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“Pompous at its extreme”
Review of The Oyster Box

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The Oyster Box
Ranked #2 of 19 Hotels in Umhlanga Rocks
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 May 2014

Having stayed in many luxury hotels all over the world I have never seen or experienced anything like this hotel. The presentation at front desk, the decoration and furnishing were pretentious and the reason for my comment is that once one moved away from the entrance & lounges to the rooms it let itself down. The rooms were so small that there was no where to put a suit case down without tripping over it. The bathrooms were small but adequate. We could not use the wi-fi without management/staff typing in the password on our computer. At breakfast we asked if we could sit near our family at a table on the terrace but were told no. There were MANY vacant tables on the Terrace with Reserve notices on them... Oh no, they are for guests who reserved them last night. After breakfast we left and the tables were still vacant with their reserve notices on them.
Staff were polite and friendly.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank paulsa60
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 19 May 2014

Dear Guest

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. I am delighted you found the staff so friendly and Polite.
With regards to Décor, I'm not quite sure what you mean as with out fail all guests who stay here, comment on the fabulous stylish décor, and the beautiful ambiance of the Hotel. The room you booked was our entry level room, and we only have four this size, the rest of the rooms are much larger and we have a number of rooms and suites which are well over 78sq meters, our Presidential suite is 246 sq Meters, and beautifully decorated and appointed like the rest of the Hotel.
With regards to table reservations, unfortunately the table you had requested had been reserved by another guest, unfortunately we have no way of telling when exactly a guest will arrive for breakfast, we don't like to rush our guests or make them commit to any time frames. Breakfast is a leisurely affair overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Again thank you for the wonderful comments about our friendly staff. I look forward to welcoming you back in the near future and ensuring you experience one of many large well appointed rooms.

Kind regards

Wayne Coetzer
General Manager

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1,376 - 1,382 of 1,967 reviews

Reviewed 17 May 2014

Our recent stay at The Oyster Box was fantastic. We booked a transfer from the airport to the hotel, and we had amazing service from the time we were collected until our departure the following morning. The transport service offered us a selection of refreshments and snacks en route to the hotel, which set the scene for what was to follow. The hotel staff are friendly and courteous, each person we encountered smiled, greeted us and made eye contact. It gave us the impression they all enjoy their jobs and work environment.

Check-in was efficient and we were given a tour of the hotel. The facilities are fantastic, the decor rich and luxurious, with wonderful attention to detail. Positioned right on the ocean-front with the iconic red-and-white lighthouse in centre-stage, The Oyster Box certainly has location!

We stayed in a luxury sea- facing room, which had everything we needed, and more ... we sat on our a balcony enjoying a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine and savoured the view, the smell of the ocean and sound of the waves. It really is worth paying a little extra for this stunning view. It was such a treat seeing the lights of the ships at anchor before going to bed, and then waking up the following morning to the sunrise over the ocean. Food for the soul.

The only area of disappointment for us was our dinner in The Grill Room. We were offered a selection of hors d'oeuvres from the vintage carousel, but the fact that the dishes of food were all uncovered put us off sampling this fare. The Fillet Mignon was overcooked (instead of medium-rare); the Duck a la Peach was dry and the peach and honey sauce tasted burnt. We ordered sparkling water for the table; a second bottle was opened without the waitress asking us if we would like another bottle. Small detail, but one that is important in a fine dining restaurant.

The next morning we had breakfast on the Terrace. The choice and quality of food was fantastic. The Eggs Benedict was perfect, the service was attentive and friendly.

Unfortunately our stay at The Oyster Box was too short for us to enjoy all the wonderful amenities (spa, private cinema, swimming pool and deck loungers, the library) so we will have to go back for a longer visit.

Room Tip: A view of the ocean is a must!
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank JoekJill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OBHumhlangaRocks, General Manager at The Oyster Box, responded to this reviewResponded 19 May 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your wonderful comments following your recent visit to
The Oyster Box.

I am thrilled to hear that you enjoyed so many aspects of the hotel, from the efficient and friendly staff to the luxurious accommodation with attention to detail throughout the hotel.

I am especially delighted that you felt looked after throughout your stay and that you found the location of the hotel perfect with superb ocean views.

I am sorry that you did not find the opportunity to experience all the amazing facilities of the spa, cinema, pools and library, but it is wonderful to hear that you will do so on your next visit.

I look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Kind regards,

Wayne Coetzer
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2014

Our stay at The Oyster Box hotel was absolutely wonderful. Right from the moment we arrived until we checked out we enjoyed every second of our stay. The service, night caps, room service and overall stay was delightful, and the food was some of the best we’ve tasted anywhere. The staff are so well trained and their friendliness just made us feel right at home from the moment we arrived. Managements attention to detail was absolutely fantastic, constantly going out of their way to help and make the stay as good as it was. The rooms are immaculate, and very spacious, definitely the best we’ve stayed at in. The hotel itself is beautiful, and a visit to the private library, an absolute must!

Living in such luxury is something one could get used too, which made it hard for us to leave. We would highly recommend a visit to the Oyster Box to anyone wanting to spoil themselves and loved ones. Simply amazing!!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank CamKari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OBHumhlangaRocks, General Manager at The Oyster Box, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to post your wonderful review following your stay with us at
The Oyster Box.

I am thrilled to hear that you found everything to your liking from the moment you arrived. In addition, your comments regarding the wonderful service and food are most appreciated.

I would like to thank you for your comments regarding the staff. I am delighted that they were friendly and helpful and that you enjoyed all the attention to detail. We invest heavily in training our staff to provide first class service and care and to ensure that our guests feel that they have received exceptional service. Your acknowledgement of this makes the efforts all worth while.

I look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Kind regards,

Wayne Coetzer
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2014

My father and I were fortunate enough to spend a night at this hotel recently. The staff and service was amazing, they really couldn't do more to make our stay any more comfortable. The rooms offered everything we needed and were tastefully decorated to enhance our stay. Everyone was so friendly, the breakfast one of the finest I have experienced and all with views to compliment this Grand Hotel of Africa. The Spa was tempting but sadly I did not have enough time. I will therefore hope to return with my family someday and will definitely be booking one of their amazing garden villas or Cabanas. Well done Oyster Box & team.

Room Tip: I would definitely recommend paying a bit extra to have a Sea view room. The Lighthouse Bar is also...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled on business
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Thank Chris F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OBHumhlangaRocks, General Manager at The Oyster Box, responded to this reviewResponded 16 May 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your kind reviews following your stay with us at
The Oyster Box.

I am delighted to hear that you found the rooms comfortable and beautifully decorated and that you enjoyed the delicious buffet breakfast.

I would also like to thank you for your comments regarding the staff. I am pleased that you found their service to be amazing and that they were friendly and thoughtful during your visit. Our staff are passionate about ensuring every guest's experience here is amazing and that every guest leaves wanting to return.

I am sorry you did not find the opportunity to experience the award-winning Spa this time round, perhaps on your next visit.

I look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Kind regards,

Wayne Coetzer
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2014

I have just returned from a week in South Africa which included a 3 night stay at The Oyster Box. This was my second stay at one of my favourite hotels in South Africa and once again it did not disappoint. From the moment I arrived the staff were both welcoming and attentive. My luxury seafacing room was spacious, luxurious and with superb facilities. The view of the coastline with the famous lighthouse was stunning and it was a real highlight each morning to wake up and draw back the shutters to be greeted by such a beautiful sight. I enjoyed 2 breakfasts and 1 evening dinner whilst at the hotel. The food was of the highest standard and so was the service. The only shame was that I was staying at the hotel whilst on a work trip so could not spend as much time enjoying this wonderful hotel as I would have liked. Next time I will have to stay as a holiday guest!
Overall a fantastic hotel and one that I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a luxury hotel experience in a beautiful setting.

Room Tip: Go for a seafacing room as the views are stunning!
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled on business
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Thank John P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OBHumhlangaRocks, General Manager at The Oyster Box, responded to this reviewResponded 16 May 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your wonderful comments following your recent stay with us at The Oyster Box.

It is wonderful to hear that you thoroughly enjoyed your stay, in particular the spacious and luxurious accommodation with superb facilities, the stunning view of the coastline and ocean and the delicious meals from our restaurants.

I would also like to thank you for your comments regarding the staff. I am pleased you found them to be friendly and attentive and that the service provided was of the highest standard.

I am so sorry that you were not able to fully enjoy the hotel due to work commitments, but that you will do so when next you stay on vacation.

Kind regards,

Wayne Coetzer
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2014

Every opportunity i have, i pop in and have myself a Guiness Draught.

Why? Because i can and when you have a view like the one accompanied i see when drinking my Guiness, only then will you understand.

This Bar is a little pricey but who cares when you have the Dolphin Coast splendor at your door step

Room Tip: Dont bother about any other drink, just enjoy the Guiness
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled solo
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Thank Tina N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OBHumhlangaRocks, General Manager at The Oyster Box, responded to this reviewResponded 16 May 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your comments following your visit to The Oyster Box.

I am delighted to hear that you enjoy your Guinness Draughts whilst relaxing and watching the spectacular views of the ocean from The Lighthouse Bar where one may sit and unwind.

I look forward to welcoming you back for many more draughts to come.

Kind regards,

Wayne Coetzer
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2014

We spent the Easter weekend at the Oyster Box. The hotel takes your breath away when you walk in. The standard sea view room is really beautiful. It has a balcony and beautiful finishes and the view is obviously unbeatable. Regrets : not making time for the High tea which looked absolutely wonderful but we could not tear ourselves away from the main beach with its red chairs and umbrellas and lovely warm water. What I love about the hotel is obviously the view, the cocktail bar at the pool, the deck chairs overlooking the sea, the sea of red towels, the library (I forgot my novel at home), the lighthouse bar, the breakfast spread and cooling down in the pool after a long day at the beach. What I was not mad about was the almost puzzled / aloof expressions from some of the staff if you ask for some information and what irritated me was the breakfast seating. You can either eat in the inside section or on the terrace but the terrace is always “booked” but most of the time it is 90% deserted. It was not possible to find out how to get a booking outside on the terrace (see aloof / puzzled expression comment). Overall, the weekend was wonderful and we felt pampered, spoiled and so privileged. We will be back if we want to splash out on a oh-my-lord-it-is-so-awesome weekend but I will try and find out about the breakfast bookings beforehand :)

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Must-see-the-world1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OBHumhlangaRocks, General Manager at The Oyster Box, responded to this reviewResponded 16 May 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for providing me with feedback following your stay with us at The Oyster Box.

I am absolutely delighted to hear that you thoroughly enjoyed yourselves, in particular the comfortable and luxurious accommodation with spectacular ocean views, the beach right on the doorstep, the Lighthouse Bar where one can sit and unwind and the delicious buffet breakfast each morning.

I look forward to welcoming you back for another awesome 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 On the Beach Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Luxury Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Business Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Spa Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Romantic Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
Price Range: £231 - £780 (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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