The dynamics, structural properties, and energetics of hydration water around a sodium dodecyl sulphate micelle have been investigated using molecular dynamics simulation. A clear revelation of the slow dynamics of the hydration water has been made by separate measurements of the rotational and translational properties. Calculated diffusion coefficients fall within the range of experimentally observed quantities. The water-micelle head group (MHG) hydrogen bond is more stable (by an amount [Formula presented]) compared to the water-water hydrogen bond. The difference in stability of the water monomers forming different numbers of hydrogen bonds [Formula presented] with the MHG has clearly been shown from the analyses of their rotational relaxation, residence times, as well as the energy of interaction with different components of the system. The singly hydrogen-bonded water species is the most abundant and stable. The entropy plays the key role in controlling the relative abundance of the different species. © 2004 The American Physical Society.