A tranquil home away from home
Durban is not my scene. The pickpockets, dubious Durban guys with gold fillings in their teeth who think they are special and those scruffy hotels on the beachfront freak me out.
When I was assigned to cover the Durban July my heart skipped a beat. I had bad memories of the hotel I stayed in when I visited the city two weeks earlier.
The memory of having to be accompanied by a security guard every time I left the hotel made me sick to the stomach.
But I needn't have worried. This time I was booked in at the Quarters Hotel. It is a refined four-star hotel in Morningside amid old colonial-style houses. The area is well cared for.
Were I granted an opportunity to rename the Quarters I would call it Peace Hotel because of its tranquility.
The homeliness and warmth of this hotel was simply out of this world. The handsome building was a home away from home and very prettily decorated.
The word "hotel" seems to me to be too adventurous for this establishment. I found it more of a modest yet chic B&B.
If I were to choose my favourite feature of the hotel, I would certainly go for the decor. There is only one word to describe it: stylish.
When I arrived I was amazed at the beauty and style of my air-conditioned bedroom.
It had a huge bed with a dramatic and oversized headboard with easy-to-use lighting. The bed was a joy to sleep in.
Another alluring feature was the beautiful curtains and the spaciousness of the room. The room was feminine and elegant.
Plasma TV? Of course! But though there was satellite TV it unfortunately did not have the full bouquet, which is a bad idea for guests who are used to having it in their homes.
My suitcase stored away neatly under the bed and there was more than enough space for clothes in the smart wardrobe.
The bathroom was immaculate. It was simple rather than fancy, with a shower and a pile of fresh towels.
Some hotel rooms work better during the day and others at night. At the Quarters it was definitely during the day, when the sun shone through the windows.
Last but not least, and in fact the most important, was the food. The last thing you want the morning after a big day like the Durban July is to wake up to bad food. You won't.
The hotel boasted a not-so-large, help-yourself breakfast buffet. It was just good wholesome food.
Unlike Cape Town there was something friendly and warm about the Durban service. Friendliness was part of the restaurant.
The waitresses were attentive and went out of their way to please and make me feel comfortable. If you ask me, this is a good place to rest if you happen to visit Durban.
And best of all, you can be in the city without anyone knowing.