I thrive to push my boundaries as a writer and with that, I have come to shift my focus from time to time. This lapse into a non-nightlife setting has inspired me to write about a commonality that a lot of jet-setters and even travellers (DJs, artists etc.) look for; “A HOME AWAY FROM HOME”. This is your Captain GONZO with another new feature lined up called “OFF THE BEATEN PATH” which looks into living experiences outside in the most unexpected place. My first piece brings you to “CURIOCITY HOSTELS” in Durban which was the spark behind this and what an unexpected journey it has been.
From a brief chat with the manager at the establishment, was able to pull out quite a bit of history behind the organization. The Johannesburg hostel having opened 4 years ago & Durban turning 1 in 2018 raises the question of its need. The founder, skating through industrial based Jozi CBD, felt that it was a need as it could be used unify an overall understanding of one thing: “There’s more to a place than what you see”. A somewhat ethic-centric setting, Curiocity Hostels has shown growth by feeding on the diversity of its inhabitants rather than the overall environment.
The hostel is dubbed as an “Urban Design Hostel” which glimmers with many trinkets of unexpected chic stemming from literature to modern architecture, from modern impressionism to unique celebrations of culture. The place thrives on creating experiences for those involved and touches on the emotive strings of society. It does this by extravagantly shining on a city’s true glamour… In my own words explained as: “Every city has a soul waiting to be seen”. The three words I got to explain Curiocity as a whole: “Urban… African… Experiences”.
The common areas are the framework of movement as it indirectly leads to occupant-occupant interactivity and begs you to interact with those around you on a very subconscious level with the most enlightening and breathtaking realizations. Having the pleasure of meeting a mainstay figure in Durban who is a veteran in the staff eyes at the Johannesburg branch, easily dubbed by the name “Kay” is the livewire who is the “human-glue” every home away from home craves. Having the tour first hand from him I was nestled quite comfortably into the hustle & bustle of those currently there over a friendly exchange of unexpected experiences which helped me cultivate a first name basis with those I had the pleasure of chatting to. Group participation & socializing in the common lounging areas is encouraged and through the various group activities offered bits of help, making the living conditions just a bit more pleasant. The minimalistic setting of it all is nicely complemented by its own personal cash-bar and the ambient-set music playing throughout the day doesn’t hurt either.
The sleeping conditions are a breath of fresh air for what they are asking of you, with the high-end hotel feel coming in at a very reasonable rate in terms of finance. There is multiple choices available ranging from single sleeper rooms to 8-sleeper co-ed dorms & even couple rooms which are quite appealing for those who want an even more luxurious stay. Set in the renovated Ambassador House in central Durban they were able to fit in enough choices to meet the needs of anybody. The shared dorm-style bathroom and lavatory facilities are neat and kept as clean as can be on the hour & the kitchen is quite inviting as well.
The place oozes warmth from all sides and helps bring people closer together with tours and night-time bike rides throughout the city. Breaking the ice with those around you is almost unseen as it feels almost natural with everyone seeming to gather in the common areas for breakfast and the various activities offered. These range from movie nights which shine on South African culture aiming to showcase local productions, Monday night braais & games nights with a bit of a competitive edge on Wednesdays. This helps bridge the gap of interaction humanizing the overall hostel-stay experience.
The aim is to establish 50 of these establishments all over Africa with the third confirmed to be fast-tracked in Cape Town sometime next year. A movement of vibrant proportions, Curiocity is something everyone needs to check out. Warm, Lively & Quite Inviting… It truly feels like a place you wouldn’t mind calling home.
CHECK IT OUT FIRST HAND FOR YOURSELF.
8/10 on the MyCityByNight ratings.