Going green is the in thing today with people trying all sorts of things in doing their part for the environment. So naturally it’s now becoming increasingly possible to go green while on vacation or on a business trip.
The Gateway Hotel in Umhlanga is the perfect destination for an eco-friendly holiday.
Green in every sense of the word, the vibe begins with an actual iconic “leafy” green screen, made of recycled material, covering the whole of the Northern facade of the hotel. This is a cleverly designed shading technique to make sure the amount of solar radiation from outside is reduced inside the building.
This screen makes it possible for the hotel to rely less on its air-conditioning systems, making the Gateway Hotel more energy efficient. The hotel goes even further and uses outside air to freshen up the hotel inside the rooms.
A glorious lavender smell greets you on the foyer floor. Friendly staff welcomes you before showing you to one of the three types of bedrooms—standard, superior and junior suites. The hotel also caters for handicapped guests and boasts with two paraplegic-friendly rooms.
The rooms are decorated in a contemporary-modern but warm style. The rooms are also skilfully designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible. Lights turn off automatically when the room is empty, air-conditioning turns off when the window or balcony door is opened, LED-lights are used for energy saving and “low-flow” water outlets reduce water usage.
The rooms also have massive windows creating natural light throughout the day. (Never thought you can do so much for your environment by staying in a hotel, right?)
If you do feel it necessary to leave the remarkable hotel, there is more than enough amusement on your doorstep. The hotel is quite literally attached to the Gateway Shopping Mall (the biggest in the southern hemisphere) making it any shopaholic’s dream hotel.
Wave House, the entertainment mecca of Durban, can be seen from the hotel terrace, providing hours of viewing and listening pleasure as you can have a “free” show when concerts are presented at the open-air stage.
If need be, and you want to take a drive, Ushaka Marine World and Moses Mabhida stadium, both a must-see experience, are only a short distance away. Of course the beachfront is just around the corner.
Back at the hotel, you can cool off on the roof’s pooldeck, where you have a 360 degree view of the best Umhlanga has to offer including the rolling green hills of KwaZulu-Natal in the distance. What makes it more pleasant is knowing you’re standing on screed made of a special cement and polystyrene mix, making it a heat barrier that further reduces the hotel’s energy consumption.
If you don’t fancy a dinner at the Barnyard or elsewhere in the mall, have supper at your own leisure at the hotel’s restaurant, serving a buffet that will have you wishing you had two stomachs.
The restaurant is transforms into a continental breakfast area every morning.
Staying in this hotel is not only an incredible luxury, it is a remarkable experience. It will leave you with a feeling wanting to make your own home just as “green” as possible.