.

The public space and the staff, however, were excellent. We had catered food during our conference and it was very good. The hotel Indian restaurant served very good food. Some of our colleagues got sick after eating at the sushi restaurant.

The hotel had a reasonably sized exercise room and a nice looking outdoor pool.

Overall, a reasonable stay, but not sure whether it was worth the rate.

By the way, if possible, go catch the local rugby team - the Sharks - play. Tickets can be purchased for 50 rands for nose-bleed seats, but great atmosphere and fun. Cheap beer, too!

  • Stayed: June 2008
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1  Thank Steven Y
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 On the Beach Hotel in Durban
#2 Luxury Hotel in Durban
#2 Business Hotel in Durban
Price Range: £109 - £256 (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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