Ever since we got married it has been tradition to go away somewhere local for our birthdays. We both love exploring KwaZulu-Natal and of course we love going as a family with Maddie to be a part of the memories.
This year, my 29th birthday was made SUPER special with a two night stay at the award-winning Beverly Hills Hotel in Umhlanga. What better way to celebrate my birthday than at one of South Africa’s most iconic, romantic and luxurious hotels that is synonymous with elegance, gracious hospitality and intuitive service?
Brett and I have had the honour of visiting the hotel many times over the course of my working career attending events and dinners but we have never truly experienced the hotel as staying guests as a couple or family. We were so excited to be checking in!
We checked in the day before my birthday, the 15th of October at 2pm. We were able to pull our car right up to the door to have the hotel porters off load our luggage right into a luggage cart and we checked in with a glass of bubbly and an ice cold face cloth – heaven!
After checking in we were then shown down to our room. We were surprised with the most beautiful cabana overlooking the pool and ocean. Literally a stones throw away from the pool and the perfect size for our little family of three.
The spacious bedroom was kitted with a king size bed, lounge area and en-suite bathroom – a haven for absolute relaxation in total comfort. Fitted with an oversized private patio overlooking the pool along with a string of in-room facilities including a flat screen TV with DStv, a DVD player, digital safe, refreshment centre, fully stocked bar fridge, a Nespresso coffee machine and 24-hour room service! Everything we could need to make ourselves comfortable.
The elegant rooms truly do reflect the iconic and timeless gentle luxury that the hotel is known for. Distinctive finishes from the furniture to the artwork displayed on the walls are of old-world richness. My favourite part… all of this is set within uninterrupted views of the beautiful Indian Ocean, and golden beaches.
We were presented with a delicious assortment of refreshments in our room upon check in which included a selection of fruit, nuts, biltong, cake and cookies along with a bottle of red wine which Brett and I could enjoy.
It took Maddie 15 minutes of making herself comfortable in the room before asking to go swim! We didn’t blame her, it was a warm Summer’s day and the pool looked SO inviting from our room – did I mention how much we LOVED having the pool so close to our accommodation! With a little child – having the freedom to open the doors and have her play on the balcony and grass just in front of our room was such a gem.
I cannot tell you how many times I have envisioned myself taking a dip in this beautiful pool when visiting the hotel! Did I mention it is heated? Yes! How amazing! Another great thing about this large pool is the large step for children to play on into the pool.
While Brett and Maddie had a blast splashing about in the pool I found myself a lounger which the porter prepared for me with towels, an umbrella over head and a jug of ice-cold water to enjoy the most incredible view with. Lounging on the beautifully kept grass beside the pool honestly gave me the feeling of almost floating on top of the ocean as if we were on a cruise ship or something. I could hear the waves crashing, see the dolphins playing out at sea and watched the ships bobbing on the water… I certainly didn’t feel as if I was still in South Africa, let alone 10kms away from home!
We spent the entire afternoon by the pool before we headed back to our room and ordered Maddie some room service from the kiddies menu. A delicious spaghetti bolognese which she enjoyed like a real little jet setter on her silver tray and cloche. After Maddie polished her dinner off we ran her a hot bubble bath which she enjoyed and she fell asleep almost instantly – clearly an exciting day for her!
We arranged for a baby sitter to come and watch Maddie sleep while Brett and I headed up to The Sugar Club Restaurant, the Beverly Hills signature restaurant of the hotel. The romantic intimate setting was perfect for Brett and I enjoy a delicious meal together a head of my birthday the next day.
The menu reflects international cuisine style coupled with nostalgic history of the hotels’ 50 year culinary legacy from duck breast, pressed pork belly, rack of lamb to Durban chicken and prawn curry. The best part is most of their ingredients are sourced from local suppliers showcasing produce and spices of Kwa-Zulu Natal while supporting sustainable farming practices.
For starters Brett chose the seafood nage – a creamy seafood broth with line-fish, mussel meat and calamari topped with tear drops of garlic cream – it was so flavourful! I chose to try the the avocado and prawn which was literally art on a plate! Avocado presented with succulent poached prawns served with pickled ginger mayonnaise and wasabi dust. So many delicious flavours on one plate!
For mains Brett and I both (being steak lovers) chose to have the Karan beef fillet with fondant potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, baby vegetables and a green peppercorn sauce.
We were asked not to use my SLR camera with the flash for respect to the other patrons, so I wasn’t able to get the beautiful photographs of our experience that I was hoping to share with you but you will have to take my word for it… Absolutely delicious!
To end off our delicious meal our waiter surprised me with a slice of birthday cake to wish me happy birthday! So special!
After dining at the Sugar Club Restaurant, it is easy to see why the Beverly Hills is loved for its elegance, gracious hospitality and intuitive service. We will definitely be back for another meal for a special occasion. I highly recommend it to any local!
After practically rolling ourselves down the stairs to our room (we were so full from the delicious meal we indulged in) I was surprised AGAIN with balloons and a bottle of champagne in the room waiting for me – super special! The Beverly Hills made sure I didn’t forget that it was my birthday!
We slept beautifully in our large comfortable bed and if it wasn’t for my alarm clock going off at 7am – we all would have slept in. The block out curtains made it feel like it was still night time! Bliss with a toddler!
Brett and Maddie surprised me with coffee and presents in bed for my birthday. Maddie was so excited to help me open all my gifts. Birthdays are just the best with them!
We then got dressed and headed up to breakfast. I have been to their breakfast buffet before so I knew exactly what to expect. Brett on the other hand has never had breakfast at the Beverly Hills so I had built it up in his head – quite a bit!
Served in the Sugar Club restaurant, the breakfast buffet is nothing short of amazing! From a selection of beverages including champagne, fresh fruit juice to coffees.
The buffet includes everything you can imagine having for breakfast – including freshly cut fruit, cereals, granola, greek yoghurt, organic oats, nuts and dried fruit, smoked salmon, crackers, cheese, freshly baked muffins and crossants to name a few on the cold selection. The hot selection includes; grilled back bacon, crispy bacon, pork, beef, lamb or chicken bangers, grilled minute steak, devilled kidneys, fried liver and onion.
You are then able to order off the menu as well which includes everything from eggs benedict, scrambled eggs, omelettes, a breakfast burrito as well as their famous Belgian waffles! This is all inclusive of your rooms so you are able to enjoy both the buffet and order off the menu.
I of course ordered the menu and tried the famous Belgian waffles! After all what would a birthday be without something sweet to start the day with. They were delicious! Crispy, light and so yummy!
Again I got presented with a fruit platter wishing me a happy birthday (it was my actual birthday) so it was super special!
After breakfast we got into our cozzies and headed down to the beach which is literally 50m from our cabana down to the shore of one of our favourite beaches in Umhlanga. There is a stairway from the pool down to the promenade which a security guard sits at and controls who comes in and out. There is also a shower at the top of the stairs which allows you to wash the sand off your toes/ body before going back to your room.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing on the beach and alongside the pool. We even had a midday snooze with Maddie in our beautifully air conditioned room. When we all woke we ordered off the room service menu which I must add is comprehensive with so many delicious dishes to choose from. We decided to share a club sandwich which was to die for!
Brett and I then took turns to enjoy an hour full body poolside massage in the Mangwanani Spa poolside private gazebos. I have had a massage in one of the gazebos before so I knew exactly what to expect and I cannot tell you how perfect this was on my birthday. There is something magical about having a body massage in what feels like the open air alongside the beach with the waves crashing in the background making the most perfect relaxation soundtrack, while still being in a private gazebo where you can see out but no one can see in. The therapists are incredible – Mangwanani Spa is one of my favourite spas so having the massage done by one of their therapists at the Beverly Hills was just the cherry on top.
After our late afternoon massages we bath and got ready to head out of the hotel for the evening to enjoy a birthday dinner at a restaurant I chose in the Umhlanga Village which is in short walking distance. Maddie came with us because it wouldn’t be a birthday celebration without her being a part of it!
When we got back to our room a romantic turndown was done for us with chocolates on our pillows and slippers beside our bed. Needless to say Maddie loved the rose petals on the bed!
After two amazing nights spent at one of Umhlanga’s most beautiful five star hotels our trip sadly came to an end after waking up the next morning. We enjoyed a cup of coffee on our private balcony in our PJs watching the sun rise over the Umhlanga pier – bliss! Then got dressed and packed our bags before heading up to Sugar Club restaurant for yet another delicious breakfast – this time we got to try things we didn’t get to try yesterday.
I went for an omelette with all the bells and whistles and Maddie chose to have the pancakes which were proper! Just like granny makes them. Paper thin and oh so tasty! A delicious champagne breakfast over looking the pool and the Indian ocean was the perfect way to end off our stay before heading home.
All in all we had an amazing time! Being able to experience one of our favourite local hotels as hotel guests was such an amazing experience! The ambience, atmosphere, service, attentiveness and over all experience is second to none! It is easy to see why so many internationals visit this award winning establishment every single day and we were honoured to have been invited to enjoy two magical days as a family at the hotel. One thing is for sure – the Beverly Hills made sure I didn’t forget that it was my birthday and I felt super special!
Thanks for reading! Until next time…
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