Umhlanga’s landmark hotel gets ready for monaco’s royal couple

2011-07-05 00:00

GRAPPLING to get the Monaco flag hoisted, staff at the Oyster Box Hotel were leaving nothing to chance in preparation for their esteemed guests, newlyweds Prince Albert and Princess Charlene.

Said general manager Wayne Coetzer as he straightened a portrait photograph of the couple in the reception area, “It’s all very covert even at this late stage and the organiser from Monaco only arrived last night — so at this point we are mostly just anxious.

“The Oyster Box has always been a symbol of style and sophistication and now the limelight again falls on the elegant property as we welcome guests from around the world to experience unparalleled luxury at one of the world’s best hotels.”

Coetzer said the couple are expected on Thursday, but the logistics associated with their arrival remain shrouded in mystery.

“Rumour has it they will fly privately and then arrive via helicopter at a nearby helipad, but again we will only know later,” he said. The immediate surrounds will be sealed off while the guests are brought there.

“We have hosted some high-profile guests before, but this is definitely one of our most exclusive. It’s very exciting,” Coetzer added.

Princess Charlene chose the five-star establishment in Umhlanga Rocks to host a party for 450 close friends, dignitaries and influential VIPs.

Among the guests expected are Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Britain’s Princess Anne, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon and Fifa boss Sepp Blatter.

President Jacob Zuma is also on the guest list, along with some members of his cabinet, including Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula.

South Africa’s IOC member, Sam Ramsamy, has been invited, as has businessman Vivian Reddy.

Executive chef Kevin Joseph prepared a selection of dishes with a French and South African influence.

“There were no special requests by the hosts, so we were left to use our creativity. The food is exquisite,” Joseph said.

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