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!
- 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