Capital Pearls – A home away from home
Earlier this month for Mum’s birthday, we headed off for a staycation at the Capital Pearls situated in Umhlanga.As we live on the south we really venture to that part of Durban so this was the perfect opportunity to explore the local area and staying at the Capital Pearls would be a great idea. I am a huge advocate of travelling locally so this staycation was perfect for me.
Having visited the Pearls Mall only once before I was unsure about the parking for hotel guests as the hotel is located with the Pearls.A quick call to reception and I was given the necessary information and my bank balance felt happier.A quick stop at home after work and it was time for Mum and I to head to the Capital Pearls.
The reception area and hotel foyer, restaurant and bar are all open plan and all set against the beautiful backdrop of the Indian ocean and the stunning pool area.Located on the fifth floor we were welcomed by two of the most friendliest faces ever and offered a cold drink while we checked in.Once the check in had started immediately Zama was like “oh no!” and I was worried maybe I got the booking wrong the dates mixed up or even the wrong hotel and Mum defo did not need this on her Birthday.But the “oh no!” was simply because we were only staying here for two nights.Huge sigh of relief that everything was well with our booking and checking in.I had questions for reception about the shuttle service and times to which I was directed to the noticeboard and told that the Travel Desk on the third floor would be able to work out all my travel arrangements for the weekend.That was good news as the parking is rather limited in the area with all the construction and the fact that the area is always busy.
Armed with my keycard to my room , we were directed to which lift we needed to use to get to our room.Entry to every level is only accessible with the keycard which is fantastic in terms of security.We were booked into a Superior 1 bedroom apartment with a kitchen , balcony and a very large living area.The kitchen was every cooks delight as it was stocked with all the necessary utensils for cooking as well as a washing machine and tumbler dryer.The finishings were of a very high quality and appliances were either Defy or SMEG.I literally wanted to move in forever.
A welcome platter of beautifully displayed nibbles awaited us and feeling a tad bit peckish after taking in the views and a million pictures, Mum and I tucked in.So we sat down in the lounge area logged onto the fast and free wifi with no data restrictions nibbled at the welcome platter and started our staycation at the Capital Pearls officially.Keen to explore the rest of the property even though it was slightly chilly the Durban winter sun still shone and I felt it was time for a cappuccino.
As we walked past reception we were greeted by Francois who asked if he could help.All I wanted to know was where we could have coffee inside or outside this led to a private tour of the outdoor area.It was then we discovered that the Capital Pearls has direct access onto the main Umhlanga Beach.The pool area is stunning and one could easily think they were in Mauritius or the Medittearian.Sun loungers with tented drapping in blue and white were set up beautifully around the pool area.A safety gate divided the areas which is perfect for families with small children.An outdoor bar managed by Adrian serves the most delicious cocktails and not forgetting the fact the Capital Pearls stocks a large number of locally made Gins.
It had started to get a bit windy so we decided on coffee inside and yes they serve LaVazza coffee at the Capital Pearls.During our walk with Francois we mentioned it was Mum’s birthday.We got comfy on the beautiful couches and not long after that Sue Ellen and Logie from the management team joined us with cake for Mum’s birthday now how special is that.Mum felt like a kid again and loved the special attention.Now onto that cake well it is was more a tart layered with delicious buttery biscuit and belgium chocolate and trust me it was divine.
After the lovely mini party for Mum we headed of to rest a bit before heading off to dinner that evening.We were going to be dining at 14 on Chartwell,which is literally a walk down the road which I did not know at that point.After our lil siestas we freshened up and headed to Level 3 to the travel desk to get dropped of for dinner.The friendly and well dressed driver took down my details and led us outside to a Jeep to take us to dinner.The other vehicles used include a Mercedes-Benz and a large passenger van depending on number of people.Before I forget let me tell you that the shuttle service is free for a 5KM radius from the hotel.Now this is pretty great and saves you using an Uber or your own vehicle and finding parking.I did feel ever so posh getting off the jeep and asking to be picked up later.
After dinner we were picked up in the beautiful Mercedes-Benz and taken back to the Capital Pearls.Before leaving the car our booking for our drop off at La Vita Spa the next day was confirmed.Tired ,tummies full and relax mode switched on we headed to our room and settled in for the night.
My body clock for some reason always wakes me up at 6am but that morning I was glad it did.Wrapped up in my gown with a cup of tea on the balcony I patiently waited to catch the sunrise taking in the still and the beauty of the morning.Boy oh was it worth it ! After that the couch kept calling and I managed to watch an early morning RomCom before deciding it was time to get ready for breakfast.Having stayed at the Capital Mirage in Cape Town earlier this year I was hungry for the breakfast spread and was dying to eat the salmon. Before going to breakfast ,we packed a bag with things for our spa pampering.
Breakfast did not disappoint with a delicious hot and cold buffet.Not forgetting the omelette and pancake stations.A stunning view ,good food and quality time with my mum made all the ingredients to feed my soul.After breakfasy we headed off to see a two bedroom ,two bathroom suite with Mercy.The suite was fantastic and we were offered the option to switch and I said YES instantly, we were told to just pack our bags and it would be taken to our new room as we were heading to our pampering.
Off to Level 3 we headed only to be greeted by the friendly driver who would be taking us to our appointment.After our amazing pamper session we headed back home oops I meant back to the Capital Pearls all relaxed and hungry.Mum and I shared a delicious pizza and I had a few cocktails before we headed up to our new room for a siesta before dinner.It felt so good to get into that fluffy and comfortable bed for a snooze.Before we knew it ,it was time for supper and we almost skipped supper and I am so glad we did not.
Looking and feeling relaxed we headed to dinner in the company of the most amazing all round staff ever. Chef Vishal was on hand to explain the menu and give us suggestions.Vegetable Tempura for Mum and a Prawn starter for me with a Pimms topped with the most beautiful fruit selection.I was not too keen on the Tempura for Mum but Chef was no it is really good.
Chef Vishal is a passionate foodie and knows his flavour combination and this was clearly evident in our starters.Botj starters were beautifully presented with the Veg Tempura a total showstopper taking up half the table and getting a few other diners asking what it was.The disj came with two sauces a yogurt raita and the most amazing life changing Pepperdew relish ever that I even requested some with my breakfast the next day.On the platter crispy favored strips of marrow and aubergine were beautifully presented.This platter is more than enough for two people to share.As for my Prawn Peri Peri starter it was a huge portion and I did not even order a main meal.The prawns were succulent and well-flavoured and left me with the feeling and memory of a home cooked curry that my Gran would have made and trust me my Gran was an amazing cook.See yet again the word home comes up and Capital Pearls definitely creates that environment and as Francois said to me earlier that they are a family in the Capital Group.
Totally stuffed with mains and loads of chatting over dinner time had totally run away and it was after 10pm.Chef Vishal convinced us to have dessert and whenever I see Creme Brulee on a menu I have to eat it.Mum opted for thin slices of cheesecake and the Belgian Chocolate tart.I was not disappointed with my Brulee which was smooth ,creamy and had a crispy layer of sugar on the top.If I was not so full I would have had a second something I normally do if it is amazimg.The baked cheesecake was just as delicious but I was living in a Brulee dream.
Tummies full,cheeks sore from laughing and talking so much we called it a night.My soul felt happy and at home.I climbed into bed and headed to the land of nod very quickly.We headed to breakfast and again we were greeted by smiley ,friendly and happy faces all willing to make breakfast a good start to my day.Then something happened that made my heart smile and say WOW !
The day before at breakfast Mum got talking to a lady with a little girl having breakfast.So on our last morning the lil girl waved to Mum so she went over to have a chat and say how sad she was to be leaving the Capital Pearls.The conversation went along the lined that the family were also checking out that day and the lady actually worked at the hotel and had won a weekend stay.Now instantly I thought how amazing it must be to be a guest rather than a worker.I needed to know more about this story so I asked Mercy about it and she explained that before the hotel opened they had an information session with all staff and if they answered correctly in the Q&A session they were rewarded with a weekend stay at any hotels in the Capital Group.What a wonderful concept and apparently several staff had won these vouchers.Most of the staff had opted to stay where they worked.
After breakfast I checked if it was possible for a late check out and yes it was.I was glad of this because Mum and I were heading off to the Oyster Box for High Tea that afternoon.Stuffed from breakfast we headed to our room , Mum to catch up reading the Sunday papers ,me on the couch watching a movie and I did even have a lil snooze.It was time to shower ,dress and officially check out.We decided to store our luggage while we relaxed before heading off.it was actually sad to say goodbye to the amazing Capital Pearls team, I know I will be back so no goodbyes but see you soon.
Capital Pearls Information :
The Capital Pearls Resort Hotel opened on 1 December 2017.
- The Capital Pearls has direct access onto the main Umhlanga Beach, and offers 140 apartments and extensive conference and meeting facilities accommodating up to 200 delegates.
- The contemporary apartments are a mixture of executive suites, and one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, each including a modern fully equipped kitchen and living area, all designed to strike a balance between the comfort of home and the luxury of resort living.
- The hotel is in the fifth phase of The Pearls of Umhlanga development, offering easy access to a swimming pool, bar, sun deck, more than 16 restaurants and a children’s play area. Complimentary access to the development’s Planet Fitness Gym.
- All within walking distance is The Pearls Mall, the Umhlanga Pier and Lighthouse, Umhlanga beach promenade and the many other local restaurants and amenities that make Umhlanga a popular choice for conferencing and leisure trips.
- Officially opening its doors in December 2017, The Capital Pearls is the group’s eighth property in South Africa, and its first property outside the main cities of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town.
- “Our guests choose The Capital’s hotels and apartments across South Africa because we are 25 per cent more affordable than other hotels of comparable size and quality,” says Marc Wachsberger, MD at The Capital Hotels and Apartments.
- The Capital Pearls, along with all The Capital’s properties across South Africa, will not offer services such as porters, bedtime turndowns, sewing kits or unlimited toiletries. Instead, it is designed to make travellers stay more efficient and cost effective by offering free uncapped high-speed internet, laundry services, secure parking, and shuttle services.
- The hotel is the perfect place for families holidaying in Umhlanga to stay, as its spacious apartments all include a kitchen – perfect for preparing midnight snacks, family meals, or even prepping food to meet youngsters’ particular tastes and eating schedules. The hotel’s play area is a great place for them to burn off some energy, while the pool is the perfect place to splash around.
- The Capital Pearls also offers a comprehensive solution for business travellers who seek a balance between the comfort of home and the luxury of resort living when they’re travelling for work.
- The Capital Pearls offers conferencing facilities for up to 200 people, with six different spaces that can be configured and equipped to host banquets, lectures, workshops, or private meetings and fine dining.
- Accommodation options in The Capital Pearls include 38m2 studio suites that offer a king-size bed or a twin set, with a modern kitchen and living area, and tea and coffee facilities. Bathrooms have showers, and ocean-facing studios have balconies to make the most of the coastal views.
- The 75m2 one-bedroom apartments include a bath and shower, as well as a contemporary living room, dining area and balcony. A fully equipped kitchen makes this an ideal choice for the executive visiting the Umhlanga area on business, providing an alternative to the 16 restaurants that are part of the Pearls complex.
- The 90m2 two-bedroom apartments include the same features as the one-bedroom units, although they have two bathrooms, and the option of a king-size or twin beds in the second bedroom.
- The 150m2 three-bedroom apartments are ideal for professionals, large groups or families, and offer modern living spaces and first-class facilities, including a work space and an entertainment area, in addition to the standard kitchen and dining facilities.
Contact The Capital Hotels & Apartments central reservations office on +27 (0)11 290 9700 or book direct on www.thecapital.co.za
Would you ever consider a staycation in your city ?
Be Inspired !