Home Lifestyle & Travel Lifestyle Exhale at this hidden jewel

Exhale at this hidden jewel

Kristel and Werner Serfontein welcome us into their exclusive hideaway that has become a popular meeting spot for Umhlanga locals and out-of-towners.

Inspired by the changeable moods of the ocean, textures of nature and warmth of the East Coast, our latest little getaway discovery is a shining example of modern South African living.

With only six guest suites (and a small, intimate conference room) but all the luxury and amenities of a full-size hotel, guests can enjoy privacy, spectacular ocean views and the warm Durban sand under their feet on balmy days… such bliss!

Owners Kristel and Werner Serfontein say this striking beachside property started its life as a residential home – picture a dilapidated and unoccupied face brick monstrosity with lots of green panelling and a green roof – with incredible potential.

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Renovations started (in 2017) on a design that blended industrial and minimalist styles. The North Star Micro Hotel opened in March 2020 just as the first hard lock-down hit, and the couple say the past two years have demonstrated the importance of a loyal local community.

For regular morning runners and those getting their daily exercise on the beach, grabbing a cuppa before kickstarting a workday has become a kind of nostalgic practice. It was this ritual (along with other activities like beach yoga and Potjie Kos Sundays when allowed) that helped grow the venue’s following and contributed towards it surviving a time when tourism was heavily impacted by the pandemic.

On the inside, a mix of steel and wood architectural detail with textured soft furnishings creates a feeling of modern comfort… and of course the location and indoor/outdoor style of living, play a big part in the look of the space.

Lots of cladding was used to keep the space distinctive while allowing it to fit in with the environment, and because the owners are so passionate about the ocean, Kristel and Werner implemented sustainable practices that protect the environment… from eliminating in-room plastic containers to bigger projects that are in the pipeline.

The moment you step through the front door, the sea is in sight. Downstairs, large glass sliding doors lead to the patio and bar area and every guest suite opens to an ocean-facing balcony.

The colours and textures in the immediate surroundings also provide ample inspiration – moody blues from the sea, vibrant greens from the local plant life and warm highlights recalling the hues of the setting sun create a space at home in its environment.

You can spend your days lazing around the pool or go for romantic walks on the beach – after your morning mimosas, naturally. Take your best friend and stay over in one of their twin rooms where comfy beds, a private balcony and amazing views make for the perfect base to launch your adventures from.

That old saying rings true, where the luxury of an intimate setting is enhanced by a multitude of features such as a pool, jacuzzi and fire pit. Those on the hunt for a stylish and intimate setting for their next event, The North Star has much to offer. And if you’re just looking for a new dinner or drinks-with-a-view spot – the Belvedere bar and restaurant areas are open every day (8am to 10pm) serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between.

If you’re staying over, rates start from R2025 per person sharing.

Details: 076 611 4592 or e-mail [email protected]

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