REVIEW: The Beverly Hills Hotel, Umhlanga
We made our way down Umhlanga Rocks Drive with the windows down and the wind in our hair, my boyfriend and I were giddy with excitement about our stay at The Beverly Hills Hotel. The music was blaring and we sang along at the top of our lungs:
That’s where I want to be
Livin’ in Beverly Hills
Rollin’ like a celebrity” – Weezer
This became the soundtrack for the rest of the weekend, firstly because it’s catchy as anything and secondly because we really were treated like celebrities. That’s not to say that we were given special treatment, everyone received the same standard of genuine, attentive care from the Beverly Hills staff.
Turning the volume down we pulled into the drive of the hotel, the valet greeted us and ushers unloaded our bags. We were shown to the check in desk where we chatted about where we came from and what we could look forward to this weekend while we waited for a room key. Check in was quick and painless and with a glass of champagne in hand we were given the grand tour of South Africa’s first 5 star hotel.
The opulent decor is reminiscent of old world charm with tasteful modern touches, the array of orchids in the lobby below the spiral staircase are something to marvel at, I’m not sure if anyone struggles to keep those things alive but I take my hat off to anyone who can. The layout flows through the lobby to the landing with the lounge to your left and the Sugar Club restaurant to your right, which opens up to a beautiful 180 degree wrap around deck where you can enjoy your meals in the sunshine overlooking the pool and indian ocean.
The tour of the hotel concluded at our tastefully decorated, spacious room. Each of the 89 beautifully appointed rooms has a private balcony and uninterrupted views of the ocean. We sat on the balcony taking it all in, my boyfriend, Lewis, opened our complimentary bottle of wine and we cheersed to a great weekend.
With Durban on the brink of winter we were thrilled about the heated pool, despite the sunny days the water can be a tad chilly. Before our trip my grandpa told us a story of the time his company, Sprite Caravans put a GT fibreglass caravan in the pool back in the 1960’s. I tried to image a mobile holiday home with a motor on the back floating around the pool with Miss Universe on the top while we paddled around.
The pool area is the perfect spot to lounge around, order cocktails and just enjoy the sunshine all day long, and guests can indulge in spa treatments when not in the pool.
The Beverly Hills has two restaurants, one being Elements café bar which offers eclectic informal dining, light snacks, and a selection of cocktails and the other, The Sugar Club restaurant that boasts a distinguished and elegant dining experience.
Lewis and I enjoyed a romantic dinner for two at the Sugar Club. Every course wowed us but dessert took the cake! We ordered crepe suzette to share and were thoroughly entertained when presented with the task of flambeing our own crepes on a trolley brought to the table.
We practically floated back to our rooms perfectly content with the evening, the door opened and to our surprise room service had done up our bed with swan towels and rose petals, it’s the little extra efforts that really leave an impression on you.
The next morning we took a stroll to the mall in Pearls of Umhlanga. The hotel’s location is perfect for those wanting to go out and explore Umhlanga, as there is so much within walking distance. Upon our return to the hotel we were greeted with a warm “welcome home” from the doorman, and to our delight we were invited to High Tea. I almost ran upstairs dragging Lewis behind me to find the perfect outfit, I decided to go with my favourite off the shoulder dress from Zip Code for the occasion.
High Tea was everything I was hoping for and more! We walked into the room and didn’t know where to start. There were two sections, a savoury and a sweet, both piled high with delectable homemade treats. The waiters were attentive and chatty, offering tea, champagne or beverages and letting us in on their favourite items on the menu.
Each month there is a new theme for guests to enjoy and even dress up to. While sipping our tea we chatted with the waiter about which celebrities and royals had stayed in the hotel over the years since the Beverly Hills opened its doors in 1964, it was amazing to think about the history and the heritage of the hotel.
We were blown away from the minute we walked through the doors, and the experience exceeded our expectations. Even though I live in the Durban area, staying at The Beverly Hills Hotel still felt like we were on holiday, I can highly recommend booking your next getaway here.
Address: 1 Lighthouse Road, Umhlanga, Durban, 4320
Cell: 031 561 2211