After flying from Cape Town to Durban with Kulula Airlines, we parked off at Southern Sun's Garden Court South Beach (Durban) hotel for a couple of days (after which we were going on an MSC Sinfonia cruise to the Portuguese Islands and Maputo, and then flying back from Durban with 1time Airline). We paid R1158 for 2 nights from the 29th Jan 2011 to the 31st Jan 2011. Overall we were satisfied, and will be happy to stay at this hotel again.
We paid R350 for a taxi from King Shaka Airport to the hotel, and arrived at 1pm. We found out that if you are going to check in before 2pm, you should ask for an early arrival, and a room wasn't ready for us. After waiting a bit, we were upgraded to a room on the ground floor, next to the pool - well done Southern Sun on ensuring a good outcome. The room was on the 2nd floor, next to the pool, so we could easily walk out the room and look at the views, or swim in the pool - this proved very useful for entertaining our active 3-year-old daughter.
We also had a free wake up call at about 5am - so free that it was given even though we didn't even ask for it!
On Sunday morning breakfast was very busy, & on Monday morning very quiet. The Garden Court serves a typical continental breakfast, and I enjoyed an omelette, beans, cereal, fresh fruit (including freshly cut watermelon), yoghurt, an orange juice and a guava juice. On Sunday morning there was a queue to wait for tables, and at times they ran out of bowls and glasses (after a few minutes they were replinished). The person managing the queue, Sharon, is a real star - she knows how to deal with people.
Soaring up 23 floors, the Garden Court South Beach offers a superb view of the Durban beachfront. Here's the view from the 2nd floor (pool deck).
There's wireless internet available throughout the hotel. I had a 3G card, but decided to test-drive the wireless, as I had about 1000 megabytes of video I wanted to upload. I bought an 80m voucher for R80. The reception in my room (205) gave 2 bars of signal, I then went to the internet lounge and got 4 bars, I moved to the breakfast area, and sitting at the edge of the breakfast area, with the best view over the sea, I also got the best signal (5 bars).
The bathroom was neat and tidy. The water was lukewarm water when I tried to take a bath on the Sunday night - perhaps the geysers are shared between rooms?
The room was kept tidy by a young and friendly lady. We asked her not to vacuum on out second day, and the dirty floor is probably what attracted a cockroach into our room.
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The Garden Court South Beach's neighbours on the beachfront are the Durban Spa (photo below) and the Tropicana Hotel.
Author : Rob Baker