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“Afternoon tea - fantastic” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Oyster Box

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The Oyster Box
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   2 Lighthouse Road, Umhlanga Rocks 4319, South Africa   |  
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Hotel amenities
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4 nights for 3!
Ranked #2 of 18 hotels in Umhlanga Rocks
UK
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Afternoon tea - fantastic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2012

We visited, the Oyster Box during a family holiday from the UK, staying in Umhlanga. We booked for afternoon tea with our children (9 and 5yrs) and in-laws from Durban. Wow - what a place - the Oyster box is like an old colonnial hotel, and the afternoon tea is amazing - such variety and quality of hot and cold savouries as well as a vast array of cakes and pastries. This is all self-service and in the setting makes it a special place for afternoon tea. Certainly worth making the effort of getting dressed up a little smarter for! Booking essential.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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, August 28, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for choosing to visit The Oyster Box for High Tea during your holiday from the UK. I am delighted to hear that all your family thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We look forward to welcoming you back on your next visit and perhaps you will decide to stay over as well.

Kind regards,
Wayne Coetzer
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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592 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (203)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2012

I recently stayed at The Oyster Box in Durban. What a beautiful, world class hotel. The service and staff are truly outstanding....... The best Curry I have ever tasted. From the moment I arrived, I was made to feel at home, from the porters to the check in desk and of course the hotel cat - what a lovely touch. Rooms are incredible and the food and Spa, were just and incredible indulgence. I will be back!

Room Tip: You cannot beat having a sea facing room!
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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, August 28, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your taking the time to post your review. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay from the moment you arrived. You are one of many guests who have travelled far and wide to visit our famous Curry Buffet. Together with our resident cat, Skabenga, we look forward to welcoming you back on your next visit.

Kind regards,
Wayne Coetzer
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2012 via mobile

A truly magnificent place to stay. The prices are steep but if you have the Money this is the only place to stay in Natal! Everything is about luxury and Beautiful decor. The Breakfasts are fantastic and the curry Buffet dinner is Sublime! Just a wonderful place to spoil yourself!

  • Stayed April 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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, August 1, 2012
Thank you so much for your comments.

I am delighted you enjoyed your stay.

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.
Stamford, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2012

Having stayed here prior to the recent refurbishment, i decided to return for breakfast when passing through Durban. The hotel is truly magnificent, the location superb, and enjoiyng the amazing buffet breakfast overlooking the lighthouse is something very special.

I will definately stay here again the next time i am in the area.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, August 28, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for visiting The Oyster Box in order to enjoy a delicious breakfast overlooking the sea. The views are truly magnificent and I am delighted to hear that your experience will bring you back to this part of the world to spend a few nights with us. I look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Kind regards,
Wayne Coetzer
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 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, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, August 28, 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.
Durban, South Africa
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 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, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, August 28, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
323 helpful votes 323 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 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.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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, August 28, 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
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:
Location: South Africa > KwaZulu-Natal > Umhlanga Rocks
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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 Business Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#1 Family Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Spa Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Romantic Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Luxury Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Oyster Box 5*
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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