Tag: Africa Hotels

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Places to Get Your Glamp On: Sanctuary Zebra Plains Walking Safari Camp, Zambia

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  Site Where: South Luangwa, Zambia
February 7, 2011 at 3:54 PM | by | Comments (2)

Last year, we told you about the hottest (and hautest) new trend in travel: glamping. That’s right, glamorous camping- that most ridiculous, and ridiculously awesome, of adventures that let travelers experience the glories of nature in five-star luxury settings (and sometimes with Campfire Butlers).

This week, we’re going to give you a little glamping update, as HotelChatter contributor Eric Rosen tells us about some of the most exciting new experiences out there. So pack your limited edition hiking boots and your diamond-infused sunscreen, because we’re going glamping!

Let's start our global perambulation in the birthplace of both mankind and the luxury camping trend itself - Africa - and the newest adventure from one of our favorite safari outfitters, Sanctuary Retreats. On June 1, they're opening Sanctuary Zebra Plains Walking Safari Camp, a first-of-its-kind walking safari in the pristine wilderness of South Luangwa, Zambia. Guests will spend their days doing things like wandering along riverbanks, observing elephants at their toilette, and then canoeing over to an island where they’ll get to spy on game such as buffalo, zebras and hippos, before returning for sunset cocktails, canapés and then dinner on the Luangwa River. It's designed to be part of a larger safari experience, with a recommended three day stay. Here's the lowdown.

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HotelChatter's Guide to Glamping: Out of Africa-Style

March 23, 2010 at 4:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

Let’s be honest, we’re not outdoorsy people here at HotelChatter; we spend all day at our computers dorking out about hotel properties around the world.

The only way you’ll get us into a tent (apart from one that morphs into a jacket) is if it has WiFi, a deep soaking tub, chilled champagne, and, okay, maybe a few artfully arranged animal prints. Lucky for us, these sorts of luxury tent digs actually do exist, thanks to the "Glamping" trend. Yes, Glamping--glamorous camping.

All this week, we’ll be trekking across the globe on a trendspotting tour of the more intriguing properties we’ve come across where those in the know will be "roughing it," starting with Africa.

However, we must warn you that our version of glamping is far more toned-down that fashion designer's Dsquared. There will be no see-through rain coats with hot-pink piping here or ballgowns paired with fishermen hats. Of course, you could always pack them in your suitcase if you like.

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Striking BA Flight Attendants Party It Up at a Hotel's '19th Hole'

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  Site Where: Crner Faure & Stellenbosch Roads, Somerset West, Cape Town, South Africa, 7130
March 22, 2010 at 1:19 PM | by | Comments (0)

All publicity is good publicity, right? Erm, maybe not for the British Airways staff who were caught carousing in a posh Cape Town hotel just before they started their strike. No word on whether it was the same group who earned the airline the nickname British Bareways last month.

But this may be some good publicity for the hotel in question, the Lord Charles, outside of Cape Town in wine country, since the Telegraph had the mind to tell us that there are two swimming pools, “multiple sun decks and seven acres of manicured lawns should one opt for a midnight stroll” (presumably you can also stroll in the daytime).

The Lord Charles is an NH Hotel, and although we’re not always fans of their dodgy marketing emails, hotel-wise, they’re normally a pretty good, stylish chain choice.

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This Week in Hotel Lust: White Picket Fences at Cape Town's Mount Nelson

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  Site Where: 76 Orange Street, Cape Town, South Africa, 8000
November 20, 2009 at 4:40 PM | by | Comments (0)

This week, a combination of wanderlust and hotel lust led us to research the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa, which a roving HotelChatter correspondent briefly had the chance to visit last year. We deemed Mount Nelson worth a second look from afar, because of the consistent buzz it garners for its exaggerated sense of luxury. Then again, if it weren't exaggerated it wouldn't be lust-worthy, would it?

Fat cats who travel to areas of the world deemed "exotic" aren't usually in the game of roughing it. Maybe they've come for a safari, but they better be welcomed home at the end of the day by plush linens at the very least.

No need to worry about that at Mount Nelson, where Garden Cottages located away from the main hotel building offer grown-up Richie/Regina Riches their very own white picket fence, rose garden, marble bathrooms, and use of an adults-only pool. Socialite's kids can be notoriously snotty, so this division of property is welcomed by singles and child-free couples alike. The price of privacy: approximately $1,478 per night, according to listed rates and our currency conversion.

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Anantara Goes From the Tropics to the 'Rugged Desert'

June 15, 2009 at 10:21 AM | by | Comments (0)

The luxury-minded people who build the Anantara Resorts have already persuaded us that their south-east Asian properties look like killer places to stay, like the Anantara Phuket or their fancy Anantara Seminyak in Bali. But Anantara seems to be turning a different corner now, with big plans for the Middle East and North Africa shaping up.

Later this year, the Anantara Qasr Al Sarab (pictured) will open its doors near Abu Dhabi — well, an hour and a half from Abu Dhabi, actually, since the resort will be in the middle of "rugged desert". This Anantara is already taking bookings for stays starting from November 1, with the cheapest room (a Deluxe King) being offered for $1,700 a night.

Not quite so close to being open (but with a promise that they'll all be open by 2011), Anantara is also looking to expand into Oman and Morocco. In Oman, Anantara will be opening up in Muscat, while in Morocco, they're putting resorts into both Marrakech, near the central medina, and Mogador (Essaouira), about two hours from Marrakech. These new spots might not be the romantic beach hideaways we're used to seeing from Anantara resorts, but they definitely still fall in the exotic category.

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Senegal Wants to Cash In On Their Le Meridien

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  Site Where: Pointe des Almadies, Dakar, Senegal, BP8181
February 5, 2009 at 5:43 PM | by | Comments (0)

International banks aren't the only ones having issues with making good on their loans; the entire government of Senegal, on Africa's northwest coast, is so seriously in debt to local businesses that they are having to sell off their prized possession: the Le Meridien Dakar. While this may be great news for aspiring hoteliers who value a bargain, it is nonetheless devastating for the Le Meridien chain and the state of hotels in Senegal.

Even if we had a bankful of money to throw around right now, buying a money-hungry property in an unstable country wouldn't exactly be at the top of our list. Still, a Le Meridien for (a billionaire's) chump change is pretty tempting.

According to Reuters, the announcement of the decision to sell was made thus: "A public tender published in Senegalese newspapers on Wednesday invited bids from local or international investors for the hotel complex, which has a 35-hectare site including a 9-hole golf course, but gave no price guidance." Oh, how we wish we knew the starting bid on this place, because certainly there is no greater motivation for reasonable pricing than having an entire country's economy resting on it.

[Le Meridian photo via Le Meridan Hotels; For Sale image via wikipedia]

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In Africa, Depend on Hotel Business Centers for Internet

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  Site Where: P.O. Box 46302, Nairobi, Kenya
September 17, 2008 at 1:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

HotelChatter's newest contributing editor Scarlett Lion is filing her stories from Uganda. Every now and then, she'll be sending us dispatches about the hotel scene here and around Africa. Got questions? Send 'em to us and we'll get them answered. Enjoy.

This is actually a hotel business center in San Francisco.

The average internet café, dotted throughout any big city in Africa, will cost less than a dollar an hour. But, it might take about an hour to open your webmail. The average luxury hotel business center, however, will cost about $10 an hour. It will provide the user a connection speed that reminds him or her of the days of AOL and that grinding modem sound, now oh-so-obsolete.

This will be the fastest internet you can find in Africa. And no, it's not fast enough to watch YouTube.

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Room with an Anti-View: A Laundry Line in the Congo

Where: Bld Kanyamuhanga , Goma, Congo
September 6, 2007 at 10:19 AM | by | Comments (0)

If we were to travel somewhere as exotic as Goma on the eastern edge of the Democratic Republic of Congo, we'd be hoping for an equally exotic view from our hotel window. And while the VIP Palace Goma seems to be otherwise a pretty decent hotel--at least for a war-torn country in a town located on the Great Rift Valley, constantly subject to threat from earthquakes and volcanoes--the view from some rooms is really much too ordinary.

So when intrepid traveler amalthya checked into the VIP Palace, she found her room had a definitely-not-for-VIPs view of the washing line. It kind of goes to prove that some things are the same the world over, but when we go to Goma we'll be expecting something better.

[Photo: amalthya]

Related Stories:
· Hotels in Africa [HotelChatter]
· Less Than Loveable Locales [Jaunted]

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Cubicle Dreamin': Following Madonna To Malawi

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  Site Where: 2 Hannover Avenue, Blantyre, Malawi
April 17, 2007 at 9:36 AM | by | Comments (0)

Cubicle Dreamin' is a feature in which we ask the hotel mavens to take some time out of their busy work day, surf the Internet, and tell us what hotel they wish they could beam themselves to right that very second--all on the slave driving companies dime, of course. Oh, like these people aren't surfing aimlessly anyway--at least now their purposeless clicking will be cobbled together into useful hotel stories--we hope. Have a destination hotel you are just dying to leave your cube for? Send the story our way.

In this episode, Hotel Maven Amanda K dreams about a trip to Africa. Enjoy.

With Madonna making the headlines again with another trip to Malawi, I thought it was about time I asked myself--Mala-where?

I soon found it's actually a skinny sliver of a land-locked nation in south-eastern Africa, but the lack of an ocean's not enough to stop me from dreaming of a holiday there--if Madonna finds it an interesting enough place to visit and adopt from, then that makes it intriguing for me, at the very least.

The commercial capital of Malawi, Blantyre, has a few quite reasonable sounding hotels and this time I've picked the Protea Hotel Ryalls mainly because I think protea flowers are pretty impressive. The hotel describes itself as being "the most technologically-advanced hotel in the country" and it does have free internet access, without explaining exactly what kind. And the only TripAdvisor commenter to check into the Protea and report back has such great things to say, I'm convinced I've made the right choice:

This is a really terrific place. Very well maintained, modern, beautiful finish in both the rooms and all the public places - quite a bit more 5 star than I expected. The bar is beautiful and the breakfast is good and abundant. I can't find a fault with this place.

Since I don't have much idea of what I'll actually do while holidaying in Malawi (unless Madonna's in town and I can chase her), I have to rely on the hotel blurb which tells me about the massive Lake Malawi (and its great beaches--I told you not being on the ocean wasn't a problem), the country's nine wilderness reserves and the Michiru Mountain Park, so if the hotel staff know their stuff I'll be getting plenty of tips and then trips.

[Phohto: Kevinzim]

Related Stories:
· Protea Hotel Ryalls reviews [TripAdvisor]
· Madonna Arrives in Malawi [The Sun]

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Cubicle Dreamin': Let's Go On Safari

February 13, 2007 at 9:34 AM | by | Comments (0)

Cubicle Dreamin' is a feature in which we ask the hotel mavens to take some time out of their busy work day, surf the Internet, and tell us what hotel they wish they could beam themselves to right that very second--all on the slave driving companies dime, of course. Oh, like these people aren't surfing aimlessly anyway--at least now their purposeless clicking will be cobbled together into useful hotel stories--we hope. Have a destination hotel you are just dying to leave your cube for? Send the story our way.

When you realise you've got nearly halfway through February and you still haven't started what you really want to do this year, it's time to shake things up a bit. And what better way than getting a bit wild in Africa: in a luxury safari lodge, of course (there's wild and then there's just uncomfortable). My pick today is Tanzania's Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge, a luxury resort built on the edge of a crater. The website is a touch on the over-poetic side, describing the resort as:

Sensitively constructed so as to take nothing from its environment whilst affording endless vistas over the heat-shimmering reaches of the crater below, the clustered boulder-built buildings of the Lodge hug the crater rim, linked by rope-lashed timber walkways that skirt the buttressed roots of ancient, liana-hung trees.

It goes on to talk about the "concentrated hush of a game-viewing hide" and finally describes the Lodge as "a unique blend of world-class luxury, timeless volcanic splendour and ethnic style". While nearly nothing on earth could be quite as magical as they describe (and nearly nobody on earth knows so many positive-sounding adjectives), guest reviews almost unanimously agree that the Ngorongoro is a marvellous place to stay. While you're there, you can do wildlife walks, crater hikes, visit Maasai villages and even have a massage. Rooms come complete with your own cave-style wall paintings of giraffes and gazelle.

[Photo: jamesrider]

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When You've Gotta Get Underground

January 15, 2007 at 2:45 PM | by | Comments (0)

The UK Times this week decided to dish us up a serve of underground accommodation options for those of us feeling we're spending too much time up on earth. So if you're feeling like you need a change of scenery, there seem to be two highlights from the Times' diggings.

First off, the Cappadocia Caves in Turkey, in an area where entire villages are dug underground:

Some of these ancient cave homes have been turned into elegant hotels and self-catering apartments, decked out with antiques and featuring whirlpool baths and Turkish steam rooms dug deep in the bowels of the earth.

That certainly sounds cosy. An alternative is the underground village of Matmata in Tunisia, inspiration for and location of some of the filming of the Star Wars movies. Here some of the traditional Berber houses have been converted into hotels, with tunnels and interconnecting craters and pits.

The Times goes on to give tips about other underground accommodation options in Spain, France and Greece, so almost whichever warm part of Europe you're headed for, you'll be able to get the troglodyte experience.

Related Stories:
· Where To Sleep in a Cave [Times UK]

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The Resident Hotel Band is Making a Comeback...in Africa

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  Site Where: Ternan Avenue | P. O. Box 7041, Kampala, Uganda
October 12, 2006 at 3:47 PM | by | Comments (0)

While hotels in middle America are getting in on the boutique hotel trends, this one hotel in Africa seems to be starting a retro kind of trend. That of the Hotel Band.

The Sheraton Kampala Hotel has done just that with the announcement of their new band from Bulgaria--Moon Vision. The band is sure to appease those who were sick of house music and the $1,500 martini. What's more, this band is ready to appeal to a mélange of cultures:

"We play all kinds of music in Arabic, Spanish, English, French and Italian," says Krastava, who has her own songs in French and English. The duo, in close links with the Sheraton chain of hotels, will be at Kampala Sheraton for the entire October.

Hmmm...now that we think of it, this band reminds us of the cheesy lounge acts in "Lost in Translation." And would you really travel to Africa and stay at a Sheraton just to see them?

Image of a hotel band that is not Moon Vision via !geoff/Flickr

Related Stories:
· Uganda: Sheraton Hotel Gets New Band [AllAfrica.com]
· Sheraton Kampala Reviews [TripAdvisor]