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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

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The Oyster Box: coastal charm, blissful views and a celebrity cat

Character is in the hotel’s bones – it’s intangible but it follows you around the property…

By Roberto Rosa
General Manager - The Oyster Box

I often get asked about the origins of the hotel name. Built in 1869 and originally used as a navigational beacon, a beach cottage known as the ‘oyster box’ was converted into a hotel in the 1930s.

Character is in the hotel’s bones – it’s intangible but it follows you around the property, whether you’re in the lush sub-tropical garden, sat beneath the soaring ceilings of the elegant Palm Court restaurant, or enjoying the sunset from our al fresco Ocean Terrace. The beautiful, classically shaped hotel pool overlooks Umhlanga’s iconic lighthouse and the Indian Ocean and our guests have direct access to the sandy beach.

While our beachfront location and this beautiful building set us apart there’s more to our story than that. The Oyster Box is part of the family-owned Red Carnation portfolio, and this is where our founders Stanley and Beatrice Tollman had their very first date, and where Stanley began to dream that the couple might one day own their own hotel. Their lives came full circle on their 60th wedding anniversary when the Oyster Box joined the family-owned Red Carnation family.

One of the main reasons guests return to the Oyster Box is the warm and personal welcome they receive from the staff; not to mention the greeting they get from our honorary guest relations manager, Skabenga. The hotel’s famous cat – and longest standing resident – has become a social media phenomenon.

Each day when I get to the hotel I always try to grab five minutes to head up to the Lighthouse Bar, a rooftop eyrie, to greet the day and enjoy a quick cup of Rooibos tea or coffee. With a 180-degree view of the coastline it’s a truly blissful setting.


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Alfred & Roberto Rosa

Hotelier Roberto Rosa is a graduate of the Hotel School in Riccione, Italy. With over 30 years in the hospitality industry under his belt he brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his role as General Manager at the Oyster Box. When Roberto is off duty he likes to jog and play tennis and he has a passion for travel, as it allows him to experience different cultures, foods and wine.  

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Laura, who's travelled extensively in South Africa. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - ex banker who can show you the hottest foodie spots in Cape Town, the award-winning young sommelier who can introduce you to Stellenbosch's finest wines and the walking safari ranger who can guide you to the best game.

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