The hotel building itself has an old, a bit shabby but quite historic air about it and is well situated at Durban's beach parade, part of which is rather noisy with music til 10 p.m. Our room was ok except for a large puddle of water from the AC that soaked the carpeting (and our socks).
Unfortunately, the female personell at the front desk was incompetent, unprofessional and extremely unfriendly. We were asked to wait "5 mins" that actually stretched into an hour before we decided to take a tour of Durban instead of waiting in vain the whole afternoon. I could not see the source of the hold-up as the ladies spent their time chitchatting in lack of other customers and didn't care a moment to update us. Confronted with our voucher (back from the tour), they didn't know what to do (!) - we were even asked to give our credit card details for coverage, which we denied - until we explained that it meant a prepaid booking.
Paying the lavish parking fee (R40/d) with a R100 note, I got the impression the very same personell tried to make some extra money. Claiming they hadn't got any change in the cashier, they found it apt to simply keep the difference without a word. When I realized what was going on and complained, they answered it wasn't their fault nor responsibility (!) and blamed me for not giving the exact amount of money. I will not repeat their words as they were offensive and insulting and gave evidence of poor manners and a huge lack of professionalism. I finally managed to get the R100 note changed in the hotel's restaurant, the personell there was very friendly.
On a fabulous 3 week-tour through SA, the Balmoral was by far the most unpleasant experience. Stay away - there are far better options for accomodation in Durban!
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- Also Known As:
- Balmoral Hotel Durban