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Review of The Oyster Box

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The Oyster Box
Ranked #2 of 18 Hotels in Umhlanga Rocks
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 21 May 2014

This is possibly the first time I have stayed at a hotel, where I expected the world, and got it - on a silver platter. Yes, the accommodation is very expensive, but so are many hotels in Durban/Umhlanga, which are not even in the same league as the Oyster Box hotel. I am a very fussy traveller and expected to like this hotel. Instead, I loved it. The room is not exceptionally large for the price, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for with its amenities, palatial bathroom and breath-taking view.

The room had a king sized bed and all the luxuries one would expect from such a hotel (towelling gowns; basic toiletries etc.) and more (robes in addition to the towelling gowns; nespresso machine; a large selection of herbal teas; slippers and even a loofah).

The shower is heavenly (rainwater shower from the ceiling) and the bath-tub is like a pool. Even though it was 28 degrees out, I had to have a swim in the bath tub. Just being there relaxed me. I especially loved sitting on the (albeit tiny) balcony and sipping tea, while listening to the sounds of the waves. Even the hair-dryer provided was one of those million watt salon types.

The breakfast is the best I have had at any five star restaurant in the world, including the one and only Le Saint Geran and Palace of the Lost City. in addition to the basic choices, there was also an abundance of oysters and champagne and pastries that definitely fell straight down from heaven. Made to order waffles and pancakes, a variety of teas and coffees and even some breakfast "curries."

The pool area was beautiful. Dinner was great. And overall, the service was exemplary. The staff really go out of their way to make you feel welcome and pander to your every need.

Like most hotels on the beach in Durban, the Oyster Box is not really on the beach, but there is a path that leads to the promenade and public beach in Umhlanga. The swimming area is a short walk away.

The only negative, as mentioned, is the size of the room. We stayed in a luxury room, and I expect that the standard sea facing rooms are even smaller, so if you want space, then this hotel is not for you.

I would stay here again and recommend it to anyone that wants to indulge (at a price).

Room Tip: We stayed in a luxury room, which was a bit small, but well appointed. I would pay a bit extra for a...
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank yuriramkissoon
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 27 May 2014

Dear Guest,

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

I am thrilled to hear that you especially enjoyed all the different amenities and luxuries in the room and took time to sit on the balcony and relax whilst watching the sea and listening to the sounds of the waves.

I would like to thank you for your comments regarding our exceptional staff. I am delighted to hear that you found them to be friendly and thoughtful and that they provided you with a feeling of 'home away from home'.

I am sorry to hear that you found the room to be a little on the small side. May I highly recommend that you enquire about our full range of accommodation when next you make a booking, as we offer various different categories to suit all tastes and budgets. As an example, the superior garden villas average 105 square metres with the presidential suite at 246 square metres. Sea facing deluxe suites average at 78 square metres.

I look forward to welcoming you back soon to enjoy another memorable stay with us.

Kind regards,

Wayne Coetzer
General Manager

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1,263 - 1,269 of 1,857 reviews

Reviewed 21 May 2014

My husband and I are staying here for three nights and have just extended the stay to six. We are from the USA and are using Durban area as a starting off and ending to a weeklong safari in Zulu area. We weren't prepared for this amazing experience however . Attention to detail in every aspect and the authentic Colonial setting with bone china, high tea, turn down with chocolates etc are just a small part of this. The hotel cat is even charming and his picture us on the chocolate wrappings! The staff are the real stars here, from Xavier the chef who wrote down his curry lentil soup recipe for me to the front staff who call me by name I actually feel like I'm at home here. This had just been the trip of a lifetime and we haven't even done the safari yet!

  • Stayed: May 2014
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Thank Lonnasbc
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 27 May 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write about your stay with us at The Oyster Box.

I am absolutely delighted to hear that you have been blown away with the efficient and friendly staff and that you thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful attention to detail throughout the hotel.

Skabenga, our popular resident hotel cat is quite famous and also has his own facebook page.

Thank you for your kind comments regarding the staff. They are passionate about ensuring every guest's experience here is amazing and that every guest leaves wanting to return.

I thank you for extending your time with us and wish you an equally awesome safari experience.

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

Kind regards,

Wayne Coetzer
General Manager

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Reviewed 20 May 2014

I proposed to my girlfriend last week at The Oyster Box.

The staff helped me organize an amazing picnic, spectacular accommodation, and a delicious engagement dinner.

The picnic was setup on a grassy patch prior to our arrival (since it was a surprise). The Oyster Box staff decorated the area with rose peddles and provided a massive bouquet of flowers, along with fantastic South African wine and tasty appetizers.

After a successful proposal, we were escorted to our spacious sea-facing suite. The suite was meticulously decorated with fine upholsteries and opened to a private plunge pool and outdoor patio- the views were truly breath-taking. We enjoyed a delicious dinner at the Grill Room- strongly recommend the duck and grilled prawns.

As we entered our suite after dinner, we were both speechless. The hotel staff surprised us by uploading classical music via our in-room TV, arranging rose peddles all over the room (even creating an “ I LOVE YOU” with peddles), setup candles, and chilled a bottle of champagne with strawberries, chocolate, and crème. It was the perfect way to conclude a spectacular engagement celebration.

We will forever cherish our memories at The Oyster Box, and feel extremely blessed to have experienced such luxury, service, and charm.

Special thank you to Geoffrey and Carolina for making this memory possible for us!

Joe & Karin.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Joseph 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 21 May 2014

Dear Guest,

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

It is wonderful to hear that you chose to celebrate your engagement at The Oyster Box and that you were blown away with the total experience provided by our staff. Your kind comments regarding your beautifully appointed suite and the way the staff had decorated it to celebrate the special occasion are most appreciated.

I am delighted that you enjoyed the picnic proposal followed by a delicious dinner in the fine dining Grill Room Restaurant where you enjoyed the duck and grilled prawns and where you were well looked after.

I believe that the wonderful memories of our luxurious hotel overlooking the ocean, complemented with superb service will linger on in your minds for some time to come.

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

Kind regards,

Wayne Coetzer
General Manager

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Reviewed 19 May 2014

We had our daughter's wedding reception in the Pearl Room of this beautiful hotel. What an amazing venue, so beautiful in its simplicity and elegance. We must compliment the staff for an unforgettable evening. The service and food was outstanding. Ginny, the Oyster Box wedding co-ordinator had the entire evening running without a hitch and Kevin Joseph, the executive chef was very accommodating with the delicious menu. We also highly recommend the Oyster Box's resident florist Kobus who decorated the venue beautifully.
A few of the guests including ourselves stayed over for the night and enjoyed the comfort of the beautiful rooms. The bridal couple were given the most beautiful room in the hotel for which we thank the general manager, Wayne Coetzee, very much.
Thank you to everybody for making this the most memorable day, we could not fault one thing. Wayne you must be so proud of your extremely capable staff
Many thanks, Frank and Sharon Thayer

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Sltthayer
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 Mr. & Mrs. Thayer,

Thank you for taking the time to provide me with feedback following your daughter's wedding reception in the Pearl Room at The Oyster Box and for choosing this prestigious hotel as the venue on such a special day.

I am absolutely thrilled to hear that you found everything to your liking and that the service and food was outstanding. I am especially delighted to hear that you all found the accommodation comfortable and luxurious and that you thoroughly enjoyed yourselves.

I am pleased that you found the hotel to be comfortable throughout and that you felt looked after during your stay. We constantly endeavour to exceed our guests' expectations and it is always positive to hear that these efforts have been noticed. I shall ensure that all of your kind feedback is shared with the team.

I look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Kind regards,

Wayne Coetzer
General Manager

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Reviewed 19 May 2014

My husband and I were visiting South Africa from the US and decided to spend a day/night in Durban area.

As a child my husband used to come to this hotel so we decided to spend the night at the Oyster Box. Having traveled many countries in the world and staying at some of the best hotels this is by far my favorite experience!

The staff were amazing, met all your needs, were attentive and attention to detail was fantastic.

This hotel has everything you could want, room overlooking the ocean with a balcony. Food was some of the best we have had. The restaurant manager and hotel manager both stopped by various times to make sure we were taken care of.

The breakfast is never ending, come hungry!

We will be back again on our next trip and when we do we will be staying longer. Can't Wait!

Room Tip: Ocean facing if you like to hear the waves at night
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Barbara486
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 share your comments following your stay with us at
The Oyster Box.

It is wonderful to read that your husband holds many childhood memories from the property and that you have now made it your favourite too.

I am delighted to hear that you found the staff to be attentive and that the service exceeded your expectations.

I look forward to welcoming you back soon when you will be able to relax in your room overlooking the ocean and enjoy the delicious spread on the buffet breakfast.

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 18 May 2014 via mobile

Visited the hotel for a high tea and were greeted by uniformed staff who showed us to the parking and then into the beautiful old colonial building. The setting is exquisite- next to a lighthouse, on the beachfront and an air of sophistication, grandeur and splendor. The interior is magnificently decorated from the old fashioned ceiling fans to the display cabinets from years gone by. The tea was an impressive spread, that was more of a meal, with beautiful creations of all descriptions to enjoy- sweet and savory. The staff are well trained and take care of every need- from another cup of tea to opening the elevator door. A top class experience. Definitely one to be repeated.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Brian M
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 comments following your visit to The Oyster Box to enjoy a High Tea experience.

I am delighted to hear that you were well looked after by our efficient and friendly staff and that you thoroughly enjoyed the buffet spread.

I am especially delighted to hear that you enjoyed the ambiance of the hotel in all its grandeur and splendor. The location right on the beach is absolutely amazing.

I look forward to welcoming you back soon.

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
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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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 Spa Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Luxury Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Business Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Romantic Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
Price Range: £266 - £753 (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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