For our next few issues, The Insider will be hopping from continent to continent, as we take a look at some of the most interesting and significant luxury hotel openings. The next stop in this journey of hospitality discovery is amazing Africa, where luxury operators are busy creating some truly outstanding properties in some truly breathtaking locations…
The Homestead, South Africa
Due to open this year, The Homestead is located in South Africa’s Nambiti Private Game Reserve, and promises to be a completely different kind of eco-luxury lodge. The innovative architecture combines 21st century construction technology with 19th century styling, carefully designed to blend into its surroundings. There are 12 unique suites: six with their own roof gardens (designed for families and groups); and six with their own infinity pools (aimed at solo travelers and couples).
The Homestead’s central feature is a stunning elevated structure that contains bars and dining areas, an infinity pool and the all-important viewing platform over the watering hole where the local wildlife congregate. In keeping with the trend towards offering a luxurious health and wellness offer, guests will find high quality relaxation and rejuvenation spa treatments, presented in partnership with renowned skincare and body therapy expert Jennifer Eales.
Sanctuary Tambarare, Kenya
If it’s the African wildlife that excites you most, this new ultra-luxe resort is well worth investigating. Opened in June this year, it is located in the award-winning Ol Pejeta Conservancy, which offers 90,000 acres of unspoiled African landscape. This is the territory where the so-called ‘Big Five’ (African elephant, cape buffalo, leopard, lion, and rhinoceros) roam, including the last two northern white rhinos on earth.
Onsite, there are just 10 luxurious, large (57sq. m) and airy guest tents with private verandas. Each tent is individually decorated in a ‘boutique-meets-bush’ style that harks back to a bygone age, updated with contemporary style. There’s a restaurant plus a separate bar tent with a deck offering plenty of loungers overlooking the ‘boma’ (animal enclosure). The wildlife is the star, with the Sanctuary making the most of its location by offering a wide range of activities including game drives, guided bush walks, night drives, and lion tracking.
Banyan Tree Ilha Caldeira, Mozambique
A little longer to wait for this one – it’s set to open in July 2023 – but the Banyan Tree Ilha Caldeira promises to be worth it! This latest arrival in the Banyan Tree portfolio could barely be more secluded, as it is situated on a private island (see above) off the coast of Mozambique.
The oceanfront property (see also main image) adopts the local architectural style and makes use of materials native to the region – all with sustainability in mind. It will offer 40 private pool villas with stunning views of the Indian Ocean, providing a sense of being immersed in the natural world. Guests will be able to enjoy diving expeditions among the surrounding living coral, as well as taking time out to unwind in the holistic spa. The guest offer will be topped off by seasonal restaurants, plus lounge and bar areas. There will even be a helipad, enabling direct helicopter transfers from Nampula Airport on the mainland.
Nobu Marrakech, Morocco
For the luxury traveler, Africa is more than just safaris. The continent’s major cities also offer unique and memorable experiences; and none more so than Marrakech. Over the past half century the so-called Red City has transformed from being a key stop-off on the Hippy Trail to a major global tourism destination, with luxurious hotels duly proliferating.
One of the headline openings for this year is Nobu Marrakech – the brand’s first African hotel – which is due to welcome its first guests in the fall. It is situated in the Hivernage district, a few paces from the historic heart of the city, souks and vibrant main square of Djemaa el-Fna (pictured). The hotel will house 71 spacious guest rooms and suites, a selection of dining venues, plus rooftop spaces. Guests will also be able to enjoy a luxurious, 2,000 sq. m spa and fitness center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, plus a meeting and event space.
- Watch out for issue 9 of The Insider, in November, when we will be scouring another continent for its most exciting luxury hotel arrivals…
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