1. THE LIGHTHOUSE BAR AT THE OYSTER BOX
With red-and-white decor reminiscent of the iconic Umhlanga Lighthouse, from which it takes its name, The Lighthouse Bar at The Oyster Box hotel is swanky but not at all snooty. The service is top notch and the knowledgeable bar staff are able to whip up a host of classic and creative cocktails for you to sip while enjoying the view of the waves breaking on the beach just beyond the promenade. Choose a cosy table on the narrow balcony that runs the length of the bar – perfect for an intimate drink – or a red-and-white striped booth on the spacious patio area. In addition to the exceptional cocktails, you’ll find an array of beers, wine and spirits on the drinks menu and an assortment of bar meals with the hotel’s signature gourmet spin. The red patent leather, Persian rugs and exposed brick detailing will have you feeling as if you’re in an exclusive club. Kick back and enjoy.
2. THE OYSTER BAR AT THE OYSTER BOX
The Oyster Box Hotel’s second bar is a sumptuous, all-white delight. Sit at the marble bar and peruse the spirits and liqueurs displayed on the mirrored shelving or sink into an armchair or sofa and enjoy the bar’s signature oysters with a glass of bubbly – they have a wide range from local sparkling wines to luxury French champagnes. The mirrored ceiling, intricately beaded chandeliers and lazily swaying rattan fans add a glamorous edge. A unique element is the glass floor which forms the ceiling of the wine cellar. The cellar boasts a private dining area where you can book a meal or an exclusive wine tasting.
3. ELEMENTS BAR AT THE BEVERLY HILLS
Umhlanga’s Beverly Hills Hotel was named not after the Los Angeles suburb but after business magnate Sol Kerzner’s daughter, although you’d be forgiven for thinking he was trying to emulate the feel of the famous enclave of the US elite when you walk into the Elements Bar. Situated poolside, adjacent to an expanse of manicured lawn and with a view of sun loungers and sea, it’s a perfect spot to take advantage of a balmy summer evening in stylish surroundings. The Elements Bar is also a cafe and, along with a range of cocktails and other drinks, they serve a selection of meals and snacks.
4. ENDLESS HORIZONS BOUTIQUE HOTEL
Nestled on a hillside in Durban North, Endless Horizons Boutique Hotel is aptly named – the only thing interrupting the view of the Indian Ocean from Ushaka to Umhlanga is the fronds of giant palm trees, adding to the tropical hideaway feel. With Wildekrans Wine Estate as a sister property, the hotel boasts a selection of the estate’s best vintages and award-winning wines, as well as a broad range of spirits, liqueurs, beers and cocktails. A terrace menu lists light meals to perfectly complement your choice of beverage. The stylish, contemporary surroundings and unbeatable sea views make this a must-visit spot for a sundowner.
The whole hotel can be booked for private functions, and if this is the case, the restaurant and terrace will be closed to the public, so give them a call to check before you drop in.
5. FAIRMONT ZIMBALI
Situated in Ballito’s exclusive Zimbali Coastal Estate, the Fairmont Zimbali Resort features six bars with something for everyone. From the casual poolside Bite Pool Bar and Grill, to the Beach Club and Bar, which sits alongside a glistening private pool area, Vimum Wine Bar and 31 Degrees Cocktail Lounge, you can find any drink that takes your fancy - impressive local and international wines; cocktails ranging from the traditional to the trendy and a selection of signature drinks prepared by the resort’s well-trained staff. Whether you’re bikini-clad or dripping in your best bling, you’ll find a spot to relax with a glass in hand. The bars also boast a range of interesting food options or you can move on to one of the hotel’s two restaurants.