Five star hospitality? Just a handful of rooms? Plenty of character? Ten paces from your room to the water’s edge? Island retreat? Razor-edged design? “Robinson Crusoe” (poor chap, if only he’d patented the brand!) style barefoot luxury – or just barefoot relaxation? Chic? Tented rooms? Colonial style? Total privacy? Fantastic views? Hammocks? Verandahs? Thatched open-sided rooms? Complete privacy? Spa required? Diving? Snorkelling? Fishing? Great food and cuisine? Excellent wine? Sailing? Access to wonderful culture? Private Butler or boatman? One could go on and on but the point is made….
Nearly all such places that we choose from - and there are many but the very best are relatively few – are small, taking probably 16-20 guests or perhaps a few more, and have character by the bucket-load. Being small, the service will be impeccable. We choose our beach lodges on standards, service, and location and, of course, they must offer amazing food, too! Seafood will often be the staple at such places – minutes-fresh from the ocean….
Beach lodges are not usually “smart”. “Kikoi-style” is the norm at most but, of course, there are beach lodges where a certain style may be more appropriate and some where a certain formality in the evening is more appropriate. But all are very relaxed! It is therefore very important that we choose as carefully in terms of our client’s beach experiences as we do for the more adventurous safari or other activity that we may be considering so that the theme of the holiday or vacation is continued throughout.
Activities can be chosen with care. Some beach lodges may not be terribly “active”, instead focusing on pure relaxation; some may be near to some of the best dive sites on the globe; some may be located specifically to access excellent game fishing. Some have been created to offer guests wanting an insight into local culture a genuine, holistic, experience redolent of past centuries, places where life is often lived exactly as it has been for ages, a dhow-trading, slow-speed, seasonally-inspired existence that has not really changed that much for hundreds of years. Sailing can therefore be superb, snorkeling often stunning - and swim once with dolphins and anything else becomes pale…...some even have motorised water sports, for those who must or who have the need for speed!
From Robinson Crusoe chic, to minimalist, cutting edge design, to old colonial plantation style, the choice is yours!
Where? Mozambique, Madagascar, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Kenya, Tanzania and Mauritius.
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...
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