Africa is a continent of primary colours and vibrant song, of vast wilderness and busy metropolises, of laid-back sunsets and active dawns and of ancient cultures that remind you that you are in the birthplace of humankind. It is a continent you will want to keep on returning to, not just for the heart-stopping game drives, the azure oceans, the luxury safari camps and first-class boutique hotels, but for the feeling that you get when you walk on African soil, that a small part of you is coming home.

Morocco, the northernmost African country on the Western edge of the Arab world, is a maze of alleys and colourful souks flanked by long sandy beaches and the majestic Atlas mountains. It is also home to some of the most characterful and charming boutique hotels in the world. Many of them occupy traditional Moroccan houses, built around an internal courtyard or garden, known as riads. You will want to spend at least some of your time exploring the ancient streets of Marrakech and here you will find plenty of luxury riads to rest and restore yourself after a day of bartering at a carpet shop or haggling in the souk. In the historic part of the city, the medina, you will find the luxury Riad Jaaneman, the 19th-century El Palacio de las Especias and the elegant Dar Housnia, while just outside the old town is the newly opened Riad Mena, which has just six exquisite rooms. As an alternative to a riad, you can try the Hotel Les 5 Djellabas, a beautiful boutique hotel in the Palmeraie, comprised of 10 African eco lodges. If you plan to travel with a group, then you will adore the Villa Ezzahra, which sleeps 16 and comes with 17 staff. Further north, the town of Fes is like something out of the middle ages. Here you can base yourself at the architect-styled Riad Fes, which is built around three distinctive courtyards and fuses baroque opulence with contemporary comfort. In East Africa, Kenya and Tanzania are like safari gold. It is here that you can see the great migration of the wildebeests and tick off the big five on exhilarating game drives in the great reserves of the Maasai Mara and Serengeti National Park. And after the dust of the bush you can kick back on the white sand beaches of the Indian Ocean at a stunning array of Chic Retreats and boutique hotels. If you are after a traditional tented luxury safari camp, then you will love Cottars 1920s Safari Camp, near the Maasai Mara,  Elephant Pepper Camp in the Rift Valley or Joy’s Camp in the rugged Shaba reserve in Kenya or the Serengeti Migration Camp in Tanzania. These camps may be under canvas, but you won’t find any sleeping bags here. Instead think four-poster beds with billowing fabric, big comfortable sofas to sink into after a day in a jeep and private terraces with spectacular views of the parks. If you would rather an elegant luxury lodge, then you will be won over by Elsa’s Kopje in Meru National Park, Kenya and Hatari Lodge and Arusha Coffee Lodge in Arusha, Tanzania.

And for an island retreat you should experience the laid-back vibe of Baytil Ajaib on Kenya’s hidden gem, Lamu, or the upmarket chic of boutique hotel Matlai on Tanzania’s Zanzibar. And then there’s South Africa, a country of colour and diversity, of dramatic landscapes and dazzling coastline. The Chic Retreats, boutique hotels and luxury lodges you will find in South Africa are among the best in the world. South Africans excel at design and hospitality. Whether you want to be on the edge of the Kruger National Park at a property such as Chitwa Chitwa, enjoying private plunge pools and a personal butler as you watch giraffe saunter leisurely past your terrace, or in the heart of the lush winelands at a country house hotel like La Cabriere, where you can swim outside with views of the Franschhoek Mountains. We at Chic Retreats are working hard over the next few months to handpick some fabulous boutique properties in stunning loctions throughout South Africa. Soon you will be able to explore this rich country in the Chic Retreats style you’ve become accustomed to.


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flic en flac, mauritius

Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa is a luxury villa-only hotel on the island of Mauritius. With an award-winning spa, fine cuisine and private pools in every villa it is one of the best luxury hotel choices in the Indian Ocean.
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flic-en-flac, mauritius

Sands Resort & Spa is a luxury hotel and spa on the west coast of Mauritius. This beachfront oasis is perfect for couples on honeymoon or those looking for a luxury barefoot chic holiday.


diani beach, kenya

AfroChic Diani is a newly opened luxury lodge on the Kenyan coast. This beautiful boutique villa has just 10 suites and is perfect for a relaxing stay after a safari. A peaceful hotel by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.


marrakech tensift el haouz, morocco

Just 15 minutes from the Red City and 10 minutes from the lush golf courses of Marrakech, Dar Layyina is a very peaceful retreat. This charming boutique hotel has 2 swimming poolsa spatennis court, table tennis and stunning far-reaching views across the famous Atlas Mountains.


essaouira, morocco

A luxurious guesthouse to the south of Essaouira owned by a French couple who have created a wonderfully hospitable boutique riad retreat with exceptional food, peace and privacy. As a bonus, a Gary Player designed golf course is just 10 minutes away. 


malindi, kenya

Sister hotel to Diamonds Star of the East and Diamonds Mequfi Beach Resort, Diamonds Dream of Africa offers guests an all-inclusive luxury boutique hotel experience on the northern coast of Kenya.


pemba, mozambique

Diamonds Mequfi Beach Resort can be found on the southern Peninsular of Pemba on the sandy dunes of Mecufi Bay. Just an hour from the international airport of Pemba, this beach chic boutique hotel is the perfect choice for honeymooners or for those who want to relax in style after a safari adventure.


meru, kenya

Elsa’s Kopje is one of the most elegant boutique lodge’s in Africa. It is located inside Meru National Park on a hill just above the camp made famous by George and Joy Adamson (and of course Elsa the lioness). This Chic Retreat has 11 luxury boutique cottages- all are unique and have been cleverly shaped to blend into the spectacular setting.


zanzibar, tanzania

Situated on the north east coast of Zanzibar, Essque Zalu Zanzibar is everything you could wish for from a luxury beachside holiday in the sun. Surrounded by turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean the island of Zanzibar is steeped in history from the exotic spice plantations to the tumbling streets of Swahili.


marrakech, morocco

Jnane Allia is a hip hideaway just outside Marrakech with 8 suites, a spa, swimming pool and restaurant. Owned by Italians this luxury riad serves both Italian and Moroccan food and offers incredible value for money.


ouirgane, amizmiz, morocco

Maroc Lodge is a small luxury hotel near Marrakech in the High Atlas mountains. Enjoy spectacular views from the Berber-style pavilions that sit amid gorgeous landscaped gardens, gourmet cuisine and treatments in the hammam & spa.


imi ouaddar agadir, morocco

Only 3 hours flight away from the main cities of Europe, Paradis Plage Surf Yoga & Spal is the only boutique hotel of its kind in Morocco just north of Agadir.
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