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“wonderful and warm staff as well as setting” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Oyster Box

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The Oyster Box
Ranked #2 of 18 Hotels in Umhlanga Rocks
Certificate of Excellence
Olympia, Washington
1 review
“wonderful and warm staff as well as setting”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2014

One of the loveliest aspects of the Oyster Box is the constant smiles of the staff. Everyone is warm and welcoming and helpful. We were met with champagne in the lobby, followed by solicitousness every moment of our stay. The hotel is right on the beach with a functioning small lighthouse right outside, although it's quiet so no worries there. The food was wonderful, everything made with special attention. I look forward to returning here one day with more members of my family.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Molly K
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 review, 12 August 2014
Dear Guest,

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

I am thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the location of the hotel right on the beach and found the food to be delicious.

Your comments regarding the smiling, friendly and helpful staff are equally appreciated. Our staff are passionate about ensuring every guest's stay here is amazing and that every guest leaves wanting to return.

I look forward to welcoming you back in the 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
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1,610 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (559)
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English first
Singapore
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2014

Where do I start! Wayne and his team at the Oyster Box were fantastic and the hotel was simply amazing. The most amazing setting overlooking the beautiful Indian Ocean, awesome food, service, great cinema and kids club and the rest.

I will definitely rate this as one of the best hotels that we have been to and will definitely be back. Thanks to Wayne and his team for a great stay at a wonderful hotel.

Thanks
Struan

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Struan2014
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 review, 8 August 2014
Dear Guest,

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

I am thrilled to hear that you found everything to your liking, in particular the setting of the hotel with unsurpassed views of the Indian Ocean, awesome food, service, cinema and holiday club for the children.

I look forward to welcoming you back in the 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
Pretoria, South Africa
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2014

Upon check in the Oyster Box hotel front desk employee asked for my credit card to block R 3000 saying that this is what they do to secure the payment. I did not agree to that and told them that I prepaid fully for accommodation and breakfast, and if I use any of their services I will pay up in front. They made a note of that on the system. So, I was pretty much aware of the terms of my reservation! A minute later, the front desk employee, informed me that they deleted this note because they received a new voucher that includes all the meals, all the drinks, and transportation, a full bill back to the agency. I was surprised, and I asked him if he was sure and did reminded him that my booking was for bed and breakfast. He said he was positive! I asked him to print the new voucher for me, he said he will in few minutes, but he was busy at the moment, and he will print the new voucher and send it to my room. I went out, and came back to have my lunch. while I was having my lunch, a staff member from reservation, came to inquire about the problem regarding my reservation! I said there was no problem, then she asked if I would you like a glass of wine maybe, and told me they made a mistake and I will have to pay for the lunch. I said I think you need to check with the front desk staff member, because this is not what he said. Then she said we made a mistake. I asked her to bring the front desk staff member and come to me to clarify this issue. She went and came back with the front desk manager Geoffrey Bergh-Lloyd, who said it's Ok he will sign off the lunch off! I insisted that they bring the front desk staff member and clarify the issue. They did bring him, and he re-confirmed that he informed me about a new voucher upon instructions from reservations, and that I was aware of my original booking, i.e. Bed and breakfast! And I doubled checked with him. I asked Geoffrey to rectify their mistake by sticking to their employee's word, and he said they would, and the hotel "unfortunately", his exact word, will cover all the incidents. In the evening of the same day, I received a letter stating that the hotel contacted the flight center, and my booking was made for bed and breakfast, and I am responsible for all the incidents. I did have my dinner and told them to contact Geoffrey for the bill. In the morning, after you called the first time, I saw Wayne Coetzer, the general manager, I restated what I mentioned above, he apologized and went in to talk to Geoffrey. When he came back, he said that I was trying to get everything for free, and described this as dishonest and "crooked", repeating that yesterday is yesterday. Furthermore, he said, they will consider the lunch and dinner of yesterday complementary.
The hotel made a mistake and instead of having the decency to deal with it as a five star hotel, they offender me, and tried to pin their mistake either on me, saying I was confused about my reservation, or you. This has been so far the worst experience ever and the most unprofessional managers ever.

Room Tip: rooms facing the beach are v. good.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank martiepretoria
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 review, 8 August 2014
Dear Guest,

It unfortunately comes as no surprise that you have elected to post something on TripAdvisor as you repeatedly threatened to do so during your stay with us, as a result of a very honest and minor miscommunication from one of our Front Desk team members.

This staff member in fact tried to rectify the mistake very shortly after the initial miscommunication but could not locate you. By your own admission you had gone out, so it was something we could only communicate to you on your return.
From the minute you checked in you were dismissive and very derogatory to the staff and refused to allow our staff to follow a normal procedure of taking credit card authorization, a very common practice in hotels....

We made every effort to placate you and I made notes during you entire stay and our team were all advised to treat you with very special care, which they did at every juncture. Despite these efforts you continued to be exceptionally rude during your stay, to the extent that some staff were afraid of even dealing with you.
While a mistake was indeed made, it was the only mistake we made and it was a billing error which we tried to rectify as soon as clarification had come through. You corrected the staff member initially by saying you had booked bed and breakfast only.
We apologized and offered you lunch and dinner complimentary as a gesture of good will and as a token of our apologies for this small slight. Your comment to this was "I want everything complimentary for my entire stay". Needless to say the staff were utterly at a loss and then called me to assist with the situation. I tried my utmost to ensure you were happy and that you were offered complimentary extras on your first day in addition to the lunch and dinner, however you were offensive and unforgiving about the mistake we had made, and insisted on everything complimentary for your entire stay.

When we asked for your credit card for extras on check in you refused, this was before the voucher and billing instructions even arose, which sadly leads us to believe the pursuit of free incidentals was your intent from the start.

Never in all my years as a hotelier have I used the word "crooked". What I did however say after you blatantly refusing any offer of apology was that you were being "unreasonable" as we were trying our best to rectify the small miscommunication and you would accept nothing less than “everything complimentary for the stay”.

To be honest we were utterly exasperated and at this stage we had contacted the travel agent, who agreed with the efforts we had made. As said, I am of the sound opinion that our entire management team and staff went out of their way to ensure you were spoilt and well taken care of. Again, regardless you continued to be uncouth and in fact you have probably forgotten telling me that “your (unpleasant word) face is spoiling my day" when I checked on you at breakfast, to ensure you were comfortable.

In my 25 years in the industry neither my team nor myself have come across anyone as uncivil as you. Nor have we ever encountered a guest so determined to get everything on a complimentary basis.
We admitted right from the start that we had made a mistake for which we were truly apologetic and we rectified this mistake at the very first opportunity and offered a generous and fair solution.
Anyone reading your comments will be quick to see that this is far from the high level of service the Oyster Box has become renowned for, as we truly pride ourselves in ensuring each and every guest leaves delighted and continue to return time and time again. This is evident on TripAdvisor and we are always so humbled by our guests’ amazing feedback and praise.

I am so sorry you did not enjoy your stay and that we were not able to offer everything on a complimentary basis due to an unfortunate yet truly honest and small mistake.

Yours sincerely
Wayne Coetzer
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlottesville, Virginia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2014

No negatives. This place is beautiful and perfect. There are sweeping views of the ocean, wonderful food, great and happy staff, good swimming and fitness options, and beautiful rooms. The location is right on the beach and with a long promenade that allows for a leisurely walk or a 5 K run. We enjoyed healthy salads by the pool at lunch and then wonderful wine- paired dinners in evening. The breakfast buffet has everything you could want. The top floor bar is breathtaking. There is a nice walk into town just around the corner with other options for shopping or dining. I cannot think of a better place to spend a beautiful holiday. I hope to make it back someday.

Room Tip: Room with a view of the ocean, of course.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Anne K
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 review, 7 August 2014
Dear Guest,

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

I am absolutely delighted to hear that you thoroughly enjoyed yourselves, in particular the location of the hotel with superb ocean views and wonderful promenade directly in front of the hotel, the wonderful food including the breakfast buffet and wine-paired dinners, beautiful accommodation and the proximity to the local village.

I must thank you for your comments regarding the wonderful and happy staff. Our staff are passionate about ensuring every guest's stay here is amazing and that every guest leaves wanting to return.

I look forward to welcoming you back in the 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
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2014

Negatives: The front desk staff were very unfriendly from the moment we checked in. This made us feel unwelcome and think that perhaps our skin tone doesn't fit the right demographic that the hotel desires in its guests.
The garden facing room we stayed in was noisy. The shower unit did not work properly. It was difficult to get a workable water temperature - it was either scorching or too cold.
I thought that the overall decor of the hotel was too much of a reminder of Colonial times, especially the uniform that some of the staff had to wear.

Positives: Some of the staff, including the porter and the breakfast room staff, we're quite friendly and made us feel a little less unwelcome.
The registered tour guide that the hotel uses was the highlight of our trip. Greg is a great guy and very knowledgable. Our tour of Inanda was very insightful and we especially enjoyed the visit to Mahatma Gandhi's house and the Dube school where Nelson Mandela cast his first vote after liberation.
The hotel supports local artists and the artwork displayed in the room and in the lobby outside the lifts are outstanding.

Overall, the stay at the hotel was disappointing. I don't intend to stay there again when visiting Umhlanga in future.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Fadila C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OBHumhlangaRocks, Manager at The Oyster Box, responded to this review, 19 August 2014
Rejected
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East London
Level Contributor
119 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2014

In this day and age it is rare that you can make repeat visits, spanning many years, in my case FIFTY (50), and still be delighted to find standards of Service Excellence and Tantalising Menu's that Surpass your previous experience of EXCELLENCE.
My visit yesterday was with my Dear Daughter, Barbara and Husband Graeme, when we celebrated that it was 50 Years since our family first stayed at THE OYSTER BOX, then also considered to be A JEWEL in the crown of The Best Hotels.
After drinks in the vibrant Lighthouse Bar, it was a great delight to be met at the entrance to THE GRILL ROOM, by the most experienced Maitre D' in the Province of Natal - Henry Pakiri who seemingly never tires of ensuring only the best service! So RARE. Our varied choice of food was cooked to perfection and presented so tastefully, and, tasteful.
The CHERRY on the top was our Crepe Suzette, so carefully and expertly prepared and served by the mystro himself - Henry. This is a SPECIAL not to be missed. I am sure a great deal of the credit must also go to the General Manager Wayne, who is so very caring and genuinely charming.
The location of the hotel is virtually on the beach, and with its sparkling swimming pools provides so many alternatives for its eclectic cliental to relax in the lap of luxury. No wonder i am looking forward to my visit next year.

Room Tip: Sea facing
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank R 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 review, 6 August 2014
Dear Guest,

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

It is wonderful to hear that you all thoroughly enjoyed your drinks in the vibrant Lighthouse Bar followed by a superb dinner in the fine dining Grill Room Restaurant where you were so well looked after.

The location of the hotel is simply wonderful overlooking the Indian Ocean and the different swimming pools are most popular with our guests.

I look forward to welcoming you back again 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
Johannesburg
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2014

After a long absence from visiting Umhlanga, what a pleasant surprise to enjoy the beachfront. The hotel has a wonderful location and the walkway along the beach.....just fabulous.

The hotel gives a hinter-day atmosphere, colonial... much like the great dame of olden days. Furnished for that time era, the hotel has a relaxed feel. The breakfast is wonderful, lovely variety, the rooms well appointed and bathrooms spacious enough and finished in marble and lovely tiles. Guest supplies a little basic though.

Continuous cinema room, trolley stacked with sweets for the kids to help them selves, free DVD's from reception. Free cake, snacks to your room at times (not used at high tea gets used to spoil the guests). Being a luxury hotel, I was surprised to see the number of families with children, they appeared to be regulars...

Attentive service, helpful reception, excellent position with the sea in from and restaurants a block to the rear, , child friendly, good food... all of which ensured a wonderful holiday we still remember.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GDW-JDW
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 review, 6 August 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to provide me with some feedback following your stay with us at
The Oyster Box.

I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed the wonderful location right on beach, together with the delicious breakfast, comfortable accommodation and private cinema.

I would like to thank you for your comments regarding the attentive service and helpful reception. We constantly endeavour to exceed our guest's expectations of service and it is always positive to hear that these efforts are noticed.

I look forward to welcoming you back to the hotel 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
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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 Romantic Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Business Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Spa Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Luxury 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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