Visiting Umhlanga Rocks during COVID

The North Star Hotel is open. The news has hit us all hard. The lockdown is becoming more intense as the virus spreads through the country. The cloudy winter weather in Umhlanga fades quickly as the sun bursts through the clouds. It s hardly ever cold in Durban, but there is a cold front blowing onto the coast. It will be an ideal week to cook spicy Indian curry food to heat up the winter week. The North Star chef cooks delicious curry dinners.

The bars are closed, the restaurants produce a fraction of what they use to do. COVID calls for invention. How do we become more creative and pivot towards new strengths and strategies? Our local communities have been incredibly supportive during the lockdown. As a new establishment, The North Star has been fortunate to build a loyal client base popping in for daily and weekly visits.

At The North Star Hotel, the morning coffee run is busier than ever. The freshly baked pastries and cakes are selling out as guests enjoy their coffee or tea on the balcony. The buffs manufactured by Erre Fashion is a hit. The fragrant hand sanitizer perfumes the air as you set foot into the lounge. The Hotel plays melodious soothing sounds while the late morning rush peaks. The veranda is humming with breakfast meetings, runners, and cyclists, kids running across the lawn chasing Cooper, the resident French bulldog.

The North Star offers a luxury experience right on the beachfront in Umhlanga Rocks. When the gate opens, you view the copper march light and the detailed architecture inviting you to step inside. The interior is a mix of cool colours and simplicity. The friendly staff attends to guests in colourful Hawaiian designed shirts. I look out towards the palm leaves casting summer shadows over the pool. Menzie, with his big happy smile, offers me a colourful refresher drink. I look out towards the blue ocean covering the horizon floating cargo ships into the harbour. It’s a beautiful sunny winter day in Umhlanga Rocks.

I walk up the stairs to the third-floor entering the yellow room, the view is spectacular, as the afternoon light runs along the breaking waves. The mustard pillows decorate the kingsize bed. The yellow room is cozy and warm with a chilled bottle of bubbly resting on a yellow gold tray, ready to pop. With a cold glass of bubbly in hand, I step out onto the balcony breathing in the fresh breeze. I sit in the corner, looking out towards a line of ships and the night stars softly shining over the ocean. It’s peaceful with the ocean wind swirling through the nearby leaves. I ordered a steak for dinner. It will be an early night tonight. I am excited to wake up at sunrise for meditation and a run and preparation before my lunchtime meeting.