While Western Cape and Gauteng are usually the first-choice provinces for travelers heading to South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal shouldn’t be overlooked — it packs a punch in terms of activities and things to do. The province includes the coastal city of Durban, uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, the Midlands Meander, and much more. When it comes to places to stay that will pamper you between excursions, there are plenty to go around, too. Here are our picks for the best luxury lodges, hotels and resorts in KwaZulu-Natal.
African Pride Audacia Manor
The African Pride company doesn’t skimp when it comes to hotels and this location lives up to the flagship name. This Durban property was built in 1928 and features lavish design with a flair for history. The luxurious rooms have high ceilings, large comfy beds, and immaculate decor to have you resting in comfort in no time. Whether you’re relaxing by the pool or exploring the area, you can’t go wrong with this pick.
&Beyond Phinda Rock Lodge
This is one of the most impressive lodges in the province and is located on a 23,000 hectare game reserve. Guests will love the exclusive villas which are set near a cliff overlooking the valley below. You can also see all of the big five within the reserve and it’s particularly known for its large cheetah population.
Located in the heart of Durban’s nightlife scene, this historic property is without a doubt one of the best in the city if you’re looking for a quaint feel with luxury to boot. The hotel features beautiful colonial style rooms along with elegant touches throughout, like fresh orchids and gorgeous paintings. Guests will enjoy the gourmet breakfasts and dinners, but if they want something else, plenty of the city’s top restaurants are within walking distance.
Montusi Mountain Lodge
Located in possibly the most scenic area of South Africa, the Drakensberg, this lodge is so perfect for taking in the views of the mountains that you might not ever want to leave. The luxurious mountain suites have in room fireplaces and a rustic decor to help you relax in tranquility. The onsite restaurant is also well known for dishing out some of the best eats in the region.
If you’re looking for five-star luxury in Durban, look no further than this highly acclaimed hotel. The property was built in 1947 and features a spa, a 24-seat movie theater, a sophisticated lounge, and a large swimming pool overlooking the ocean. Most of the 86 rooms face the ocean as well and are all decorated in styles that reflect the city’s diverse cultures such as Colonial, Indian and Zulu.
Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse
Located near the Drakensberg Mountains in the Kamberg Valley, this luxurious farmhouse is one of the most popular places in the area to treat yourself. There are 11 country themed rooms that are all individually decorated with trinkets of local history. The main house is also decked out with great places to sit by the fire, sip wine, or surprise your taste buds with the restaurant’s famous seven-course dinners.
Thonga Beach Lodge
Located in iSimangaliso Wetland Park, this beautiful beach lodge is one of the best places for a marine safari and offers fabulous four-star accommodation. The lodge is built like a tree house that overlooks the ocean and you can spot schools of dolphins swimming and sea turtles nesting on the beach. It was also constructed to make a minimal impact on the environment, making it an eco-friendly place to stay.
Fairmont Zimbali Lodge (And Resort)
This is a two for one, as both the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge and Fairmont Zimbali Resort are located within 2.5km of each other on the Zimbali Coastal Estate. Both properties are in the middle of lush nature and will have you feeling like a star. One of the top features of the lodge is the Willow Stream Spa which uses South African products like marula and rooibos to get you into the ultimate state of relaxation. The Fairmont Zimbali Resort is a bit larger and a tad more luxurious, but you really can’t go wrong with either. We recommend staying at both!
The Beverly Hills Hotel
No, it’s not in a posh area of Los Angeles, but it might as well be considering the treatment you’ll get at this property. The hotel offers some of the best views of the coast in Durban and is the perfect place to indulge yourself. Guests will love relaxing at the Mangwanani Boutique Spa or dining at either one of the delicious in-house restaurants.
This fabulous boutique hotel is located on Umhlanga Rocks Drive in Durban and features an Asian-inspired decor that continuously wows travelers. There are only 10 bedrooms on the property, so you’ll have the infinity pool and views of the ocean all to yourself. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway in the area, it would be hard to top this one.
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