Hermanus, Western Cape
Cradled amid the hills of the Hemel-en-Aarde (Heaven and Earth) valley,
Bouchard Finlayson is widely acclaimed as one of South Africa’s leading boutique wine cellars.
With a terroir defined by both ancient soils and a cool maritime climate, the vineyards of Bouchard Finlayson are famous for producing award-winning
Pinot Noir, elegant Chardonnay and terroir-driven Sauvignon Blanc, while inspired blends showcase the depth of skill and innovation in our winemaking team.
The Bouchard Finlayson cellar is conveniently located a scenic 90 minutes’ drive from Cape Town, close to the world-famous whale-watching centre of Hermanus.
Led by General Manager Roberto Rosa, The Oyster Box is a family of passionate people, with a warm, inclusive ethos that embraces every aspect of our guests’ experiences. We are proud to be a part of the family-owned and run Red Carnation Hotel Collection and our hotel’s celebrated heritage, and we are committed to giving the very best in all we do. Our guests return time and again, often to be greeted by our honorary 'guests relations manager' Skabenga, the hotel’s famous cat and a social media phenomenon.
Red Carnation’s story begins at The Oyster Box. This is where our founders, Stanley and Beatrice Tollman, had their very first date, and where Stanley dared to dream that maybe one day they could own a hotel as cherished and famous as this. Dreams can come true, and their lives came full circle when, on the date of their 60th wedding anniversary, this national treasure became part of the Red Carnation family.
Within 15 minutes from leaving the airport, guests can be sitting out on the terrace, gazing out over the ocean and feeling the warm sea breeze on their skin. Our iconic hotel is just steps from Umhlanga’s golden beaches, opposite the historic red-and-white lighthouse, with direct access to the rolling waves. Just three hours' drive from KwaZulu-Natal’s finest game reserves, we are within easy reach of South Africa’s famous Big Five.
Executive Chef Kevin Joseph creates an incredible curry buffet regarded as the best in South Africa, with a delectable range of KwaZulu-Natal-inspired dishes on our al fresco Ocean Terrace. This is also an awe-inspiring spot for indulgent oysters plucked from our own oyster beds and champagne with views of the waves. Come evening, The Grill Room is the place for fine cuisine, featuring locally-sourced and organic ingredients, alongside delicious signature dishes created by Beatrice Tollman.
Our refined areas are a showcase of fine South African art and our important Zulu heritage. The owners’ collection includes local artefacts, the riotously colourful Jane du Rand murals, and the Clock Library, featuring a rare antique clock collection as well as first edition books. Every guest room is filled with carefully curated furniture and artworks, making the most of our blissful ocean and tropical setting, and with our guests’ comfort always in mind.
Our staff are amongst the longest serving in any hotel; some have been with us for over 60 years, a true sign of their love and passion for the property. With 500 team members for 86 rooms, our team members have known many guests through the generations, with a deep knowledge of what they desire, offering a subtle, caring and warm personalised service.
We pride ourselves on our strong local relationships, meticulously designing spectacular experiences for guests. High Tea is a world-famous occasion, served beneath The Palm Court’s soaring ceilings and chandeliers originally from The Savoy in London, while local experiences include oyster picking from our own oyster beds and curry masterclasses with our team of talented chefs.
Picture the setting: guests mingle in fragrant, tropical gardens while birdsong accompanies the wedding procession, culminating in romantic vows taken in a beautiful Victorian gazebo. The party then moves to the Pearl Room, with its hand-blown Venetian chandeliers, for a magical night of dining and dancing. Every detail is tailored to you, creating a truly unforgettable celebration.
The award-winning spa is enveloped in lush, secluded gardens, where nurturing treatments are accompanied by the chatter of monkeys in the trees. Deeply inspired by our surroundings, our brilliant therapists draw on centuries of Indian and African wellness traditions, using our home-blended B|Africa products that leave guests feeling profoundly relaxed, restored and reinvigorated.
We are deeply committed to protecting our environment and contributing to local causes, including phasing out single-use plastics, saving energy, working with Winnow Solutions to reduce food waste and supporting local charities such as The Amy Foundation and Rhinos Without Borders. Our legacy is as important to us as the joyful experiences we offer.