Boutique Hotels are always wonderful, mixing sympathetic and often unusual décor and style with a very personal hosting ethic – and all in a small and intimate package. So often such properties are also owner-run, which fits brilliantly well with our - and your, as our clients - own preferences. In the same vein, Africa has some examples of the boutique hotel genre that rival anything available anywhere else – and not all are in cities even if many are more urban.
A boutique Hotel gives our clients some of the very best of five star hotels in Africa! The common denominators equal the boutique ethic that one would expect of the genre: small, intimate, charming, with lovely views or situation and wonderful food. At the beginning or end of a safari, or perhaps a midpoint stay, they can be a seriously welcoming surprise – not as a change of quality per se but more as a change of style and that elusive “feel”.
South Africa abounds with the largest choice of magnificent boutique hotels but there are a smattering scattered across many other locations: Kenya and Namibia being obvious locations but there are plenty of others – Tanzania has its fair share where, outside the majorcentres, some properties are properly “boutique hotel” rather than a lodge per se.
But, let’s face it, Johannesburg, Cape Town, the Garden Route, Hermanus, the Northwest Coast and other South African locations are particularly well served with these small boutique properties. Here the meld of traditional and superlative South African hospitality with a southern hemisphere flair that can erupt into all kinds of creative genius combine to make a few days stay in a boutique hotel an unforgettable experience.
Then there’s the promise of some of the world’s most talented chefs, superb wines, décor that’s local and fitting and yet full of style….and locations truly “to die for”. Certainly South Africa’s portfolio of boutique properties has to be unique in its range of what is on offer.
Outside South Africa there are some unusual examples of boutique properties in Namibia, where an awe-inspiring landscape combines with, again, wonderful hospitality, to create something unique to this fascinating country. In Kenya’s Nairobi Giraffe Manor, which has all the attributes of a boutique property, is likely to be the only place where giraffes share guest’s breakfast – “extreme boutique” perhaps?
In Tanzania the Oyster Bay Hotel in Dar es Salaam fits the description of a boutique property, looking out over the harbour roads, and then there are small, personally run, boutique places in both Mauritius and Reunion – and one or two in Madagascar.
Africa is not “just” safari: For those who want style, personality and a great deal of chic fun and enjoyment there are properties to suit all tastes – and the range of small boutique hotels ought to satisfy the most discerning taste.
Where? South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Namibia
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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