Sunday, 14 December 2014

December in Durban is Market Madness - and we LOVE it!

Head on out to any of the lovely local markets in and around Durban this Festive Season, and shop till you drop. There's something for everyone so don't miss out.
Need somewhere calm and quiet to unwind after all the hustle and bustle is done? Book your stay with Anchor's Rest today, and relax in luxury.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Born to Shop? Then you're born for Umhlanga!

Retail Therapy
Theatre of Shopping. The tagline says it all. Gateway, Africa's largest shopping mall, has established itself as a landmark in its own right. It's a treat for the senses – visually appealing, buzzing with life and energy, the air hung with delicious scents from the food court and charming fragrances from department stores. Even the floors, walls and escalators provide tactile gratification.

It's electrifying! Beautiful, happy people adorn the landscape – and their joy is contagious. It's hard to find an unhappy face at Gateway.

If freedom truly is about choice, then Gateway is the capital of freedom. This mega mall offers an uncontested range of activities to choose from – everything from movies to restaurants, fashion to fun … and of course, shopping.

Every leading bank, retailer and service centre in the country has a home at Gateway. You need never worry about running out of anything, not having the right outfit or pair of shoes, or having nothing exciting to do. Just head to Gateway and let the retail therapy begin.

Shopping Sustenance
Of course, all that excitement needs a good pre-outing fuel up. Breakfast in Anchor's Rest's tasteful breakfast room is the perfect start to any day. The wide sliding doors, with their enchanting view of the swimming pool, let in the early morning light. Warm, muted colours and comfortable chairs are a welcome sight, and the perfect complement to a good night's rest – guaranteed in our luxury rooms.

Steaming coffee, fresh fruit juice, and hot or cold breakfast fare will give you a delicious, energising boost and see you right for your vibrant day ahead. Take your time (and another cup of coffee), before you head out into the cosmopolitan bustle of South Africa's most contemporary, convenient shopping complex.

Call us on 031 561 7380 or visit www.AnchorsRest.co.za to book your luxury stay in the heart of upmarket Umhlanga.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The deep blue sea is calling ... can you hear it? Will you answer?

Scuba Diving in Umhlanga | Image: Umhlanga Scuba
An Adventure Awaits
The ocean calls. The rise, swell, dip and fall of each breaker – the mighty and the minute – lulls the soul and calms the senses. There's something about the sea that appeals to the deepest parts of who we are. A cosmic connection exists between the human soul and the vast ocean visible from the edge of our sandy beaches.

It must be this that has called man into the waves since the dawn of time. Danger lurks, yet we find ourselves inexorably drawn into the depths. We hunt. We fish. We dive. Whether we're providing for our families, proving our prowess, or frolicking for fun, people love to play in the breakers.

Umhlanga beach offers a wide variety of sea-faring fun for the adventurous ocean enthusiast. There are waves set for surfing, scuba diving opportunities, kite-boarding and microlight flips. Whale watching and dolphin viewing abounds in season. (Call 086 100 1138 to book viewing outings).

Dive Right In!
The unexpectedly-named Granny's pool provides boat access to some very exciting dives. Experienced, fit divers can experience diving adventure from the beach, as well.

Some of the highlights of the available dives include the Trawler (Fontao), the wreck of a ship that sank in 1990, and an artificial reef, home to a variety of fish. The wreck and surrounding reef are home to a veritable underwater wonderland of tropical fish, sea sponges and exquisite corals, and your dive skipper will be able to show you the best spots for viewing them. Call Calypso Dive and Adventure on +27 (0) 31 332 0905 or visit them online at www.calypsoushaka.co.za to book your very own ocean adventure. Or call Umhlanga Scuba on 031 564 6021; web: www.umhlangascuba.co.za.

Go Fish
The Umhlanga coastline offers some of the finest fishing in the province, with some of the major attractions being deep-sea, rock and shore angling. Permits may be obtained by writing to the Kwazulu Natal Marine Permits Office, Private Bag X15, Congella, 4013. Contact 031-274 1150 (Commercial); 031-205 5278 (Fishing). National permits are also available from all S.A. Post Office outlets.

Splash Out into Seaside Luxury
Exploring the deep is a profound experience. At the end of the day, you'll want nothing more than an evening spent in the lap of luxury. That's just what Anchor's Rest's Strelitzia room offers you. Opening onto a balcony decked with loungers and a charming café set, the Strelitzia room offers sweeping views of Umhlanga at its best.

This luxury space boasts an en suite bathroom set discretely into the wardrobe. The television is conveniently located next to the elegant dressing table, making it easy to watch from the generously-proportioned, opulent king-sized bed.

Inidgenous florals and muted savannah tones give the spacious bedroom and lounge area a warm, inviting feel. A modern kitchenette provides a natural break between the sleeping and sitting areas, making your stay a comfortable home-from-home break.

Beautiful jacquard-upholstered furnishings are paired with elegant plush textures and attractive artwork to create a space that rejuvenates the soul and is redolent of the shoreline you've just left after your deep sea adventures.


Book your stay in the bustling heart of this seaside metropolis by visiting us online at www.AnchorsRest.co.za or call 031 561 7380. We've got your room ready for you.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Three (more) reasons why Umhlanga ROCKS

Umhlanga Rocks is our favourite place in the world. That's why we live here, of course. And it's why we love inviting you to share the vibrant beauty of the place with us - in luxury, of course. The name says it all: Umhlanga rocks!

Our little town has been making headlines recently, and we're thrilled to share the news here on our blog:

Three Reasons to Visit Umhlanga

The Umhlanga Pier was voted the most beautiful pier in the world

Umhlanga Pier has just been voted the most beautiful pier in the world by Media giant CNN.

This awesome achievement comes hot on the heels of CNN proclaiming that Durban was one of the most underrated cities with a host of wonderful attractions, all-year sunshine and a cosmopolitan vibe.

Now CNN has given the pier the “most beautiful in the world” title after freelance writer Tamara Hinson began researching piers worldwide.

The pier has previously won the South African National Award for Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievements. The pier is not just an architectural masterpiece and a place for locals and tourists to grab a great picture.

It is also an extension of an underground culvert that helps disperse excess storm water from the land into the ocean.

The article recently appeared in the Daily News with a photo of Peter Rose, Director of Umhlanga Tourism (and co-owner of Anchor's Rest), Briony Smith, Tourism KZN’s regional manager for Africa and the domestic market and Phillip Sithole Head of Durban Tourism.

The Lighthouse Bar at the Oyster Box Hotel was voted one of the top 12 roof top bars in the world


Another incredible achievement for Umhlanga, as the beautiful Lighthouse Bar at The Oyster Box is rated as one of the best rooftop bars in the World. CNN rated the Lighthouse Bar as one of the top 12 rooftop bars in the world!!

With panoramic views of the Indian Ocean along Umhlanga Beach, this is a top spot for romantics, shutterbugs and those who just like to sit, sip and smile. You can also watch sport on the large, flat screen TV while sipping a chilled local beer.

We always recommend the Lighthouse Bar to our guests to get their weekend off to a tremendous start.

Umhlanga Main Beach voted one of the top 20 beaches in S.A. by Travel Start


Our beautiful Umhlanga Main Beach has been listed by Travel Start, as one of the top 20 beaches in South Africa! Three of the top beaches are in Durban: Umhlanga, South and North Beach - not bad!!

Umhlanga is one of KZN’s most popular beaches as the warm Indian Ocean draws millions the world over to it's gorgeous golden sands. Added appeal is that Umhlanga has great nightlife, hotels and shopping too!

Another great beach which needs no introduction, is Durban’s South Beach which is right in the heart of the city’s famous beachfront, and is a great spot for swimming or just lazing about people watching.

Durban’s North Beach is what it is - the king of holiday beaches. Also how epic is this night shot?

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Balmy days, arty adventures and evenings of luxury

Maybe it's the fresh sea air … the balmy ocean breathes a mystical creativity into the souls of each person it touches. Maybe it's the holiday atmosphere that seems to permeate the very fabric of the city. The air is thick with creativity, with an indolence that delivers the cognitive bandwidth so vital to true artistic expression. Or perhaps it's the amazing Durban curry firing up those creative juices.

Whatever it may be, there's no denying that Durban is a creative hub, a mecca of sorts for the artistic heart. There's little finer than a decadent day spent in Durban's enchanting galleries and art centres.

We've curated a list of the must-see stops for our aesthetically-motivated guests:

AFRICAN ART CENTRE | 94 Florida Road, Durban

True to its name, the African Art Centre showcases the work of both new and established black artists in its charming spot, nestled in the heart of Durban. Styles cover the spectrum from print-making to bead work, woodwork to textiles, sculpture to ceramics. Visit them online to find out more.

ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE | 22 Sutton Cresent, Morningside, Durban

The Alliance Française is a non-profit organisation focused on promoting French culture around the world. Their beautifully curated gallery supports work by local artistes and often plays host to travelling installations with a Gallic flavour. See more on their website.

ANDREW WALFORD SHONGWENI POTTERY GALLERY | Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal

Andrew Walford takes the inspiration for his beautiful porcelain and stoneware from the lush nature surrounding his home studio in the inigenous Shongweni Nature Reserve, on the banks of the dam of the same name. His unique style and attention to detail have gained him international renown, and a trip to his gallery (by appointment only) is well worth it. Pair your visit with a trip to Durban's local micro-breweries and get an all-day adventure to appeal to both your inner art patron and foodie. Both Robertson's and Quill's micro-breweries are an easy drive from the Walford Studio.

THE ART ROOM | 3A Chartwell Centre, Chartwell Drive, Umhlanga Rocks, Durban

The Art Room is just minutes from your luxurious home base at Anchor's Rest, and exhibits works by leading and emerging South African artists. Masterpieces in oils, digital graphics, mixed media and sculptures in bronze, wood and bone offer a range of artistry to suit every temperament.
Website

ARTISAN CONTEMPORARY GALLERY | 344 Florida Road, Durban

Conventionally, the word artisan describes a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand. The Artisan Contemporary Gallery has taken the true meaning of the word and expanded it to include an acronym for ART In South Africa Now. Artisan's collection is an eclectic mix of fine art prints, original paintings, collage, sculpture, ceramics, jewellery, glassware, textiles and wood. The range is a sensory treat and conveniently located near some of the trendiest coffee shops in town.
Website

ARTSPACE DURBAN | 3 Millar Road, Stamford Hill, Durban

ArtSpace combines a visual arts exhibition gallery with dedicated artist studio spaces. Artists, and anyone interested in developing contemporary visual arts, have the opportunity to use the space for exhibitions, marketing, sales and venue hire. It's a tranquil space, with light filtered through the greenery of neighbouring trees, and an underlying buzz of creative energy. Visit their website or just pootle along for an exquisite artistic experience.

BAT CENTRE 45 Maritime Place, Small Craft Harbour, Durban

No discussion of Durban's most arty is complete without  mentioning the famous BAT centre. This non-profit centre, originating from a grant by the Bartel Arts Trust, exhibits temporary shows by young, mainly black artists and craftspeople. It encourages first-timers in the Democratic Gallery and more established artists in the Menzi Mchunu Gallery. Housed in a converted wharfside building, it has a café and overlooks the harbour. It is also a popular venue for music gigs.
Website

DURBAN ART GALLERY | Second floor, City Hall, Smith Street, Durban

Durban's stately and elegant City Hall is home to the Durban Art Gallery and features a permanent collection of Victorian and contemporary South African art. While the focus of the collection now concentrates for the most part on demonstrating South Africa's rich cultural heritage, the European collection is a treat for afficionados as well. Donated in 1920, the collection includes British, French and Dutch paintings, objets d'art such as French and Chinese ceramics, early glass vases by Lalique and bronzes by Rodin. Website

FAT TUESDAY GALLERY | Bellevue Campus, 5 Bellevue Road, Kloof

As you head back from the Walford Studio, stop in at the renowned Fat Tuesday Gallery in Kloof. The arboreal feel of the open plan setting lends a timeless quality to the display, which features a photography primarily, although traditional and new media art works are welcome, too. Ceramics, books and vintage collectibles  round out the collection and offer the ideal stop for the whimsical traveller. Every item is unique and desirable – the perfect solution to that old “what-should-I-buy-my-friends-back-home” dilemma. Their quirky website is a treat as well. Visit it here.

IMBIZO GALLERY | Shop 7A, Ballito Lifestyle Centre, Ballito - (032) 946 1937

The M4 wends it winsome way north from the bustling heart of Umhlanga, home town of Anchor's Rest, to the growing metropolis of Ballito. Here's where you'll find the well-known Imbizo Gallery. Imbizo features paintings by leading local artists in a wide range of style, as well as a remarkable range of bronzes and pots. Their up-to-date website includes news of latest exhibitions.

KIZO ART CONSULTANTS AND ART GALLERY | Shop G350, Palm Boulevard, Gateway Theatre of Shopping, Umhlanga, Durban - (031) 566 4324

Umhlanga's popular Gateway Theatre of Shopping offers so much more than just chic shopping and retail therapy galore. It also houses the renowned Kizo Art Gallery, owned and curated by experienced couple Craig and Barbra Mark. This artistically-motivated couple has over 20 years of experience, including coordinating exhibitions in the USA, the UK, India, Switzerland and for the UN. Kizo is actively involved in creating and promoting arts awareness programmes, including KZN's premier arts festival: The Heritage Arts Festival.

KZNSA GALLERY | 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, Durban 

KZNSA Gallery is a non-profit gallery serving the members of the KwaZulu-Natal Society of Arts. The gallery's appealing space was designed by an award-winning architect and showcases masterpieces by established local and national artists on a well-organised rotation (see website). Up -and-coming artists and established experts are given the opportunity to showcase their work.

Unwind in Style

After filling your creative tank, immersing your soul in the creative expressions of others, heading for the comforts of Anchor's Rest's beautifully appointed Cheetah Room. Replete with all you need for a luxurious, private escape, you'll feel right at home in this traditional African-inspired space. The comfortable sleeping area opens onto a fully equipped kitchenette. From there, the room flows out onto an inviting shady patio adjoining a verdant lawn bordered by lush indigenous Durban foliage.

Watch the sunset over this tranquil garden space, relax on the sumptuous sofa in the lounge, or stretch out on the generously-proportioned bed, with its comfortably-padded headboard. Stretch back and watch TV, read a book, or just take some hard-earned down time.

We've got your room ready. All you need to do is book. Call us today on 031 561 7380 or visit our website to book: www.AnchorsRest.co.za.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Muse over a simpler, more stylish time with the Oyster Box and Anchor's Rest

The early dusk sends its velvet ribbons through the mist and salt spray. Durban's iconic landmark sends a warm, inviting beam through the settling twilight, calling weary travellers to rest. Reclining opulently at its base, The Oysterbox, South Africa's best-loved restaurant shines as a beacon of its own, calling guests to sample the gracious hospitality

More than 60 years old, The Oyster Box exudes Olde Worlde charm redolent of a bygone era. Having been lovingly refurbished over the years, this grand old lady now boasts every modern convenience as well.


A popular highlight is the tea room, and an Oyster Box High Tea is the stuff of legends.
An afternoon of leisurely luxury begins with a table spread with every delicacy to grace the nostalgic afternoon teas of yesteryear: fresh-baked scones, delicious cakes, pastries and quiches, and dainty sandwiches will adorn your plate and soon have you convinced you've stepped into an episode of Downton Abbey. (Click here to book your table).


Round out your journey down memory lane with an evening spent lounging on the spacious balcony at Anchor's rest. Gracious elegance enfolds you as glorious views draw the eye and calm the mind. The crystal clear waters of the sparkling swimming pool are simply irresistible. Nothing rounds out a day of luxurious indulgence like a leisurely swim and sundowners on the patio.

It's the little things that leave an imprint on the senses, making a luxury get away one to remember. Discerning guests will revel in our attention to detail. Book today or call us now on 031 561 7380 to experience it first hand. Email enquiries@anchorsrest.co.za and we'll answer all your questions.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

The beauty of a holiday in Umhlanga is that it combines the best of most worlds. Nestled into one of South Africa's most beautiful coastlines, you're treated to wonderful waves for surfers, incredible coastal views, and nature's jungle-y encroachment wherever you look. At the same time, you're minutes form the world-class King Shaka International Airport and Africa's appropriately named mega-mall, Gateway Theatre of Shopping.

Even so, the wild is calling.


Aeons-old nature is on your doorstep. All it takes to immerse yourself is to take a walk on the wild side with a guided tour of Umhlanga's near-primordial lagoon land. Wooden board walks lend a Lord-of-the-Flies authenticity to your adventures as they lead you along the banks of the Ohlanga River. Buttressed by dunes many metres high, these dunes, grasslands and forests house hidden communities of indigenous fauna, from monkeys to small buck, incandescent butterflies and a profusion of bird life set to enchant even the least ardent bird watcher among us.

Start your escapade on the shore-hugging O'Connor Promenade, wending your way into the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Trail. The trail leads through beach and lagoon wilderness, earning a growing reputation as a nature-lover's hideaway. Strategically placed benches and picnic spots allow the ambling adventurer a break from the pace, and a chance to stop and smell the – well, wildlife.

For the history buffs there's even a stone-age seashell midden lurking at the entrance of the lagoon.

Round your adventures off with a return to the convenience of modern luxuries at Anchor's Rest.
Umhlanga's upmarket luxury and first world convenience are right at home in our opulent serviced rooms, lending a feeling of elegance to your leisurely escape. Our lounge area is a tastefully decorated home from home, complete with a fully stocked bar to cater to your post-exploration requirements.

Soothing neutral hues are subtly complemented by shades of classic gold and warm umber. Large sliding doors invite you out onto the sheltered balcony, where deep-cushioned chairs offer the ideal spot to watch the sunset while sipping sundowners. Or slip into the pool for a refreshing dip on the languorous summer days beckoning holiday makers to Umhlanga.

The bar's wide screen TV keeps you connected to current events, or affords the opportunity to unwind with a relaxing movie if you prefer. It's the perfect end to a perfect day in Umhlanga.

As dusk settles in, head for bed in one of our comfortable rooms, fully-equipped with every convenience for the world traveller.

Bookyour stay at Anchor's Rest and then enjoy the journey into the dawn of humanity by contacting Umhlanga Tourism on 031 561 4257 to arrange an appointment. Email enquiries@anchorsrest.co.za and we'll answer all your questions.