I love boutique hotels: they’re personal and intimate and often offer little luxuries that the bigger franchises don’t consider.
And my latest favourite is one of Durban’s iconic boutique establishments: Endless Horizons in Umhlanga Rocks Drive in Durban North.
Named because of its gorgeous 180-degree view of the Durban coastline – from Umhlanga to the Bluff – this luxurious five-star hotel offers all the pampering and personal service that make a stay at a boutique hotel such a special experience.
From the smiling porter at the gate to the friendly receptionist, we were made to feel that we’d arrived home as soon as we entered the double volume foyer and lounge.
A welcoming drink was delivered to our room and we relaxed on the balcony overlooking the infinity pool and that fabulous Indian Ocean vista.
Thoughtful touches in our room (that I don’t often find with bigger hotels chains) are things that make the guest’s stay just that much more comfortable – and homely. My favourite little detail is fresh milk in the bar fridge (instead of long life sachets) and Endless Horizons passed the test. Homemade crunchies and herbal teas at the coffee station, the latest magazines, fluffy gowns and slippers were just some of the other home comforts provided by the hotel.
A drink before dinner in the stylish, contemporary bar in the foyer was a relaxing way to ease into the weekend and a prelude to a dinner that delivered flavours to delight the senses.
Afro Indo fusion at the hotel’s Khuraka Restaurant
Dinner was a decadent three-course fine dining affair that shouldn’t be hurried.
Rotis and prawn crackers, and chilli butter were the introduction to Khuraka’s seasonal menu – and an indication of the flavours to follow – from a restaurant that describes its style as Afro Indo fusion.
The chef then surprised us with raw oysters while we waited for our starters.
Presentation is exquisite and our snoek and chicken liver starters were Instagram-worthy works of art. We followed them with beef and linefish respectively – creatively served, gorgeously flavoured and garnished with fresh vegetables. Fine dining portions aren’t massive so there was space for dessert: adult Turkish flavoured jelly and ice cream was a hit!
And you’ll need to pair your meal with one of the wines from the Wildekransstable: the estate in the Cape is also owned by Endless Horizons, so the KZN cellar is kept stocked with a wide selection.
Breakfast was an al fresco affair, and a cold continental buffet, as well as a hot selection of exotic and artistic variations of the usual South African English breakfast options are on offer. There are also creative dishes to satisfy the vegetarians. Every decent five-star hotel offers salmon on the breakfast menu and Endless Horizons didn’t disappoint. A great ending to a mini-break and the kind of place where you want to stay for a week…
Address: 108 Umhlanga Rocks Drive, Durban North. Call 031 564 0360 or visit www.endlesshorizons.co.za