My husband and I had to go to Durban for professional reasons and were looking for a good but affordable accommodation. Albany Hotel is truly one of the cheapest hotels you can find in Durban. We paid 250 rand per person per night for a double room which includes a breakfast buffet. A few words of warning though...
If you check out the website (www.albanyhotel.co.za), you will see that the hotel is rated as a 3-star hotel. I'm not exactly sure why, but I feel like the hotel is more of a 2-star hotel. The lobby is quite small and dark. The same goes for the restaurant on the first floor where we eat our breakfast. The carpeting on all the floors of the building are outdated, looks like they've been there since the 1950's. The same carpeting is also in the room, which doesn't really help in making the hotel look modern. The room that we got was a little small, but I think it was because they added a small bed next to the double bed that was already there. The airconditioning wasn't functioning properly... we couldn't adjust the temperature and it wasn't as cold as we wanted it to be.
Also, the hotel is located in a noisy part of Durban. To be exact, the hotel is located at the corner of Smith Street and Albany Grove in the middle of the city center (the Durban City Hall is right across the hotel). Smith Street is very busy and congested during the day. While Albany Grove is a bit dodgy, especially at night, because of all the clubs and bars located in that area. We were lucky that we got a room on the Smith Street side... otherwise, we would have had to put up with all the noise from those establishments. It was also a good thing that the humming of the airconditioner drowned out the noise from outside.
Another thing to contend with is the lack of parking in the area. Unfortunately, Durban City is a bit like New York City. There just aren't a lot of good parking around. We had to pay 50 rand/day for parking at an adjacent building.
Despite all those unappealing things that I mentioned, the hotel staff were actually very friendly and helpful. Also, our room and the bathroom were both very clean... which is very important to me, because I'm quite OC about cleanliness (especially in the bathroom). The breakfast buffet was also very appetizing and well worth the money. We ordered room service for dinner a couple of times and were quite surprised about the size of the servings. I had a big beef burger with chips and veggies for only 50 rand. The beverages are a bit expensive though, so I suggest you buy your drinks from outside. Also, the room does not come with a fridge, so if you want a cold drink, you're gonna have to order ice cubes from downstairs or buy your drinks from a vending machine on the first floor.
In a nutshell, although my husband and I were disappointed in some aspects of the hotel (especially after seeing some of the pictures online), we thought that 250 rand was a pretty good price in that area. Most hotels in that area and along the beach cost almost 400 rand per person.
If you're in Durban for strictly business or on a tight budget and not really thinking of a romantic getaway, Albany Hotel is sufficient. If I were to go to Durban again and were still in a tight budget, I would definitely still reconsider staying at Albany Hotel. But if I have more money to spare or looking for a more pleasurable, classy experience, then this place will not be on the top of my list.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Albany Hotel specializes in offering the best accommodation at affordable rates to corporate business, honeymooners, sports teams, groups and holiday makers alike. We also specialize in hosting unforgettable wedding receptions. We have a number of wedding venues to choose from depending on the size of the function required. The Hotel offers business conference and function facilities from small to large events. We have three business conference venues available with seating capacity of up to 120 delegates. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Albany Hotel Durban