FIRST LOOK

Look­ing for a con­ve­nient base in the city? This new, no-frills ho­tel has a top lo­ca­tion, says ME­LANIE VAN ZYL

Getaway (South Africa) - - NEWS -

A no-frills base near the Dur­ban beach­front

Onomo Ho­tel, Dur­ban KWAZULU-NA­TAL

Hail­ing from Morocco, Onomo is a proudly African ho­tel group that’s launched its lat­est SA stay in the cen­tre of Dur­ban. It’s not much to look at from the out­side, and there isn’t any­thing ‘ex­otic’ about this ho­tel; it’s a stripped-down, con­tem­po­rary ex­pe­ri­ence that pri­ori­tises clean rooms at an af­ford­able rate – and it works.

You can ex­pect all the ser­vices of a reg­u­lar ho­tel (ex­cel­lent and un­lim­ited Wi-Fi, a gym and out­door swim­ming pool, rooms with air con, a TV and tea and cof­fee sta­tion), but with some great sus­tain­able prac­tices thrown in too. There are sen­sor lights in the pub­lic ar­eas through­out the ho­tel and grey­wa­ter sys­tems for ir­ri­gat­ing the gar­den, plus low-flow fit­tings on taps to re­duce wa­ter us­age (don’t worry, the flow is still more than strong enough).

There’s a won­der­ful, sunny break­fast ter­race to en­joy Dur­ban’s fab­u­lous cli­mate, and the open-plan cen­tral lobby grows busy in the evening as it houses both the re­cep­tion area and res­tau­rant, O’Taste (there’s a wide meal se­lec­tion, with ev­ery­thing from pasta to bobotie and lamb shank; mains hover at the R110 mark). How­ever, up­stairs in my room, the dou­ble-glazed win­dows en­sured no dis­tur­bance from the busy city out­side.

The clien­tele is pre­dom­i­nantly busi­ness trav­ellers (it’s close to three con­ven­tion cen­tres) and this is un­doubt­edly the ho­tel’s pri­mary tar­get mar­ket; it’s also near Kingsmead Sta­dium. But my Fri­day stay saw a tran­si­tion to fam­i­lies and hol­i­day­mak­ers us­ing it as an af­ford­able, cen­tral base for a week­end break.

All rooms and suites sleep two and only one has a bal­cony. Be sure to re­quest a room over­look­ing the Prom­e­nade, or with views of the Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium and city lights at night. BEST FEA­TURE The lo­ca­tion. It’s a five-minute, three-block walk to North Beach, where I watched the surfers as the sun came up and joined ac­tive lo­cals on the Prom­e­nade (pack your tack­ies!) There’s also a gen­er­ously late check­out time of 11am.

COST Room only from R560 pp shar­ing, or with break­fast from R725 pp.

CON­TACT 031-492-3917, onomo­ho­tel.com

LEFT The sunny Prom­e­nade is pop­u­lar from early in the day. BOT­TOM, FROM LEFTThe ho­tel is cen­tral, and kids will be glad to know it’s not only near the beach but a short walk from Dur­ban Ice Arena; the lap pool is per­fect for a quick work­out or dip; the airy, light in­te­rior of O’Taste res­tau­rant.

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