Kaya Mawa – Malawi
British magazine Tatler listed Kaya Mawa among their top 101 Hotels in the World, while Condé Nast heaped praise on it as one of the Ten Most Romantic Places in the World; it was even voted as the third Best Beach Property in Africa in the Good Safari Awards in 2013. With that being said, it is safe to assume that if you are looking for a vacation spot in Southern Africa, a stay at Kaya Mawa would be worth every second.
Located on the Likoma Island and surrounded by the impossibly clear waters of Lake Malawi, the lodge first opened its doors in 2000; however, it wasn’t until 2010, after a year-long renovation, that it started dropping jaws. Each of the lodge’s 12 rooms are built differently, but they all have polished concrete floors. The accommodation hosts a variety of activities to keep you busy as well: quad biking, diving, and kitesurfing are all ideal if you feel like breaking a sweat. There’s also intimate picnics and indulgent spa treatments for those who enjoy laid-back afternoons.
Ellerman House – South Africa
Ellerman House is 6 minutes walk from the beach. Located in Bantry Bay, perched on the slopes of Lion’s Head lies the elegant mansion Ellerman House. Featuring panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, it boasts a lush garden, outdoor swimming pool and offers a complimentary airport shuttle.
Individually decorated rooms with classic furnishings come with a balcony or terrace. Each room is equipped with a satellite TV, safe and tea-and-coffee-making facilities.
Ellerman House restaurant serves breakfast daily and offers a variety of cuisines with the influence of Cape Malay spices and fresh organic fruit and vegetables. Guests can enjoy a glass of wine at the bar.
The spa features a sauna, steam room and a selection of treatments available upon request. Facilities include a fitness centre, wine cellar and art gallery.
Free WiFi is available. V&A Waterfront is within 6 km, Camps Bay is a 5 minutes’ drive and Table Mountain is a 10-minute drive away.
Bantry Bay is a great choice for travellers interested in scenery, food and wine.
Couples particularly like the location — they rated it 9.1 for a two-person trip.
La Mamounia Marrakech, Morocco
La Mamounia is a characterful Marrakech hotel offering lovely walled gardens, a choice of four restaurants, fabulous breakfasts and Moroccan style rooms, near the Medina and Jemaa El Fna square. Although in a prime spot, close to the Medina, the city’s souk and Jemaa El Fna square, the hotel is located in 17 acres of walled parkland including flowerbeds, lawns, cacti and vegetable gardens, which are magically lit up by night.
Immaculate door staff in traditional robes set high standards. Flip-flops and trainers are discouraged. International guests (including many from France), comprise celebrities, politicians and royalty. The large and rather impersonal, open-plan public areas are scented with cedar wood and cooled by splashing fountains. One of the five bars is named after Churchill who regularly wintered here. The outdoor pool is larger and busier than the indoor one which is located next to a basement spa area offering treatments based on local products including argan oil, orange-flower water and honey.
There are 135 rooms, 71 suites and three three-bedroom riads. Opt for a Park room on the higher floors overlooking the pool and gardens, as bedrooms on the side of the hotel can be affected by street noise and from the call of the muezzin in the early hours of the morning. Decorated in Moroccan style, rooms have intricately-patterned wall tiles, internal lattice-wood screens, large gilded mirrors and colourful mosaic-tiled floors. Large picture windows lead onto private terraces with chairs and coffee table provided and bathrooms have roomy, alcove showers with convenient inglenooks for toiletries
Zuri Zanzibar Hotel Zanzibar, Kendwa, Tanzania
Zuri, a high-design eco-resort, spills onto the best stretch of beach on the Tanzanian archipelago. Follow lantern-lit jungle paths to one of 55 thatched-roof villas gathered in clusters reflecting a traditional African village. The first Design Hotel in Zanzibar, Zuri serves sustainability with Afro-chic style. Zuri is quite literally off the beaten track, secreted away at the end of an unpaved road about an hour from the airport and Stone Town. Draped across a gentle beachside slope in Kendwa, the 13-acre Zuri micro-universe feeds into dreamy, sunset-facing beach, uniquely unaffected by the massive tidal fluctuations that plague the rest of the region’s beaches.
You can’t pass the flocks of gardeners in wide-brim sunhats and other staff members without hearing Swahili greetings of ‘jambo’ or ‘hakuna matata.’ Service is slow, steady and smiley. Though some things get lost in translation (an order for a double cappuccino required an explanation), everyone is there to make you happy — and they succeed. Zuri has social hubs aplenty: a fragrant spice garden, an al fresco library, water sports pavilion, yoga deck, open-air gym and spa using all natural products. Favourite spots are the chic ice-blue infinity pool and silk-sand beach.
Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort Medjumbe, Mozambique
Situated on a private island in the Quirimbas Archipelago, Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort boasts a restaurant, outdoor pool and diving opportunities.
Overlooking the Indian Ocean, the villas at the resort boast a furnished deck with plunge pool. They are equipped with air conditioning, ceiling fan, en-suite bathroom and tea-and-coffee making facilities.
The resort’s restaurant Jahazi serves local dishes and international cuisine with Portuguese influences. Cocktails and stunning views can be enjoyed at the Bahari Lounge Bar. Private dinners and diet menus can be arranged
Guests can unwind with a relaxing massage or beauty treatment at Anantara, the resort’s beachfront spa villa.
Activities offered include water ski, kayaking, fishing, sailing and and snorkelling. Scuba Diving enthusiasts can book diving excursions to drive sites within 15 minutes boat ride of the resort. Picnic trips to Quissanga Island can also be arranged.
Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort has an airstrip and is a 45-minute flight from Mozambique’s Pemba International Airport.
This property also has one of the best-rated locations in Medjumbe! Guests are happier about it compared to other properties in the area.