Seeking accommodation with historic charm? Try Royston Hall in Umtentweni

Royston Hall, Umtentweni, LPort Shepstone, KwaZulu Natal (13)

Royston Hall, Umtentweni, Lower South Coast, Port Shepstone, KwaZulu Natal

It’s a bold statement, but there are probably few guesthouses in South Africa with a captivating history and intriguing characters as does the historic Royston Hall in Umtentweni, on the KwaZulu Natal coastline.  It should be on your travel wish list.

Royston Hall has a unique character and charm that a lot of new accommodation offerings lack. 

This old Victorian mansion was built in 1897 by a Durban-based merchant for his wife as a week-end beach cottage. She rejected it outright because of it being ‘not even on the beach’ and returned to Durban in a huff. Later it was occupied by many other interesting characters. Read more here.

The colourful Brig. Genl. J.R. Royston lived there and named it Mount Romani after his most famous victory against the Turks in Palestine. His stories are detailed on the Website. After Royston and his wife passed the estate intermittently lay derelict over the next century, but now the mansion belongs to Roderick and Ria Hackland.

They have since turned Royston Hall into a place where laughter and joy prevail surrounded by indigenous forest and tranquil surroundings including a sea view in the near distance. 

Notably, a paradise for the misanthropic, the history buff or couples seeking solitude in silence in pristine surrounds, do consider Listed Royston Hall, which has since surpassed its former glory.

Regrettably, children under the age of 12 are not catered for at this beautiful guesthouse.

Vintage elements and furnishings have been carefully paired with contemporary comforts to create a homely space that affirms the guesthouse’s historic roots.

Accommodation at Royston Hall

There are currently five suites to choose from at Royston Hall. Soon there will be eight. Rooms 3, 4 and 5 are on the first floor in the original house, have breathtaking views over the Umzimkulu River and inland from the tall Victorian sash windows. All three lead off a private pajama lounge.

Room 1 has ground floor access (suitable for wheelchairs too) and a King size Victorian Brass bed. It is spacious, with a fireplace and en-suite walk/roll-in shower room.

Room 2 has an Antique double brass bed.  It’s a cosy small room with en-suite shower room and a small deck aspect towards the forest.

Room 3 is fitted with a Queen-sized Four poster bed (XL). The room has an en-suite shower room.

Room 4 has a King size bed and has west facing inland views. This lofty room has a cozy en-suite shower and optionally shares a balcony overlooking the swimming pool, river and sea view with Room No.5.

Room 5 is the original Master Suite and has a King-size bed; it’s a huge room with an en-suite bathroom with a Victorian ball & claw bath and an optionally shared balcony.

Room 6, 7 and 8 are currently under construction and will be available soon. Situated in an annexure with carefully selected building, materials of Vintage nature, these ‘new’ rooms hold great promise, waiting for special memories to be made.

Facilities & dining at Royston Hall

By arrangement, Royston Hall is recommended as the perfect setting for small birthday parties, anniversaries, (beautiful breakfasts are a fixture), luncheons or dinners and bridal showers.

Victorian High Teas, where loose leaf tea is served from silver teapots and exquisite treats are served on beribboned three-tier cake stands decorated with fresh roses, are their most popular gatherings.

There is a lot to do in close proximity, the swimming beach is 2.3km away, or the estate has short forest walks along the river or inland valley as well as a swimming pool and library for those not wanting to leave the property.

Secure parking is available for your peace of mind.

What do people say about Royston Hall

“Room was spacious and grand, above expectations! The staff were friendly and helpful, really a place to go for if looking for a relaxing break away from the bustle. Enjoyed the atmosphere it was relaxing and certainly a place to come and unwind,” – wrote Wayne.

“Royston Hall is an absolute must visit when you are in this part of the country. The home is out of this world and the owner/host, Ria, makes it feel like home away from home. The history of this beautiful home is incredible. Thank you Ria, you will see us again,” – says Vacation52076007570.

“Very nice place. The views you get to see is so beautiful from the guest house The staff was very helpful and nice. The rooms is very comfy and beautiful Enjoyed my stay very much will really recommend This Guest house to anybody,” – wrote jtaljaard34 

Top reasons for staying at Royston Hall:

1. Popular with those seeking to experience the slow lane life of a bygone era.
2. The rooms are spacious and elegantly decorated.
3. The guesthouse is within reach of all holiday activities.
4. The staff are lovely. 
5. Royston Hall is a memorable experience.

To find out more about Royston Hall Guest House, give them a call on 039 695 0083 or email their website at Find them on Google Maps

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Actually, Home Food and Travel offers a lot more than just reviews of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities.  We also visit great destinations, receive advice from interior designers and stop to smell the roses and taste the coffee.

Our team of journalists are seasoned travels and love visiting the myriad of exciting places around South Africa.  Whether it is off the beaten track or in the heart of the top attractions of the country, we’ll be there,

Home Food and Travel advice on finding the right accommodation

So what is the right accommodation?  Well more often than not, it’s your travel budget that dictates the type of accommodation that you choose. 

Expensive is not always better.  Our team at Home Food and Travel will tell you that they have camped in areas with limited ablutions and had a wonderful holiday.  They have also spent a night in a five star hotel only to be disappointed because their expectations exceeded the experience.

The reason for your travels will also affect your choice.  A business trip requires different amenities to a beach holiday. 

Our articles, reviews and experiences can certainly help you make your decision.

Restaurants with a good mix of service, food and ambiance

To my mind a great restaurant offers three things – excellent service, great food and a wonderful ambiance.  Of these, service is the most important. 

No matter that the food is delicious and the setting delightful, poor service can ruin the occasion.  However, great service combined with mediocre meal and a plane jane restaurant can still be a pleasant night out.

We’ve eaten in restaurants that are really dirty but with incredible food and couldn’t help but give a rave review.  We’ve also hardly noticed what we ate because the setting was just amazing.

However, the best restaurants come with the best of service, food and ambiance.

Spas are the ultimate relaxation aid

How do you know when you have had a great spa experience?  The answer, of course, is when you doze off on the treatment table. 

Well that’s our theory anyway.  It also doesn’t take a grand location with enormous facilities for a spa to be really good

A small, personal spa that is owner run can result in the best massage you have ever experienced.  However, the grand spas in five star hotels offer unsurpassed facilities in an environment that just makes the stress in your shoulders and neck melt away before you even finish checking in.


You don’t have to be an adrenaline junky to enjoy an exciting experience.  In fact, what are commonly termed adventure activities usually have incredibly high safety standards and unblemished safety records.

Ziplining, bungy jumping and shark cage diving are all very safe.  It’s just that our mind tells us we are craaazzzzyyyy to be doing this.

On the road to great places of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities

If you’re driving, be safe and make use of all the wonderful farm stalls that populate South Africa’s open roads.

If you overhear somebody asking a lot of questions or see someone taking photos of empty bedrooms chances are it’s one of our Home Food and Travel team members.

We’re out looking or those great places of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities.

See you on the road!


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