Picture this! Warm weather throughout the year and you by the poolside sipping on a pinna colada while resting on a red and white pool lounger facing Umhlanga’s light house and the open sea, paradise right? Those were some of the few things I got to experience while I was at the Oyster box hotel over the weekend.
When you arrive at the hotel reception and you are greeted by warm smile and a glass of a beverage and you immediately know you are in the right place and the aim of the hotel is to please. The Oyster Box Hotel did not disappoint even a bit. I was fortunate to be invited to the hotel for a complimentary stay over a weekend. My friend and I were asked what beverage we would like while we await to be checked into the room. We took champagne and once they were done they handed us our room keys and we were escorted to the elevators leading to the rooms.
My stay at the Oyster box Hotel didn’t feel like any ordinary hotel it felt like I was home. The hotel has a warm and cosy atmosphere, it is hospitable and family friendly. When a hotel is accommodating to toddlers and pets it automatically becomes home and a first choice for tourists and locals. It gives you the best of both worlds which are a vacation and the joy of bringing your loved ones. Parents can be at ease because there is plenty of activities that children can engaged in while they are still inside the hotel from the movie theatre to the pool just to name a few.
We got a classic sea facing room, the view from the room was exquisite and the sound of the waves clashing was soothing with the salted air coming in. Rooms and suites at the Oyster box have different values because of the sizes and what the room features. The classic sea facing is valued at R6, 957 depending on whether its peak or off peak period. The room featured daily breakfast, red luxurious bathrobes and slipper, free unlimited Wi-Fi. Before our arrival the hotel sent us a guest preference form so they can prepare for our arrival and make sure we had everything we needed and wanted before our arrival. The form asked us about our preferences from what kind of pillows we want, what refreshments we need and whether we want butler services during our stay. The white interior colour made everything else in the room stand out, the environment of the room was refreshing and the décor made the art pieces on the wall to magnificent. Everything in the room was precise and placed in an organise manner.
The Oyster Box is a fortress because they have over 86 with different themes, four different themed restaurants, spa facilities, wedding chapel, cinema, bars, library and private pools open to residents. They built the hotel in a way that you have everything you need within the hotel and you don’t have to go out in search and of anything. The hotel is surrounded by multiple entertainment venues from the Umhlanga centre to The Gateway shopping centre, Whalebone Pier to the Umhlanga main beach.
I always made sure I was always famished before breakfast and the oyster box exceeded my expectations with their buffet breakfast I went downstairs thinking I knew what I wanted to eat and when I arrived I was just so overwhelmed by the variety of the food. The choices were endless from the English breakfast, pastry, curry buffet, cereal, fruits what even topped it for me were the oysters and champagne. My first morning I decided to go for the English breakfast accompanied with waffles and a pot of rooibos. I got to so upset with myself because I didn’t even finish half of it. I loved how the staff is always willing to assist and the house keeping staff every time they cleaned the room they left small treats like chocolates or cookies.
The library had to be my favourite spot in the entire hotel. The library was available to the residents of the hotel and you used your room key card to access it. I love the smell of books. It reminded me of myself when I use to work at the school’s library at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. I love books and a library is a perfect space where I can escape everyone and surround myself with imaginative characters whether fiction or nonfiction. The Oysters box’s library has vintage inspired interior and I love that it has more to offer than books. There is a telescope, around the world clock collection, whiskey or brandy cabinet (beverages available on request) and a vintage Gramophone. That is one place where you can get absolute stillness, be in your thoughts and can also get your work done.
We drove down to Umhlanga, Durban, South Africa from Johannesburg, South Africa and the trip was approximately 6 hours long but because we faced traffic on our way down there the trip ended up being 7 hours. For locals it is easy because you can use a car like we did, train or if you do not feel like spending half of your day on the road then flying down would be the best option. Anyone coming outside of South Africa, you have to use a flight. From the airport you can find a shuttle that will take you to the hotel, shuttle available on request.
The Oyster box is a timeless building that has been standing for more than a 100 years with beautiful architecture and hospitable staff members. The Oyster Box Hotel has a total unique experience that will make you want to come back to Durban, South Africa all the time.