Smith's Cottage, Durban

Umgeni Heights
191 Reviews
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Smith's Cottage Reviews

Smith's Cottage provides a quieter, more intimate alternative to the young, party-oriented scene of the central Durban hostels. Travelers will always be staying in Durban at some stage on their trips, and it's well served by hostel accommodation of varying types. Durban sits on an important junction for international travelers, with the main coastal route going southwest to Cape Town and northeast along the north coast to St. Lucia and the Mozambique border, and the north route through the Drakensberg Mountains and on to Johannesburg.

The Location

Smith's Cottage is located in Umlengi Park, a quiet, leafy suburb just north of the Umlengi River and sitting above the Umlengi River Bird Park. For those without transport, it's a short, ten-minute but quite-steep-uphill walk from near the mosque immediately after the river bridge where Umlengi Road joins Chris Hani Road and where city center minibus taxis will drop you. It's also on the Bazbus route.

Rooms and Bathrooms

This intimate, family-owned and -managed place gave us the warmest welcome we've had in a very long time. Keith and Pat have been running this place for fifteen years or so, and their experience shows. Their son and daughter-in-law run a more upmarket place next door and are always popping over for a chat and a beer; it's a wonderfully social place. There are family, double, and twin en-suite rooms and cabins and two dorms. The small, four-bed dorm is located in the main house and the spacious, eight-bed dorm is in a separate cottage in the back garden. The mattresses are firm and the duvets warm. The bathrooms, like everything else here, are sparkling clean and the water is hot twenty-four hours.

Common Spaces

The larger dorm is en suite and has a kitchenette. There is also a kitchen in the main house. Both of them are well equipped with kettle, toaster, microwave, gas cooker, and fridge. Free tea and coffee are available all day and you can buy breakfast for a small charge. There are no other meals available here, unless you're lucky enough to be invited to dinner, but for self-caterers there's a Spar supermarket about five hundred meters away. There is a swimming pool in the back garden and a small bar. There is garden furniture scattered around the garden and there is a beautiful lounge in the main house decorated with handicrafts collected by the owners from around Africa. It also has a large DSTV screen. There's room for a handful of cars to be parked in the front yard and the road is manned twenty-four hours by a security guard and CCTV. Wi-Fi is available, but it isn't free.


If you're a quieter traveler who would rather stay out of the noisy city, then this is your place. The family are so friendly and helpful and wonderfully chatty. This is a terrific place to stay. The owners know a lot about the Kwazulu-Natal area, particularly the north coast and are very accommodating regarding check in and out times. We cannot recommend this warmly intimate place highly enough.
Photos taken by the reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Outside The Hostel
Swimming Pool
Smith's Cottage, Durban
Garden Sitting Area
Main House Kitchen
4-Bed Dorm
8-Bed Dorm
LondonroadMa Staff Reviewer
Published on Jun 13, 2017


Set in a beautiful sub-tropical garden, Smiths Cottage is a popular, upmarket hostel within easy reach of all the vast and varied attractions Durban has to offer.
We cater for all types of travellers : self-catering, bed & breakfast and backpackers, and the testimonials from our many guests (many of whom return again and again) show that we are a top-of-the-range home from home with a warm and friendly welcome. All of our accommodation is serviced daily ensuring a clean and comfortable environment. We supply soap and towels for each guest and a welcome drink on arrival. All tea, coffee and toast is provided free of charge, so that refreshing cuppa is on hand throughout the day!
Our accommodation and facilities are as follows:
Main House:
Double room with one double bed and two bunk beds, wardrobe and dressing table, bedside table with lamp.
(max 4 pax)
Small Dorm with 2 bunk beds and fitted wardrobe, kist and bedside lamp. (max 4 pax)
Shared full bathroom with bath, shower, sink and w.c.
Single bathroom with extra w.c.
T.V. Lounge with T.V., video machine and videos, also CD player, to chill out in.
Family kitchen is where we all hang out and meet up for that cuppa!
Our extensive travel desk holds all of our maps, brochures, cheap car hire and trips paraphernalia. Let us arrange your holiday from start to finish! Smiths Cottage is a Baz Bus Agent and Stop, and we have a pick up service from the airport, bus or train station. We also do our own city tours as well as further afield with our 4 x 4 Sani or our Combi bus. Keith is also a qualified scuba diver. We have an ISDN line on our computer for fast and efficient Internet use.
There is ample safe parking behind our lockable gates both in front of the house and along our long driveway.

Separate Cottage:
Double room with double bed, fitted wardrobes, bedside table and lamp. (Max 2 pax)
2nd bedroom with 2 bunk beds, sleeper couch, bedside table and lamp. (max 4 pax)
Lounge with extra sleeper couch which sleeps 2 pax, TV, and usual furniture, leading to
Kitchen fully fitted with all utensils, crockery etc.
Bathroom with bath, overhead shower, sink and w.c.
Our cottage overlooks our lovely sparkling pool, so sit out with your sundowner on your own patio, enjoy a home-cooked meal on the patio table and chairs, or soak up the sun on the loungers dotted around the pool. There is also a separate gate at the back to park your car(s).

Bedroom holds 5 bunk beds with storage boxes beside for your use. There is a bench table and 2 benches inside, and 2 benches outside with rustic table to lounge around and plan your trips on. Our notice board here also holds all information and leaflets needed.
Kitchen is fully fitted out with all equipment, cutlery, crockery etc. for your use.
Shower room has an english electric shower for constant hot water.
Bathroom has a single w.c., so if you find 9 others in a queue before you : never fear (use any of the other ones!)

We've already waxed lyrical about our large, sparkling pool and sub-tropical gardens, long drive etc. so I won't go into them any more. What I haven't mentioned is our large braai area and bar! We have nightly get-togethers here to eat, chew the cud, play a mean game of cards or just sit and enjoy the garden and beautiful sunsets. Keith designed and made the many stainless steel braais (that's bar-b-q's to you), plus the wood burner which we light during the mild winter nights. What bliss to sit around toasting your toes whilst gazing at the many stars! Our area of KZN enjoys hot steamy summers and warm mild winters so you can enjoy the sun and sea all year round. For you party animals the Durban nightlife is alive and kicking, and we now boast many taxis to bring you home safe and sound!
So ring us, email us, or knock on the door to book early.
Also visit our website on

Location and Contact


• Close proximetry to main Durban beaches and city centre. Above Umgeni Bird Park, 3rd largest in the southern hemisphere. 2 mins to Suncoast casino, Ushaka Marine World, golf courses, nightlife, fishing, whalewatching, Scuba diving, Gateway Shopping Centre, etc.
• 15 mins Durban International Airport, pick up service provided if needed. 10 mins from Bus and train terminals.
• From Johannesburg, take N3 Durban, follow N2 Stanger. Exit Inanda Rd/Umgeni Rd. Right into Umgeni Road. Follow signs on left Riverside Rd/Umgeni Bird Park. Keep left, turn under highway. At lights turn right, first left Buttery Rd. 1st left Mount Argus Road.



Address: 5 Mount Argus Road, Umgeni Heights, Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Smith's Cottage is listed on the following booking sites:

Hostelworld Not listed at Not listed at HostelsClub


Website Smith's Cottage Durban
Phone Number: +27 31 564 6313 or +27 83 630 5038
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

Party Hostel




Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons

Airport Pickup

Bike Rental

Luggage Storage


24 Hour Security

Air Conditioning

BBQ Grill


Board Games

Concierge/Info Desk


Hair Dryers

Hot Showers



Lounge Area

Movie Library/Rental

Pool Table

Swimming Pool

Wheelchair Accessible

Credit Card Payments

Max. Age: All Ages

Checkout: 10:00 (10 AM)

Curfew: No Curfew

Lockout: No

Maximum Stay: Unlimited

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Open Dates: All Year

Reception Hours: 8am to 10 pm

Size: Small (less than 30 beds)

Awards & Features

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