Umhlanga Rocks, KwaZulu-Natal
Occupying a majestic location on the Umhlanga beachfront in KwaZulu-Natal province, The Oyster Box is one of South Africa’s most celebrated hotels, as famous for its remarkable coastal views as the understated luxury and gracious hospitality that have become the hallmarks of this cherished seaside destination.
Set just 15 minutes’ drive from King Shaka International Airport, The Oyster Box offers an array of individually decorated rooms and suites, an award-winning spa set amid tropical gardens, and a mouth-watering menu of restaurants and bars.
With South Africa’s Covid-19 recovery well underway, we are delighted to once again welcome international travellers back to The Oyster Box.
Led by General Manager Niall Rochford, with over 18 years of service, Ashford Castle is a proud part of the family-owned and run Red Carnation Hotel Collection and a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. We are a family of passionate people, with a warm, inclusive ethos that embraces every aspect of our guests’ experiences. Our warm and welcoming team provides the perfect introduction to genuine Irish charm, and every one of us is deeply committed to giving the very best in all we do.
This 800-year-old castle is truly remarkable, a grand, historic structure with national significance. The former home of the Guinness family, it has hosted countless notables over the years, including The Prince of Wales (who later became King George V) and President Ronald Reagan, and served as the striking backdrop for 1951 movie, The Quiet Man. Red Carnation’s impeccable five-year restoration, drawing on local experts and artisans, has brought these ancient walls and storied rooms back to glorious life.
We are proud of our many accolades, which include our recent award as a Forbes five-star hotel, the only hotel to achieve such a status in Ireland. We have also been voted 'Best Of The Best' by Virtuoso and won countless other awards that pay testament to our remarkable teams and their tireless efforts to create unforgettable experiences
Located in 350 acres of beautiful manicured gardens, verdant forests and woodland rich with birdlife, all overlooking the shores of rippling Lough Corrib in County Mayo, our estate boasts various activities, from Ireland’s first and finest falconry school, to horse-riding, golf, fishing, tennis, off-road driving, zip-wiring, tree-climbing and cosy movie nights in our stylish private cinema.
We believe strongly in sourcing fresh produce from our skilled local producers, as well as growing much of our ingredients in our own gardens. These are transformed into delicious works of art in the George V restaurant at the skilled hands of Executive Chef Philippe Farineau, which is presided by Martin Gibbons and Robert Bowe, who have 75 years between them. Afternoon Tea is a real occasion, while our variety of dining experiences include wholesome Irish dishes in the characterful Dungeon. Artisan cocktails are served in The Prince of Wales bar and wine tasting can also be enjoyed in the 16th century cellars.
We adhere to important sustainability measures and believe deeply that our legacy is as important to us as the joyful experiences we offer to guests. We are the first hotel in Ireland to achieve the GREENMark Plastic Smart Standard Award and hold a Green Hospitality Gold Award. We are continuing our efforts by phasing out single-use plastics and reducing our food waste in partnership with Winnow Solutions. We also help support the local community and together with The Treadright Foundation, we aim to #MakeTravelMatter.
We pour our creativity into every exquisite room and suite, inspired by our unique, historical surroundings to create rich and layered interiors. Rare, hand-chosen antiques complement silk-lined walls, curated artworks and silk curtains that frame the views of our verdant grounds and the lake beyond. The elegant suites are masterpieces, named after some of our most famous past guests, from Senator Kennedy to President Reagan.
Our many accolades include Tatler magazine’s Spa of the Year, and we are proud of our deeply serene, genuinely restorative treatments, which draw on ancient, holistic healing practices and modern expertise. The tranquil surroundings include a beautiful mural by artist Jane du Rand glimmering above the relaxation pool, while our state-of-the-art facilities include an invigorating Hammam, steam room and gym with breath-taking views over the lake.
Our connection to the land runs deep, and we offer a variety of bespoke experiences that bring this beautiful corner of Ireland to life. From exclusive visits to the studios of local craftspeople, to a private recital from Ireland’s most prominent traditional piper, or a private dining experience in the cottage that featured in the movie, The Quiet Man, we go above and beyond to create memories to last a lifetime.
Every member is empowered to make a difference, offering exceptionally considerate attention to detail, and our warm, Irish welcome is world-famous. A favourite welcome drink on arrival, fresh-cut bouquets in the suites, candlelit turndowns, personalised gifts – these all create a cosseting experience that make guests feel truly valued.