Prince Albert of Monaco holds lavish reception in South Africa
Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco have thrown a lavish party for members of the International Olympic Committee at the Oyster Box Hotel, Umhlanga, South Africa.
The newlyweds held a dinner reception for nearly 500 guests at the lavish property, which has been nominated in the category of “South Africa’s Leading Beach Hotel” at 2011 World Travel Awards.
The Oyster Box has spent weeks preparing for the event, which follows on the couple’s wedding at the weekend in Albert’s tiny Mediterranean principality.
The guest list included IOC President Jacques Rogge, South African Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula, former Miss South Africa Jo-Ann Strauss and a number of big players in the sporting world.
South African President Jacob Zuma, who had lunch with the couple Wednesday, had planned to attend but was detained on other business in the northern province of Limpopo, his office said.
The newlyweds’ South African tour has been part honeymoon and part business trip.
Albert, a member of the IOC, took part in Wednesday’s election of the 2018 Winter Olympics host city.
The hotel, which opened in 1947, has previously hosted Prince William and Prince Harry, Naomi Campbell and Roman Abramovich, among other notables and celebrities.
Located in the resort town of Umhlanga, just north of Durban, the Oyster Box was built in 1869 and originally served as a navigationa beacon before being converted to a hotel.
It underwent a two-year renovation and reopened in 2009 under new owners, the Red Carnation hotel group.
Today the hotel has 86 rooms and suites, including eight garden villas that each have their own plunge pool.
The 450-square-metre presidential suite is a two-level room served by private lift, with a private swimming pool, private study and marble his-and-hers bathrooms.
South African media have reported that the couple are staying in the suite.
The Oyster Box boasts six restaurants overseen by executive chef Kevin Joseph, who trained at Michelin-starred establishments in London.
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