The area north of Durban, between Umhlanga Rocks and the Tugela river mouth, is known as the Dolphin Coast. Here, bottlenose dolphins like to play and surf  in the waves of the Indian Ocean all year round. The beaches of Umhlanga Rocks, Ballito and Salt Rock are sandy white and the water is pleasantly warm –  but the waves can be treacherous and swimmers are advised to check for shark nets before diving in spontaneously.

The iconic Oyster Box Hotel is located directly opposite the red-white round lighthouse of Umhlanga. An old-school glamorous beach hotel with breathtaking views over the Indian Ocean. The lighthouse has never had a guard, but was operated in the past by the owner of the Oyster Box Hotel. Now it works fully automated.

The Oyster Box Hotel exudes the kind of old-fashioned elegance that makes you expect an Agatha Christie-like murder can be committed anytime. Fortunately, the hotel combines that charm of the past with the comfort of 21st century facilities. Its service is impeccable. The environment is lush green with landscaped gardens, water features and ponds. The rooms are bright, in white and blue, right on the beach and when you open the balcony doors you can smell the salty sea air and hear the waves hit the surf.

Durban Curry Bar

The patio of the Ocean Terrace overlooks the pool, the ocean and the lighthouse in one seeing view.  At lunchtime, the Durban Curry Bar is legendary and for good reason. But there are also pizzas from the wood oven and lots of fresh fish. The Oyster Bar offers freshly picked oysters daily from the hotel owned oyster beds. At the top floor of the hotel, in the LightHouse Bar, enjoy a cocktail or a light meal. Their divine lamb curry sandwich is already a reason to return.

If the sun does not show itself for some reason, you can play one game or read a book in the Clock Library, a beautiful room decorated with antique clocks. You can also watch a movie in the 24-person cinema with popcorn and chocolate milk or spend a day in the spa with hamman and fitness room.

The Oyster Box is the perfect beach weekend getaway. It is just a 15-minute drive from the International King Shaka Airport and Durban city center.

More information: Het Oyster Box Hotel