The indigo velvet curtain of pre-dawn sky ruffles - just slightly - as long, golden fingers reach beneath, stirring the dawn. Like a languid hand, all flame-enrobed, the sun pries the sleep eyes of dawn wide open, and paints the morning with all the sweet and varied hues of a newborn day.
4AM has barely marked its passing, yet the splendour of sunrise has already announced the fact that morning is here.
Awake! The sun and sea and sand and sky and all the happy seabirds urge. It’s time to play!
This is Umhlanga in the summer. It’s the finest place on earth to be … and it’s the perfect place for your next getaway.
This December sees our annual Umhlanga Rocks Summer Festival draw happy crowds of holidaymakers and adventure seekers to our sun-kissed shore. We’re especially proud of this popular event, since it’s the brainchild of Anchor’s Rest’s very own Peter Rose!
Surfers & Gorgeous Models Come Together in Umhlanga Rocks
The party starts on December 10th on the Umhlanga Rocks Main Beach. The 10th and 11th both see surfers from all over South Africa flying in for a chance to win a portion of the R50 000 total prize and product money on offer in the various divisions at the Lizzard Hurricane Summer Surf. Surfers of all ages and levels of expertise are welcome - and there are even loads of exciting prizes and lucky draws for the spectators, too!
This will be followed with non-stop action on the Millennium Stage at the Main Beach of Umhlanga Rocks where top entertainer and World Champion Line Dancer – Kevin Ellis and his team of Just Juice ambassadors will be keeping the crowds entertained and refreshed with lots of prizes.
Something for Everyone ...
On Friday 16th of December we will see the 2016 Mr and Miss Umhlanga Rocks crowned. The winners of the Open Ladies and Men will each win a weekend away at the Lord of the Manors Boutique Hotel in the Midlands valued at R5000. This year’s focus is on FRESH - from fresh air and sunshine, to fresh new faces and talent … the judges are look for something original, so novice models are encouraged to take their shot.
The full festival starts on the 10th of December and gives visitors something unique and exciting to do all the way up to the 23rd, just in time for Christmas.
An enchanting Carols by Candlelight evening under the stars will include solos by the inimitable Haylea Hounsoum, who is performing her music to raise funds for charity. For the more active among us, there’ll be a trail run, giving runners the opportunity to really connect with our gorgeous coastline as they get up close and personal with Mother Nature at her best.
All entry forms (and a whole lot of useful information) is available on the festival website: umhlangafestivals.com.
This well-loved event is one you won’t want to miss - especially since it all takes place on our beautiful blue flag status Umhlanga Rocks Beach. and we encourage everyone to come along and spectate and have some fun in the sun at our prestigious Blue Flag Status Umhlanga Rocks Beach.
While you’re here, come and stay at Anchor’s Rest for that refined, relaxed, home-away-from-home experience you’ve come to love us for. We’re looking forward to seeing you soon.
Anchor's Rest - Award-Winning Accommodation in Umhlanga
"As you drive up to the front door, you'll notice it. There's something in the air. The inviting garden - rather than having been manicured to within an inch of its life - hums with exuberance and life. The driveway is clean, paved, even. The front door - always open - looks just like something you'd add to your "My Dream House" board on Pinterest.
If the dogs' warm welcome doesn't bowl you over, the charming hostess' certainly will. And when you get to your room - well, it's so much more than a home-away-from-home. It's the home you'll wish was home. One you'll come back to again and again. And again.
Yep, there's something in the air at Anchor's Rest. Maybe it's a commitment to excellence. Maybe it's love, with a healthy dash of passion for what they do."
It's sentiments like these that make us love what we do here at Anchor's Rest. We put our hearts and souls into creating the best possible stay - the kind of getaway we'd want to experience ourselves. And it just means the world to us when someone takes the time to tell us that they've noticed. That it shows.
It's almost as exciting when “those in the know” do so, too. (We prefer our guests' kind words, though!)
This year we've already been awarded four different titles, each recognising our commitment to excellence. The thing about these awards that we really love, is that they give our guests old and new the peace of mind that Anchor's Rest is a great place to stay.
The TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence
This is the third year that we have received this award from TripAdvisor, and we're very proud to have it again.
Here is how the TripAdvisor website describes the award on their website:
What is the Certificate of Excellence?
Founded in 2010, the Certificate of Excellence honours hospitality businesses that deliver consistently great service. This designation is given to establishments that have consistently achieved great traveller reviews on TripAdvisor over the past year. Establishments earning the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and have continually delivered superior customer experience.
Who is eligible to receive a Certificate of Excellence?
Accommodations, eateries, and attractions worldwide are eligible to receive a Certificate of Excellence.
How are Certificate of Excellence recipients determined?
To determine Certificate of Excellence recipients we use a variety of user-generated content. This includes review ratings, overall rating and quantity and recency of reviews. To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, a hospitality business must:
Maintain an overall TripAdvisor rating of at least four out of five
Have a minimum number of reviews
Have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least twelve months
We are also listed on the Booking.com website and have received many good reviews from guests who have booked accommodation through Booking.com. Our Booking.com Account Manager recently delivered our plaque (photo attached), which has a 9.5 rating out of 10. She commented that she has never given out a plaque with such a high rating before!
Each accommodation establishment listed with Booking.com receives a plaque on an annual basis with their average score for the year, so we have received this for three or four years now. But this year we achieved our highest score yet, and we're delighted. We look forward to even more of these!
HotelsCombined recently announced that we have been awarded their 2016 Recognition of Excellence Award.
Here's what Monique Hazel, Hotels Combined Coordinator, had to say:
"Before we announce this to the public and media, I wanted first to let you personally know that Anchor's Rest Umhlanga has just been awarded the HotelsCombined Recognition of Excellence for 2016!
This award is in recognition for consistently achieving the highest standards of Customer Satisfaction worldwide. We know this because the team here at HotelsCombined undertook the largest analysis of customer opinions online across millions of points of data. We now have a complete and comprehensive understanding of over one million hotels worldwide, taking our team of data experts' months to finalize.
Specifically to date, we found and processed 287 opinions that your guests have posted on a variety of different websites, forums and social media, resulting in an incredible score of 9.55 out of a possible 10.
You are now representing the top 3% of accommodation worldwide for Customer Satisfaction.
Congratulations on your outstanding work!"
What we love most about this award is that it is rooted securely in the great feedback we've had from our guests - people like you, who value what we do. These kinds of reviews are the reason we work so hard.
It has been interesting to see how many service-focused websites are picking up on what we do, and sharing it with their visitors. Travel website TravelMyth has let us know that “according to our hotel search algorithm, Anchors Rest Guest House and Self Catering is now ranked in the top 10 four-star accommodations in Durban – congratulations!”
When a search algorithm based on user reviews tells you you're doing something right, it must be true!
Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Local is lekker, as they say. We were awarded a certificate by the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry as a Finalist in the 2015 Tourism Awards in the B&B and Guest House Category. We love Durban and it's a privilege to run a business that showcases our beautiful home town. Thank-you, Durban, for this delightful vote of confidence!
There you have it: for an excellent stay, whether for business or pleasure, Anchor's Rest is the place to stay in Umhlanga. It's certified!
We're looking forward to sharing that excellence with you soon.
“Running is about finding your inner peace, and so is a life well lived.” ― Dean Karnazes | Read Online.
Your feet pound the earth in rhythm with your beating heart. Every step drives you unrelentingly forward. No two steps are alike. The paved promenade gives way to the African jungle, like a first-hand return to entropy in the middle of an average workweek. But there’s nothing average about this run. The jungle breaks and you’re on the beach ... feet pounding … heart thumping …
The sandy seashore slows you down, working every muscle in ways you never knew they could be worked. The beach, with its soft sand, is hard going for everyone.
But the run draws you on.
The rhythm of the run evaporates your stress like the ancient beat of an African drum.
Finally, your body, running on autopilot as your runner’s high takes you through the stratosphere, finds its way back to the bricks, back to the promenade. Back to base.
This is trail running.
Trail running is a relative newcomer to the worlds of sport and fitness. It’s running, sure … but seasoned with adventure and new experiences.
Why Trail Running?
Trail running burns 10 percent more calories than more conventional jogging. It also improves balance and makes athletes more agile. Trail runners have to avoid rocks, circuit puddles, dodge branches and more - making trail running a much tougher workout.
Also, trail running works different muscles with each and every step. The range of long and short strides strengthen hips and ankles. Interesting, trail running causes less impact on joints.
It’s the way we were designed to run.
Loved by the Pros
Even professional runners add the occasional (or frequent) trail run to their workout programme. Runners at every level find that trail running reduces the risk of injuries.
Above all, though: it’s fun!
Running Deep Near Durban’s Not-So-Deep Waters
Umhlanga’s trail runs are among the most popular in the world - and with good reason. These trail runs cover a lot of different terrain:
Every run starts on the Umhlanga’s pristine promenade. The shorter run winds its way through the coastal forest, onto the beach, then back onto the promenade.
The 12km and 18km runs leave the promenade to beat a track onto the roads. Urban gives way to agricultural as they make their way through the cane fields where they cross over the N2 motorway. Each run winds back underneath the motorway. This is where runners really get their feet wet, running through a stretch of lagoon.
They make their way onto Umhlanga’s gorgeous beach, and then finally back onto the promenade.
Trail running is the perfect way to workout both body and mind .. and Anchor’s Rest is the perfect base. Come and stay with us while you pound the promenade.
Or try something new by throwing in a trail run the next time you visit us.
We’ll go the extra mile to make your stay a delight.
Icy winds grip the houses. Scarves embrace cold necks. Gloves nestle around freezing fingers. Fires are lit in fireplaces, and last year’s hats suddenly find their purpose. Winter is licking the heart of South Africa …
But not Umhlanga! Mildly warm evenings relish the kiss of an ocean zephyr. Languid days melt into the ocean at sunset, inviting visitors to tickle their toes in the surf.
Durban North’s Winter Wonderland is wonderful indeed - a gentle island paradise … an epic escape from the frigid heart of the country.
Come and see!
Contented guests love the luxury of an evening stroll along our famous promenade, teeming with elegant eateries and delicious dining.
Keeping it Casual
If you’re looking to relax and “chill out”, we recommend these favourite spots - all of which are right on the promenade.
La Spiaggia Restaurant brings Italy to Durban’s north coast. Delicious, authentic Italian flavours mingle with the scent of herbs and atmosphere of love. It’s the perfect spot for a spontaneous night out.
Maritimo’s Cabana Beach Resort boasts a charming sea-themed restaurant. The expansive white deck overlooks the ocean, bringing salted breezes to play across the faces of their guests. A late morning brunch, mid-afternoon lunch, or a dinner that you wish would never end … Maritimo’s is a charming eatery for any (or all!) of these.
For something truly nautical, the Lighthouse Café is a delight. The perfect venue for a weekend breakfast on the beach … or a lazy Sunday lunch … the Lighthouse Café’s mouthwatering menu has something yummy for everyone.
Luxurious Lunches and Stylish Suppers
When you’re looking for something more elegant and upmarket, the local eateries do not disappoint.
The Ocean Terrace Restaurant at the Oyster Box is a local (and international!) legend. Every square inch of the experience exudes elegance and olde worlde charm. High teas fit for a queen; captivating curries reminiscent of large empires and lazy entertaining; exquisite seafood; and almost anything edible you can imagine … and all under one beautiful roof. The Ocean Terrace Restaurant has earned its reputation: this refined restaurant will not disappoint.
The Sugar Club Restaurant at the Beverley Hills Hotel describes its cuisine as culinary excellence. And they’re not wrong. The food is truly sublime. And the sophisticated atmosphere is the perfect counterpoint. Like the Ocean Terrace, the Sugar Club overlooks both the promenade and the beach.
Watch waves lapping the cooling sands as lovers stroll hand in hand against a rising moon … revel in the salt-sprayed air as you enjoy some of the best meals you’ll ever eat … enjoy Umhlanga in Autumn … it’s well worth the trip!
Holidaymakers, the weather is beautiful, and the water is warm. Come and have a meal and a glass of wine as you gaze at the ocean ... and smell the sea! It's right there. So close, you could touch it.
We’d love to share more of our favourite secrets with you when you come and spend the night at Umhlanga’s gem, Anchor’s Rest. Come and see why everyone hates to leave …
Autumn has arrived … although you’d never know it here at SA’s sunny North Coast.
While towns and cities further inland are starting to feel the first crisp turn in the air, it seems no one has sent the message to Umhlanga yet.
We’re revelling in hot summer days, lush green jungles, and clear skies that stretch all the way to the distant horizon, where they dive into the rolling ocean and tumble into infinity beyond the line of sight.
Summer’s height had its furnace, and that has passed. Now we ease lazily into Autumn’s amber glow with long, slow, languid days and blissful evenings, kissed by Fall’s zephyrs and soft sea-salted mists.
It’s the perfect time to visit.
South Africa - and Durban in particular - is blessed with sun, scenery, sea ... and a Rand so low that our international visitors can enjoy a more luxurious holiday (and finer dining) here than almost anywhere else on earth.
Paradise found indeed.
What to do in Umhlanga in April
Jet-setting business execs love to use Anchor’s Rest as their home-away-from-home when they fly in for business. Conveniently close to their airport and the major business hubs in both Durban North and Durban Town, Anchor’s Rest is an oasis of calm on a busy business trip - a luxurious place to unwind and recharge.
But if you’re not in town for business, (or if you have a gap between meetings) there is so much to see and do while you’re here. The beautiful ocean sunrises that greet each day make the perfect backdrop to an invigorating run on the beach. Chase your workout with a delicious breakfast on the beach and you’ll know for sure: you’ve woken up in heaven.
Umhlanga’s beach is ideal for walking along the promenade, or catching the waves with your surfboard if you’re that way inclined. For the tamer at heart, a walk on the pier is a balm to the soul, connecting you with the ocean and all of a creation.
The Gateway Theatre of Shopping is just a short drive away, and offers all the entertainment you can imagine - shopping, movies, beauty treatments, eateries and more.
Natal’s Sharks Board is even closer. What an experience! Learn all there is to know about our local shark life. These majestic creatures are quite beautiful to watch, and the Shark’s Board has a range of activities and information to show just how incredible sharks can be.
Not far away, the upmarket Suncoast Casino beckons gamblers and fun-seekers alike. Replete with a range of casino options, and some of the finest eateries in Durban, as well as movies and direct access to the beach, Suncoast makes a wonderful destination for an evening out.
Peter and I have lived in Umhlanga since it was a charming seaside town, long before it became the cosmopolitan metropolis it is today. We know it inside out, and we’d love to help you plan your outings while you’re here.