The Oyster Box Hotel
(Photo : Land Of Legends)
"Another flagship destination joins the Land Of Legends"
One of South Africa's leading boutique destinations, the 5-star Oyster Box Hotel, has joined the Land of Legends, a synergistic grouping of premier tourism and lifestyle brands. Situated at Umhlanga Rocks on the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, the Oyster Box has consistently been recognised as one of the country's A-list hotels.
The Oyster Box joins other celebrated KwaZulu-Natal legends such as Hartford House near Mooi River (also in the Midlands), Fordoun Hotel & Spa in Nottingham Road in the Midlands, Phinda Private Game Reserve (Zululand), Rocktail Beach Lodge (North Coast), the Beverley Hills Hotel (also Umhlanga Rocks), and Ardmore Ceramic Art near Nottingham Road. The proximity of some of the Land of Legends members might seem surprising, but Richard Bates of Fordoun comments, "Being part of the Land of Legends has always been about the group and not the individual destinations. We all share a commonality that celebrates the history, tradition and distinctive local culture of KwaZulu-Natal. We are all also committed to the upliftment of our people and the celebration and protection of our unique environment."
Land of Legends was formed in 1999, with the aim of promoting KwaZulu-Natal as a tourism option to rival all others, especially to the international market. At the time, just 4% of foreign visitors came to KZN on their first visit to the country, and the province was only the third destination of choice for travellers. A decade later, an impressive 40% include a visit to KZN on their first trip to this country.
The Oyster Box: A Legendary Landmark
The Oyster Box Hotel is certainly a landmark destination. The "grand old lady" of the coastal village of Umhlanga Rocks was built in 1869 and was once a navigational beacon alongside the unmissable lighthouse. Originally a beach cottage known as the 'Oyster Box' (after the abundant oyster beds on the rocks below), it was first converted into a hotel in the 1930's. The main building has undergone a number of changes since then, with the most notable architectural changes occurring during the 1950's.
Following an extensive two-year rebuild, the Oyster Box, having retained all the luxurious comforts, elegance and charm of a bygone era, re-opened in 2009. The new owner, the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, has gone to great lengths to preserve the original character and allure of the hotel during the restoration project, while incorporating state-of-the-art technology to bring this legend into the 21st century. A number of the original landmarks remain, including the grand revolving door at the entrance, the reception and foyer's distinctive black and white terrazzo tiles, an imposing wrought-iron balustrade and original, inlaid hand-painted tiles and murals. History has been interwoven with essential modern touches to satisfy the business and leisure guests that visit this acclaimed hotel.