Ngerende Island Lodge
Offering guests luxury in the Kenyan wilderness, Ngerende Island Lodge
is a five-star luxury lodge situated on the Olchoro - Oirogua Conservation Ranch, bordering the northern part of Kenya’s famed Masai Mara game reserve. Located close to the Mara River, the Lodge is surrounded by water on all sides, bar a tiny passage that prevents it from completely becoming an island in the true sense of the word, but this does not take away from the feeling of indulgent isolation and wonder at being away from it all, in a place that is a four-hour drive from Nairobi. The Lodge, however, has its own airstrip offering scheduled flights should visitors prefer a quicker alternative by flying from one of Kenya’s main airports.
Furnished with contemporary African design throughout, Ngerende Island Lodge caters for a maximum of fourteen guests, and is made up of just seven suites, each built on raised platforms to allow for panoramic views, and a main building housing areas such as the bar and dining room. Balancing the need for modern comforts whilst keeping in mind the need for conservation of the local area, the suites were constructed with canvas and local materials such as the use of gleaming Mahogany wood, which is used on the floors, terraces, and other supporting structures. The Lodge also offers a therapeutic spa, which helps enhance the tranquillity that surrounds the Masai Mara; and gourmet dining, with meals created from fresh local produce.
As to be expected the location of the Lodge provides optimum game viewing from the private terraces of the individual suites, the veranda of the main Lodge, an infinity pool overlooking one of the largest hippo pods in the area or through arranged game drives and walks. However, for guests who want to get even closer to the wildlife, Ngerende Island Lodge offers Ngerende in the Wild; a temporary luxury camp comprising two tents with views of the river and two suites with views of the lake in which, at an extra cost, guests can arrange to stay for a night or two complementing their stay at the main Lodge. The Lodge has earned an international reputation for being perfect for honeymooners, and extends their guest services to arranging weddings for couples looking to tie the knot in a magical place. For added privacy the honeymoon suite is situated away from the main lodge and comes with its own Jacuzzi and plunge pool.
Whether staying as a family, a couple or looking to host a small conference the team and staff at Ngerende Island Lodge pride themselves on attention to detail in catering to the individual needs of their guests.
Rates are dependent on the season and currently start from around: USD$600 per person per night.
For further information about Ngerende Island Lodge and for bookings visit: www.ngerende.com
Hotel Particulier is French word denoting an elegant private residence or townhouse; and is the name given to a chic boutique hotel in the city of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. The owners of Hotel Particulier
, have sought to create a stylish space, with a peaceful, intimate atmosphere that allows guests to escape the hustle and bustle of the surrounding city. The healing soothing effects of nature is a key feature of the hotel, which sees rooms located on the ground level to take advantage of a luscious, well-tended garden.
The Hotel is modern, airy building that comprises eight well-appointed suites that range from classic to luxury and are named after some of the Continent’s inspirational and dynamic cities. The suites are individually decorated in a contemporary style, each one inspired by the city for which it was named, and seven of the suites have private terraces with access to the pool, with three of them coming with their own private gardens; and an eighth the luxury suite having access to a private pool. Hotel Particulier is available for exclusive hire for weddings, celebrations, family holidays, as well as for business meetings or conferences for their guests. Offering a selection of gourmet meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner is provided in the hotel’s dining room, or can be taken on the terrace whilst enjoying the views of the garden.
WIth a dedicated staff on hand to cater to all guest needs, the Hotel offers pampering and beauty treatments in the spa; in addition to arranging activities upon request such as golf, waterskiing, guided tours of the city, surfing, tennis, and riding. Or should you wish, simply spend your stay lazing by the pool.
Singita - Mara River Tented Camp
Luxury game reserve specialist, Singita
are introducing a new camp to their safari camp and lodges portfolio. The Singita Mara River Tented camp will be in Tanzania, located in the remote Lamai Triangle region, the northern most tip of the Serengeti National Park. In keeping with the laidback luxury style of their other properties in South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, see the Singita Pamushana Lodge featured here
, preview pictures of the new camp reveal a refreshing, modern take on the safari chic aesthetic.
[Image credit/source: Mara Tented River Camp - Singita]
What I like most about this new camp is how it celebrates contemporary African design and craftsmanship, showcasing the work to beautiful effect. I instantly spotted the work of some designers I have previously featured on African Daydreams, including South African designer Haldane Martin's
crocheted Zulu Mama chairs, a personal design favourite. Throughout the camp pattern and texture abound in a mostly soothing neutral palette that is contrasted here and there with splashes of bold red and blue, in a nod to Maasai patterns, all of which are incorporated into the decor through tasteful design accents such as basketry, natural polished wood for tables and stools, and woven fabrics.
[Image credits/source: Mara Tented River Camp, Lounge Areas - Singita]
Singita is focused on promoting sustainable living, and operates on a philosophy of offering 'fewer beds in larger areas', a practice that continues with the Mara River Tented Camp, which is a sixteen-bed camp set in 98,000 acres of untouched wilderness, home to a wide plain of game, elephant, crocodile and hippo in the Mara River, and big cats. A setting, which offers guests an intimate, secluded getaway.
[Image credits/source: Mara Tented River Camp, top, Bedroom; bottom, Deck - Singita]
Designed to make the most of the natural surroundings whilst taking care to leave a lighter footprint, sustainability extends to the use of natural and recyclable materials, employed in the building the camp, these include raw leather, wood, stone and canvas. The camp is 100% of the grid, meaning that it is reliable on a central solar power system to convert sunlight into the electricity required.
[Image credits/source: Mara Tented River Camp, Splash Pool - Singita]
...beautifully designed, it all looks so peaceful and homely
For further information about Singita visit and reservation enquiries: www.singita.com
To further information about the Mara River Tented Camp visit the Singita blog: www.singita.com
The Ohemaa LXI
Cruise the waters of Lake Volta by setting sail in the luxury confines of the Ohemaa LXI
, Ghana's premier private yacht. Ohemaa means queen; a title appropriate for the stately yacht that mixes contemporary luxury with traditional Ghanaian culture; whilst the numerals, LXI represent the year in which the Volta River Project began- 1961. Having undergone renovation and refurbishment, the Ohemaa LXI is now offering its clientele a truly special experience from the moment you step on-board.
Tastefully decorated, the Ohemaa LXI promises a personailsed, relaxing retreat, accommodating up to twenty guests. Ranging from hourly or overnight bookings, each cruise is bespoke, tailored for individuals or groups, and caters for family holidays, romantic getaways, and business meetings should you be thinking of somewhere different to hold your next team-building conference!
[Image credit: top, Interior Lounge; centre; Bedroom; bottom, Deck - The Ohemaa LXI]
The hull is made of fibreglass and was built in 1988 in Germany, then transported to Ghana, where it was fitted with local materials, chosen to reflect the local culture, land and waters that would surround it. Guests on-board the Ohemaa LXI can take in the natural beauty and sights, that comes with life around the Lake. Lake Volta is a source of fishing and irrigation for local farmers, as well as having an important role for ferries and water transportation.
For further information about The Ohemaa LXI and reservations visit: www.ohemaalxi.com
Africa – David Attenborough/BBC ONE
I have been watching Africa
, the new documentary series by veteran British presenter, Sir David Attenborough. Filmed over four years, so far five episodes have taken viewers through the Kalahari, Savannah, Congo, Cape and Sahara, with the sixth and final episode next week looking at the Future of Africa, in terms of what is being done to help preserve the Continent's precious biodiversity, including how local communities are helping in the war on poaching. If you have not caught it yet and have access to the BBC service I would definitely recommend it; it is amazing; and as an added bonus the programme has segment in the final ten minutes or so called 'Africa, Eye to Eye', which takes you behind the scenes of the making of the series, and what an eye opener. Beautifully shot featuring breathtaking landscapes taken from land, sea and air, for me some of the memorable highlights of the series include; a jaw dropping display that isees a pair of giraffes battling it out for scarce resources in the Kalahari, the filming of the shifting 'singing' sand dunes of the Sahara captured as a series of one-picture-a-day images taken over the period of a year is just incredible, a 'convention' of over a million flamingoes that can be viewed from space, a display of bouncing, yet graceful ballet-like Springbok and a cunning chimp stealing honey from a tree. Such is the impact of the programme with UK viewers, that holiday searches into visiting Africa have gone up by 310% compared to usual the statistics for this time of year, this is according to travel site Sunshine.co.uk, with actual bookings rising by 37%.
For further information about the BBC series, Africa visit: www.bbc.co.uk
No electricity meaning no lights, no TV and definitely no sockets to charge your phone/laptop/iPod or other media devices, Egyptian luxury eco-lodge Adrère Amellal
is the ultimate get-a-way from it all; an enchanting place that blends into the spectacular setting of a desert oasis.
An eight hour drive from Cairo, Adrère Amellal emerges out of the desert landscapes of Siwa, Egypt's largest oasis, which is home to natural hot springs, date palm plantations, salt lakes ancient ruins; and has a strong Berber culture. Adrère Amellal means 'white mountain' in the local Berber dialect and signifies the Lodge's location at the base of a white sandstone mountain. Built into the side of the mountain using mud and salt bricks, Adrère Amellal is a sprawling complex, whose shuttered windows overlook the shimmering salt lake, Lake Siwa. Not unlike an ancient biblical town, an aerial view looks like the Lodge has been carved out of the landscape.
Based on the concept of connecting nature and heritage, Adrère Amellal was created by Egyptian environmentalist, Dr Mounir Neamatalla, and is part of a local sustainable development plan, that supports initiatives such as creating sustainable livelihoods and enabling positive conservation efforts within the local area. The construction of the Lodge utilised traditional construction techniques and made use of natural materials. In addition to the mud and salt bricks, palm wood was used, whilst date palms form the roofing. The construction is designed to enable natural ventilation, and a natural spring supplies water to the Lodge and also feeds a swimming pool that is located in the tranquil setting of a palm grove. Handcrafted by local artisans, doors and furniture are made from olive wood.
[Image credits: top, Bedroom; and bottom, Courtyards - Adrère Amellal]
The Lodge comprises forty private rooms each different from the other, they vary in size allocated according to the number of guests staying. Some have balconies or roof terraces that come with beds for those wishing to sleep under the stars. Furnishings are simple, yet comfortable; linen sheets on the beds, cushion covered seating areas carved into the walls and the stone floors are covered with locally woven Berber rugs. Guests are encouraged to explore and the Lodge features many nooks and crannies in the form of open courtyards and sun drenched roof terraces.
A mix of Egyptian and some western dishes, meals are feasts taken in different places, one night atop a roof terrace, the next in an open courtyard. Food is either local or homemade using ingredients from the Lodge's own organic farm. Breakfast is taken by the lake, and lunch by the shade of the palm trees surrounding the pool. Afternoons bring trips into the desert, and at night the sense of mystery is heightened with the lighting of hundreds of lanterns and candles made from beeswax, placed to light your way around the Lodge.
In the stillness of the desert, the ultimate luxury comes from spending time in a place that allows you to just be.
Additional information sourced from:
Rates as shown on the websites below start from around: £282/USD$450 based on two people sharing per night. Food, drink and excursions are all included in the price.
For further information about Adrère Amellal and bookings visit: http://adrereamellal.net
Bookings can be made via:
The Red Pepper House
The historical island of Lamu off the Kenyan coast is home to The Red Pepper House
, a stylish boutique hotel that nestles between Neem and Acacia trees, and interestingly not a Red Pepper tree in sight, the owner just liked the name. Situated close to the Old Town, The Red Pepper House brings together influences in the form of African, Arabic, Indian and European; that have all had an impact on Swahili Culture dating back hundreds of years.
A large Makuti thatched roof covers The Red Pepper House helping it blend in with the unspoilt surroundings. From far the roof is just visible amongst the trees in the form of organic dips and falls. Construction of the building brought together local artisans skilled in the ancient style of Swahili architecture, that has been preserved across the island. The hotel makes use of large open spaces with few walls in place designed to maximise on the climate, views of the forest and the beach; and enabling guests to make the most of the tranquil surroundings. A Condé Nast Traveller’s Hot List
selection in 2011, The Red Pepper House was originally built as a five-bedroom family home; and now comprises five Nyumbas (houses), each with their own views of the Indian Ocean and access to the idyllic beach. The décor is inspired by the Swahili way of life combined with art and antiques drawn from across the globe. Crystal chandeliers hang from the thatched roof; traditional Swahili furniture such as pili pili beds add to the ambience of leisurely luxury; African art is dotted around the existing walls; and antiques and ornate lamps add a touch of romance when lit in the evenings.
Guests are invited to do nothing at all but take advantage of the time to relax and unwind; however if feeling a bit energetic various activities are on offer including: snorkeling, fishing and trips on the hotel’s Dhow from where you can travel around the archipelago, or enjoy spectacular sundowners and dinners onboard. The hotel’s services also include the Kuzi Pamper House Spa, which provides a range of treatments; a library; and pool. Lamu’s Old Town is a short walk away, and the hotel is neighbour to the Anidan Shelter House
, an orphanage that was built with donations from The Red Pepper House and other well wishers; and guests are invited to visit. The Orphanage comprises a children’s hospital, dormitories and a nursery.
Whether in your Nyumba, around the pool or aboard the Dhow, dining at The Red Pepper House is an informal and flexible experience. Guest are free choose when and where they want to take their meals. The food primarily draws on traditional Swahili cooking and Mediterranean flavours, and is made using fresh and organic ingredients.
Nyungwe Forest Lodge
I have just finished reading a delightful and touching book called 'Baking Cakes in Kigali
' by Gaile Parkin and in it the main characters take a drive through the Nyungwe Forest, which they describe as being 'beautiful'. When reading this part I kept visualising the chic Nyungwe Forest Lodge
whose website I had come across a little while back. About four to five hours drive from Rwanda's capital, Kigali; Nyungwe is a closed canopy rain forest. Designed to blend in with the surroundings the Nyungwe Forest Lodge is located on a tea plantation that sits on the edge of the Forest.
I love the way the Nyungwe Forest Lodge has been decorated. The main lodge is decorated with natural wood accents, and a palette of rich warm reds and golden olive and taupe tones give a contemporary update to the classic lodge the look, resulting in an elegant space that still manages to maintain a warm, homely feel about it. Sharp white and black colours against splashes of red are softened by wooden floors and doors frames and bring a contemporary feel to the rooms in which the scheme is applied. What I feel brings the décor together is the use of Rwandan basketry and other striking traditional patterns such as Imigongo
, that can be seen applied to linens and incorporated into table and cabinet designs. Tree stumps turned into tables and what looks like one of High Thorn's
twig lighting creations serve to bring nature indoors.
The Forest is home to thirteen species of primates including Chimpanzees which gives enthusiasts the opportunity to take treks to catch a glimpse of the animals. Guided walks are available taking interested guests to the Kamiranzovu Waterfalls and Swamp, as well as bird watching. If trekking is not your thing then take advantage of the peaceful surroundings and head to the relaxation retreat, which offers two treatment rooms and a Jacuzzi pool. Other facilities include, a heated swimming pool, fitness centre, outdoor eating areas and conference facilities that can accommodate up to 18 delegates. Also the main lodge is wheelchair friendly.
Nyungwe Forest Lodge is a haven of peace and tranquility.
Current nightly rates valid until 31December 2012 range from: USD$220-USD$320 pp sharing Children are half price
For further information about Nyungwe Forest Lodge visit: www.nyungweforestlodge.com
Heralded as 'a distinctive local landmark', the Hotel features a tall cylindrical glass and steel entrance poised like a beacon to welcome approaching guests, and upon entering leads to an airy atrium of which public spaces branch off, flowing into garden terraces that in-turn allow natural light to flow back into the centre spaces of the building. Designed to embrace the digital age and local culture the Hotel, other defining characteristics of the hotel include lots of glass to maximise the opportunities for natural light to enter; and a specific focus on sustainability and climate responsiveness was employed throughout the building seen through the incorporation of thermal glass, intelligent lighting, passive solar control and ventilated walls. The Hotel's interior carries the theme of water, achieved through the use of illuminated glass boxes that have varying degrees of transparency to allow for different levels of privacy depending on where you are.
In a co-ordinated balance of nature and technology, the palette of the exterior walls is neutral allowing for the building to reflect the shades of the local landscape when viewed during the day; at night, however, technology takes over as strategically placed LED lighting adds a touch of modern day drama transforming the building. Comprised of 150 rooms and suites, the decor throughout the Hilton Windhoek Hotel is quite neutral in a contemporary African style, highlights of which include the Raindrop chandelier, a spectacular feature of the reception area, whilst the Ekipa Restaurant, specialising in Namibian cuisine, features a show kitchen where guests can watch the preparation. Spectacular views of the city and surrounding mountains are provided courtesy of the Skybar located around an 18m lap pool, the Kalabar, Centrum Restaurant and D'vine, a glass wine cellar. The property also includes a luxury spa, and fitness centre. The Hilton Windhoek Hotel is situated close to the Nampower Convention Centre making it ideal for the business traveller.
...a touch of contemporary urban style to Windhoek's skyline
Maryam Montague is probably best known as My Marrakech
, the inspirational blog she established documenting her life in Marrakech, Morocco running the boutique hotel, also her home Peacock Pavilions
; which she designed, built and decorated from scratch with her architect husband Chris Redecke. You can take a peek into Peacocks Pavilions as the home is featured in the April issue of Elle Decor
, which celebrates beautifully, decorated homes from around the world as part of their international issue.
Peacock Pavilions is bursting with pattern and texture, filled with objects drawn from the couple's travels and the various places they have lived. Having fallen in love with the culture and weather of Morocco, the country offered the lifestyle the couple sought as a place to put down roots for their family and a place to finally house their extensive collection of global treasures. The couple chose a working farm with views of mountains and surrounded by olive trees, but to purchase the property local council requirements stipulated that an investment benefiting the local community also had to be made and was the reason for the property evolving from a home into a boutique eco-hotel.
Although it took a few weeks to design, permits, finding builders and completing construction took almost four years. Spread over two storey's Peacock Pavilions is based on the traditional Moroccan Casbah architecture with a central great room and features numerous Moroccan style arches, high ceilings and polished concrete floors. The complex also features a pool, two guesthouses and the couple's home furnishing shop, Red Thread Souk. The complex was mostly built with sustainable materials and 2009 saw the couple move in and start on the interior. On her popular blog started just before the property was purchased Maryam talks about her design style and approach, buying things that she loves and mixing with abandon.
Vintage berber rugs help break up the space of the great room creating smaller, more intimate seating areas. Chris designed some of the furniture seen, upholstered with Moroccan and Malian textiles. Chairs are adorned with beads from Ghana, a peacock mirror from India graces a wall. Masks and statues from various African countries can be seen dotted around the living spaces. Star lanterns commissioned from the souk line the hallway. The guest bedroom, above is my favourite, the blue and the rich pattern detailing it looks so regal. Upholstered with Moroccan carpet fragments, the walnut dining room chairs and table were designed and built by Chris. The library is a colourful space filled with a comfy couch covered with a Suzani fabric on which rests appliqué cushions from Guatemala, and the coffee tables are made from old Moroccan traffic signs.
If visiting Marrakech and looking for a luxuriously relaxing and inspirational getaway, guest accommodation comes in the form of the two-bedroom Atlas Pavilion which has, as the name suggests, views of the majestic Atlas mountains, and each room has its own fireplace, bathroom and a private terrace; and the Medina Pavilion which has three bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen and a dining room. Evenings bring memorable feasts in the dining tent, and the romance of an open air cinema complete with surround sound, deckchair seating and a fire pit for those cooler evenings. Peacocks Pavilions has become something of a creative retreat, a factor that was intentional from its conception, as Maryam and Chris wanted to attract 'creative spirits': artists, designers, jewellery, photographers, filmmakers, poets, and writers who would come and draw inspiration amidst the tranquil surroundings; and the hotel has already seeing artists pass through its doors, occasionally leaving their stamp in the form of wall murals and hand-stencilled floors and ceilings. Several retreats have been lined up for 2012/2013 and if you fancy hosting your own retreat contact Maryam for further information.
...unique little touches here and there add character and are a reflection of a life well-travelled
For the full article visit: www.elledecor.com
For further information about Maryam Montague visit: http://moroccanmaryam.typepad.com
Peacock Pavilion rates vary according the season and start at: €150-€1,250 For further information about Peacock Pavilions and booking enquires visit: http://peacockpavilions.com