Smith's Cottage



The Review

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.
by Londonroad Staff Reviewer
Photos taken by the reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Outside The Hostel
Swimming Pool
Garden Sitting Area
Main House Kitchen
4-Bed Dorm
8-Bed Dorm


(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "Smith's Cottage" at 5 Mount Argus Road.)


5 Mount Argus Road, Umgeni Heights, Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
-29.805483, 31.016362 (accuracy not guaranteed)
+27 31 564 6313 or +27 83 630 5038
+27 (031) 564 6313
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(101 ratings)
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93% Guest Reviews

  Pat and Keith made us part of the family. the place is great quiet and relaxing after a long tour during the day. they will see me more often at their place ... and my kids still feel that Pat is their granny!
Anneline Botha
Age 35, South Africa
Thanks, Smiths
Kieth is an absolute star! He was ready and willing to always bend his back for my comfort even though it was against his schedule. Likewise with Garry and his wife. Pat was also always willing to offer comfort in terms of meals as i'm not very good with cooking. The ambiance was mint and save for a few monkeys from the neighbors who nonetheless provided entertainment, I would recommend Smiths cottage to anyone in need of lodging!
Best Place I Stayed In
Keith and Pat could not have done more to make our stay better. We actually had a free apartment to stay in on the Bluff but after one night we moved back in to Smiths Cottage. Pat was always ready to offer advice if we wanted to do something and often drove us where we wanted to go. Keith is a legend. He often got dragged into the pub by us (sorry Pat). The accommodation is great with good food, a bar, and a lovely pool. I especially liked the pool house, which we booked into for our second stay.
Shane & Monika
  We were stuck for a place to stay and from internet pictures and reviews we decided to stay st Smith's Cottage. Throughout our time we were treated totally unfairly we were lied to and judged. This is definitely a hostel for older people and the owners friends, very cliquey! Smith's Cottage was the downside to our trip. We recommend not staying here!
Wes, Wig & Al
(South African)
  well well. this place is cool and nice. we were treated like family. had a very nice time. good info, clean place, cold beer. here in sweden it's f-ing cold.
rolf dahlstrom & co
  After staying in Botswana for three months doing my internship at a hospice, I decided to spend my last week in Durban. I had the best time with Pat and Keith -- wonderful people. I enjoyed every day I spent at Smith's Cottage and when I go back to South Africa, I will definitely stay with them again.
Wendy Ray

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