I have never written a review on TripAdvisor but felt compelled to do so after staying at The Oyster Box Hotel earlier this month (Feb 2011).
I have been lucky enough to stay in some nice hotels in the past, including most recently the Four Seasons Resort at Punta Mita, Mexico. Without question, The Oyster Box is the nicest, coolest, best, most beautiful and most comfortable hotel I have ever stayed in. I cannot think of a single thing about the hotel that I didn't totally love--from the appointments in the rooms, to the uniforms on the bar tenders in the Lighthouse Bar, to the art on the walls, to the snacks at high tea.
The customer relations at The Oyster Box far exceeded any other hotel or resort's. The service was thoughtful, prompt, and best of all, personalized (the hand-written notes from the staff were a nice touch).
The setting and location of the hotel are perfect. The Indian Ocean and the beaches of Umhlanga were beautiful. And of course, the iconic lighthouse provides a backdrop that makes every view look like something from a postcard. As we sat by the pool one day enjoying the sun and ocean breeze, my girlfriend said, "I don't know how I will ever be able to stay in another hotel." The Oyster Box spoiled us forever. We stayed for 4 nights at The Oyster Box before heading north to Mkuze Falls for a photo safari. The hotel provided a perfect launching pad to hit the game park in an easy half-day's drive. If you're coming to South Africa to go on safari, I would highly recommend treating yourself to a few nights at the OBH before heading out to "the bush".
We paid 8000 ZAR for an ocean-view suite and found it to be a great value. Our room was spacious and extremely comfortable. The two verandas were great for afternoon cocktails or morning tea. It was nice to have a couch and a living room to relax in while my girlfriend took a nap in the bedroom.
Finally, the food....incredible. The delicious breakfast was included in the price of our room. High tea was like nothing I have ever seen. The selection of snacks to go with tea was truly impressive. We had dinner at the curry buffet one night and I thought it was the best I had ever tasted. We had heard from some folks in Cape Town that it was amazing and it exceeded our expectations. On our last night, we had dinner in the main restaurant. Our server was friendly, yet extremely professional and polite, and the food (I had springbok) and wine were excellent.
Even if I had no other business on South Africa's east coast, I would make a special trip to stay at this hotel. The Oyster Box is a destination in and of itself.
- 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