Oyster Box Umlanga

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There’s something about the sound of the ocean and the effect it has on us. For some it’s the mystery and for others it’s the calming sound of the waves. Whatever your reason, if a beach holiday is on the cards, where better to spend it than at The Oyster Box in Umhlanga, South Africa. Five star luxury has a new name.

The Oyster Box’s legendary reputation is easily recognisable from the minute you arrive at the boom. Here we were welcomed by the friendliest “guard” with the biggest smile. No sooner were we motioned where to park, when we were greeted by a porter with a trolley, ready to collect our luggage and escort us via the impeccably well turned out doorman to the foyer.

Our reception was seamless, efficient and friendly. The hotel is steeped in history and is understandably a South African icon. Yet, even with the refurb that took place a couple of years ago, they have been able to maintain the feeling of a bygone era. Maybe it’s the artwork that is the gentle reminder. Maybe it’s the waiters, some of whom have been waiting on tables at The Oyster Box for over 25 years. The service, like our reception, was flawless. The menus have satisfied even the most critical palate, not to mention the curry buffet, which itself is an institution.  The options are endless, with Executive Chef Kevin Joseph putting out at least 11 delicious curries daily. We’re talking an impressive selection of dishes from Singapore-style Fish Curries to the more local dishes we all know and love like a smooth Butter Chicken and for the brave, the famed fiery Lamb Vindaloo.

We stayed in a luxury sea facing suite which, needless to say, had every bell and whistle together with an amazing, uninterrupted view of the Indian Ocean. There are a few accommodation options, all of which are beautifully decorated and presented. The attention to detail is astonishing. It’s the small touches that impressed me most. But whether you are staying in a sea facing luxury suite or a garden Villa Loft you can expect luxuries ranging from individually controlled air-conditioning to heated towel rails and everything in between.

But there are many luxury hotels out there. So what separates this hotel from other 5 star luxury hotels? It’s simple; the service.  Nothing is too much trouble. There is no waiting around for someone to assist you, whether it’s at reception, the bar, the terrace, the restaurant or the gym. How they do it is anyone’s guess. All I can say, is that they have set the benchmark.

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