The Boathouse

Luxe beachfront at three-star prices
Many waterfront hotels on greater Durban's north coast are astonishingly expensive, but the nautically themed four-star Boathouse bucks the trend at from R750 (about $100) per night. About 25 miles north of central Durban, Ballito is also a bit north of trendier Umhlanga on what locals call the Dolphin Coast. Most of the 22 rooms have sea views, as do the pool and fusion/California-cuisine bar/restaurant. Breakfast included, and yes, there is direct beach access. Cigar bar, lounges and library. No children under 12 during high season (Sept.-May).