Durban is one of the tourist hot spots of South Africa with beautiful coastlines and plenty to do, meaning accommodation can be pricey due to sea views and luxurious suites. Finding somewhere lovely but inexpensive is a challenge if you're on a budget and even though I'm one of those people that is always out exploring when I travel, I like having somewhere homely to unwind and rest at the end of the day.
Admittedly a hostel is never somewhere that crossed my mind as I always associate them with cheap bunkbeds and minimal space but this one was surprising. Curiocity Hostels is listed independently on Google and also through Airbnb, which is where their premier double room* came up in my search. The hostels are based in Durban and Johannesburg and Curiocity was voted best backpacker accommodation in South Africa in the Lilizela Tourism Awards.
The Durban hostel which is located right in the heart of the city with a short walk to the beach. They have tons of facilities including an open-air cinema, freelance work space, chill out room, bar, braai area and even yoga and spa facilities - its pretty much a hub for young people to hang out and socialise between exploring the city. There are activities every day that you can book through the reception including braais, tours of the city and more. Oh, and they have free speedy wifi which is perfect if you're working on the go like I am.
We stayed for two nights in the premier double room which according to the website is £75 per night but I booked through Airbnb for only £34 a night with was quite a steal when rooms of a similar size in the area are double that. I'd recommend booking Curiocity through Airbnb because the communications are much easier between you and the hotel staff.. oh and if you use [this link] you'll receive £30 off your first booking of over £65!
With regards to actual accommodation, the hostel features mixed or female only bunk bed dorms, single, double and triple bedrooms or the premier double which has its own en-suite. All of the rooms have doors opening out to the chill out area, kitchen and shared bathrooms but they're private enough for others not to be able to see into your room as you leave. When we stayed the other guests seemed very chilled out and friendly with no late night parties (which was my initial hostel worry).
On arrival at gone 10pm, we met a couple of really friendly staff that let us know about all the activities and showed us around the hostel which is much bigger than it looks in pictures. Our room was very spacious with a king sized bed, chilled seating area and a desk to work on. There is also an ensuite bathroom with a powerful rainfall shower and fresh towels so its basically like a little studio apartment thats actually really well decorated with a minimal, hipster kind of vibe which I loved. We also didn't mind having to use the shared kitchen because its kept so clean and tidy with enough space for several people to cook at once.
We didn't really use the other facilities because we were always out exploring but I'd definitely make use of the bar and freelance work space if I went back. I'll be honest that I wasn't keen on the idea of a hostel but having stayed in this one, I would definitely consider shared rooms to socialise and meet new people. Obviously as a couple its difficult to sort hostel dorms but from watching Mollie Bylett's videos and blog, I think its definitely worth it for friendships.
If you're ever in Durban or Johannesburg, definitely check out Curiocity for a more luxurious budget accommodation.. its a great place for all ages looking for a relaxed, friendly space.
*the premier double room is still shown on their website and through Airbnb as being the standard double, but I promise its much bigger.