Conde Nast to Release New Top Hotels of the World List

Conde Nast will release its latest Top Hotels of the World list on October 24, 2017… here is a sneak peek:


La Residence in South Africa’s Franschhoek winelands has been voted the 7th best hotel in the world and deservedly so. Not only is it a favorite of Elton John but us too! Liz Biden has done the most incredible interior decorating… as she does on all their properties! Congrats to Liz and Phil.


As to other winners in Africa here are the lists… As you might guess here at Ultimate Africa we don’t completely agree. We find that Conde Nast’s awards often reflect lodges, camps, hotels, and resorts that have the most extensive industry contacts and market / spend extensively to travel agents.


In our opinion the list leans heavily towards luxury properties and often overlooks the wildlife which is the whole point of going on a safari!


HOTELS (East and Southern Africa – other areas excluded)
#2 in Africa – La Residence
#3 in Africa – Birkenhead House
#5 in Africa – Saxon Hotel
#6 in Africa – Ellerman House
#7 in Africa – One and Only Cape Town
#8 in Africa – The Oyster Box
#9 in Africa – Giraffe Manor
#10 in Africa – The Twelve Apostles Hotel
#11 in Africa – Four Seasons Hotel Johannesburg (um, not so much)
#12 in Africa – The Silo Hotel
#13 in Africa – The Victoria Falls Hotel
#15 in Africa – Gibbs Farm
#16 in Africa – Mount Nelson Hotel (we don’t agree)
#17 in Africa – Cape Grace Hotel
#18 in Africa – Essque Zalu Zanzibar (we don’t agree at all)
#19 in Africa – Westin Cape Town
#20 in Africa – Taj Cape Town


RESORTS (East and Southern Africa – other areas excluded)
#1 in Africa – Sanctuary Olonana (don’t agree)
#2 in Africa – AndBeyond Matetsi River Lodge (incredible lodge with an amazing setting but limited wildlife)
#3 in Africa – Ulusaba Game Reserve (I don’t like my view to include freeway traffic)
#4 in Africa – Sanctuary Chief’s Camp (Really well done but Mombo has better game as the Delta deposits nutrients on north end of Chief’s Island each year. Sanctuary is Abercrombie and Kent which is a big corporate player)
#5 in Africa – Shambala Private Game Reserve
#6 in Africa – AndBeyond Serengeti Under Canvas (love this camp at certain times of year)
#7 in Africa – Singita Sabi Sand (and deservedly so)
#8 in Africa – Bwindi Lodge (nice but prefer Rwanda)
#9 in Africa – AndBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve (we don’t like our game viewing with buses and cars driving past on a public road… great conservation effort / staff / lodges / camps)
#10 in Africa – Royal Malewane (stunning luxury / service but game viewing has been limited when we have visited)
#11 in Africa – AndBeyond Sandibe (great place – superb wildlife. We love it).
#12 in Africa – Royal Chundu
#13 in Africa – Mount Gahinga Lodge (say what? Not even top 200 in our opinion… shows what agents are pushing!)
#14 in Africa – AndBeyond Benguerra (very nice pick)
#15 in Africa – Kyambura Gorge Lodge (Very cool spot with habituated chimps!)
#16 in Africa – Bushman’s Kloof (superb accommodations, service and staff but hugely limited wildlife)
#17 in Africa – Singita Kruger Park
#18 in Africa – Sirikoi in Lewa Downs
#19 in Africa – Londolozi (nice pick)
#20 in Africa – Richard’s Camp (Nice place – seems to be 2017 flavor of the year)

The list continues with a mish mash of properties that should have ranked much higher (such as Mombo and Little Mombo at #32 which many people argue offers Africa’s highest quality and most consistent wildlife viewing) and other industry / corporate darlings that are heavily marketed to agents – many of whom have never been.



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