The opening of Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani has been the cause of much excitement and conversation round these parts. Not only does it have 734 rooms, 11 restaurants and bars, 3 swimming pools (1 heated) and a breath taking sea view, but it’s situated in front of Durban’s golden mile promenade and has the most gorgeous décor.
I recently spent a few days in the hotel complex and let me tell you, it was very hard to say good bye. Working outside on the deck of the Panorama Bar with the sea breeze on your skin and the smell of the ocean beats an office any day.
The staff ensured that my every need was taken care of before I’d even thought of it and I was lucky enough to have the perfect Durban weather, winter be damned. I also have to admit that I am quite partial to the colours chosen for this hotel – a turquoise blue really has to be one of my favourite hues and it comes across so beautifully from the room key-cards and scatter pillows to the chairs in the breakfast restaurants.
The hotel rooms are something else. When they boast about their 734 rooms with a sea view, they’re not kidding. Looking out of my window I marvelled at dolphins playing in the surf, cyclists doing early morning rides along the promenade and watched a sunrise that would impress even the Capetonians. The bathrooms alone are a pleasure you will delight in. All the space in the shower one would ever need, or a deep sunken bath tub to close your eyes and rest your head back while the relaxation permeates your every pore.
I could go on, but instead I’ll give you my top suggestions of things you need to experience while staying at this magnificent Durban hotel.
1. Grill Jichana’s 5 Chocolate Valrhona ball with fresh fruit relish. This has already become infamous in local Durban circles, gaining the fond nickname of “the chocolate bomb, bru, because it’s the bomb!”.
2. Served at the Panorama Bar: Veggie Pizza which includes toppings of artichoke, asparagus, peppers, mushroom, pepper dews, olives and feta.
3. The unique Jichana salads on offer are an experience on their own. This one includes biltong; blue cheese; mixed greens; red onion; green olives; pepper dews & toasted granola.
4. Take in the unsurpassed view at Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani pool deck where you can be treated to a scrumptious menu from the Panorama Bar.
5. The steaks at Grill Jichana are carefully selected and hand cut by their butcher before being aged through a specific maturation process. This allows Grill Jichana to offer you the best prime cuts available seasoned with aromatic house spice, infused with crushed mustard seed, rock sea salt and lemon black pepper, before being flame-grilled over volcanic rock with herbed honey BBQ basting.
5. You must end off your Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani experience with a visit to the old Durban favourite Japanese restaurant Daruma (located on the ground floor of Elangeni Tower). The staff members are so entertaining and take such pride in their show. And I really do mean show. Sit at one of their open kitchen stove tables and marvel as they work right in front of you, displaying words out of egg fried rice and balancing acts you can only squeal at.
See you soon for