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“The Best Experience from Arrival to Departure Mae M.”
Review of The Oyster Box

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The Oyster Box
Ranked #2 of 19 Hotels in Umhlanga Rocks
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 12, 2013

My husband and I recently spent several days at the Oyster Box and cannot tell you what a wonderful experience it is.
The minute you step out of your car you are greeted and it is as if you no longer have to think about a thing. Every request is met and every thought anticipated. It is such a delight.
If you wish to stay at a hotel with World Class Service from rooms, food, and service. You have to come to the Oyster Box. Treat yourself to a pleasurable stay. The Curry Lunch Buffet is out of this world. What a treat.
Tea in the afternoons is elegant with lots of tasty treats. Beautiful piano music. What more could you ask for.
The General Manager Wayne Coetzer is highly visible and approachable. It is so nice to see. He is involved with every detail and highly admired by the staff. It is truly a tribute to him.
Thank you for a wonderful stay. It felt like we were returning home. Andy and Mae

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank maemoosa
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 August 14, 2013

Dear Guest,

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

Naturally, I am absolutely delighted to hear that you thoroughly enjoyed yourselves with every aspect of the hotel, including the friendly staff, the rooms, the world class service and the food, in particular, the Curry Buffet and the High Tea.

I so look forward to welcoming you back to your 'home from home' 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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1,566 - 1,572 of 1,942 reviews

Reviewed August 11, 2013

My wife and I treated ourselves to 3 nights here in April 2013. Really a magnificent hotel!
Old fashioned service with a friendly welcome on our arrival. Pleasant lobby and excellent restaurants. Great sea view from our room. Lovely pool view from the Ocean Terrace dining area. Outstanding high tea. Great service in all areas. The duty manager also arranged a free transfer for us to go shopping at Gateway… Nice touch. Room was beautiful and clean, bathroom good. We even had the option of taking our breakfast on our balcony! What a treat! Would highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TheGreyBear
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 August 14, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your time in providing me with feedback following your stay.

I am so happy that you found everything to your liking, in particular the excellent restaurants, sea view from the room, outstanding High Tea and wonderful service.

I look forward to welcoming you back soon to enjoy yet another fantastic stay.

Kind regards,

Wayne Coetzer
General Manager

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Reviewed August 11, 2013

Had a nice time during my stay here. Wonderfull sea views, great food. Nice relaxed bar with live music and a exclusive dining area under a glass floor in the wine cellar. Great and friendly staff. Beautiful decorated room. It`s a very nice hidden 5 star hotel just outside of north Durban. Would come here back again!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Hogan224
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 reviewResponded August 15, 2013

Dear Guest

Thank you so much for staying with us and taking the time to write a fantastic review.

I am sorry you found the classic room cramped, I look forward to upgrading you on your next stay so that you can experience our Luxury Sea facing rooms.

Thank you for commenting about the friendly staff and efficient service, we invest a lot of time in our staff, and believe that Happy staff equals Happy Guests.

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 August 7, 2013

Recently my wife and I took time off from very demanding and busy schedules to go away and be spoilt at a hotel that really knows how to treat their guests in a very special way. The Oyster Box hotel has been our destination of choice for a relaxing long weekend and we have been fortunate to be able to get flights, accommodation and a wow experience each time we go there. Our sea facing room was somewhat cramped but the rest of the experience makes one forget about that small inconvenience. The breakfasts, especially the oysters, champagne with the friendly and efficient waiters makes the stay so memorable. It is very noticable how friendly and efficient the staff are and sets a standard that is not found anywhere else. Each time we have gone to the Oyster Box we have vowed to return, and we have. We have never been disappointed.
Would we recommend staying there, absolutely, we would not think of anywhere else to go for such an experience.

Paul and Astrid

Room Tip: A sea facing room is essential.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Paul 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 reviewResponded August 8, 2013

Dear Guest,

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

I am absolutely delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us and that the staff took great care of you throughout your stay.

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 August 6, 2013

We stayed at the hotel for the Durban July weekend and I have to say that I found the hotel to be excellent pretty much all round. The sea facing room was a tad cramped and the bathroom lighting a bit weak but that is being ultra picky. The hotel`s position is excellent and the breakfast was superb. Check-in and out was handled very well and we found everyone extremely welcoming. The Lighthouse Bar is simply the best drinking hole in SA and you would be hard pushed to find a better spot to stay in Durban. We will be back......

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Greg S
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 August 7, 2013

Dear Guest,

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

I am so delighted to hear that you thoroughly enjoyed yourselves, in particular the hotel's location on the beach, the superb breakfast and The Lighthouse Bar.

I would like to mention that there are rooms to suit all tastes and larger rooms and suites are available. My reservations department will be delighted to assist you when next you reserve your accommodation.

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 August 5, 2013

On the surface, the Oyster Box is a 5 star hotel, but it fails to live up to that billing. The foyer, and indeed, much of the hotel is totally overblown. The "over the top" decor would just be fun, though, if the hotel lived up to it. Our first disappointment was our room. We had a luxury sea facing room. As well as being the most expensive room we had during our three week stay in South Africa it was by far the smallest, less than half the size of our rooms at the Cape Grace and the Plettenberg Bay, for example. Worse, there was nowhere to put anything. Every table and surface was covered with "decorative items". On arrival we ordered a room service lunch, whilst we unpacked. It was served really quickly, and better yet, the completed tray was taken away even faster. The food was acceptable.
In the evening we had a drink in the Lighthouse Bar, where the service was painfully slow. We followed this by a meal on the Ocean Terrace, the casual restaurant. Here the service was poor, and the food even worse. As a result of our experience we had neither lunch nor dinner in the hotel again.
That evening the Ocean Terrace was serving a "curry buffet". We do not do buffets, except at breakfast, as we prefer freshly cooked food. The staff, when anyone could be bothered to attend to us, assured us that they were still serving from the normal menu, and that we did not have to have the buffet. I ordered a curry, which was said to come with rice and bread. When it arrived, there was no bread. On pointing this out I was given a piece of bread, which had clearly been plucked off the buffet where it had lain for hours.
I also disliked the fact that there was no easy way to the front swimming pool which did not involve walking through the main public areas of the hotel. We did try to walk through the grounds but found doors locked against us.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank 476David
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 reviewResponded August 13, 2013

Dear Guest

Thank you for posting a review, we do value and appreciate your comments.

With regards to the Décor, The Decorator stayed very "honest" toward the original Hotel décor, in order to preserve the intrinsic character, loved by so many of our guests. We have some marvellously large rooms and fantastic suits at The Oyster Box, as well as a 246sq metre presidential room, I am sorry that we were not able to upgrade on this particular occasion.

I am delighted you enjoyed your room service and found the service fast and efficient.

I am sorry you didn't enjoy our popular curry buffet, with a selection of over fifteen freshly prepared curries, our Indian chefs from India ensure the food is always freshly prepared, hence the restaurant recently being awarded The Best Curry Buffet in South Africa. I am sorry you didn't find any thing suitable to enjoy from our huge selection of menus, The a la carte on the Ocean Terrace, the extremely popular Pizza menu, the Pool menu, The Oyster Bar Menu, The Palm Court menu and our wonderful high tea selection.

The Light house bar is such a popular venue and so extremely busy, I am sorry that you found the service slow. I will most certainly address this with the Staff.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to post a review, we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future and spoiling you.

Kind regards

Wayne Coetzer
General Manager

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Reviewed July 30, 2013

Our flight arrived and we were warmly greeted by our chauffeur, where he escorted us to his waiting vehicle complete with waters, snacks, cellphone charger in car.

Fifteen minutes later, arriving at the Oyster Box Hotel, the General Manager, Wayne, as well as the head of reservations and the Executive chef, were waiting to greet us personally. They were flanked by a number of women in Zulu song, welcoming us to this fine establishment.

No long registration queues, no long waiting to see documents and fiddling on computer. No. As i walked up to the registration desk, i was greeted by name (after a 2 year absence from the hotel) and my forms were waiting. Filled in. All i needed to do was sign on the bottom line. Every member of staff greeted me by name as if they had received a tweet announcing my arrival.

About two years since my last visit and the overall experience of the hotel still wowed me. I remember thinking that the last time around and i am pleased to say, if anything, if possible, it was better.

From the quirky reception and public areas, through to the gorgeously appointed bedrooms, all is memorable, luxurious and leaves you wanting more.

The new British royal recently introduced to the world was recognized and celebrated by the hotel with a framed photograph of the three royals, Union Jack flanking the table, and macarons with baby booties for guests to enjoy. This is just a small taste of treats around every corner at this hotel.

The Pool area is sheer luxury: Comfortable loungers in the signature red and white stripe, mirroring the iconic lighthouse on the rocks in front of the hotel; Complimentary waters; sunblocks; books; and snacks. Hell, i reckon if they could they would even adjust the weather for you. Yup. Service is that good.

The hotel is set not only on a beautiful beach location, but also a wonderfully natural location, where on many occasions we say dolphins in the sea, and monkeys scattering around the grounds

The bedroom: we had a luxury sea facing room. The rooms are legacy (the property dates back to the 1800‘s) and not massive, but certainly large enough for 2 persons. A small balcony with two chairs and a table, and a view unmatched anywhere on that coastline. Bedding is superb, finishes are great, and one always feels special after receiving a personalized handwritten welcome-back note from the GM. Additionally we were spoilt by the GM by him having sent us gifts of peak caps and sarongs.

From the in-room DVD player (with an enormous selection of DVD’s) to the sanitized (and plastic sealed) remotes for the TV and DVD player, me being the OCD hygiene freak, loved it.

Details, like the blue LED light in bathrooms (to see at night without turning on the lights. to the amenities in bathrooms - i was a happy holidayer. One thing had changed since the last visit: L’Occitane in the bathrooms has been replaced with B|Africa line of amenities. Whilst disappointed at first, i loved them by the end of my trip and nicked the remainder to bring home: i only do that if i love the amenities....

Not only were the adults treated well. Kids are given fishing nets and a welcome backpacks on arrival. Although there is an excellent kids club - which we utilized to satisfaction on our last visit, this time round the kids were happy at the beach and pool.

Food at this hotel is excellent, and it takes a major culinary draw to get me away from the hotel. In four days i left the hotel only once, to the excellent Ile Maurice, about a 2 minute walk from the hotel. Patagonian Seabass, and Fillet flambéed in cognac were some of the excellent treats on offer. That being said, the hotel boasts a number of excellent bars and restaurants. The lunch time and dinner time buffet curry is sensational, leading me to eat far more than i should. Breakfasts are memorable, with sparkling wine and oysters to mention some of the highlights. There really is no need to leave the hotel grounds though. Service at the restaurants is excellent, and it no wonder HRH Princess Charlene of Monaco honeymooned here.

The hotel has its own in house movie theatre with approximately i 24 uber comfortable seats. Movies are shown roughly every two hours, taking into account times for child-appropriate and age restricted movies. Should you be the only ones in the movie theatre, The staff are more than happy for you to screen any choice of movie from their vast collection. Alongside the theatre is a trolley of edible delights, and upon starting the movie, staff arrive with freshly made popcorn and take drinks orders.

The Spa at the hotel is a real treat - The B|Africa range is used and the therapists are great. Facilities are incredible in this 3-story building which houses a unique hamman, which i believe is unique in the country.

Room Tip: The luxury sea facing rooms are great - we had room 203 and 204. Faultless.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank marc-hirschowitz
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 reviewResponded August 6, 2013

Dear Mr Hirschowitz

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this amazing review, I delighted that you
enjoy staying with us. We look forward to welcoming you back at the end of the year when you join your family for another stay.

It will be our pleasure to spoil you again, and ensure every thing is perfect.

Thank you again

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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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 Romantic Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Spa Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Business Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 Luxury Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks
Price Range: $352 - $1,314 (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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