Did you know?
The Palm Court's magnificent chandeliers were bought from London’s prestigious Savoy Hotel.
How do you introduce Old Colonial to African Contemporary and come up with the perfect marriage? When you walk into the iconic, multi-award-winning Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks, just 15 minutes north of Durban, you’ll soon see how.
Push through the mahogany and glass swing door (rescued from Durban’s famous Royal Hotel) and walk into the cool reception area of the Oyster Box Hotel. You'll see black and white tiled floors, lazily turning bamboo ceiling fans straight from some tropical plantation villa, and the original 1950s carved wooden staircase that winds its way up to the red and white themed Lighthouse Bar where Prince Albert of Monaco and his Princess Charlene partied before their 2012 wedding.
Stop to admire cool paintings of some of the best contemporary KwaZulu-Natal artists on the way.
Choose a garden room overlooking the lush tropical gardens, or face out over golden sands where the famous red and white lighthouse stands guard over the blue Indian Ocean.
This gorgeous hotel is noted not only for its fabulous accommodation, but also for its equally fabulous food. Try fresh oysters in the Oyster Bar, a calorie-defeating breakfast on the Ocean Terrace, the best curry in KwaZulu-Natal in the Palm Court, and a High Tea to drool over or an intimate romantic dinner in the Grill Room.
If it's an overcast day, cocoon yourself in the leather- and book-lined library, or catch a movie in the small exclusive cinema – complimentary popcorn and candies provided.
But be warned, the Oyster Box Hotel is addictive. You'll find yourself returning again and again as the Venetian-chandeliered Pearl Room testifies. Generations of brides have celebrated their weddings here and, today, their kids and grandkids are having fun on the beach or in the kiddies’ playroom.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
How to get here
Take the N2 north from Durban, or south from King Shaka International Airport. Umhlanga Rocks is well signposted. Drive straight down towards the sea. The hotel is on the right as you approach the sea.
Best time to visit
Any time, although during South African school holidays (July and December) the little town is packed with visitors.
What will it cost
Around R3 500 per person, per night, but look out for special offers during the off-seasons.
What to eat
The curry buffet in the Ocean Terrace restaurant is famous throughout the area. The High Tea is a decadent afternoon feast of home-baked scones with cream and strawberries, finger sandwiches, pastries, cakes and savouries.
Umhlanga Rocks is a busy little town. Check with the concierge for local events.
There's a lovely curio shop in the town centre with all kinds of handcrafted goods.