The Oyster Box is known as the Grand Dame of Umhlanga and after more than 60 years, the hotel is still considered the ‘hottest’ spot on the north coast of Durban. Generations of guests have celebrated weddings and engagements here, proposals have been made and countless other memorable moments have all taken place at The Oyster Box!
Here are a few things you probably didn’t know about The Oyster Box:
1. In 1953, the current hotel owner, Mr. Stanley Tollman put a bet on a horse called ‘Flash On’ that won the prestigious Durban July that year. To commemorate this win, a suite at the hotel is named after the horse and the jockey’s colours are displayed in the Durban July function room. Legend also has it that Mr. Tollman bought his wife’s (Mrs. Bea Tollman, president and founder of Red Carnation Hotels) engagement ring with his winnings!
2. The original owner of The Oyster Box, Kay Hill-O’Connor owned race horses that run in ‘The July’.
3. The three imposing chandeliers in The Palm Court were bought on auction from the old Savoy Hotel in London.
4. The General Manager, Wayne Coetzer is the custodian of the Umhlanga Lighthouse in front of the hotel, and for many years the controls were housed in his office. It is now under the permanent management of Portnet.
6. The hotel is pet-friendly which means that small pets travelling with their owners get 5-star treatment as well. We even have a family of monkeys that occasionally visit our gardens.