This is an elegant number – as classy as its name - the St James on Venice. The guesthouse is a grand double storey building with curved balconies all around, glossy wooden floors and attractive finishings. It is well situated in breezy Morningside, Durban.
My room is decorated in soft grey, from the silvery headboard, to the damask-style wallpaper, cushions, blinds and grey suede couch. There are matching brushed silver wall lights. In one corner stands a handsome shaker-style wardrobe, while on the other end of the suite is a desk by the lovely bay window. Around the corner there is a modern, clear glass, spacious shower in an open-plan bathroom, with a separate, enclosed toilet.
Air-conditioning, large flat-screen televisions, a restaurant and active reception make this a convenient business stay. The guesthouse is set amongst established trees, with plenty of secure parking space and 24-hour security.
For a couch so stylish, it is surprisingly comfortable. I sink gratefully into it and I find I am perfectly placed within a private nook in the bay windows on both sides of this corner of my room, where I wile away the evening. There are happy sounds of staff from the kitchen and reception area, dogs barking across the road, and I enjoy the feeling of being part of it all and yet resting hidden in peace. The restrained but fashionable décor adds to the feeling of calm luxury. After a tiring day of work at the end of a busy year, I find this space restorative and inspiring. For a place so elegant, I have an inelegant fleeting image of myself holding onto this couch in the morning, being forcibly removed while begging to be allowed to stay and not have to go back to work.