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“Just had to go back”
Review of The Oyster Box

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The Oyster Box
Ranked #2 of 18 Hotels in Umhlanga Rocks
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 14, 2013

A top class hotel but doesn't feel stuffy at all. The highlight for me was the afternoon tea which to us Brits seems great value and a much better selection of foods than we are used to. The food in both restaurants was excellent and try the curry buffet. A tip to the non SA females is that whilst this is a great hotel there is no need for posh frocks unless you want to wear them.
I tried the Spa the first visit but couldn't get in on my second so pre book before you get there

Room Tip: I think most people get upgraded if you have booked a garden view room
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Julie P
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 April 18, 2013

Dear Guest,

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

I am absolutely delighted to hear that you enjoyed the exceptional High Tea and Curry Buffet. So sorry that you were not able to experience the popular award winning Spa this time round.

I look forward to welcoming you back in the not too distant future.

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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1,573 - 1,579 of 1,883 reviews

Reviewed March 14, 2013

Friends and I had lunch at the Oyster Box Hotel out on the terrace. The food was great but the service was sadly lacking. The waitress had no clue how to operate the "waiters friend" and we had to eventually open the wine bottle ourselves. The wine was at room temperature and clearly had not spent any time in a wine chiller. This is the East Coast of South Africa, 7 degrees is as warm as one needs to wine to bein this climate. Not room temperature. I ordered a scotch from the Lighthouse Bar up stairs and had to wait about forty minutes to get the dram. Numerous attempts and requests to supervisors and waitresses eventually delivered my whisky. Tragically the meal was over and my friends were ready to leave. A poor experience for such a high class establishment.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Ray E
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 March 20, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to post your review regarding your visit to The Oyster Box.

Please accept my most sincere apologies for the unsatisfactory service you received from us whilst enjoying lunch on The Ocean Terrace.

I regret that we were unable to provide you with the level of service we consistently strive to provide each and every one of our guests. I would have loved for you to have enjoyed a truly memorable experience with us. As I take the feedback from our guests extremely seriously, each issue will be addressed personally.

My apologies again for your unfavourable experience.

I hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back to The Oyster Box soon.

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 March 14, 2013

Perhaps just perhaps WOW begins to describe this hotel renovated for a cool billion dollars in 2009 .The Oyster Box is the unique and so over the top that staff wear colonial garb and make me think of Indonesia's famous Raffles Hotel.

There is some hodge lodge of design, but that seems to merely add to the lovely decadence. The staff kindly offers you champagne as you enter and hot towels.

Our room was beautifully decorated in white and green with many thoughtful touches such as a sanitized tv changer and emergency lights in the bathroom where there were also heated towel racks, both summer and winter robes.

However the lights did not work and the hot water tap gave us problems. Yet staff were up instantly. Still... We had a great balcony facing the beach and light house. There are 2 grand pools 3 tony bars, a movie theatre with complementary popcorn. It is in deed a luxurious sojourn. And I loved the pampering.

Breakfast and dinner at Ocean terrace were excellent inspite of indulged and bratty offspring of the idle rich . But I liked feeling idley rich and pampered for a day or so. I imagine their goregous high tea is to die for and next time I'll go for their Indian buffet. Like really wow.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank unhappytraveller123
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 April 19, 2013

Dear Guest,

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

I am delighted that you thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the hotel, from the room to the food but especially enjoyed being pampered.

I look forward to welcoming you back one day when you will be able to experience our exceptional High Tea and Curry Buffet.

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 March 13, 2013

Amazing! Have stayed by myself for a weekend on a business trip. But would be perfect for a romantic getaway.
Stunning views, great service, good food. Not cheap, but definitely worth it.
The terrace restaurant serves a curry buffet with 10+ curry types for lunch and dinner. Amazing. The lighthouse bar with the view on the ocean - and yes, the lighthouse - is beautiful. You can visit both not staying in the hotel as well.
The beach promenade right outside the hotel is great for a run or walk.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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Thank meTatyana
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 March 18, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to give some feedback on your recent stay at The Oyster Box.

I am delighted to hear that you thorughly enjoyed yourself, ini particular the views, service and food.

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

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 March 12, 2013

When I asked my mom where she should would like to have lunch on her 65th birthday recently, she laughed and said "the Oyster Box"! I cannot remember a family holiday (and nor can she) without this special hotel - and it was my absolute privilege to arrange lunch and a trip to the Hotel since its renovations. My Mom, aunt and I caught the Gautrain from Sandton and the red eye flight to Durban. The Hotel was nothing short of spectacular from the moment we arrived... we were treated like royalty - a superb lunch (the curry buffet, what else do you eat in Durbs??) and a walk on the beach and toes in the water! The weather was beautiful (ordered specially, although Jo'burgers are not used to the wind), and the view unsurpassed from the terrace.... I'm so thrilled to see that most of the original mosaics and features have been maintained post renovation (my great grandparents almost bought the beach cottage that stood where the Hotel currently is and decided against it because "nobody would go to Umhlanga, as it was too far from Durban! Madness!) What a gorgeous spot.... fabulous service, fabulous experience and a very special memory for all of us. Thank you for everything - well done to Wayne Coetzer and his team .... highly recommended!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Thank Kate G
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 March 18, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for posting your review on TripAdvisor.

I am thoroughly delighted to hear that your special lunch visit to The Oyster Box on the occasion of your Mum's 65th birthday exceeded all expectations.

The Owners have maintained the intrinsic character and charm when renovating and coupled with the unsurpassed views of the ocean, make for a wonderful relaxing day out.

I look forward to welcoming you back soon.

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 March 11, 2013

My recent visit to to Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga, South Africa was nothing short of spectacular! We were treated like royalty from the moment we arrived. The very smallest of detail was carefully taken care of and the staff really went the extra mile for us. Nothing was a problem for the staff. We found the food of a very high standard too. All in all, our expectations were not only met but far exceeded. Thank you Oyster Box, we will be back!!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Michael R
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 March 18, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback following your spectacular stay at The Oyster Box which exceeded your expectations.

I am delighted to hear that you thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the hotel, including the high standard of the food and the fact that "No request was too large and No detail too small".

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.
Reviewed March 10, 2013

Just returned from The Famous " Oysster Box Hotel " BIG DISAPPOINTMENT !!!!

The Hotel IS very nice....It's the staff that was disappointing

On arrival I drove up and NOBODY was at the front door...a guard directed me to PARK off to the side in the VISITOR lot....My bags were still in the car. I get to the front desk....and the Bellmen are standing around chatting. I mention to the front desk clerk that my bags are still in my trunk....and she ignores that and say...So how may I help YOU...well getting my BAGS would be nice !!!! The bellmen continue to joke and talk with each other.....I whined up getting my own bags and dragging them to the lobby...where finally a bellman....seeing a TIP wants to grab them....basicaly tearing them from my arm.... " It's My job Sir " WHERE were you when I arrived !!!!

The food at the Grill was just AVERAGE....over cooked fish....horrible steak.....and the staff was SO ATTENTIVE that they smothered you .... I could not enjoy my wife's conversation. They have the CONCEPT of what to do....BUT THEY NEED TRAINING.....Management are you LISTENING ????


We eat at the other restaruant....equally disappointing...and the waitress was horrible. I spoke to the manager....she listened......BUT gave me the impression that my comments were falling on deaf ears

Go to the Hotel....spend $1000 for a beautiful room ...... BUT do not EAT there.....RUN to the other nearby food venue's and enjoy a good meal.

I was very disappointed in the STAFF... The bellmen, waitress,Bartenders.....all JUST did there job and displaayed NO PERSONALITY .... NOT one asked how we were....How are day was....Where we were from........ Very disappointemting

I believe the Oyster box is living on it's past....forgetting about THE FUTURE !!!

TRAIN these young kids....peeople who pay this amount of money expect EXCELLENT SERVICE the staff was well below average at every position

HOusekeeping was eually BAD.....rooms dont get cleaned until LATE in the evening. You need to ask them if you want it done before 8-10pm .... and they miss a lot of stuff.....dirty glasses....towels on the floor....

Never again.... I'll find another hotel

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Poppbo
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 March 18, 2013

Dear Guest,

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

Please accept my sincere apologies for the unsatisfactory service you received. I truly regret that we were unable to provide you with the level of service we consistently strive to provide each and every one of our guests.

I would have loved for you to have enjoyed a truly memorable experience with us and should you wish to give us a second chance, please do not hesitate to contact either myself or my Deputy General Manager, Ms. Liebenberg.

I take all feedback from our guests extremely seriously in order to assist us in the future to improve in certain areas and thank you for your valuable comments.

I look forward to welcoming you back to The Oyster Box.

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

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 Family Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Business Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Romantic Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Luxury Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Spa Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
Price Range: $341 - $1,146 (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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