The Royal Hotel
With its 150 year history, The Royal Hotel in Durban is not only a historic treasure, but bears testimony to the fact that although the modern world has undergone tremendous changes during this time, appreciation for service excellence remains constant. The Royal Hotel combines its policy of uncompromising service with warm hospitality and elegance to create an atmosphere that is indeed, fit for royalty.
Located in the heart of the bustling seaside city of Durban, The Royal Hotel allows easy access to the Durban International Airport and the CBD of the city, as well as being within walking distance of a host of attractions and entertainment options. Activities in the area include golf, horse racing, yachting and cruises, as well as a range of water sports, with reception staff at the hotel on hand to make any bookings required. The Playhouse Theatre Complex, the Gateway Shopping Mall and the International Convention Center are also within close proximity.
The Royal Hotel consists of a total of 206 elegantly furnished guestrooms, enhanced by spectacular views of Durban. Guests can choose from a mix of double rooms, twin rooms and executive suites. A thoughtful feature of the hotel is a floor with 12 guestrooms and a suite for the sole use of women traveling alone. Two rooms have been adapted to cater for the needs of guests in wheelchairs, without compromising the elegance and comfort that is an enduring hallmark of the hotel. Moreover, two rooms have been fitted out as child friendly to ensure that families can relax and enjoy their stay. All rooms have private en-suite bathrooms and are equipped with individual climate control, satellite television, direct dial phones and coffee and tea making facilities.
Dining at The Royal Hotel is a grand affair, with four world-class restaurants to choose from – Top of the Royal, Ulundi, The Royal Grill and the Royal Coffee Shoppe. The Tap Room Bar and the Exchange Bar both provide a warm and friendly atmosphere, perfect for relaxing and socializing. Facilities at The Royal Hotel include conference facilities, squash courts, massage service, sauna, fitness center, swimming pool, plunge pool, a valet service, business center and foreign exchange, to mention just a few.
The history of The Royal Hotel is a long and colorful one, opening up as the first hostelry in Durban in 1845, built on land bought by a British sea captain who discerned the potential of Durban as a commercial seaport. The original building was a far cry from the elegant hotel as it stands today, but nevertheless served its purpose of providing service, warm hospitality and shelter to travelers. The town quickly developed around the hotel, and in 1860 under a decree from Prince Alfred, Queen Victoria's second son, the hotel became known as The Royal. The rest, as they say, is history, with many notable guests staying at the hotel over the years, including Cecil John Rhodes, Rider Haggard, H.G. Wells, Marlene Dietrich, Mark Twain, Prince Alfred, Margaret Thatcher, Queen Elizabeth II, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, F.W. de Klerk and the legendary Nelson Mandela.