A lot of continents are preparing in top gear for the traffic they will get from tourist visitation and Africa is not left out. On top of all the usual reasons to travel, there’s a world of exciting hotels opening this year. Some bring new luxury to destinations (like Madagascar) that had been seriously lacking in comforts. And a number of classic hotels are finishing up major, multiyear renovations that will reinvent them and easily exceed the amenities at all those sassy upstarts. Here’s what’s all over the map in 2017
One of the most anticipated urban hotel openings of 2017, the Silo occupies an actual grain silo on the V&A waterfront.
Reinvented by architect Thomas Heatherwick, the structure will house the much-buzzed-about Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, which opens later this year on the lower floors, and a 28-room hotel on the upper levels. Designed by Liz Biden of South Africa’s Royal Portfolio (Royal Malewane, La Residence), the hotel (which opens in March) has a modern feel and arresting views from its bulging geometric windows. A rooftop pool, a lounge and a bar round out the pleasures. (From $900)
The soulful safari company Asilia is continuing its move in a luxury direction with the opening of Jabali Ridge in September, the first proper safari lodge in Ruaha National Park–Tanzania’s biggest, most wildlife-rich park that you’ve probably never heard of.
(Expect to encounter very few other Land Cruisers, as hardly anyone visits.) Along with sublime creature comforts–ten large, stylish rooms with beautiful weathered-timber furnishings, an infinity pool and a spa–the lodge promises to maintain Asilia’s tradition of authenticity with top-flight guides and meaningful interactions with local communities. (From $750 per person, per night)
Until recently, accommodations on the wildly biologically diverse island–home to nearly 12,000 plant species and untold numbers of animals (more than 600 discovered since 1999 alone)–were limited to fairly rustic eco-lodges and no-frills hotels.
This year, they’re leapfrogging standard-issue five-star style with the opening of the unabashedly over-the-top Miavana, the latest project from the people behind the ultra luxurious North Island in the Seychelles. Located on the sea-life-rich Nosy Ankao off the main island’s northeast coast, the 14-room resort, which opens in April, will be reachable only by helicopter. ($2,500 per person, per night; timeandtideafrica.com)