The grounds of the hotel with the historic building and a pool area perfect for sundowners.

Audacia Manor Boutique Hotel not only takes you back in time once you enter the doors, it has a history, too.

Reflecting the gracious lifestyle of the 1920s, this beautiful, restored colonial mansion is one of Durban’s historical structures, built for the Chapman family in 1928, inspired by architect William Morris. On the slopes of the quiet suburb of Morningside, overlooking the city and the Indian Ocean, this 5 star hotel is minutes away from a variety of attractions.

The rooms are individually decorated to offer luxury and style with king-sized beds and fully-appointed bathrooms, with separate showers. All rooms have air-conditioning, heating, a mini-bar and satellite television, with a variety of DStv channels.

The Manor House rooms have balconies providing 180-degree views of the city and the ocean, while the Coach House rooms offer private courtyards, indoor and outdoor showers, and a jacuzzi.

The carriage that can be found in the Coach House with its private courtyard and Jacuzzi.

When I arrived, I was greeted by Phindile who helped me check in before escorting me to my executive room. I was initially booked into one of their Manor rooms (in the main house) but general manager Shannon Naidoo upgraded my accommodation to an executive room. There are four rooms in the Coach House, which are next to the pool area and main building.

When Phindile showed me my room, I felt as if I entered a bygone era. I found its colonial style extremely beautiful. The room was fitted with a classic Victorian four-poster king-size bed, draped in rich brocades and silks to provide a true feeling of sumptuousness and a sense of grandeur from centuries ago. Double vaulted wooden ceilings and 100-year-old Oregon pine floors provided the setting.

The private courtyard was spacious and the vines on the walls reminded me of France.

Being a small boutique hotels means there are not as many on-site facilities as you would get at a bigger hotel, however, the staff and management at the hotel have a number of service providers and go out of their way to ensure their guests enjoy Durban.

Shannon suggested a trip to the Mindgame Escape Room in uMhlanga for my travel partner.

Mindgame Escape really is the ultimate in mystery and adventure with a twist. You have 60 minutes to gather clues and solve puzzles in order to solve the mystery and escape the room. 


After trying to escape the room, which we did not, it was off to Durban’s famous authentic Indian restaurant, Mali’s.

The restaurant is less than five minutes away from the hotel. I have never had such delicious food which was authentically Indian. I felt as if I had been transported to New Delhi.

The next day, after having breakfast on the beautiful terrace of the hotel, I decided to take advantage of the weather and go down to Wilson’s Wharf for a boat ride. Again, Shannon was more than happy to assist me and enlisted the help of CS Chauffeur Drive. 

The boat ride was great and it’s alway great to look at Durban from a different view but what came next was even better. Back at the hotel, I enjoyed a fantastic spa treatment in my room from Shamla Rajoo of Healing Handz mobile spa. Shamla’s level of professionalism was incredible and she hit all the right places with her magic hands.

After my massage I enjoyed sundowners by the pool where Sli ensured my glass was never empty. Sunday called for a champagne breakfast and a few laps in the pool while sunbathing.

The breathtaking view from one of the manor rooms. The Durban skyline can be seen as well as the pool, entertainment area and Coach House.

While my stay was short, it was long enough for me to fall in love not only with the architecture and history, but with the service and staff.

Shannon is a real asset to this hotel and is always ensuring every guest is comfortable and happy.

A hotel that feels like home is always worth another visit.