By Samson Echenim
Some of the fastest growing businesses in the world include hotels, which are springing up daily across the globe. Luxury seeking travellers and company executives can bet on our top luxury hotels picks that are just opening. That cosy smell of a new hotel is something many travellers want to experience and TravelplusStyle has helped us to pick the best of them in Africa, as we always begin from home, and elsewhere in Dubai and the United Kingdom.
From Lagos to Dubai, we hand-picked the most interesting beach resorts, city hotels, safari camps, and adventure lodges.
Luxury travel can be as much a journey in geographical space as one with an inner destination, in which the promise of slow time and tranquil moments hold the strongest pull for many travellers. This is how we think about the most anticipated openings of 2019.
We have not arranged this list in any particular order, but if you think we missed a particularly cool new luxury hotel opening, please send us hint at Traveller and Hospitality via this writer’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Providence by Mantis, Lagos Nigeria
Last month, South Africa-based Mantis Hospitality berthed in Lagos, with The Providence Hotel. The luxury hotel is located nowhere else than the city’s hotel hub, Ikeja GRA. The Providence by Mantis is specifically located on Oba Akinjobi Way, by the Ghana High Commission.
There are innumerable streets and roads that pave the city of Lagos and some of these streets/roads are famous around the country. The captivating atmosphere of Lagos’ streets, particularly Oba Akinjobi Way, will give you a wonderful explorative feeling. The Providence by Mantis is situated on this very street nestled within the Government Reserved Area, Ikeja, the capital of Lagos State, in the western part of the city; and is famous for its many attractions that guests would find pleasing and enjoyable, as business and leisure travellers.
A high-security presence ensures a peaceful atmosphere, with the Ikeja Golf Club, restaurants, cafes, clubs, lounges and bars in close proximity. The computer village – the largest Information and Communication Technology (ICT) accessories market in Africa is located a few minutes away.
The 5-star hotel, officially inaugurated just at the weekend, is set on a sprawling suburban backdrop, away from the energy and excitement of Lagos. The hotel has a modern design, elegant lines and bold colours. The Providence by Mantis consists of 79 luxury rooms, three of which are Penthouse Suites situated on the 5th floor.
Bold colours adorn the rooms at The Providence, allowing you to relax in an African style. Enjoy modern furniture and wooden finishes in this polished hotel. Each room is designed with a truly African feel and warm colours to give guests a fresh and new feel as they travel to The Providence for business or leisure. All rooms offer king-sized beds offering complete relaxation in the space that they offer. The hotel’s broad array of room categories climaxed into the penthouse, where guest can have the best view of Africa’s busiest city.
Sonop Lodge, Namibia
Namibia is an incredibly beautiful country, and its popularity is growing steadily. New luxury lodges in the country keep popping up, and 2019 has been no difference. Among them is the Sonop Lodge, set to open on the edge of the Namib Desert proper, near one of the most spectacular places —the Sossusvlei dunes.
Launched by the Zannier Hotels Group, the owners of Omaanda, Sonop will be an exclusive lodge made up of only ten guest tents, created in the style of an early explorer’s camp. With a restaurant, spa and swimming pool, Sonop Namibia will ensure a sense of a blissful retreat after a day spent exploring the stunning landscape.
Singita Lodge, Rwanda
Another country in Africa with growing tourist trend, Rwanda will always be on the travellers’ page. We absolutely love Singita’s style and approach to the luxury safari hospitality. The hotel is owned by owners of Singita Sabora Tented Camp and Singita Grumeti Faru Faru Lodge in Tanzania. The company will be opening Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House this year, in Rwanda.
The properties will open on the edge of a national park where one-third of the world’s mountain gorillas dwell deep in the cloud forests. As with other lodges by Singita, the designers infused it with an ethic focused on minimising the environmental impact. If you find yourself in Rwanda soon, indulge in some Singita exploit.
One Aldwych – London, UK
Nigerians and Africans at large are frequent visitors to London. In Covent Garden the One Aldwych has just been refurbished. The hotel is designed in the style of an elegant modern residence, with 86 rooms and 16 suites, and two restaurants and bars, including the exclusive guests-only Lounge at One. We strongly suspect that it might just be one of the more interesting developments in the Big Smoke.
Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai
For Dubai, luxury hotels are the big things. Say what you will about Dubai, but one thing they are not short of is the ideas for new and exciting luxury hotels. Mandarin Oriental’s entry to this mirage of a city will lure the future guests with spacious suites and stunning city or ocean views. A spa and kids’ club, and seven dining outlets (including a restaurant with a dedicated dock for patrons arriving by private yachts) complete the picture.
But it doesn’t complete the picture for what else is happening for the group. Mandarin Oriental, Doha in Qatar opened early this year and so was Mandarin Oriental Wangfujing in Beijing, China. Then planned is the opening of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London, England. And the Mandarin Oriental Lake Como, in Italy re-opened in April following refurbishment.
One&Only Gorrilla’s Nest Lodge, Rwanda
This year Rwanda will continue to enjoy the growth of luxury tourism, as discerning travellers seek less-explored destinations. Answering the demand, One&Only has created the Gorilla’s Nest Lodge, situated in the foothills of the Virunga Volcano Range.
Featuring twenty-two guest tents as well as a restaurant and spa, it is a luxurious home base from which to discover the roaming grounds of the mountain gorillas. The camp’s restaurant will serve cuisine focused on local traditions using produce grown in the property’s organic garden, while the spa will provide African-inspired treatments.
Tuludi Camp, Botswana
Africa features prominently on our list, and Botswana is one of the most interesting destinations on the continent. The Natural Selection, a safari provider of which the Shipwreck Lodge in Namibia, is bringing a brand new luxury camp to the Okavango Delta of Botswana. Surrounded by a vast private reserve, Tuludi camp consists of only seven tents, each with its own plunge pool. Worth noting that a small portion of the camp’s total revenue will be donated to the Botswana Predator Conservation Trust, focusing on the preservation of the leopard population.
Jao Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana
Still in Bostwana, another new opening in Botswana is coming from the well-established Wilderness Safaris. This year they relaunched the famous Jao Camp, located in the middle of the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Rebuilt and reinvented, the place offers five twin accommodations with kitchen and dining areas, private plunge pools, and en-suite bathrooms, indoor and outdoor showers included. There will be also two new Jao Villas, designed for up to four guests, with private vehicle, guide, chef and butler. A spa and a gym are in the plans too, and the main pool looks out onto the floodplain for sweeping views of the delta. The new camp will even have its own museum and gallery.
&Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, Namibia
Namibia again. Located in the Namibia Desert near one of the most amazing locations on Earth (the dunes of Sossusvlei, which we called “the most unreal sight in Africa”), the &Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge (yes, that’s how the name goes) will re-launch this year after a complete makeover. And what a makeover will be! Going against the trends in the area, the lodge will relaunch with a contemporary look set to redefine the luxury lodge standards in Namibia. The bold angles of its design will frame the desert landscape, while the floor-to-ceiling glass windows will invite in the outdoors and help to immerse the guest in this remarkable destination.
Namiri Plains, Tanzania
We know Asilia Africa from their amazing Highlands in Ngorongoro. It is how we know that this is one safari company that knows its craft — and it is why we think the Namiri Plains will be a very special place. Originally just a simple tented camp, in 2019 it will be relaunched having undergone a complete revamp. The new Namiri will feature eight guest suites, which will come with wooden sundeck an outdoor bathtub, and floor-to-ceiling glass doors overlooking the Serengeti Plains.
Gorgeous George, Cape Town, South Africa
Yes, expectedly, we found one new luxury opening in South Africa. This unique property celebrates Cape Town’s art, cultural diversity and rich history. Other than the 32 rooms and a rooftop bar, the hotel also houses an event and art space, befitting the character of the neighbourhood, filled with galleries and niche museums. The Gorgeous George’s address is in walking distance to V&A Waterfront, provides easy access to the Table Mountain, and is only a 10-minute drive away from the Clifton and Camps Bay beaches.
Magashi Camp, Rwanda
Rwanda is a destination in the vast continent that will see more and more luxury tourism, thanks to its wild and beautiful national parks, and, naturally, the gorillas. That said, the Wilderness Safaris’ second opening in Rwanda (after the Bisate Lodge, which we talked about in The Top 70 Luxury Hotel Openings of 2017), will be more focused on the “Big Five” sightings, expanding Rwanda’s draw as a full safari destination. The revered animals have been successfully reintroduced to the Akagera National Park, and the Magashi camp will contribute to sustaining the conservation initiatives.