Oyster Box, Umhlanga Rocks
The waterfront Oyster Box is a place to see and be seen. It’s a favourite spot with locals that lunch a whole host of illustrious guests; their hall of fame showcases a who’s who of European and Zulu royalty, powerful politicians and stars of the silver screen and the sports field. There’s a real theme here when it comes to poolside décor; the candy cane colours of red and white of the sun beds and umbrellas are unmistakably inspired by the Umhlanga Lighthouse, a historic monument on this glorious stretch of coastline stretching north of Durban. Step out of the gate at the front of the hotel and head down to the waterfront promenade, a popular running and walking route for locals. Inside, the walls of the public spaces are art-gallery worthy with many striking pieces created by local artists.
Days begin in style here as you overlook the pool and ocean from the Ocean Terrace and sip on bottomless sparkling wine. Breakfast is a feast of anything from fresh fruit and yoghurt and freshly made waffles to succulent oysters. And the culinary wonders don’t end at breakfast. At lunch and dinner you can try the curry buffet; served in the Ocean Terrace, this Durban institution draws people from far and wide. There’ll be at least 11 different curries from mild to sublimely spicy, all created with herbs and spices that have been delicately balanced. Your meal will be completed by all the traditional trimmings such as chutneys, raitas, freshly baked naan breads, papadums and roti.
The rooms, suites and cabanas are wonderfully spacious and full of charm and calming décor. There are Classic Garden Facing Rooms, but we highly recommend upgrading to a Classic or Luxury Sea Facing Room for views of Umhlanga Beach where you can see people fishing from dawn until dusk, and families playing in the sand. On the ground floors, there are Sea Facing Cabanas which have terraces that lead straight out onto the perfectly kept gardens.