Like the famous lighthouse that stands majestically on Umhlanga’s prestigious beachfront near Durban, South Africa, the Oyster Box Hotel on the Eastern seaboard of KwaZulu-Natal overlooks sweeping views of the Indian Ocean.

One of South Africa’s most distinguished hotels, the Oyster Box Hotel is a unique combination of contemporary yet colonial charm, impeccable service, lush tropical gardens and of course, the breathtaking seaside setting. Opened in 1947, the award-winning 5 star luxury boutique hotel is a member of Red Carnation Hotels and Leading Hotels of the World.

From the moment you are greeted at the doors of the Oyster Box, a warm nostalgia of days gone by overwhelms and there is a sense of old glory, warm hospitality and elegance so gracious and fond.  The magical experience of the architecture, décor and cuisine enhance the hotel’s standing as one of the most legendary on South Africa.

Situated on the ocean’s edge, the property has direct access to the beachfront and boardwalk. Umhlanga Village Centre is a short walk away and the Afro-chic Durban city centre is a 15 minute drive from the hotel.

The property boasts 86 luxurious rooms and suites with varying views from the beachfront and ocean to the lush tropical gardens. It is definitely worth upgrading to a room with a beach view and balcony to enjoy the rising sun in the mornings.  Each room is designed to provide the utmost comfort and style with exquisite tiles, murals, paintings and antique furnishings keeping in with the property’s colonial style.

Six venues offer a dining experience from casual to fine dining meeting the tastes of guests from all over the world. Ethnically inspired menus use the freshest ingredients sourced from local suppliers.

The Grill Room with the adjoining Colony Restaurant serves a fine dining experience matched with the best of local and international wines from the cellar.  Overlooking the Indian Ocean is the casual dining option of the Ocean Terrace.  It is here the hotel’s famous Curry Buffet is cooked up in authentic Tandoori ovens, attracting guests from far and wide.  An impressive selection of at least 11 curries including meat, fish and vegetarian options are served up daily. The Oyster Box Hotel also offers a lengthy and leisurely High Tea experience laden with delectable treats.

The Oyster Box Hotel’s facilities are as first class as the property itself. The award-winning Spa offers wellbeing and rejuvenation with seven superbly equipped treatment rooms teamed by qualified therapists. There is even a 24-seater private cinema that can be booked for groups or enjoyed by individuals for a movie night.  For those wanting a refreshing dip, the infinity pool overlooks the ocean and lighthouse is the perfect place to sit and relax as the sun goes down.

While a stay at The Oyster Box Hotel is a magical experience in itself, Kate recommends you make the effort to get up early to capture the most mesmerizing sunrise back dropping the lighthouse from the hotel pool deck.

Kate Webster

Kate Webster is the founder and owner of Captured Travel Media. She is a world traveller, ocean lover and conservation warrior who is determined to make every moment count for not only herself, but the world around her. An editor and travel journalist, Kate travels the globe in search of vivid imagery and compelling stories that capture the essence of the people and places she visits. She is a passionate conservation advocate, sustainable traveller and always travels with reason and cause.


  1. Another interesting and informative piece. Love the photos too. Thanks Kate.

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