Monday, 23 June 2014

We're Going To Durban

As I have mentioned all over my blog, I am doing the Fat Mum Slim Photo A Day Challenge and have been doing it since January. You can see my pictures on Instagram over here or some on my blog over here. This month the prompts were very challenging and I thought what on earth am I going to use for the prompt yay! - Well Yay we going to Durban - that was Friday's prompt.

Our trip down was uneventful - we went in Mark's BMW and because Chad is totally in love with the car and the whole "I am so cool in my BM'" persona, I let him sit in the front and I huddled in the back. The car is really not a family car, but who has a BM' and does not go down to Durban in it??? Sometimes I hate technology and other times it is just so awesome. I never had time to do the staff wages, so as I sat huddled in the back of the car, I opened up my laptop and paid the staff; looked at my Instagram feed, caught up on the blogs I haven't had a chance to read in a while and then slept for 30 minutes. By then we were getting closer and closer to Durban.

We arrived at the Garden Court Marine Parade at around 18h30. We went to reception to book in and I have to say we were not greeted with the Southern Sun charm and warmth that one expects and gets from Tsogo Sun Hotel Staff. The man who assisted us was really not welcoming at all and then to make matters worse, Mark did not bring his Amex Card with, the card that we used to do the online booking. It stays in the safe all the time, because he does not use it. Mark keeps it as an emergency card for one day if...... This was not an emergency, but an unplanned; unexpected event. I saw it on the dining room table before we left and I was going to remind him to bring it, but thought he knew, the reason for it being on the dining room table. That was an almost fight with each other at the reception; whilst we stood there wondering what would now happen and Mr Reception not saying much to ease our minds. The payment was already off Mark's Card and his ID book would have allayed in fears and or suspicions of it being a stolen card, but Mr Reception said nothing whilst I was explaining to Mark why they needed it, even if he has proof of being the card holder.

Eventually Mr Reception finished booking us in without the card, which he had proceeded to do anyway without saying anything to us. He gave us our key card and parking ticket and without explaining where the dining room is or when breakfast was or offered to get us a bellhop for our luggage, absolutely nothing. I have stayed in Southern Sun/Tsogo Sun hotels a few times and this is not their policy. Mark asked Mr Reception if he could recommend a good place to eat and he did not even mention the restaurant in the hotel. He recommended the Beach Hotel of all places!!!!!

We went to park the car and to get to the lifts from the parking bay, you have to carry your luggage up a few stairs. We were not told that at all and we were quite lost trying to find the entrance to the lifts, even though there were signs.

We arrived at our room and the view of the sea and Durban at night was a sight for tired and weary eyes.
Durban At Night

Chad checking out the room service menu....

We went down to the beach front; walked along the pier......

Chad and Mark

The Pier

Across The Ocean
..... looked at the amazing sand art

Sand Art - Artist = A Semi-Homeless "Unskilled Man"

.... and then went to dinner at the hotel, the restaurant, that was not recommended by Mr Reception. We had the Buffet at R175.00 per person - the spread was amaaaaazing, but far too much to eat anyway. They had chicken curry, a pie of sorts; a stew; roasts; a pasta alfredo and vegetables; roast potatoes; salads; desserts that were out of this world; cheese and biscuits - a buffet to be proud of. I never even had the roasts or salads and coffee and biscuits, but did have the best desert ever.

Milk Tart and A Chocolate Cake - Divine!!!!

And A Kind Of Caramel; Nutty White Chocolate Mousse  

We went up to our room as full as over fed piglets. At around 9.30 Mark was thirsty and we decided to order from room service. Chad wanted a milkshake which then set us all on a craving for a milkshake. Milkshake was on the room service menu - um sorry they don't have milkshakes, because they have no ice cream. Come on really Tsogo Sun after all the advertising to say that everything has been upgraded to get tourists to come back to Durban and you don't have milkshakes, but it is on your menu - not good. Mark and Chad each had a coke - R50.00 for two cokes. R10.00 for each coke and the waiter's mandatory/obligatory R10.00 tip.

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