FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

South Africa’s The Oyster Box

Mar 20, 2014
2014 / April 2014

Arrival/Check-In: The four-story Oyster Box Hotel, a Red Carnation hotel opened in 1947 and reopened in 2009 after a masterful rebuild, is a pleasant diversion from the modern high-rises lining the beachfront promenade in Umhlanga Rocks, just outside downtown Durban. I was warmly greeted, pleasantly surprised with an upgrade, treated to a choice of cool drinks and then escorted to my sea-facing Buthelezi suite, with an overview of the property en route. A bellman arrived shortly afterward with my bag.

Guest Quarters: Upon entering my suite — one of the property’s 86 guestrooms, suites and villas — I was immediately drawn to the glass doors, which opened onto a long, private balcony overlooking the Umhlanga Lighthouse, beachside promenade and beach, and distant freighters awaiting entrance to Durban’s Indian Ocean port. After taking in the views, I shifted my gaze to the expansive living room and bedroom, decorated in handsome shades of blue with a mix of floral and geometric patterns, and connected via sliding doors inside and to the exterior balcony.

The living room had an ample seating area along with a desk with good lighting and multiple outlets. A powder room, located near the entry to the living room, makes it possible to hold meetings without revealing the bedroom. The bedroom, like the living room, opened to the balcony through a set of sliding doors. The master bath, open to the bedroom through a shuttered window, had a deep soaking tub, separate and huge rainwater shower, water closet, heated towel bars, double vanity and a selection of oversized B|Africa amenities. An entry hall, with double closets and a dressing table, provided access from the bedroom.

My suite, like all rooms on the property, included a stocked minibar, complimentary WiFi, an electric kettle with a selection of teas and coffees as well as a shortbread snack, newspapers and magazines, and fresh fruit and flowers. There were wall-mounted flat-screen satellite TVs in both rooms with sanitized and bagged remotes for each provided. Beach towels and umbrellas were available upon request.

Services/Amenities: En route to my room, I saw the Palm Court, where afternoon tea was being served; the Grill Room, where I dined that night; the Terrace Room, where breakfast was served; the Clock Library, with pieces from the owner’s collection; the beachside infinity pool; and the hotel’s bars, including the Lighthouse Bar, an elegant room overlooking the lighthouse. Along the way, I couldn’t help admiring the hotel’s collection of works by contemporary Zulu-speaking artists from KwaZulu-Natal. Later, I walked downtown, ambled along the beachside promenade and toured the full-service spa with fitness center, adjacent to the garden pool. After dinner, I discovered the 24-seat theater, where five movies are screened daily. The included full breakfast featured lavish hot and cold buffets as well as individually prepared items such as eggs Benedict. I took mine on the terrace, overlooking the lighthouse, and was thrilled to watch a pod of dolphins swim by just offshore.

The Experience: The service-oriented hotel staff couldn’t do anything to make my stay more perfect. When I requested a U.S. adapter, it showed up in minutes; when I had trouble getting online, a tech assistant immediately came to my room. My only regret was spending just one night here. I didn’t have enough time to enjoy the renowned curry buffet or truly relax and gaze over the Indian Ocean from the pool or on the beach. When I found myself with a half-hour to kill before my airport shuttle, I retreated to the spa’s relaxation areas and sipped tea while plotting my return.

GT CHECKLIST

  • Doorman/valet
  • Less than 10 minutes for check-in
  • Separate tub and shower
  • Large vanity
  • High-quality towels
  • Powerful, unattached hair dryer
  • High-quality bed linens
  • Large, flat-screen television
  • Large desk with convenient outlets
  • Large, complimentary laptop safe
  • Complimentary in-room WiFi
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Stocked minibar
  • Ample lighting
  • In-room coffeemaker
  • Iron and ironing board
  • On-site restaurant and bar
  • 24-hour room service
  • 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center
  • Turn-down service

The Oyster Box

2 Lighthouse Road, Umhlanga Rocks 4319
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
tel 27 31514 5000
oysterboxhotel.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Sep 16, 2021

Rosewood San Francisco to Open in 2026

Set to open in 2026, Rosewood San Francisco will be the last skyscraper developed in the downtown region for the foreseeable future. The projected 800-foot-tall property will host a hotel, residences, office and rental spaces. The brand’s third property in California will join Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, and Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito.

Register Today for the Most Important Gathering of Business Travel Professionals

The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.

September 2021
Sep 15, 2021

Slow Down and Unwind in Easy-Going Phuket

It’s not even 9a.m. in the sleepy fishing village of Rawai on Thailand’s famous Phuket Island, but already the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea swarm with local fishermen casting their lines and releasing their nets from the bows of rustic long-tail boats. The scents of lemongrass, incense and sweet pandan leaves season the air as the villagers slowly rise from their beachside bungalows to start their day. In just a few more hours, the fishermen will return with their catches, filling the stalls of the iconic Rawai Seafood Market with buckets of shellfish and displays of fresh filets. Visitors line up each afternoon for the catch of the day, selecting their fish with care before hauling their purchases across the well-worn road to the restaurants opposite the market to have the fish cooked for 100 Thai baht per kilo.

eFlyer News
Sep 15, 2021

MMGY Global Reveals How Vaccinated, Unvaccinated Plan to Travel for Holiday Season

MMGY Travel Intelligence released findings from its 2021 fall edition of its Portrait of American Travelers survey. It revealed the vast majority of vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are planning trips in the months ahead, but the types of trips are different.

Greece: Destination Luxury

Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.

eFlyer News
Sep 15, 2021

Airbnb Community Supports Afghan Refugees

Airbnb.org is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating temporary stays for people in moments of crisis, sheltering those displaced by natural disasters, offering frontline workers a place to stay at the height of the pandemic and, now, helping Afghan refugees.

Italy
Sep 15, 2021

AG Group Partners with Hyatt Hotels

Italian hospitality brand AG Group announced an international collaboration with Hyatt Hotels. AG Group’s IL Tornabuoni, slated to open in Florence in October 2021, will be part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt. The Tribune in Rome will become part of JdV by Hyatt in October 2021.

The Future of Hamad International Airport

Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.

September 2021
Sep 14, 2021

Hotels Take Steps to Prioritize Diversity in the Industry

Hotel diversity isn’t where it could be, but it’s a work in progress. Fueled with new energy that emerged from the racial reckoning of 2020, there’s more of a sense of urgency ... and with good reason. There’s plenty to do when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion in the hotel industry.