A national treasure
South Africa’s most cherished hotel stands majestically on Umhlanga’s beachfront, overlooking the Indian Ocean & the iconic lighthouse.
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 Peter Fergus, The Lodge at Ashford Castle is a proud part of the family-owned and run Red Carnation Hotel Collection and we are a family of passionate people, with a warm, inclusive ethos that embraces everything we do. Experience a genuinely friendly Irish welcome and discover first-hand our deep commitment to providing the very finest stay for our treasured guests.
Guests of The Lodge at Ashford Castle have access to a wealth of estate activities including the award-winning Spa. We are also looking forward to opening our ‘Leisure Centre’ in 2021 which will include a pool, gym and a host of classes for our guests to enjoy.
Every team member is empowered to make a genuine difference to each guest’s day, offering an authentic Irish charm and considerate attention to detail. A favourite warming drink after a day on the lake, romantic, candlelit turndowns – these all create a cosseting country house experience that keep guests coming back time and again.
As part of the celebrated Ashford Castle estate, we benefit from an extraordinary range of activities, from Ireland’s first and finest falconry school, to horse-riding, golf, fishing, tennis, off-road driving, zip-wiring and tree-climbing. Our in-house team also has long-standing relationships with local artisans, and can arrange a variety of bespoke experiences that bring this beautiful corner of Ireland to life.
Our passion for delicious, creative cuisine is showcased in Wilde’s, run by Executive Chef Jonathan Keane who was recently named the best chef in Ireland by The Good Eating Guide, and makes the most of the freshest, organic ingredients from local artisan suppliers, as well as home-grown produce from the grounds of the estate. The vibrant Quay Bar and Brasserie offers innovative cocktails and laid-back comfort cuisine with spectacular views from our al fresco terrace.
We are deeply committed to protecting our environment and contributing to local causes, including phasing out single-use plastics, saving energy, and supporting a range of initiatives, for example, Hand in Hand, which we fundraise for throughout the year. We have three polytunnels at The Lodge and we invite guests to get involved in learning about our produce. To ensure we are reducing our food waste, we have partnered with Winnow Solutions. Our legacy is as important to us as the joyful experiences we offer to guests, and together with The TreadRight Foundation, we aim to #MakeTravelMatter.
Our individually-designed rooms are filled with creativity and always keep guests’ comfort in mind, using carefully chosen pieces and a calm palette to complement the breathtaking countryside and lake views seen from every traditional sash window. Each spacious room has a distinct character, with curated artworks and chic contemporary furniture personally chosen by our founder, Beatrice Tollman, and her daughter Toni.
Breathtaking views, manicured gardens, the run of a stylish private house and a team to take care of every last detail: The Lodge offers a truly unique and special wedding venue. Add to that the delicious cuisine and heartfelt service we are famous for, and the result is an unforgettable experience for you and your guests. We cater for small to exclusive use weddings, and you can feel reassured with our dedicated personal wedding planner.
Originally built in 1865 for the Estate Manager of 800-year-old Ashford Castle, our elegant white-washed Lodge has views to rival the best in the world. Windows frame inspiring vistas out over placid Lough Corrib, one of Ireland’s largest lakes, backed by the rolling, emerald hills of Connemara.
The Lodge enjoys the feel of a relaxed rural country house hotel while being an intrinsic part of the truly remarkable Ashford Castle estate. Once home to the Guinness family, the historic estate has won countless awards and covers 350 acres of formal, manicured gardens and wild, rambling woodland rich in wildlife – all right there on our doorstep.