7 Luxury Hotels in Africa
Africa boasts a rich, diverse contemporary culture and heritage, fused with its inhabitants’ unparalleled sense of hospitality. As a result, Africa provides some of the most outstanding and luxurious hotel accommodations. While these may be a tad expensive, it’s fair to conclude that they are worth every bit of money. No matter your preference, there will always be something unique in store for you. Here is a list of 7 luxury hotels that stood out for us.
The One Above, South Africa
Located in Cape Town, one of South Africa’s most popular cities, The One Above is a very exclusive holiday hotel-apartment with an amazing view. From the many terraces and living areas, guests can see as far as Table Mountain, Robben Island, and across the city’s yacht marina. Filled with original art by top South African artists and featuring a library, as well as two rooftop swimming pools, this space is perfect for families who want all the comforts of home away from home.
In addition to stunning living spaces, the luxury accommodation offers a state-of-the-art kitchen, dining room, lavish living rooms, an outdoor bar, and an entertainment deck. Furthermore, guests may also indulge in the services of the 24-hour private chef, as well as explore the fully stocked wine and champagne cellar.
North Island Villa, Seychelles
Accessed by a bridge made of tree trunks, North Island Villa is a five-star architectural gem standing on a rock, surrounded by trees and overlooking breath-taking eastern beaches Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue.
To capture the very essence of luxurious island living, the island has been rehabilitated to its natural state, and indigenous fauna and flora abound. Designed to blend in seamlessly with the surrounding forest and beach, the Villa is a charming collection of driftwood, stone sculptures, white textiles, and delicate shell curtains, all across several levels and under high thatch ceilings. It’s safe to say the Villa is a fusion of traditional and contemporary design. For instance, there is an enormous two-metre bath and an outdoor shower hanging off a granite boulder, with the water streaming from a log.
More than just a tropical oasis, the Villa is also an ecological success story that is home to ancient tortoises and the legendary coco de mer palm. As a result, North Island Villa allows just a handful of guests to enjoy unparalleled sea kayaking, scuba diving, and idyllic wining and dining.
L’Hôtel Marrakech, Morocco
This charming hotel is owned by acclaimed British designer Jasper Conran, who often turned to travel for inspiration in his creation of fashion designs and accessories. It was therefore no surprise when Conran transformed the historic 19th-century palace into the elegant and intimate retreat that it is today. The structure was originally the central part of a palace, comprising five spacious suites surrounding a courtyard garden and swimming pool.
The stylish riad (a large traditional Moroccan house built around a courtyard) in the heart of the medina (town) is an inspired ode to Morocco, with lush greenery, vintage furniture, tiled floors, and billowing drapery. The harmonious proportions of this period palace speak to a spirit of quiet sophistication, while rare artworks from Conran’s collection, hand-loomed carpets, and signature fabrics add layers of thoughtful luxury and personality.
The garden is possibly the finest feature of the hotel; seen through the floor-to-ceiling French windows in the dining salon, the garden looks like a luxuriant Zuber wallpaper, and it also provides a natural screen for the 10-metre-long heated saltwater pool. In addition, there’s a hammam and a jigsaw of roof terraces smothered in jasmine and potted roses. All in all, this hotel is the ideal location for a getaway. It’s no wonder celebrities from all over the world have stayed at this delightful hotel at one time or the other.
Constance Le Prince Maurice Hotel, Mauritius
Nestled in the northeast of the island of Mauritius is Constance Le Prince Maurice Hotel, a member of the prestigious Constance Hotel group. It is located on a private 60-hectare property on the shores of the Indian Ocean. This luxury establishment is a jewel of the Mauritian hotel industry and offers its guests the unique experience of an intimate retreat on the banks of Lake Barachois. Above the waters of the lake floats Le Barachois, a restaurant specialising in nutmeg-flavoured cuisine. The Constance is a confidential address which assures guests of a complete indulgence of the senses, one of the elements that has earned it the title of Best Beach Retreat, awarded by the famous Condé Nast Traveller guide.
Delaire Graff Estate, South Africa
Delaire Graff Estate is an exclusive and luxurious estate located on the crest of the spectacular Helshoogte Mountain Pass in the Cape Winelands. It is famed for its superb wines, spa, amazing lodge-style accommodation, and the exciting personal art collection adorning the walls of each of the lodges.
The attention to detail is truly excellent—from the selection of movies on offer (an exceptional list) to the fine-dining sundowner canapés; the blankets and champagne waiting on the golf carts to the innovative way in which their waiters make wine pairings suited to each guest’s personal taste.
The hotel’s state-of-the-art facilities include a pool with a stunning view, cinema room, restaurants, and spectacular gardens. Delaire Graff Estate includes two outstanding restaurants, the Delaire Graff Restaurant and Indochine. Both are beautifully designed and offer unique spaces for fine dining. The former offers a relaxed atmosphere and fine meals created using ingredients from local farmers, while the latter offers Asian-fusion cuisine with a contemporary twist created from fresh local produce, making the estate the ideal destination for wining, dining, and an all-round perfect holiday.
Amanjena Hotel, Morocco
Amanjena is a Moroccan luxury resort hotel and a subsidiary of Aman, one of the most exclusive hotel chains in the world. Like many other Aman resorts, Amanjena was designed by star architect Ed Tuttle and was inspired by traditional Moroccan architecture. The hotel is considered to be a modern interpretation of the El Badi Palace in downtown Marrakech. According to the hotel, Ed Tuttle used only traditional materials—no concrete but an ancient wash of clay and hay—to give the walls the most authentic look and quite a pleasant patina.
Located seven miles south of the city on the road to Ouarzazate, Amanjena feels slightly in the middle of nowhere, but guests like it that way and trips to the medina (town) are provided with a complimentary car service. Adjoining the resort is Golf Amelkis, while the Royal and Al Maaden courses are a five-minute drive away. Given its proximity, the hotel provides the ideal base for further exploration of Marrakech and beyond. Amanjena also looks out onto the snow-capped High Atlas Mountains, the highest mountain range in North Africa. The hotel is perfect for a honeymoon or couple’s getaway, especially because Amanjena means “Peaceful Paradise.”
Ellerman House, South Africa
Established 26 years ago, Ellerman House is still considered to be one of the best luxury hotels in Cape Town. Sandwiched between Lion’s Head mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, the Cape Edwardian mansion looks like a private residence and affords guests a level of privacy that cannot be gotten in many hotels—and that’s probably what keeps them coming back. The bar, restaurant, and spa are exclusive to invited and resident guests, which means it’s also very private and secure.
The hotel has an impressive South African art collection, which spans original works from the turn of the last century to current contemporary art. An informal tour of the collection with one of the in-house art experts is a fascinating lesson in the country’s socio-political history. Another impressive section of the hotel is its wine cellar, with 7,500 bottles of rare and vintage South African wines.
Besides the main house, there are two modern, minimalist private villas built into the granite mountainside, as well as a wine gallery and an excellent little spa. Checking into one of the individually decorated rooms in the house (some on the small side)—many with local African design elements—feels both comfortable and comforting. The villas offer an open-access kitchen, with a 24-hour chef.
While Ellerman House has many amenities that make it stand out from the large selection of hotels in Africa, one thing that truly distinguishes this private luxury hotel from others is definitely the view from the balcony, which has been described as one of the best views of the Atlantic found anywhere on earth.
February 28, 2020
December 19, 2019