Hair of the dog: THE CONCIERGE
As regular readers of the divine Big City Life know, one of the enduring loves of my life is the spoilt-avo-eating-child-licking-scary-sounding Rottweiler, Hera. She adores me, or at least I like to think so, though a nagging doubt in the back of my mind persists that should I stop slipping her delicious delicacies she would turn tail and vanish faster than you can gobble down a Pedigree treat! My affinity for my big black dog lends itself to all sorts of crazy, like for example instantly falling in love with the Concierge hotel in Greyville purely based on the oversized black dachshund at the front door.
Venture a little further in however and you will find more and more reasons to fall in love. This is a true boutique hotel, where each room has been lovingly created and contains its own special touches. As a somewhat critical guest (I have been known to request a change of hotel room due to a suspicion that the bath plug hadn’t been cleaned in, well, a thousand years), it’s the small touches and attention to detail that most grab my attention and I must admit I was a little stymied as to the style of the rooms when I first ventured inside.
Being in Greyville one is immediately suspicious that this hotel may just be too hip for its own good, and it takes a while for the authenticity to really convince you that it may be beautiful but it’s not too pleased with itself and deserves a chance. Greg and Roche Dry of the inimitable Egg Designs, worked in conjunction with the hotel to create a truly unique experience in each room and their playfulness is strongly evident in items like the Apple Wire Light, which incorporates their strong use of nature and pattern as an inspiration with an emotional edge. I thought the exposed walls would make for a rather chilly experience in Winter, even in Durban where locals are absurdly proud that freezing temperatures here mean below 20 degrees, but the rooms are cosy with soft, toe-curling rugs and gorgeous deep bedding.
The addition of the divine Freedom Café in the courtyard (they share a reception), means that delicious breakfasts and lunches are on the cards or should you just feel like something snacky you will be delighted by the excellently stocked mini-bar. I have a slightly odd habit of judging the quality of the attention to detail by what you can find in the mini-bar, and a little snoop came up with locally produced biltong, M & M’s, some really good quality wines and delicious SA produced Olives. Thus satisfying myself that should a freak storm hit and I am stranded in this hotel room for life I would survive, I meandered out to take in the lush plant life and colonial habit of sipping Gin on the verandah.
As a popular destination for both celebs (think fashion designer David Tlale) as well as the hoi-poloi, this special place is ideal for longer term stays as well as that short escape. Just be sure to pat the dogs on your way out.
36-42 St Mary’s Avenue, Greyville
4001, Durban, South Africa