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Top 10: the most astonishing beach retreats in Africa

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (January 16, 2017): Top 10 most luxurious beach hotels in Africa.

A couple of weeks ago, I published my list of the most stunning beach resorts in Asia. Today, I take you to what I consider to be the earth’s most beautiful continent in terms of natural scenery: Africa. Not just an extraordinary destination for ultra luxe safari holidays, the African continent is also blessed with dreamy beaches, so it should not come as a surprise that some of the world’s most exclusive beach getaways are located along its shores. Here, I reveal my top 10 of the most exclusive beach retreats in Africa, that offer the ultimate in relaxation and privacy, with white sand beneath your feet.

There is more information below the slide show. Think I missed one? Share your favorite African beach hotel in the comments section, or take my poll below!

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10. FOUR SEASONS RESORT SHARM EL SHEIKH, EGYPT

A hillside Red Sea diving resort bathed in brilliant blue skies and sunshine, the Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh is a stunning beachfront place where luxury and natural beauty meet on the tip of the Sinai Peninsula. The 200 spacious, tastefully appointed accommodations all have a private balcony with views of the Red Sea, and are equipped with oversized marble bathrooms which include separate showers and deep soaking tubs. This hotel features a full-service spa and wellness center, 4 outdoor swimming pools, 3 tennis courts, and a host of on-site dining options which serve a variety of cuisine including Indian and Italian. Unfortunately, since the Arab Spring and the Metrojet plane crash last year, tourism in Egypt and especially in Sharm El Sheikh is in free fall, although attempts are made to bring back foreign tourism levels in the area.

FOUR SEASONS RESORT SHARM EL SHEIKH, EGYPT

FOUR SEASONS RESORT SHARM EL SHEIKH, EGYPT


9. DIAMONDS STAR OF THE EAST, ZANZIBAR

An oasis of tranquillity, privacy and relaxation awaits you at this luxurious and intimate retreat on Zanzibar’s west coast. The resort has only eleven private villas, all of them featuring a private plunge pool, and a luxurious tropical garden with breathtaking views over the Indian Ocean and Zanzibar’s famous sunset. Each villa bears the name of one of the most precious gems in the world, harmonising perfectly with the modern African architecture. A personal assistant is at your disposal 24 hours a day to ensure that all your requirements are fulfilled. A private beach, a wonderful spa facility, and a top quality all inclusive package complete the offering of this stunning Zanzibar’s star resort, that captures the beauty and magic of its African environment.

DIAMOND STAR OF THE EAST, ZANZIBAR

DIAMOND STAR OF THE EAST, ZANZIBAR


8. BANYAN TREE TAMOUDA BAY, MOROCCO

Last year, Banyan Tree Hotels & Resort opened a glorious beach retreat in Tamouda Bay, along the northwestern coast of Morocco. The Banyan Tree Tamouda Bay pays tribute to the region’s Andalusian-Moorish legacy and Moroccan heritage that evokes a sense of place throughout its landscapes, courtyards, verdant gardens, fountains and reflecting pools. Basking on golden sands with brilliant blue waters lapping at its feet, this exclusive all-pool villa resort conveys romance with exotic Moroccan charm and inspires relaxation via its understated Mediterranean vibe. The resort is 15 km (9 miles) away from the city of Tetouan and a 45-minute drive from bustling Tangier. Positioned between the rugged Rif Mountains and the glistening Mediterranean Sea, Banyan Tree Tamouda Bay, Morocco resort offers spectacular waterfront views and sublime resort living.

BANYAN TREE TAMOUDA BAY, MOROCCO

BANYAN TREE TAMOUDA BAY, MOROCCO


7. THE OBEROI MAURITIUS

Nestling in the idyllic Baie Aux Tortues – a natural marine park with a vibrant coral reef on the northwest coast of Mauritius – The Oberoi is a place where romantic dreams come true. The hotel reflects a rich multicultural heritage, blending stone, wood and thatch in twenty acres of resplendent sub-tropical gardens. An impressive 600 meters (2000 feet) of ocean front offers stunning views of the setting sun and verdant mountains. In this idyllic haven of tranquility, guests are pampered in a choice of 71 pavilions and luxurious villas, many with their own private swimming pools. Ensuite marble bathrooms, sunken baths and walk in wardrobes underline the subtle luxury of each accommodation.  Two open-sided thatch restaurants prepare the best in Asian and continental cuisine.

  • Hotel websiteThe Oberoi Mauritius
  • Other accolades: The Oberoi Mauritius also features in my top 10 list of the best luxury resort in Mauritius.
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and one complimentary dinner for 2).
7. THE OBEROI MAURITIUS

THE OBEROI MAURITIUS


6. &BEYOND BUENGUERRA ISLAND, MOZAMBIQUE

Situated on the second largest island in the sunny Bazaruto Archipelago off the coast of Mozambique, the &Beyond Buenguerra Island Lodge is set in a protected marine conservation area and offers pristine beaches and unspoiled reefs teeming with marine life. The island’s interior is a lus patchwork of forests, wetlands and fresh water lakes. Spread out along warm, golden sands, every room and guest area at the lodge opens out onto a spectacle of sparkling ocean waters. The ten casinhas (‘little houses’) and two cabanas admit cooling sea breezes through wooden shutters, glazed windows and doors that fold back to frame the magnificent views over the Indian Ocean. Set under thatched roofs, all casinhas and cabans boast elegant four-poster beds with white linen canopies and comforrtable day beds. The lodge was refurbished in 2015, resulting in a new design that reflects both the island’s African and Portuguese heritage.

&BEYOND BUENGUERRA ISLAND, MOZAMBIQUE

&BEYOND BUENGUERRA ISLAND, MOZAMBIQUE


5. THE ST REGIS MAURITIUS

The St Regis Mauritius is a 5-star luxury resort in old colonial style nestled on the legendary Le Morne peninsula at the far southwestern tip of the island of Mauritius. Overlooking sparkling white sand beaches and a pristine turquoise lagoon, the peninsula was added to the World Heritage List by UNESCO in 2008, because of a singular 500-meter (1640 feet) high basaltic rock that defines the surrounding area’s dramatic natural beauty. The first property of the legendary St Regis brand in the Indian Ocean (a second one recently opened in the Maldives) features 172 lavishly appointed guest rooms and suites, all offering breathtaking views over the beach (the finest on the island) and the Indian Ocean waters. In addition, there are no less than five fine dining venues and one of the world’s best spas.

THE ST REGIS MAURITIUS

THE ST REGIS MAURITIUS


4. FREGATE ISLAND PRIVATE, SEYCHELLES

Fregate Island Private is a secluded paradise, 4 degrees south of the equator and 35 miles (65 km) off Seychelles’ Mahe coast. Here, you will discover the castaway idyl of your dreams amidst relaxed luxury. Sensitively developed, the natural surroundings are home to free roaming giant Aldabra tortoises, sea turtles and a plethora of rare and exotic birds, all cared for in an ambitious conservation programme. Nestled amidst the fauna by the sea are 16 villas crafted in balau wood, each with private pool and beach buggy. Guests are greeted by their personal butler who sees to every possible desire and comfort. The island and its seven stunning beaches can also be booked exclusively on occasions such as fairytale dream weddings, family reunions or special company events.

  • Hotel websiteFregate Island Private
  • Other accolades: Fregate Island Private also features in my top 10 list of the best luxury resorts in the Seychelles.
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, complimentary WiFi, 85 euro spa credit, 1 hour snorkeling excursion, and 1 hour sunset cruise).
4. FREGATE ISLAND PRIVATE, SEYCHELLES

FREGATE ISLAND PRIVATE, SEYCHELLES


3. &BEYOND MNEMBA ISLAND, TANZANIA

If you have ever harboured the secret wish of finding yourself the sole inhabitant of a beautiful tropical island, but without the effort of having to lift a finger to fend for yourself, &Beyond Mnemna Island is just the place for you. This romantic, private hideway is an award-winning barefoot beach paradise just off the northeast coast of Zanzibar, that accommodates a maximum of 20 guests at a time. Guest relax and unwind in the exclusivity of their own stretch of beachfront, where ten beachside bandass peep out onto unblemished sands from the dappled shade of the casuarina pine forest and overlook the Mnemba atoll (a scuba diver’s delight). From snorkeling, swimming, ands kayaking to massages in the beach, to doing nothing at all, &Beyond Mnemba Island has something for everyone.

3. &BEYOND MNEMBA ISLAND, TANZANIA

&BEYOND MNEMBA ISLAND, TANZANIA


2. SIX SENSES ZIL PASYON

The new Six Senses Zil Pasyon opened in September 2016 and is located on the island of Félicité, one of the most dramatically beautiful and unspoiled islands in the Seychelles. With massive granite boulders fringing the shoreline and picture perfect beaches it is the island’s dramatic beauty that make it the perfect private island escape. True to Six Senses heritage of creating exceptional guest experiences in places of incredible beauty, the resort occupies just one-third of the island’s land total – the rest is left to the beauty of nature and wildlife. The resort includes 28 one-bedroom pool villas and a  couple of two-bedroom pool villas ranging from 2,150 square feet (200 square meters) to 5,380 square feet (500 square meters) plus 17 private residences. Six Senses Zil Pasyon offers six dining and bar venues on the island, sport and leisure facilities, three pristine sandy beaches and an outdoor main pool.


1. NORTH ISLAND SEYCHELLES

North Island is the world’s most exclusive hideaway and the best hotel I have ever been to. The insanely beautiful island has only 11 opulent hand-crafted villas overlooking the pristine, powder-white sands and turquoise waters of the Ile Du Nord eco-reserve. Raised off the ground to catch the cooling Indian Ocean breezes, all villas open up onto a private garden and the magnificent beach. Plunge pools and outdoor showers provide the finishing touches to your private sanctuary. The island’s lounge and dining areas, scenically located health spa and gym, library and dive centre, and a rim-flow swimming pool are all built into a granitic outcrop. Keep an eye out for Brutus, the island’s 160-year-old tortoise. The resort was the decor for honeymoon of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.


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2 Comments on Top 10: the most astonishing beach retreats in Africa

  1. Gorgeous choices! I’d love to visit Africa at some point. We booked our last holiday through Berkeley Travel which was excellent http://www.berkeleytravel.co.uk/

    Like

  2. Nice list, but I prefer the Oberoi Sahl Hasheesh to the Four Seasons regarding your Egyptian entry.

    Like

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