7 Boutique Hotels in Africa to Make Your Temporary Home on Your Next Visit
On your next vacation do you see yourself sipping cocktails by the poolside surrounded by a luscious garden and the peaceful sounds of nature? Do you see yourself in a small house, with a private butler and a panoramic view of the Atlantic and a primary forest? Or do you see walks into town, adventures through exotic wildlife and island vistas?
Whether relaxing or traversing, these seven luxury boutique hotels across the coastlines of Africa will not only stylishly house you on your vacation, but make you feel as though you’ve been transported into another world.
From Egypt to South Africa and Tanzania, we’ve rounded up seven of our favorite boutique hotels on the continent to check into on your next trip.
Le Sidi in Sidi Abd el Rahman, Egypt
Seated on the ivory sands of Hacienda Bay in Egypt’s North Coast, looking out to the Mediterranean Sea, Le Sidi hotel offers a holistic and indulgent stay complete with a poolside bar and spa treatments that boast carefully crafted skincare products designed to suit every skin type.
Inspired by the rich culture and heritage of Egypt, particularly of the 14th and 15th centuries, Le Sidi is designed to provide guests with an authentic experience that includes architectural art, cultural artefacts and refined hospitality.
A terrace restaurant offers three daily meals with locally grown seasonal ingredients brought right to your table fresh from the farm in the form of authentic North African cuisine. Throughout the day you can lounge by the pool with a cocktail from the bar, or take a walk to the beach on the U-shaped lagoon while listening to perfectly curated ambiance music by local artists provided by the hotel and available to stream from wherever you are.
Seku Bi in Dakar, Senegal
Located in a secluded space a few steps away from Independence Square to give relief from the rush and the noise of the city center, Seku Bi in Dakar, Senegal offers gorgeous Atlantic sunsets and the perfect stay for business or pleasure. Meaning “parrot” in the Wolof language, the hotel is named after the tropical birds that can be found among the frangipani trees in the garden.
With seven unique ocean-view rooms distributed across two French colonial-style villas—Room 1 features a wraparound balcony for relaxation in the fresh air—Seku Bi is designed to be a home away from home that will house you comfortably no matter the duration of your stay.
For breakfast, you will find yourself pleasantly indulged at Café Buunna. Named after the “buunna” bean, or coffee bean, this café gives life to the Ethiopian tale of the monks who, upon discovery of “bright red berries”, produced the first cup of coffee in the world. For lunch and dinner, head over to the Il Pappagallo restaurant, which specializes in a fusion of local flavors and Italian cuisine courtesy of chef Abdou Fall’s Senegalese roots and a childhood spent in Turin.
L’Hôtel Particulier in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
A garden hotel in the Cocody district of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire the Hôtel Particulier combines modernity, comfort and exoticism to create the perfect oasis away from the surrounding urban sprawl. Treat yourself to one of the six deluxe rooms featuring a terrace and/or a private garden, before venturing out to relax in the pool. On a working trip? Settle into the glass conference room surrounded by garden views and options for coffee, meal, or even cocktail breaks.
Visit the on-site Montale perfume shop, which features a signature oud scent or the concept store offering jewelry, natural cosmetics and decorations that would make perfect gifts. And when you get hungry, the hotel restaurant Exquisite Parenthesis is open all day for guests, serving dishes such as vegan millet porridge and homemade jams for breakfast, and Afro-fusion cuisine for lunch and dinner.
16/16 in Lagos, Nigeria
Hone your artistic side and meet others who are just as passionately creative as you in this creators’ paradise known as the 16/16 hotel in Lagos, Nigeria. With 10 individually styled suites, and a single deluxe king suite called the Iamisigo Room, each suite is like living within a piece of art as designed by by creative director and artist Bubu Ogisi.
With decorative touches that include organic textures of raffia, basket weaves and potted plants, the hotel offers a rustic décor that connects each guest with nature, as well as demonstrating Ogisi’s dedication towards the use of ancestral African traditions and crafts. Her repurposing of deconstructed materials is nothing if not inspiring, and will get you through whatever kind of creative block you might be experiencing.
The Red Pepper House in Lamu, Kenya
Nestled by the waters of the Indian ocean, the Red Pepper House in Lamu, Kenya transports you back in time to the luxury and adventure of the colonial era. This designated UNESCO World Heritage Site is the location in which Swahili has been best preserved. The archipelago location offers ocean views from five nyumbas (houses in Swahili) as well as a lush primary forest for a delightful isolated escape.
Each nyumba has five distinct spaces: bedroom and bathroom with a large shower and mosquito nets to enjoy the breeze from the sea; a covered seating area under the trees, a veranda under the sky; a private garden with beach sand and vegetation and an outdoor shower; a private outdoor area on the beach with two large sun loungers as well as a discreet private butler to attend the house and accompany you on any visits that you desire.
There is an on-site spa for massage treatments and plenty of flavorful means from the pub while activities available for adventurers include boat rides, panoramic flights over the island, water sports and cooking classes.
Kensington Place in Cape Town, South Africa
Located in the green suburbs of Higgovale in Cape Town, Kensington Place is an oasis of tranquility. Walk, read or just relax amongst the lush gardens, or cool off with a few laps in the pool. The spacious rooms have become favorites of travelers for both business and pleasure thanks to rooms with king-sized beds, generous minibar, underﬂoor heating and free high-speed Wi-Fi.
The room balconies offer great views of the city and Table Mountain in the near distance. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served all day and made to order, featuring quick bites such as warm oats or a fruit salad, fresh pressed juices, egg pasta, Malva pudding and so much more. And don’t forget to indulge yourself with the expertly crafted wine list. The hotel also offers massage therapy, facials, mani-pedis, easy access, a gym, personal laundry, and pseudo art museum created by the vibrant artwork lining the hotel walls.
Zanzibar Palace Hotel in Zanzibar, Tanzania
At the Zanzibar Palace Hotel in Zanzibar, Tanzania, unique style and modern comfort are the main focus. Nine distinct rooms are available, spread throughout three floors. Luxury rooms, romantic suites, grand suites, and even a honeymoon suite on the top floor are sure to fully immerse you in the mix of Arabian, Indian, and English culture that has created the eloquent culture of Zanzibar.
Built in 1904 this independently owned building holds a historic charm, as well as modern comfort from its restyling in 2016. Relax and unwind at the hotel with various styles and lengths of massages, body scrubs, mani-pedis and facials. Or use the hotel as your home base to explore the island, and take easy walks into town.
Words by Eloise Johnson