While in the taxi en route to Audacia Manor, my taxi driver said he had never heard of the hotel — and neither had my fellow conference-goers. This worried me at first, because I was afraid I’d chosen some obscure non-descript flophouse. I was pleased to find that Audacia Manor is anything but.
Owned by African Pride hotels (Protea’s premium luxury brand), Audacia is a lovely, elegant boutique hotel set in a restored Arts-and-Crafts-style hillside manor house that dates back to 1928.
It’s got just 10 rooms, six in the main house and four in the coach house by pool. Rooms in the main house have English-country names like Sussex and Surrey, and are beyond comfortable with giant with four-poster beds, plush carpeting, dark wood furniture, flat-screen TVs, espresso makers, and little extras like a decanter of water and a chocolate on your pillow. The two top-level rooms share a furnished outdoor terrace which offers excellent views over the stadium and the beach areas. The bathrooms are even more impressive: mine had hardwood floors, his-and-hers sinks, separate bathtub and shower, and even a bidet.
Downstairs on the main level of the house is restaurant Eleven, where diners sit in a semi-enclosed patio which overlooks the manicured yard, pool, Jacuzzi, and pool bar area. (There is also a private dining room for private functions.) The food is immaculately presented and incredibly delicious; the fish and chips I had for dinner were sublime — tender, perfectly seasoned, and expertly battered and fried – and the African breakfast (eggs, bacon, fried banana, boerewors, tomato and toast) was far superior to any breakfast I’ve had at hotel of this price range (about R1500 per night).
My only qualms with the hotel were the too-slow internet (you get 500MB free per day), and the fact that I didn’t have more time to enjoy this peaceful Victorian-style oasis in the middle of Durban.