I really like Umhlanga, and its where i choose to go on holiday. It has lovely white sandy beaches, and safe swimming. Lovely hotels, my favourite is the Oyster Box Hotel, which is right on the beach. If you want a cheaper option, look at the Breakers Resort. I sometimes rent a self catering suite, also right on the beach and lovely place. Lots of lovely restaurants to eat and a very good place to chill out and relax.
Lyn - Owner - Thorntree Tours and Safaris
Umhlanga gets my vote too. Oyster Box is truly stunning, but pricey. Protea have a couple of good hotels here if you are looking for something slightly less expensive, or the Beverley Hills Hotel is also a popular choice.
Tracey - Owner/Director, Travel Butlers
Many thanks to all of you for your helpful comments. The Oyster Box looks lovely if we decide for a real treat - what room type would you recommend?
Can you safely swim in the ocean in front of the Oyster Box Hotel? It looks like it's pretty rocky. (If not, how far away is a safe swimming beach?)
The main beach is walking distance, so easy to work in a bit of swimming in the ocean. And the oyster box has a lovely swimming pool. Just note that KZN not always the safest place to swim with very strong currents, but thousands swim there every year, just take care. For room type, any ocean view room rather than garden view.
They are both lovely - Umhlanga is bigger, busier and more expensive, whereas Ballito is smaller. Both are visited or owned by people that is quite well-off, financially.