Sunday Times

A TRUE BLUE ROYAL TREAT

- Suthentira Goven­der Goven­der was a guest of Royal Palm Food · Travel Inspiration · Recreation · Restaurants · Travel · Interior Design · Dining Out · Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal · Thailand · Indonesia · China · Natal Sharks · Natal

LO­CA­TION

In the heart of Umh­langa Ridge, this ho­tel is nicely si­t­u­ated for ei­ther a busi­ness trip or a get­away. It over­looks the bustling Gate­way The­atre of Shop­ping precinct, with its trendy eater­ies and wa­ter­ing holes. Umh­langa beach and the town’s fa­mous restau­rant strip, which of­fers more gas­tro­nomic de­lights, are a mere five-minute drive down the road.

STYLE

The 94-suite apart­ment-style ho­tel is classy and op­u­lent. The sprawl­ing lobby has beau­ti­ful fab­ric couches, lux­u­ri­ous rugs, mas­sive mir­rors and over­sized lamps. The restau­rant com­prises a cir­cu­lar bar, lounge, for­mal din­ing area and out­door court­yard.

The court­yard — on a clear night — is the per­fect spot for al fresco din­ing.

Rooms in­clude ex­ec­u­tive deluxe rooms, ex­ec­u­tive suites, two-bed­room ex­ec­u­tive suites and two- and three-bed­room pent­house suites. I was im­pressed by the size of the ex­ec­u­tive suite, with its one bed­room, lounge, en suite bath­room with a size­able tub, and bal­cony.

The dec­o­ra­tors looked to the East for in­spi­ra­tion — traces of Thai­land, Indonesia and China are ev­i­dent.

SER­VICE

Every­body from the jovial concierge to the front-desk staff and man­age­ment were friendly and wel­com­ing.

HOW’S THE GRUB

Break­fast is a sump­tu­ous af­fair — a hot and cold buf­fet, with ev­ery­thing you could de­sire from sausages and ba­con to omelettes, baked beans and strips of chicken in a creamy, spicy sauce. The all-day menu has sev­eral dishes to suit most palates, in­clud­ing grilled line fish, beef fil­let, pas­tas and grilled peri-peri chicken.

AC­TIV­I­TIES

The beach is the ob­vi­ous at­trac­tion, as is the Umh­langa prom­e­nade, for a leisurely stroll and a view of the sea and light­house.

The KwaZulu-Na­tal Sharks Board Mar­itime Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence gives vis­i­tors in­sight into these fas­ci­nat­ing crea­tures with au­dio-vis­ual shows and dis­sec­tions. Then there’s the 26ha Umh­langa La­goon Na­ture Re­serve. It has pic­nic sites and walk­ing trails.

If you want to view the town from the air, the ho­tel can ar­range a he­li­copter ad­ven­ture.

FA­CIL­I­TIES

The ho­tel has a spa on site, as well as con­fer­ence fa­cil­i­ties and a fit­ness cen­tre.

RATES

From R1,720 per room per night, in­clud­ing break­fast.

CON­TACT

See royal-palm.co.za

 ?? Pic­ture: royal-palm.co.za ?? ROYAL PALM HO­TEL, UMH­LANGABUSI­NESS OR PLEA­SURE The Royal Palm Ho­tel in Umh­langa.
Pic­ture: royal-palm.co.za ROYAL PALM HO­TEL, UMH­LANGABUSI­NESS OR PLEA­SURE The Royal Palm Ho­tel in Umh­langa.

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