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“I would say the best hotel in Durban!”
Review of The Oyster Box

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The Oyster Box
Ranked #2 of 18 Hotels in Umhlanga Rocks
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“I would say the best hotel in Durban!”
Reviewed 2 January 2012

Luxurious, efficient, safe, comfortable, modern, right on the ocean. What more would anyone want? No it is not in the center of Durban, but is only roughly 20 minutes away. Not that I can see any reason for wanting to go to the center of the town, which is very run down and dangerous. Gateway and The Ridge, 5 minutes away from the beach offers superb shopping facilities. Most if not all of the large corporats are now based on the Ridge.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jeean P
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 review, 28 August 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to post a review advising of the wonderful time you spent at The Oyster Box. I look forward to welcoming you back on your next visit whether for business or leisure.

Kind regards,
Wayne Coetzer
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Durban, South Africa
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2011

The Oyster Box is one of, if not THE best hotel in the Durban area. Its not in the middle of Durban, but rather right on the coast by the lighthouse in Umhlanga Rocks, about 15 km's north of the city.
The hotel is the temporary home for many famous and high profile people. With their open door policy, many locals come to enjoy a drink at the Lighthouse bar that over looks the Indian Ocean in the evenings allowing for an interesting mix of characters.
Drinks are locally priced, making it very cheap for foreign visitors whilst the price of accommodation and food, is based more on international rates.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank izikulu
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 review, 28 August 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your comments on the prime location of The Oyster Box and the wonderful restaurants and bars on offer. I trust it will not be long before you return for another fantastic stay. I look forward to welcoming you.

Kind regards,
Wayne Coetzer
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 381 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2011

Having had the pleasure of visiting the Oyster Box Hotel a number of times both before and after her renovations I can undoubtedly say that this has to be one of the very best Hotels in South Africa.

I would classify the OBH as a small and stylish establishment that has been lovingly renovated to her former splendour. All the fantastic characteristics that I so loved about the old OBH have been retained and improved with the overhaul. When I first heard that the Hotel was going to be basically rebuilt I was devastated as I believed that an iconic land mark of Umhlanga would be gone forever. Imagine my delight when I reluctantly visited her shortly after her complete makeover and saw the already beautiful swan transformed into something so special that words escape me.

Location: Right on the beach in Umhlanga Rocks with direct access to the promenade and gorgeous 180 degree views of the Indian Ocean. The stalwart of Umhlanga, ye Olde Lighthouse, stands in a proud position in front of the Hotel. One could not ask for a better location!

Rooms: I have had the pleasure of staying in 2 types of room. The sea facing standard room was the first room I stayed in, and I was extremely impressed by the decor and attention to detail. The bed was simply dreamy and I slept with a smile on my face. The room is spacious enough with a small seating area that is tastefully decorated. The views of the ocean are simply sublime.

On my second visit I decided to book the sea facing luxury suite and was totally blown away by the magnificence of it all. Beyond spacious, exquisite decor, supreme luxury and the view was once again an absolute triumph.

To be honest both were fantastic, the latter being double the price and worth every cent!

Dining: There are many options from casual to formal dining and all are worth a try. My favourite was to sit out on the terrace and enjoy award winning curries while enjoying the fresh sea air and gazing out to sea. On many occasions my view was interrupted by a whale or pod of dolphins. I wish I was sitting on that terrace right now!

The high tea is fantastic and their piano player (Pete?) is an absolute maestro! They have live music in a number of their dining areas and bars, however the piano playing skills of the high tea music man eclipsed the others.

Service: Fantastic... what else can I say?

Things to do: Relax on the beaches, swim in the warm Indian Ocean, take a day trip into the valley of a thousand hills, visit uShaka Marine World, take a day trip to Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Game Reserve (see lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo), gambling at Sibaya Casino, golf at Mount Edgecombe or Zimbali, day trip to Lake St Lucia, shopping at Gateway and so much more.

One more addition: The Spa at the OBH is certainly the best I have ever been to. I had a hot stone massage (spectacular), Indian head massage (wonderful), reflexology (goodness), facial (superior) and spent time on the flotation bed (dreamy). Although I did not try the Hamman experience I will definitely do it next time as it comes highly recommended.

Well done OBH! Thank you for your commitment to excellence!

Room Tip: Sea facing rooms are the ones to go for.
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  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank mlondozi
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 review, 28 August 2012
Dear Geust,

Thank you for taking the time to write your wonderful review of The Oyster Box. We pride ourselves in every aspect of this beautiful property, from the location right through to the high levels of service and cuisine for which we are so well known.

We look forward to welcoming you back to The Oyster Box, together with your friends, in the not-too-distant future.

Kind regards,
Wayne Coetzer
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Howick, South Africa
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 December 2011

Many South African have fond and romantic memories of time spent at the 'Old' Oyster Box. There is a long list of first dates, honeymoons and family holidays spent there.

The thought and research that went into preserving the best of the 'old' Oyster Box whilst modernising the hotel is unbeatable. We are always struck by the passion that everyone who is connected with the Oyster Box has for her. The enthusiasm, loyalty and professionalism of the Staff is patently obvious. In our hearts we all believe that, with training, South Africa can offer the warmest service of the highest quality. The Oyster Box certainly epitomises this belief. Through the Oyster Box and the people who work there, South Africa, at her very best, is shown off to the world! We salute you, the Oyster Box family.

With kind regards,

Mary Carlisle

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank maryc57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
wayne020, Manager at The Oyster Box, responded to this review, 9 December 2011
Dear Mary

Thank you so much for your review, I really appreciate you taking the time to write.

I look forward to welcoming back in the near future.

Wayne Coetzer
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2011

We stayed at the Oyster Box our last 4 days in SA and could not have been pampered more! Each and every person that works there indicated that they were delighted to meet our needs and requirements. Could have stayed forever!!! Great rooms, wonderful dining and lovely pool area.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank travelhappyCanada
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 review, 9 December 2011
Thank you so much for your review.

I am delighted you enjoyed your time with us.

I look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Wayne Coetzer
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2011

We went to celebrate our 21st anniversary at the Oyster Box Hotel. The complimentary airport pick up was a nice touch as we did not need to hire a car. We were welcomed at the hotel with a glass of Sparkling Wine and some fruits whilst we checked in. The hotel is an old style design which is keeping in with its history and whilst not our normal style we really liked the colonial feel. The room was a nice size and had a stunning view of the ocean. It had a balcony with a table and chairs which was perfect for the morning coffee and complimentary newspaper. The food at the hotel was of good quality and the buffet breakfast had an unbelievable array of items to choose from which was great. The service of the staff at the hotel was very very good and a lot if them even remembered your name which was impressive. The overall stay was amazing and would be highly recommended.

Room Tip: The sea view rooms are a must
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ZiaCapeTown
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 review, 9 December 2011
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review.

I am delighted you enjoyed your time with us.

I look forward to welcoming you back in the very near future.

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
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 November 2011

Spent two nights at this iconic hotel for a birthday treat and it lived up to all that I'd heard about it, except it was two short. Paid extra for a sea-facing room but that was definitely worth while as we had an amazing view of the sea and lighthouse and were lulled to sleep by the sounds of the waves. Rooms themselves are a little on the small side but beautifully furnished; the balcony is great for a chillout and enjoying the view and the waterfall shower was wunderbar!
High tea was a special delight - especially when they went the extra mile to get us vegetarian samoosas, which were not on the menu that day. High tea is one of my favourite meals in a hotel and until the OB, I rated the Westcliff's experience as the best in SA, closely followed by the Table Bay and the Mount Nelson. Now, one of those has to move to accommodate the OB in my personal top three:). Breakfast was excellent (though not in the same league as that of the Table Bay), but, due to an allergy, I could not try the eponymous oysters served at breakfast.
The spa is great with a lovely hammam though fairly small and not disabled-friendly. Due to the short nature of our stay, we didn't get to try the movie theatre, but the clock library is beautiful! Perhaps the highlight of our stay (on the top floor of this 3-floor hotel) was watching the busy weaver birds build their nests from the verandah behind our rooms. The hotel has encouraged them to nest in the trees alongside and their sheer numbers and their focussed industry was truly charming to observe.
I would love to go back for a longer stay .....SAVING UP!

Room Tip: Pay more for a sea-facing room - its worth it. And if you can afford it, the suites (the two I saw...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank EishTraveller
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 review, 28 August 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to post a wonderful review of The Oyster Box. I am delighted to hear that you thoroughly enjoyed your two-day birthday treat stay, which included the special High Tea experience. Perhaps you could stay for a longer period next time you plan to visit us. I look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Kind regards,
Wayne Coetzer
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

Property: 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 On the Beach Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Luxury Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Spa Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Business Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Romantic Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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