Ballito, on the north coast of Kwazulu Natal, is experiencing the greatest economic growth of any municipality in the country. From a sleepy seaside village, it has mushroomed into one of the most desirable places to live in the country as well as being one of the hot destinations for South Africans to holiday.

The beach is the primary attraction of course. The warm Indian Ocean water also hosts surfers, scuba divers and kite boarders with small coves protected by shark nets. For the men, there are 4 top golf courses. For the ladies, there are ample shopping opportunities, excellent spa facilities and a good variety of restaurant and bars with the Tin Roof restaurant being an Uyaphi favourite for quality of food. Essentially, Ballito has become a family holiday destination as well as a destination for young people competing with Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape.

If you are looking for a retreat from the hubbub of the beach and busy restaurant and bar areas, you could do no better than the 5 star Hotel Izulu. Centrally located in large gardens and converted from an old family home, this 19 room boutique hotel has been a top destination for almost ten years. As the name suggests, there is a strong African decorative theme or Afro-chic if you prefer. I am sure the management would not object to us doing some name dropping when we say that this is the preferred hotel of King Goodwill, the reigning monarch of the Zulu nation.

The rooms are large with generous bathrooms. The gardens are tropically lush and the dining is excellent. The in house restaurant,Gigis, is open to the public and also boasts a private chefs table adjacent to the kitchen where the chef will serve you dish after quality dish until you say stop. There is also a rather attractive and romantic wine cellar which you can book for private parties or tete a tete dinners. To complete the package, there is a Clarins spa on site so you really don’t have to wonder too far to pamper yourself.

In this world, you pay for what you get and Hotel Izulu is worth every cent.

For more information on Ballito and Hotel Izulu; http://www.uyaphi.com/south-africa/lodges/hotel-izulu.htm

Nicolas Edwards

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