Lalaria Lodge is one of those hospitable, owner-run, good-value guest houses that are, unfortunately, fast disappearing from South Africa.
Set on a cliff at Shaka’s Rock, Lalaria offers five luxurious and spacious bedrooms, with sea or pool views.
Guests often describe the lodge as a ‘home from home’; the owners’ personal attention makes this an extra special place. They will provide everything you need for a perfect stay. A short walk brings you down to a protected beach where the water is warm and you can watch dolphins year-round and humpback whales in season.
In fact, you might even see bottlenose dolphins from the verandah, since they swim just below the lodge almost every day.
Each of the delightful and comfortable rooms has a clean fresh feel, with tiled floors, crisp white bed linen, and beautiful views. Air conditioning and fans are provided, along with satellite television, a personal safe, and a mini-bar. The two deluxe rooms have private sea-view patios and enable you to watch sunrise over the Indian Ocean from comfort of your bed.
There are two lounges and an honesty bar. The pool is lovely, but it is not fenced, so children under 12 must be supervised.
It would be hard to get bored in this area. You can take a trip on the Dolphin Boat, go horse riding, take a lake cruise and watch the hippos in the St Lucia Wetland Park, or you can even join the shark inspection crew for their morning tour of the nets off the Durban beaches. You could drive to Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, two hours to the north of the lodge, for some game viewing or visit the Umgeni Bird Park.
For those seeking adventure, the 20-minute microlight rides are amazing; or you can have a more relaxing time on one of the seven nearby golf courses – the lodge will book your tee-off time. The beach is protected by shark nets, so you can swim with confidence, watch the surfers and the surf ski riders, or try it yourself.