The Oyster Box with its iconic lighthouse is situated in Umhlanga Rocks, on the eastern seaboard of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), just 15 minutes from the region’s main port city of Durban and 25 kilometeres from King Shaka International Airport. Durban’s major shopping centres, world-renowned golf courses and international sporting facilities, are all within a 20km radius of the hotel. Umhlanga Village is a five minute stroll away.
Constructed in 1869 and originally used as a navigational beacon, a beach cottage known as the ‘Oyster Box’ was converted into a hotel in the 1930’s. The very first Oyster Box Hotel was built on the site next to the lighthouse in 1947.
Building of the new hotel began in October 2007 and was completed in September 2009. A number of the original landmarks have been retained in the new hotel which reflect and celebrate the history, heritage and heart of this legendary grand old dame, in perfect balance.
The grand, revolving door at the entrance, the reception and foyer with its black and white terrazzo tiles, the familiar wrought-iron balustrade and original, inlaid hand-painted tiles and friezes, all recall the elegance of a bygone era.
In keeping with the tradition of many decades, the building still interacts closely with the ocean, with many of the restaurants, and rooms overlooking the Indian Ocean. An added detail is the re-painting of the roof a bright red, as in years gone by...as a beacon for shippers.
The hotel has 86 beautifully appointed rooms, suites and villas, each individually decorated. The impressive Presidential Suite, complete with private pool and internal lift is luxurious, yet comfortable.
Renowned for its cuisine and social amenities, a total of six restaurants and bars will satisfy every palate; from the casual ‘Ocean Terrace’, overlooking the ocean, to the fine-dining Grill Room. The sunken Wine Cellar is ideal for intimate occasions, while the Palm Court serves a lavish, traditional High Tea daily. The Lighthouse Bar, with views of the iconic lighthouse and ocean, the contemporary Oyster Bar, serving freshly harvested oysters and the Chukka Bar, are amongst Durban’s favourite sundowner spots.
The hotel has a diverse selection of individually decorated venues. The mirrored Pearl Room lends an air of luxury and opulence to any occasion; The Durban July, Union Castle and Colony Rooms can be used independently and be configured to suit individual requirements for smaller gatherings.
In addition, a luxurious 24-seater movie theatre, a fully-equipped business centre and library are available for private guest use.