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I hope you have had a good week so far! It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions for me, if you follow my Instagram stories then you’ll know what I mean… Enough of that! Let’s talk about my recent stay at The Royal Palm Hotel Umhlanga! I was invited to have an overnight stay there for 2 to write about my experience.
My overall view is the despite the room for improvement in staff service, the hotel is perfect for holiday makers and businessmen/women with the absolutely prime location. It is on Palm Boulevard which is sprinkled with restaurants and retail store, including two entrances to Gateway Theatre of Shopping.
The location is also parallel to Umhlanga Rocks Drive, which is the ‘gateway’ to the N2 and M4 highways as well as Umhlanga Village where all the nightlife happens.
As for my experience, when we entered the hotel there wasn’t a traditional reception desk where you stand there and give all of your details to check in. There were two sit-down desks where you speak to someone front office to do your check in. He battled to find my booking, I am unsure if it was maybe, as a media visit, he had my name down as Jane instead of Camilla. Side bar, many people think my name is Jane as it’s my blog name but that’s actually my middle name.
We were in an Executive Suite on the 6th floor. An Executive Suite is made up of one bedroom (king sized bed) with a separate lounge and bathroom en-suite, including a balcony.
You can see the other rooms and suites that are offered here.
I was surprised that, as a 4 star hotel, no-one offered to help us take our bags up to our room and welcome us in. We were confused as to which lift to go up, we eventually figured out that you have to leave the lobby, stand in the shopping centre’s corridor and grab a lift upstairs. After this our key card wouldn’t work so we couldn’t get into the room! My partner had to run downstairs to get a new one, in the process a hostess came upstairs to show us into our room.
The bedroom was simply gorgeous! I adore the cherry blossom wallpaper, the bed was nice and big (I need my space to get a good night’s sleep), the bedding was luxe (probably 300 thread-count and 100% cotton) and the finishes were stunning.
Whilst there is no door between the bathroom and the bedroom, there were beautiful doors that could be closed to separate the bedroom from the entrance corridor and lounge. TMI, but I was still battling with a very long bought of gastro (I swear I had Listeria) so I was very happy that I could separate the rooms!
There were the typical amenities in the bathroom; soap, body wash, shampoo and bottled water. The towels were also super-soft and just felt like wrapping yourself in the cloud after a bath (for me) or shower (for partner).
The Arla Group (which The Royal Palm Hotel Umhlanga is a part of) are committed to living sustainably which I so appreciate. There was a sticker on the mirror asking guests to be water-savvy and reuse towels and such. I think this is especially important for visitors from abroad as they may not know the serious nature of South Africa’s drought right now.
There was plenty of storage space, necessary for a longer stay, and a 1200W hairdryer with a dual 110 V/220 V razor socket.
The lounge was gorgeous and comfortable. I quite like the mixture of decor, especially the arm chair with the Chinese-people print. There was space to charge our phones and watches – one of my biggest bugbears is calling down to reception and hoping they have adapters – and a small TV with the typically-limited TV channels. We ended up watching Netflix in bed, currently catching up on all Black Mirror episodes!
We were also treated to a fruit basket and Charlotte Rhys candle – thank you so much to The Royal Palm Hotel Umhlanga! It was great for midnight snacks and lunch for my first day back at work the next day.
There is also a mini fridge, microwave, sink and coffee station – perfect for a longer stay if you want the ‘self-catering vibe’.
The Royal Palm Hotel Umhlanga also has a restaurant called THYME@ROYAL PALM if you would prefer a meal prepared for you. It’s in the reception area and is also available to the general public.
The signature restaurant of The Royal Palm Hotel Umhlanga, THYME@ROYAL PALM, is a fusion of contemporary dining sophistication. THYME@ROYAL PALM offers patrons an opportunity to experience opulent dining with a modern twist. With a unique concept of four distinctive areas under one roof, the restaurant is a refreshing place to enjoy a couple of cocktails or a scrumptious meal. A simple yet effective colour scheme coupled by differentiating textures, welcomes diners to this innovative dining experience. The restaurant includes a bar area, lounge, dining room and outdoor courtyard, each one offering something different to the other to accommodate all.
The focus of the main floor area is a vibrant, circular bar, with four seating arcs surrounding it. This innovative seating plan offers patrons a chance to be part of the dynamic energy at the bar, while enjoying privacy in one of the secluded arcs. Comprising a funky dining room table surrounded by wingback chairs and lengthy leather lounge suites, the lounge enjoys a relaxing ambience.
Here, diners can snack on delicious finger foods whilst sipping exotic cocktails. The main dining room area seats up to 60 people and enjoys an elegant and sophisticated atmosphere. With a selection of table styles, including a chefs table seating eight people as well as other options available, the dining room accommodates small and intimate dining arrangements.
Restaurant goers can also enjoy the THYME@ROYAL PALM ambiance outside, as the restaurant’s sliding folding doors open up onto a spacious courtyard and enjoys an elegant café feel, offering a taste of Al Fresco dining. With such a variety of offerings, THYME@ROYAL PALM serves as a definite hot spot for Durban diners.
You can view their menu offerings here.
There is also a small balcony, a rarity for hotel rooms I have ever stayed in. The view isn’t utterly gorgeous, it isn’t close enough to Umhlanga Ridge to see over the other buildings, but we left the door open whilst we were ‘at home’ to get the sea breeze.
We had breakfast at THYME@ROYAL PALM in the morning. There is a continental breakfast area with pastries, cold meats, cheese (so much cheese), biscuits and cereal. There is tea, coffee and about three different juices (I chugged about 4 glasses of delicious apple juice). Then there is the hot breakfast. I was a little disappointed as a hotel breakfast is by far the highlight of my stay at any hotel. Whilst the manager attended to our table and was fantastic, we still only had about three quarters of the hot options available (no pork sausages, tomato, baked beans) as they were still being prepared. It was almost 7am so I would have thought all the food would be prepared by then.
Other facilities offered at The Royal Palm Hotel Umhlanga are:
- Health & Vitality Centre (Open Mon–Fri, 6am – 9pm and Sat–Sun, 7am – 5pm)
- 24 Hour Reception Services
- Spa Royale (on site)
- WiFi (Free)
- Conference Facilities
- In Room Dining Mon-Fri, 06h00-22h00 Sat-Sun, 18h00-22h00
- Baby Sitting Facilities upon request within 24 hours (not specialised)
- Secure Free Parking
- Major Credit Cards Accepted