St James’ Guest Lodge, Durban is remodelled from an Edwardian house, so the large proportions and high ceilings give it an air of grandeur. Some of the period features, such as leaded light windows have been retained. With only 16 rooms, it’s friendly, welcoming and spotlessly clean. Situated in a suburban area of Durban, I also felt very safe. A few parking spaces are available for guests.
Our room was large with king-size bed, a giant settee and a useful desk with Wifi. A period wardrobe made the room feel less corporate and the neutral décor of grey and brown made it feel restful. Air conditioning is standard. The well equipped bathroom had grey and white marble tiling and a full size power shower. Quality toiletries and fluffy white towels also found favour. A particularly nice touch was toilet spray; we all have it at home but why not in hotels too?
The restaurant with open plan kitchen served a decent supper, with extra choices for our special diets. Outside is a suntrap terrace with pond, where guests may enjoy a drink or just sit with a book. Afternoon High Tea is available, either typical English (cucumber sandwiches, scones with jam and cream) or with a more South African slant (biltong and cream cheese sandwiches, Tipsy tart)
The only downside was lack of a guest lounge. However, the terrace, accessed through the restaurant, can be enjoyed most of the time when the weather is fine.
Venice Road 100, Durban, South Africa
Contact tel: +27 031 312 9488
Cost single room with en suite: £30 – £60 per night, double room with en suite: £60 – £100 per night