Gorgeous views, original art, fine furnishings, discreet service, only the very best in food, wine, design and location – not to mention awards galore: these are Africa’s 10 most ultra-luxurious accommodation options for when you want to pamper yourself on an African safari, honeymoon, or a private getaway.
Our Best Southern Africa Luxurious Hotels, Lodges & Resorts
1. The Silo Hotel
Cape Town, South Africa
Perched at Cape Town's V&A Waterfront, The Silo Hotel is a 5-star masterpiece within a historic grain silo complex and one of the most expensive hotels in South Africa. With 28 individually designed rooms, a rooftop pool, and direct access to the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, it offers unparalleled luxury.
Virtuoso's "Best Achievement in Design" winner, the hotel boasts panoramic views from Table Mountain to the Table Bay harbour, sights sought by locals and travellers alike. It's a sanctuary of art, style, and architectural wonder, making it worthy of its three-time premium status tourism council certificate recipient.
2. Delaire Graff Estate
Stellenbosch, South Africa
It is fitting that the owner of this wine estate in South Africa’s premier wine-producing area is connected to the glittering, polished world of diamonds. Delaire Graff has perfect attention to detail, from an extensive pillow menu (yes, a menu for pillows!) to the landscaped gardens, an extensive art collection and even a Graff Jewellery Boutique - it is these features that have crowned the estate as one of the most expensive hotels in South Africa.
Check into the Presidential Suite or Owner’s Lodge for arguably the best accommodation in the Winelands, with a cellar and cuisine to match. With accolades like the Condé Nast Traveller Readers' Choice Award for Best Hotel in South Africa and three consecutive Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star ratings, Delaire Graff stands as a globally recognised luxury destination and one of the best hotels in Africa!
3. Ellerman House
Cape Town, South Africa
An automatic choice for celebrities from Oprah Winfrey to Ellen DeGeneres, Ellerman House in the exclusive enclave of Bantry Bay exudes a subtle glamour and old-world grace which has seen it repeatedly ranked as one of the best hotels in Africa by Conde Nast Traveller and known as one of the most expensive hotels in South Africa.
Strung along a seaside hill with views over the Atlantic Ocean, Ellerman House has a private modern art collection packed with the best South African names, a brandy bar, and a vintage champagne cellar. All of that and more in an enviable location that is equidistant from the cosmopolitan Cape Town city centre, V&A Waterfront, Table Mountain and the gorgeous beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay.
4. Londolozi Granite Suites
Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa
Voted the number one resort in South Africa in Conde Nast’s 2019 Reader’s Choice Awards, Londolozi has long been synonymous with luxurious safaris. Their accommodation reaches its zenith at the three Granite Suites in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, which is adjacent to the world-famous Kruger National Park.
Perfectly designed and located in a very exclusive private concession, you will be able to sink into your indulgent outdoor bathtub between game drives, have a 1-on-1 yoga session or edit your photographs in the private studio.
5. Morukuru Ocean House
De Hoop, South Africa
Known by many as South Africa’s Leading Beach Hotel, De Hoop is a coastal reserve on South Africa’s picturesque Whale Coast, which runs along the ocean from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. Ocean House is probably the most outstanding vacation villa along the way – after jetting in by private plane and landing on a runway with bontebok grazing peacefully nearby, you will have the 6-bedroom, eco-friendly house to yourself.
Toast the sunset after sandboarding, unwind in the private hot tub while looking out for southern right whales or curl up with a book from the library in the 360-degree view living area.
6. Lion Sands Ivory Lodge
Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa
The Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is an award-winning 5-star safari lodge in South Africa, set on the banks of the Sabie River in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. This luxury escape is synonymous with wildlife encounters such as the Big 5 and invites you to immerse yourself in bush walks and sunset game drives.
Spend a few nights in one of eight Zen-inspired one-bedroom villas or the single two-bedroom villa, each with a heated plunge pool for you to dip into after a long day. You can indulge in a sumptuous dining experience under the stars, customizable by request, and end the night with a treehouse sleepover under one of Africa’s best star-beds if you’re feeling adventurous. The Lion Sands Ivory Lodge is a true safari gem, epitomized by Tatler Magazine as one of the best hotels in the world.
7. Puku Ridge
South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
For some, the prime location in South Luangwa National Park is enough to invite safari lovers from all over the world to Puku Ridge; it overlooks a private floodplain and watering hole, parts of land scoured by wildlife. On many days you may find yourself lucky enough to begin your sighting even before you leave your compound.
Puku Ridge has been tastefully designed with refined architectural lines that bring a touch of modernity to the authentic camp-feeling. At night, the area comes alive with candlelit dinners and lights radiating from inside of the property – what a sight it is to see. Tents are small, but sophisticated with outdoor showers and outdoor day beds. Puku Ridge is among the smaller locations on this list, but this only adds to its intimacy, fostering a sense of homeliness within the lively national park teeming with wildlife.
8. Jao Camp
Okavango Delta, Botswana
A luxury safari lodge and not technically a hotel, it still makes our list as one of the most luxurious hotels in Africa. Jao Camp places a huge emphasis on its oneness with its natural surroundings- an essence that invites you to embrace the true beauty and life of the Okavango Delta. This safari camp on a remote island manages to both stand out in its grandeur and blend in through organic elements such as the exposed wood hung throughout its structure.
Choose from one of five safari suites or two villas which allow you to completely let go under the care of your private butler, chefs, and guides, who are there to take care of your every need. When you aren’t spending time outdoors, the in-house museum and library await just a stroll away, with plenty of stories to tell.
9. Thorntree River Lodge
Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Livingstone, Zambia
Thornhill’s chic interior welcomes you with a blend of contemporary and African-influenced décor in spacious tents, but for some, the stunning design comes second to its idyllic setting overlooking the Zambezi River. Nestled on the Zambian side of The Victoria Falls region, Thorntree places you just 40kms away from Victoria Falls, allowing for daily excursions to the falls and a rare deck view of “Smoke that Thunders” on clear days.
Evenings provide the perfect end to a day of exploring with private sunset river excursions on the Zambezi, and dinner beneath the multihued sky, its reflection dancing on the water beside you.
Our Best East Africa Luxurious Hotels, Lodges & Resorts
10. Alfajiri Villas
Majengo Mvita, Kenya
Positioned on the 10-mile shoreline of Diani Beach, Alfajiri welcomes all - families and couples- to some of the most luxurious villas in Kenya and on the East African coast. A stay here promises exclusivity, with your own butler on hand and a private pool that seems to go on forever against the marine backdrop.
Remarkable views of the Indian Ocean are yours to take in at all times and direct beach access makes for an easy skip to the stunning shores. Honeymooners can enjoy the Turret Suite, often referred to as one of the most romantic bedrooms in the world while the Alfajiri Cliff Villa has four suites, perfect for a family of up to eight, and worthy of its rating by Conde Nast Traveller as one of the most luxurious villas in the world!
11. Thanda Island Private Marine Reserve
Shungimbili Island, District of Mafia Island, Tanzania
Thanda Island, open since 2016, reflects a decade of dedicated development in every aspect of your stay. Enjoy exclusive access to a five-bedroom villa and two Tanzanian bungalows, perfect for family and friend getaways. Relax on Thanda's boat, complete with champagne, a sound system, and attentive waitstaff, or explore Chole, Dar es Salaam, and Zanzibar on exciting excursions.
Dive into the turquoise marine reserve waters via snorkelling or kayaking, and swim with gentle whale sharks. Unwind with spa treatments on the beach, in your villa, or at the island spa, take a dip in the rim-flow pool, or challenge friends to a tennis match. A week at Thanda Island, a seven-time World's Leading Exclusive Private Island winner, guarantees a dreamlike experience.
12. Singita Sasakwa
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
The grand Singita Sasakwa finds itself perched on Sasakwa Hill, exuding the vintage charm of an Edwardian Manor House with all the opulence to match it. The 5-star lodge effortlessly merges classical architectural elements with contemporary finishings resulting in interior décor that exudes a soft elegance.
All of this is complemented perfectly by the neutral tones of the never-ending savanna that surround the property, offering guests an uninterrupted view of some of the best year-round game viewing opportunities, including the rhapsodized wildebeest migration. For those seeking romance, hot air balloon safaris and wine-tasting experiences beckon, while thrilling game drives and guided safari walks call to the adventurous, all from the Travel Awards World’s Leading Safari Lodge.
13. Segera Retreat
Laikipia Plateau, Kenya
In Kenya’s Laikipia Plateau, conservation thrives at the core of the region, benefiting both communities and wildlife. This care for the environment extends to all Segera guests. Choose from 10 uniquely designed home-style villas and houses, offering a lavish home-away-from-home experience, tailored to your needs, inviting you to embrace the essence of sustainable luxury.
The spacious and modern three-bedroom farmhouse opens onto a patio with breathtaking Mount Kenya views and a sun-kissed private pool, providing a refreshing escape from the Kenyan summer heat Outside, a wealth of experiences awaits you: join a wilderness walk with tracking dogs and East Africa's first women-only team, participate in community tree planting, engage with Kenyan beekeepers, or explore the creative studio for some retail therapy. Safaris can be customized to your daily schedule, allowing flexibility to fill your itinerary or the chance to simply unwind and savour your surroundings.
Our Best Indian Ocean Islands Luxurious Hotels & Resorts
14. The Oberoi
Turtle Bay, Mauritius
The word ‘refinement’ isn’t found very often in conjunction with the phrase ‘carefree beach holiday’… except if you check into The Oberoi. Built on a long stretch of pristine coastline and sheltered by extensive sub-tropical gardens, this beach hotel in Mauritius manages to make traditional elements like thatch and timber seem effortlessly sophisticated.
Sunny days are best spent on the Oberoi’s own yacht, while balmy evenings set the mood for stargazing on the beach, listening to the waves lazily lapping the shore… Each day here makes it more apparent why The Oberoi was voted the Best Hotel Brand in The World by Travel + Leisure (2022).
15. Six Sense Zil Payson
There’s a reason Six Senses Zil Payson has been named amongst the best 5-star hotels in Seychelles. It certainly offers an exclusive Seychelles escape like no other! This 5-star resort on the private Island of Félicité blends grandly into the granite boulders and pristine beaches that surround it.
With a variety of accommodation, a spa, and endless activities and amenities available, it caters to all, from honeymooners to families. Their commitment to sustainability includes growing organic produce for use in mouth-watering dishes, as well and sea turtle conservation. As a recent recipient of the Condé Nast Traveller Readers' Choice Award, it’s easy to understand why we’re ranking it as one of the most ultra-luxurious hotels on the continent.
Ready to Start Planning Your Next Getaway?
A night or two in one of Africa’s supreme hotels is the perfect way to start or end a safari – a little treat or reward that shows you another side of this complicated, mesmerising and unforgettable continent! With over two decades of experience and knowledge, we are professionals in crafting tailor-made itineraries that are sure to be the trip of your dreams.