10 Luxury Hotels to Visit in Africa
Before jumping into a plane bound for Africa, to holiday, attend business meetings, visit family or to just have a sneak peek into a dark continent that now seems to be getting more than its fair share of light, it is important to give much thought to where to lay your head down after such a long flight.
With cash to spend, here are 10 hotels that will surely make you forget the stress of travel and break even the slightest hint of exhaustion.
The One Above in Cape Town, South Africa
The One Above is a 2-storey penthouse suite above the prestigious One and Only Cape Town hotel. Sophisticated and exclusive, this holiday apartment gives the best views of Cape Town. From the several terraces and living areas, you can see two world heritage sites; Table Mountain and Robben Island where the anti-apartheid revolutionary, Nelson Mandela was locked up for 27 years. It also features original art by leading South African artists, a private gym, sauna, a media centre, reading room, two swimming pools, inside and outside dining areas, a private lift to the basement parking, an internal lift, open kitchen with a chef, a guest pantry and a coffee bar.
North Island Villa in Seychelles
It is the perfect honeymoon villa, ask Kate Middleton and Prince Williams. Located at the far end of East Beach on North Island in the Seychelles, it is the embodiment of privacy and seclusion. The villa is on a pristine tropical beach, offering spectacular diving opportunities, uninterrupted sunsets and a chef who doesn’t bother with a menu but simply and effortlessly prepares exactly what you want. It is perfectly perched on a huge granite boulder which watches the sun rise over the Indian Ocean. The villa’s rustic design holds a helipad, spa, gym and on-site kitchen gardens that supply freshly picked ingredients for the ‘no menu’ carte du jour.
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Tanzania
A safari fairytale, the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is slightly perplexing as its organic, thatched buildings and unusual details evoke a traditional Tanzanian manyatta or village. The interiors are a contrast as they are festooned with antiques, chandeliers, mosaics and vaulted ceilings. Located on the rim of the dramatic and breathtaking Ngorongoro Crater, the lodge offers magnificent views over the world’s largest intact and unflooded caldera. The crater is a place of rare natural wonders, from its miraculous terrain to the abundant fauna and flora it supports; it is worthy of its status as a world heritage site. The encircled grasslands of the crater floor offer excellent game viewing year-round with 25,000 large mammals, including black rhino, zebras and eland, as well as Africa’s densest population of lions. The rainforests of the crater walls are home to elephants, buffaloes, leopards and cheetahs, also making for spectacular game viewing.
Delaire Graff Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa
Situated on the crest of the spectacular Helshoogte Mountain Pass in the Cape Winelands, Delaire Graff Estate is exclusive and luxurious, and is known for its superb wines, spa, and lodge-style accommodation. Delaire Graff exudes perfect attention to detail in its striking Cape-Dutch architecture to African artefacts and styling, exemplified by a presidential suite, complete with a cellar and good cuisine that is arguably the best accommodation in the Winelands. The estate is luxurious and modern, it features art from Laurence Graff’s personal collection, which adorns the walls of each of the lodges. This eye catching beauty, dovetails with personalised wine tasting sessions, chilled glasses of wine, canapés in the evenings and access to the exclusive spa, that offers a range of treatments and therapies.
Granite Suites in Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa
Londolozi Private Granite Suites offers an exclusive African safari experience in the heart of the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve. Perfectly designed and located in an exclusive private concession, it offers visitors an opportunity to sink into an indulgent outdoor bathtub between game drives, have private yoga sessions or edit photographs in the private studio. With space for just 6 guests, the camp creates an intimate and unforgettable experience of Africa and her wild life. It is designed to emphasize volume, light and privacy, with large doors and windows opening onto the river below, allowing the outdoors to merge with the elegant interiors.
The Oberoi – Turtle Bay, Mauritius
Here refinement meets carefree beach holiday. The beachfront hotel situated in Turtle Bay on the north west coast of Mauritius, is located on 20 acres of beautiful sub-tropical gardens with a long ocean front surrounded by sparkling, turquoise waters with mountains on the horizon. Guests can slip into some scuba gear and explore the crystal waters or go wind surfing, waterskiing or diving. A highlight of this peaceful oasis is the unique ‘Touching Senses’ programme of daily complementary activities, expertly curated to rejuvenate mind, body and soul, like learning special breathing techniques, taking a sculpture class or joining a guided nature walk.
Ellerman House, Cape Town, South Africa
Oprah Winfrey and Ellen Degeneres have been guests at Ellerman House. Ellerman House is a one-and-a-half-acre property that is a showcase of South Africa’s finest hospitality, cuisine, art, wine and leisure. The boutique hotel has 11 rooms, 2 suites and 2 three-bedroom villas. No two rooms are alike and the property boasts of two lounges, a library, dining room, three dining terraces, a spa, fitness centre, pool, brandy lounge, wine gallery, contemporary art gallery and a champagne cellar. The property is privately owned and is not open to the public, offering a genuine level of privacy and exclusivity to guests.
Serengeti House, Tanzania
Located close to Sasakwa Hill, is Serengeti House, a vacation villa that excels at privacy and exclusivity on safari as the wildebeest migration plays out in front of guests with hundreds of thousands of gnus brave crocodiles and predators crossing the water. Elegant and refined, the beautiful villa offers up to eight guests a relaxed and private retreat in which to soak up nature and the drama of the great migration. Spacious, elegantly-decorated living spaces flow onto a smooth timber terrace overlooking a secluded waterhole while a private swimming pool and tennis court offer opportunities to relax and work out.
Castleton, South Africa
Castleton stone-walled homestead has been joined by six individual cottages, offering utterly private accommodation for up to 12 guests. Throw in archery, a spa treatment room, tennis court, a wine cellar, a private chef, and tailored game viewing that allows a hands-on experience of the bush. Here elephant shrews, ant lions, rhinoceros beetles, buffalo weavers and the leopard tortoises roam free, as well as night-time adventurers, to stargaze and learn more about southern Africa’s famous constellations. Castleton is also nearby the Singita Premium Wine Boutique, where one can sample some of South Africa’s finest vintages. The reserve also has access to the Kruger National Park, one of the largest conservation areas in Africa. In addition, guests can have breakfast on the terrace overlooking the waterhole where elephant and zebra come to drink, or have spa treatments in the garden and catch up at a roaring fire in the boma, for a blissful and rejuvenating vacation in the untamed bush.
Morukuru Ocean House, South Africa
De Hoop is a coastal reserve on South Africa’s picturesque Whale Coast, which runs along the ocean from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. Ocean House is probably the most outstanding vacation villa along the way which requires jetting in by private plane to land on a runway leading to a 6-bedroom, eco-friendly house. Guests may go sand boarding, unwind in the private hot tub while looking out for whales or curl up with a book from the library in the 360-degree view living area. Sleeping up to eight adults and four children in extreme luxury, every inch of this sprawling family villa has also been designed to be as eco-friendly as possible; from the stove in the kitchen that burns wood to the fynbos planted on the roof to retain internal heat, as well as blend the structure into its natural surroundings.
Each piece in the house including chairs, candles and cutlery – has been specially considered and often imported from Europe. To echo the flotsam and jetsam found along the seashore, designers have created pastel-hued, bespoke chandeliers from softly tumbled beach glass. At every turn, there is a peaceful nook with tranquil views for reading or daydreaming.
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