Rediscover – Relax – Revive. Hartford House nestled in the magnificent Drakensberg Midlands area, is the perfect place to escape to, for that quick break from the humdrum routine of a busy city life! And it’s only a 4 hour drive from Johannesburg and 2 hours from Durban, to get that breath of fresh country air and a drop of luxury on the side.Read More
Filtering by Tag: Durban
I thought everything that had to be said about Wayne Coetzer’s prowess as a hotelier had been said, but this week the GM at The Oyster Box surpassed himself, even by his own lofty standards. Before I elaborate, let me put it into context.Read More
With a record 1.2 million visitors hosted over the festive season, South Africa's 'fun, sun, adventure' capital, Durban, has made the The New York Times' influential list of Top 10 Global Places To Go in 2015.Read More
Hartford included in Anne Stevens' Eating Out Restaurant Guide
Whatever they may say about the troubles of the world, there are still pockets of excellence which continue to stand out despite the gloom. Hartford House is one of those, maintaining its position as one of the most decorated hospitality businesses in the land this year. We never take these things for granted, but we're always grateful for the recognition and the encouragement they bring to our team. Hartford is something of a miracle story, in a district short on skills and job opportunities. Few of our people know the look of a school leaver's certificate, yet they are born of a natural talent for making people feel at home, and they're among the few in the world who still regard service as a dignity.
It's great to be recognised by the country as a whole, and we thrive on the acclaim of those abroad, but it's as gratifying knowing that you're appreciated in your own neighbourhood. Anne Stevens, the most revered of KwaZulu-Natal's food critics is our senior journalist, who has eateries living in anxious anticipation of her approval at this time of the year. Last Friday her annual Eating Out guide appeared for the umpteenth time in decades, in The Mercury. Remarkably, for a city which ranks as the third largest in the country, Durban doesn't celebrate a restaurant in Anne's top echelons. There are some fine restaurants in South Africa's premier holiday playground, worthy of mention in any collection of the country's best, but if you're looking for something out of the ordinary, the leisurely drive in the Mooi River direction of the Drakensberg, is essential. Hartford was once again one of only two in the province to enjoy her coveted four-star acknowledgment; coming from Anne, that's some compliment. Like everything else on this property, from racehorses, horse feeds, equine insurance to hospitality, the motto is : "World class and beyond". "Auntie Anne's" endorsement that we've been faithful to our creed, is heartening.
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"KwaZulu-Natal Travel and Tourism Boost"
Comair will provide a new boost to travel and tourism between London and Durban with news of their new direct flight between the two cities, unveiled at Tourism Indaba on 8th of May 2011.
Previously either the traveler from London had to go to Johannesburg or Cape Town first and then take a local flight to Durban, or opt for a little costly option of flying with Emirates Airline going via Dubai. Currently, the only international carrier using the airport is Emirates Airline.
The Comair direct fly will run between London Gatwick Airport and King Shaka International Airport, Durban.
The agreement was signed among Comair and the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government. Comair already operates twenty-three daily flights into King Shaka Airport, making it the biggest user of the airport and the largest local private airline.
KwaZulu-Natal economic development and tourism MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu stated that they hoped to be able to announce the first flight in 12 months.
The accord follows strong efforts by KwaZulu-Natal government to boost tourism and trade in the region by improving airlift.
Extract from Flights and Airfares
(Photo : Durban Tourism)
Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
There have been many stories written about Elizabeth Graham, who enjoyed extensive attention in investment guru, Warren Buffett’s biography. Her legend arose through her fearless stewardship of the worlds most celebrated newspaper, The Washington Post, which famously broke the news on Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal.
The Post is represented at the World Cup by Steven Goff who penned this note on his impressions of his favourite South African city :
I never made it to Cape Town (the San Francisco of Africa) or Nelspruit (the remote city on the edge of Kruger National Park). I spent too many days in bustling Johannesburg and too many hours on the road to and from Rustenburg.
And now with the World Cup winding down, with four teams and four matches remaining and my departure a week away, I have discovered what is surely South Africa's most appealing venue: Durban. It's Miami Beach with a world-class stadium a few hundred yards from the Indian Ocean. It's surfers and sandcastle artists, beach soccer and beach cricket, art deco hotels, a casino, seaside Indian restaurants, soft winter breezes and temperatures in the 70's.
Beach Festival offers carnival rides, jugglers, artisans, surf lessons, an official FIFA Fan Fest viewing area and seven piers - essentially, a boardwalk scene without the boardwalk. Or fried dough.
Cargo ships the size of El Salvador interrupt the horizon on their way to Durban Harbor, the busiest in Africa. Hotels and apartment buildings line Marine Parade, the beach road.
Like any resort stretch, there are upscale blocks and downscale sections. You'll find me in the dumpy high-rise with 1970's-era, brown-spotted design curtains and an air conditioner lodged into the wall on the alley side of the building. (Steps from the sand, what do you expect for $110?)
The crowds strolling the promenade are a mix of white, black and Indian. There are local families, pasty World Cup fans, street performers, fast-talking hustlers ("official" Adidas sunglasses for 50 rand - $6.50? Sold!), aggressive beggars, gossiping teenagers, and a heavy police and security presence.
A 15 minute stroll north brings you to Suncoast Beach, where colorful rickshaws and their entertaining owners await customers. It's a service dating from the early 20th century. Behind a casino/mall/multiplex theater stands seven-month-old Moses Mabhiba Stadium, site of seven World Cup matches, including Wednesday's semifinal between Spain and Germany. It's a gorgeous sight. (For $450 million, it better be.)
From the beach, a wide walkway passes under the M4 road and surfaces across from the east entrance at Masabalala Yengwa Avenue. The arch above the field, 344 feet high at its peak, is accessible by funicular. (For security reasons, it is closed during the World Cup.)
For many fans, buses and taxis are not necessary. Unlike Soccer City Stadium, stuck in a dirt/dust bowl in an industrial area near Soweto, or Ellis Park, in a gritty downtown Joburg neighborhood, the Durban facility is within walking distance of hotels, cafes and bars. For many others, a train station provides service just beyond the northwest gates.
Next to 62,760-seat Moses Mabhiba is 52,500-seat Absa Stadium, home to the Natal Sharks rugby club and a venue during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. The Shark Cage team shop rivals any American merchandise store.
I've got three more nights in Durban before returning to Jozi for the final weekend. It's not going to be enough time...