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“Lovely hotel, hoping to stay there one day”
Review of The Oyster Box

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The Oyster Box
Ranked #2 of 19 Hotels in Umhlanga Rocks
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 August 2011

I went to the Oyster Box Hotel for high tea with my granny and a friend (we were stayin at the Beverely Hills, just next door to the Oyster Box). It was raining when we arrived and one of the hotel workers promptly came with umbrellas to fetch us from the car. We went to the friendly receptionist who showed us where our high tea would be. We had hardly sat down and a waitress came to assist us. The service was first class, the high tea first class and everything was perfect. The waitress even informed us 20 minutes before high tea was supposed to end in case we still wanted something. On our way out we decided to ask if they could show us one of the rooms, they obliged and we were taken to one of the suites. I was amazed , the decor was perfect, everything about that suite was 5 star and beyond. I will definitely try and stay here next time.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Yuggibear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,851 - 1,857 of 2,007 reviews

Reviewed 25 July 2011

Once you go through the door of the Oyster Box you go into another time peroid of old world elegance. Many in our group thought as we looked out on to the Indian Ocean we were on a cruise ship. Beautifully appointed room, fanatastic food. We ate in the Grill Room and lunch at the Red LIghthouse . Breakfast buffet was suberb including iced fresh oysters, omlet station and assorded fresh fruits and pastries. Our only complaint was the spa is way to small. No one in our group was able in the four days we were there to get a single spa appointment.

Room Tip: Just request ocean front
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank FLhurricane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2011

Me and my husband booked this hotel for a weekend stay for my birthday. The hotel was very nice, but we had some issues that I thought prospective guests should be aware of. Our room which was a seafacing luxury room, although small was very nice. And the bathroom was also very nice. The room had a balcony looking out over the sea. My husband had emailed the hotel a couple of days in advance requesting a bottle of champagne to be in the room when we arrived as a surprise for my birthday. The hotel received his request as he got an automated response back saying they were dealing with his email. However, there was no champagne in the room. We brought it up the next day when I went to reception to advise of other issues, which I will come to, and they sent a complimentary bottle of wine and an apology note to the room later that afternoon. We booked this hotel because of the good reviews about the restaurants and spa. The spa was fully booked all weekend and we were not able to get any appointments. We tried to book into the Grill Room Restaurant for the Saturday night, as they have a dinner and dance on a Saturday but were told this was also fully booked. I asked if was available that night instead (the Friday) and they said no it was full that night as well. About 10 minutes later they called me back and said they had a table after all for the Friday. We had a lovely meal in the Grill Room. Our package included high tea. We went down as soon as it opened on the Saturday, to be told it was full and there were not slots available and were turned away. I said to the waitress that we had already paid for it, but she was unable to help. It was at this point I went to see someone at reception, to mention about the champagne and that we were unable to have our high tea. The lady on duty at reception made a call and they were then able to accommodate us for high tea in another room (The Grill Room). The high tea was wonderful. At no time tho during the booking process with the travel agent or at the hotel were we told we had to book, and in actual fact should have booked well in advance of even arriving at the hotel. We have stayed in many many hotels all over the world including 5star hotels and have always managed to book the restaurants and spas when we arrive, so it did not occur to us to book before we got there. It did put a bit of a dampner on things and at that price we expected it to be perfect. But if you are going to this hotel and planning to use the restaurants, spa, high tea etc. please book well in advance in order to avoid disappointment.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Zoomer22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2011

This is a very nice hotel and, undoubtedly, the best in the area but after a four night stay we still left feeling that I wouldn't rush back.
All in all, we had a fun stay but were left underwhelmed by the service. The truth is, it simply wasn't as good as the impeccable service we had just left behind at The Mount Nelson in Cape Town. We waited a very long time for a room service drinks order. We were treated somewhat brusquely when asking for a table outside for lunch. When I carefully explained that I had a serious nut allergy and was promptly given a plate of food covered in nuts, the apology was not terribly effusive. As such, the service during our stay was well intentioned but not as polished as it should be at these prices.
Plainly, a great deal of money had been spent on the refurbishment of the hotel, in much the same way as I would imagine a great deal of money has spent in Coleen Rooney's home: not in the best possible taste. I know that this is subjective and what may offend me, could be beautiful to another but be warned. If you stay here, expect patent bright red bar stools, a lobby adorned with giant sweet jars, alongside a main restaurant decorated as if on a 1930s cruise liner. The overall look is old world colonial meets Liberace's beach house. Not very tasteful.
This was by far the most expensive hotel we stayed in during our South African trip but, I'm afraid, far from the best.

Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
6  Thank JFF79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2011

This has taken me so long to write but here it is. We did not stay at the hotel but took our two friends for High Tea at the Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga, Durban. Wow, were we prepared to see such grandeur!! Half way through stuffing ourselves with absolutely a beautiful selection of cakes and sandwiches, and feeling really greedy, the pianist on the grand piano played ‘’happy birthday’’ and a small cake headed towards our table.
My birthday was two days ago and not aware that my husband had mentioned this to the waiter. Very nice touch. All in all, the whole place was so impressive, trendy but kept the colonial decor. The cane chairs were slightly on the low side but had beautiful fabrics to match the room. Since then, I have had a call from them asking if we had enjoyed our tea-time there. Will definitely be going back for more indulgence.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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1  Thank aster_palms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2011

Everything at the Oyster Box is remarkable; the location, the views, the room, the spa and most especially the staff. Nothing is too much trouble and we enjoyed every second of our stay and did not want it to end. We had lunch on the terrace overlooking the infinity pool, Dinner in The Grill Room which was absolutely delicious. The staff were so great; Thato knew everything there is to know about wine and advised us so well, Lunto was brilliant and made us laugh all night with his stories and Sebo put on the most amazing performance with flambe crepes beside our table. We were treated like Kings. As well as dinner in the Grill room, over the course of our stay (in which we must have put on 10 kilos) we tried the pizza from the enormous mosaic pizza oven on the terrace, the famous curry buffet, afternoon tea in the Raffles like hall, mohitos in the lighthouse bar overlooking the sea, and cosmopolitans in the oyster bar!! Bliss!
Our room was also gorgous - a sea facing cabana - everything you would expect from a 5 star hotel and more. L'occitane toiletries, stunning sunken bath with waterfall shower....
I also had several treatments at the spa which was also- you guessed it- incredible. Serene treatment rooms, jacuzzi, a tranquility room (where you can go after treatments and lie on a chaise longe surrounded by a floor to ceiling silk enclosure).
I could go on about our experience at the Oyster Box forever - if you have the chance to go -GO!! it is an experience of a lifetime

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank acraw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2011

My husband and I took advantage of their winter special and have to report that the whole Oyster Box experience will be very difficult to beat anywhere in the world. Sleep faces the ocean with the waves crashing against the shore. The ladies bar on the top floor was simply very elegant and a lovely way to start your evening, followed by a curry buffet (this was included) which very good and frequented by many locals which is very good sign. Breakfast buffet beyond expectations, lunch next to the pool was brilliant with the live music which added a lovely touch. Movie theatre with the popcorn etc or order the dvd for your room. There is not sufficient space but I could go on and on. I am more worried about not getting in when I next want to enjoy Durban!! This hotel is a must.

Room Tip: sea facing
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
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Thank KathiCapeTown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
wayne020, General Manager at The Oyster Box, responded to this reviewResponded 1 August 2012

Thank you for taking the time to post a review.

I am delighted you enjoyed your stay.

Kind regards

Wayne Coetzer
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Oyster Box

Address: 2 Lighthouse Road, Umhlanga Rocks 4319, South Africa
Phone Number:
Region: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Umhlanga Rocks
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Business Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Luxury Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Spa Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Romantic Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
Price Range: £248 - £970 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Oyster Box 5*
Number of rooms: 86
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
THE LEGEND LIVES ON… AT THE OYSTER BOX Standing proud on Umhlanga’s beachfront, directly on the beach and overlooking the Indian Ocean, the 86-room Oyster Box, is one of South Africa’s best-loved hotels. Renowned for generous hospitality, attentive service and exceptional cuisine The Oyster Box offers all the colonial charm and nostalgia of a bygone era, but with all the modern comfort and amenities. Dining venues include the casual ‘Ocean Terrace’, serving casual and al fresco fare and a Curry Buffet, to the legendary, fine-dining ‘Grill Room’. The ‘Palm Court’ serves a lavish, traditional ‘High Tea’ daily, with live piano accompaniment. The Oyster and Lighthouse Bars are the hottest spots in town for sun-downers.The Spa is equipped with six treatment rooms, a Hydrotherapy Bath, grooming lounge, plunge-pool, state-of-the-art gym, Infinity pool and Tranquillity Lounge and offers the latest in health and wellness teatments.Facilities include two swimming pools, a private library, luscious tropical gardens and an intimate, 24-seater movie theatre. The Oyster Box is KZN’s premiere wedding and honeymoon destination and the ‘venue of choice’ for the conference and business market.Time spent at The Oyster Box will leave you with magical memories to last a lifetime. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Oyster Box Umhlanga Rocks

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