The festive season is upon us and holidaymakers and vacationers alike are making last minute travel plans. Top of the planning list is no doubt a search for best accommodation. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on one’s take, the internet is flush with too many choices, which may be a blessing for others or a bit overwhelming for others.
Should you find too many hotel options overwhelming for you, remember you are not alone. More so, many if not all hotels nowadays have an online presence either a website or on social media. Often times, they use their online presence to present to you, the potential customer, all their promotions, deals, and programs. In addition, they show you some slick promotional copy and tantalising photos which further makes choosing one out of the many extremely difficult.
With the internet flashing everything right in front of you, how do you differentiate between the hotel that will bath you in luxury and the one that will fail to live up to its hype? The key really is to know your needs. Before browsing the internet, ask yourself what are the facilities you want at a hotel. Once you come up with a list, it becomes easier to select the best hotel for your holiday.
Some of the stuff you need to look at before selecting a hotel include the location (inside the heart of the city, beachside or remote), on-site dining options, childcare options, ambiance and décor, cuisine served, indoor and outdoor recreational and sporting facilities, complimentary Wi-Fi and the biggest of all affordability.
To save you the precious time of surfing page after page searching for a hotel, we have compiled a list of the five best hotels in Africa. The following hotels are ranked among the top 100 hotels in the world in 2017.
The rankings were compiled by Travel + Leisure magazine. All the five top-ranked African hotels are in South Africa. Travel + Leisure magazine’s rankings are based on user reviews and surveys. Users rate the facilities at the hotels, service, food, and overall value. Travel + Leisure classify hotels as either resort or city depending on their amenities and facilities.
Tswalu Kalahari Reserve
Tswalu Kalahari Reserve is the best-ranked hotel in Africa and 6th in the world. The beauty of Tswalu Kalahari Reserve starts from the outside. Located in Northern Cape, South Africa, Tswalu Reserve captures diverse habitats from the rolling dunes to the mountain ranges. The reserve is alive with the extraordinary and rare. Among the wildlife around are the elusive pangolin, endangered desert black rhino, and the magnificent black-maned lions. You can self-drive or use the dedicated conservationists to guide you on your private safari.
The dining experience at Tswalu is unbelievable. Serving mostly traditional South African food, breakfast is served by the panoramic view of the waterhole. Dinner is complemented by a traditional boma braai served with local spinach. A romantic dinner is another great option on the deck where you have a telescope for gazing at the stars.
Also available is an award-winning spa offering a private garden, sensation showers, beautiful therapy suites and a welcome lounge.
Tswalu loves children, upon arrival every child is presented with a backpack full of guides and tools. Children activities include archery, spoor identification, casting and tracking on foot.
Singita Sabi Sand
Sabi Sand ranks as the second best hotel and 14th globally according to Travel + Leisure magazine. Sabi Sand is one of the five facilities owned by Singita in Sub-Saharan Africa; others include Kruger National Park also in South Africa, Lamai and Grumete both in Tanzania, and Pamushana in Zimbabwe.
Sabi Sand consists of a series of lodges surrounding the Kruger National Park. Currently, there are three lodges, the first of which is Ebony Lodge officially opened in 1993. The other two are Boulders Lodge and Castleton. Ebony is a classic safari lodge, Boulders takes its cues from nature reflecting the four elements of earth, water, fire, and air while Castleton is reminiscent of an African farmhouse during the early years of civilisation.
La Residence is ranked 3rd in Africa and 18th in the world. La Residence is a tranquil haven of relaxation and comfort located in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley. La Residence’s interior is entirely Indian designed with Indian chandeliers, vaulted ceiling, Indian original artwork, and huge mirrors gracing the walls. In total, there are 11 suites ideal for couples and 5 vineyard suites ideal for groups of friends and families.
The cuisine served at La Residence is mostly Indian food but you are free to order any dish of your choice.
Outside La Residence are plum orchards and vineyards offering breath-taking views of the undulating countryside and an atmosphere of complete tranquillity. La Residence offers helicopter wine tours.
Londolozi is ranked 4th in Africa and 35th in the world. Established in 1926, Londolozi continues to stand strong. In 1993, it became the first holiday facility in the world to be accorded the Relais and Chateaux status. Londolozi is surrounded by the Kruger National Park, activities to do around here include trekking, canoeing, kayaking and safari drives.
andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge
andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge is ranked 5th in Africa and 44th in the world. Located in KwaZulu Natal, you can access the lodge by air Phinda has a private airstrip. Phinda is in a secluded environment, the structures are Asian inspired and the interiors have an African warmness.
Activities here include cultural excursions (Zulu village tours), beach adventures, night turtle drives, scuba safari, ocean safari, black rhino tracking on foot, birding,
Breakfast and lunch are served on the open air dining deck while you see monkeys frolic in the branches. Dinner is served under warm firelight after which there is a traditional African boma under the stars.
Phinda is ideal for families. Children of all ages are welcome. There are highly skilled childminders available for no additional fees.