Capital Pearls offers a five star experience without the frills
Umhlanga is one of my favourite places in Durban. The suburb has transformed into a trendy hotspot that everyone can enjoy.

With the influx of local and international visitors, accommodation becomes a crucial factor. The Capital Pearls Resort Hotel, which launched in December is the perfect seascape on a budget.

During my two-night stay I experienced this “home away from home” feel of the hotel. The staff presence isn’t conspicuous as there are no bedtime turn-downs or porters. There are no toiletries or sewing kits in the bathroom.

The spacious rooms offer that home-away-from-home experience.

What you do get is a cross between the comforts of home and the luxury of resort living. There is access to the swimming pool, bar, sun deck, as well as complimentary access to the Planet Fitness gym.

With 140 apartments (ranging from executive to one, two and three-bedroomed options), including an extensive conference and meeting facilities, it also makes for an ideal conference venue, too.

I was hosted in a sea-facing studio on the 10th floor, which boasted the most stupendous views. In terms of decor, they went for the minimalist but functional look.

The bathroom is minimalist but filled with luxury amenities.

Each room comes standard with an LED TV with satellite channels, uncapped high-speed internet, fully-equipped kitchen, as well as heating - should the weather render the air-con redundant.

As much as I was looking forward to chilling by the pool, Mother Nature intervened. And I found myself nestled in my suite binge-watching shows on Netflix and live streaming on YouTube. Not a bad alternative!

There is a self-catering kitchen, which is ideal for long stay travellers tired of dining out.

For travellers who don’t fancy playing chef in the kitchen, there is a room service option, where they can choose from any of the 16 restaurants there.

By morning, the sun was shining, beckoning a leisurely stroll along the uMhlanga pier, where joggers were amped for their morning park-run.

After my “workout”, I headed back to the hotel to enjoy a breakfast spread at their in-house restaurant. The menu included a range of cheeses and crackers, fresh baked health muffins and pastries, as well as a hot breakfast buffet.

The pool area offers a panoramic view of the Indian Ocean.

There is a shuttle service available to take guests to Gateway Theatre of Shopping or places within a 5km radius.

The hotel is perfect for business travellers who also want to enjoy the sights of uMhlanga or perhaps indulge in a bit of retail therapy.