Durban | Oyster Box Hotel Review

I’ve grown up visiting the Oyster Box for coffees, breakfasts, afternoon teas, cocktails, spa days, almost everything you can think of but had never had the luxury of an overnight stay. What was the point? I lived up the road. I was a local. But every single time I strolled past along the promenade, I dreamed of the day I could soak up the hotel as a guest. Well, I am no longer a local, and when Craig and I felt like we needed a night to ourselves, instead of staying with relatives (on a recent visit home), the Oyster Box may or may not have been our little hideaway for a night.


I dreamed of the day I could soak up the hotel as a guest.

Our Accommodation:

The Oyster Box is a luxurious, 5-star hotel located on the Umhlanga Promenade. To be honest, there is no other hotel like this in Durban. Nothing compares. And if you’re will to splurge, this would be the hotel I would splurge at. It is a few steps from the beach and only a few steps from the vibey ‘Umhlanga Village’ which is filled with busy pubs as well as gourmet restaurant options. You can even get the hotel driver to drop you off at Gateway (our biggest shopping mall), if you felt like you needed a bout of shopping.

TIP: My favourite restaurants are Fourteen on Chartwell, for something trendy; Remos, for something Italian and Little Havana, for something a little fancy.

The Pool Area


Who should stay here?

Couples. Sometimes I feel like there are hotels that are just better suited to adults only, and this hotel would be that kind of place. It’s luxury at it’s finest! And somehow, I think it would be wasted on kids. That being said, my twelve-year-old self would have loved this fancy hotel.

They do offer kid’s activities, so don’t leave the kiddos at home on my account! They also might enjoy hanging out with the hotel’s celebrity cat, Skabenga! He’s always lurking in the Reception area begging for a scratch and a love.

You might also spot a celeb or two. Many have been known to stay at the Oyster Box, even the Royals! So keep a lookout.

Which room should you stay in?

Get a sea-facing room. If you’re staying here, just do it. We booked a garden-facing room. It was still magical. But if we went again – scratch that, when we go again – I’ll definitely book the sea-facing.

TIP: A ground-level room has a private balcony with your own loungers.

Things you will love:

I love the colonial charm, which might not be high on your hotel-musts, but it adds to the feel of the hotel.

Hotel’s Entrance.

Another favourite of mine at the hotel is their award-winning Spa featuring Turkish Hammam which is considered to be the Best Luxury Spa in the country. Described on their website as “secluded in luscious tropical gardens filled with the chatter of monkeys, exotic birds and perfumed flowers” – they’re not joking! It’s incredible. But again, book ahead – it is always full!

While you’re booking things ahead, book an Afternoon Tea and also ensure you’re down for the buffet breakfast. Another buffet that’s worth doing is the curry buffet. If you go to Durban and don’t try a curry, it’s like you didn’t even go to Durban. These are two buffets I do love.

  • If you’re wanting to visit the Spa, book far in advance (or as soon as possible)!
  • Have a drink at the Oyster Bar upstairs, but then walk up to the Umhlanga Village for a dinner. Go early to grab a spot on the balcony, over-looking the terrace.
  • Just remember: You’re in Africa, animals roam freely. Jokes, but kind of. Monkeys WILL get into your room if you leave your windows or doors open.
  • They have a 24-seater cinema, you should have a look what’s on show!



Dying to return,






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