Port Elizabeth is a beautiful holiday destination. The friendly city on the Sunshine Coast is located on the shores of the Indian Ocean. Home to twenty Blue Flag Beaches, it is also known as the ‘Water sport capital of Africa.’ Although it is a great city in its own right, it is also a wonderful base to travel across the Sunshine Coast and to the Garden Route. We explored the city and used it as a gateway to other destinations.
When deciding where to stay in Port Elizabeth, the Radisson Blu Port Elizabeth was an obvious choice for us. It is the first international, luxury branded five-star hotel in the city and one of the best places to stay there. The hotel is celebrating its 10th birthday this year. Conveniently located in the upmarket suburb of Summerstrand, it is just 10 minutes from the airport and a short walk to the beach.
Designed to capture the spirit of the ocean and blend in with its surroundings, the hotel exterior consists of a modern glass structure which mirrors the blue sea and sky. The interior reflects a sophisticated urban style with vibrant red, black and white features. The 18-storey hotel has 173 comfortable rooms and suites with panoramic views of the Indian Ocean.
My previous experiences with Radisson Blu had left me with high expectations and Radisson Blu Port Elizabeth did not disappoint us. After a warm welcome at the hotel, we were escorted to our rooms on the 14th floor. Our family had two adjacent rooms which could be accessed by a single door to form a suite. The rooms were decorated in soothing earthy tones and featured huge beds, workstations and seating areas. High-speed, complimentary wireless internet, Nespresso machines, and other mod cons were provided. Floor to ceiling windows gave us sweeping views of the ocean and the city. Generous welcome baskets filled with delicious snacks and drinks as well as games to keep the children entertained, awaited us. My children wasted no time in enjoying their goodies. We were reluctant to leave our comfortable rooms even though we also wanted to explore our surroundings.
In the mornings, we indulged in buffet breakfasts at the Tabu Grill, the hotel’s in-house restaurant. The restaurant opens onto the wooden pool deck, which is a great meeting and sundowner spot, with its sleek couches and great views. If you want a workout, then you can get one at the hotel’s well-equipped fitness centre. Personally, I prefer to skip the workout and head for the spa.
The name ‘amani’ means ‘peace’ in Swahili and I enjoyed a relaxing spa treatment at the in-house Amani Spa. My skilled therapist Melissa treated me to one of the spa’s signature treatments, the Kurhula Body Ritual – a luxurious massage coupled with a revitalising mini facial. It was just what I needed at the end of a busy week of travelling. The spa also has a Turkish Rasul Steam room.
Radisson Blu Port Elizabeth is not only a great business hotel, it is a great family hotel too. Children of all ages are welcome and complimentary cots are provided for the very young. We saw many families there apart from ours, during our stay, and they all seemed to be enjoying themselves. I found the friendly city so much more peaceful and relaxing than Johannesburg, and the Radisson Blu Port Elizabeth was the perfect place to stay there.