There are a range of choices to be made when it comes to accommodation for the Comrades Marathon. There are pros and cons for each option that you take. Here’s a summary of your main choices:
To Hilton Or Not To
The hotel of choice for many Comrades runners is the Hilton Hotel located directly across the road from the Comrades Expo and from the old finishing venue at Kings Park Stadium. From this year the downhill finishes further down the road at the Moses Madiba Stadium.
- The hotel is conveniently located across the road from the Expo which is a great place to be.
- There are plenty of other runners from all over the world at the hotel making for a good vibe and plenty of meet ups.
- The hotel is fairly close to the start line (you can walk there from the hotel).
- The hotel is also fairly close the finish line.
- The hotel is high quality.
Not the best part of town and it is not wise to wonder outside much in this part of town. This is a big turn off for many including me.
This week’s latest crime figures released in South Africa of the 30 worst areas in the country Durban CBD ranked number 5 with an eye watering 10 945 reported crimes. There’s no need to panic but there’s also no need to cruise around the CBD casually as a tourist either.
Hit The Beachfront
Durban beachfront has a range of hotels and plenty of runners choose this as a place to stay.
- Located fairly close the Expo, race start and finish. (You can walk to the start from the beachfront).
- Sea views.
- Security patrols.
- Not the safest part of town, especially if you wonder away from the esplanade even one street back.
I choose to stay in Umhlanga rather than closer to the CBD. Here’s some good reasons why:
- Much safer village feel, you can walk around without any hassle.
- Lots of relaxing cafés and shopping.
- A great beachfront and plenty of hotels to choose from.
- Close to the Gateway Shopping Centre which is a great place to chill, take in a movie and carbo load.
- Only 16km’s away from Expo and about 14km to finish.
- Plenty of high quality b&b’s.
Lots of runners prefer locating themselves in Pietermaritzburg the night before Comrades as they don’t have to get up so early and make the journey up from Durban. This can present some logistics issues getting all your gear back down to the finish. I have had great plans about a celebration before my first Comrades but I quickly learned that after a feed and a long hot soaking bath the only thing I’m good for is a comfortable bed.
You can book a Comrades bus to take you to the start at Pietermaritzburg if you choose to stay in Durban throughout.