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Boutique hotels in Africa (72)


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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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.


marrakech, morocco

Riad Farnatchi is a luxury riad in Marrakech and one of the best Moroccan boutique hotels you'll find. This is the most spoiling experience to be had in the medina of Marrakech along with the best Hammam to be found anywhere.


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.


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.


nungwi, tanzania

Zanzibar’s Nungwi BeachDiamonds Star of the East is a collection of 11 private luxury villas offering incredible views out over the glittering Indian Ocean and the famous Zanzibar sunsets.


kijagwani, tanzania

The owners of Upendo Zanzibar in south-east Zanzibar are passionate about their luxury villas and have done everything possible to ensure that you will be too. This Chic Retreat is on a white sandy beach and is fully serviced allowing you to sit back, relax and soak up the sun.


oued negro, morocco

Banyan Tree Tamouda Bay is a luxury villa-only beach retreat on the north west coast of Morocco. With the Mediterranean sea lapping at its feet, it has a Mediterranean vibe and exudes Moroccan charm.


paje, tanzania

Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa is a relaxed beachside hideaway on the east coast of Zanzibar in Tanzania. It is the only Relais & Chateaux property in Tanzania and is ideal for couples as well as families as the 11 villas are spread across the estate giving you absolute privacy.
20% Off


cape town, south africa

You won't find a better small, but perfectly formed boutique hotel in Cape TownDock House Boutique Hotel & Spa has just 6 rooms & suites and sits amidst manicured gardens in the Victoria & Albert Waterfront.


cape town, south africa

Overlooking the harbour in Cape Town The Manor House at the Queen Victoria Hotel is an exclusive 4 suite retreat less than 5 minutes walk from the Aquarium and the Nelson Mandela Gateway ferry terminal. If you stay here you have access to an outdoor pool at an adjacent hotel as well as a spa and fitness centre.


marrakech, morocco

Vibrant and authentic, Fellah Hotel is a cool & contemporary hotel just outside Marrakech. Escape from it all and help out on the farm or zone out with some yoga; there's something for all ages at this hip hideaway.


marrakech, morocco

For a unique and refined riad experience in Marrakech, head to Riad de Tarabel in the Medina. Filled with light and designed in a French style, this 6 room hideaway is one of our favourite riads.



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Each hotel selected for its unique charm and experience by Lulu the founder.

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Special benefits only guests booking through Chic Retreats obtain.

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If you find your stay cheaper elswhere we will price match and give you £50 towards your next stay with us.