Incredible Island Stays
Tried and tested by the Atelier Africa team
Dreaming of an island in the sun? Make it a five-star escape with our round-up of top stays…
Tsara Komba Luxury Beach and Forest Lodge – Madagascar
If you’re looking for a typically dreamy island setting, you can’t get better than this location.
Perched on a lush hillside between forest and beach in Nosy Komba off the north-western tip of Madagascar is the magical Tsara Komba Luxury Beach and Forest Lodge.
The destination comprises eight lodges, each offering unrivalled sea views, delicious breakfast spreads, and romantic dinners under the stars.
It’s an oasis for those looking for an exclusive experience, thanks to the trees and shrubs that surround each lodge and protect guests’ privacy.
The main lodge – The Divine House – boasts a spectacular view over the bay, ocean, and distant mountains. The various private lodges surround this communal area, with some nestled in the tropical garden between the beach and forest, and others situated ‘on the water’s edge’, where guests can gaze out at the beach and bay.
Foodies will love the slow-food inspired culinary experience on offer at L’ateliers des Saveurs restaurant, and the bar serves countless different varieties of rum that can be enjoyed in the comfy lounge or out on the terrace, from which dolphins and whales can be spotted depending on the time of year.
When not wining and dining island style, guests can take their pick of a myriad exciting activities on offer.
Head out for a snorkel, take a ride in a dugout boat or canoe, or enjoy a spot of beach volleyball, beach racquetball, badminton, kiting or frisbee throwing.
The Eden Botanical Garden forms part of an indigenous nature reserve filled with fauna and flora. With 200 varieties of flowers and plants and a plethora of colours and fragrances, a stroll along the dressed stone path promises a truly magical experience.
And then for the highlight of our trip: a guided trek through the dense forest bordering the property. A former volcano covered by a lush tropical forest today, Nosy Komba is rich in wildlife. We were thrilled to encounter lively Macaco lemurs, bright chameleons, and an array of birds, lizards, frogs and butterflies.
Top Tip: While you’re in Madagascar, be sure to visit the breathtaking Avenue of Baobabs – one of the must-do recommendations on our African Travel Bucket List
Sundy Praia – Principe
In Principe’s wild northwest coast is a serene tented getaway nestled in the unique spot where the rainforest meets the ocean.
A must-visit for nature lovers, Sundy Praia offers 15 spacious eco villas designed in harmony with their rain forest home.
Modelled on traditional casa de pescadores, the villas are made from sustainable hardwood and tented canvas, with earth-inspired decor, romantic four-poster beds, and pops of colourful African touches.
Don’t let the eco-friendly aspect fool you – there is every modern luxury to be enjoyed in the villas – from air conditioning and a fully-stocked mini bar to gorgeous en-suite bathrooms with freestanding granite baths.
A highlight for us was the floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, which offer guests sweeping views of the surrounding paradise.
If you’re in need of a place of refuge to relax and reset to the ways of nature, think no further than Sundy Praia. You’ll find yourself waking to the sound of chattering parrots, and falling asleep to the lull of the ocean.
The fact that the villas are surrounded by tropical forest and boast their own private beach means you won’t have to go far to immerse yourself in a tropical paradise (a mere seconds-long stroll will take you straight to the beach). Add to this the sparkling infinity pool, luxurious spa, and innovative cuisine, and you’ll find more than enough to keep you busy each long, lazy, sunny day.
Top tip: The one-bedroom tented villas are perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway
Images © Sundy Praia
Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa – Zanzibar
On arrival at this five-star boutique hotel, you’ll immediately understand why it’s won so many awards, and is rated one of Zanzibar’s finest.
The family-owned resort offers 11 exclusive luxury villas nestled within a private oasis on the sands of Paje Beach on the East Coast of Zanzibar. Each spacious and exquisitely appointed villa includes its own dining lounge, recreational area, sumptuous rooms, sun deck, and swimming pool.
Resort guests can make the most of the gorgeous spa, two restaurants, rooftop champagne bar, beach bar and lounge, and watersports centre.
Foodies of all ages will no doubt find a favourite between Doors to Zanzibar (the main restaurant, with an upscale ambience and a la carte menu) and the Beach Restaurant, with its fresh seafood and stunning views of Paje Beach.
Whether you want to learn to kitesurf on the azure ocean, sip a cocktail on the rooftop bar, or indulge in a pampering massage or afternoon of sunbathing at the pool, there is sure to be something to delight at White Sand.
Most guests will likely agree that – between the golden sands of Paje, the sparkling main and private pools and the spa, there’s little reason to venture far from the lodge. That said, there is also the opportunity to explore the island by bicycle or fat tyre electric beach bicycle, or even to hop on a Hobie Cat for an ocean adventure.
Top tip: Our favourite things to do in Zanzibar include visiting Stone Town, exploring the Spice Route, and seeing red colobus monkeys in Jozani Forest.
Images © White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa
Azura Retreats offer discerning guests an unrivalled experience on secluded islands off the coast of Mozambique.
The accommodation on both Benguerra and Quilalea Islands offers up the perfect mix of local culture and five-star luxury, for those wanting to immerse themselves in nature while enjoying complete comfort.
Forming part of the Bazaruto Archipelago, Benguerra Island lies within the Bazaruto Marine National Park. The eco-friendly resort comprises 20 beachfront villas, each with a private infinity pool, lounging deck, and sweeping ocean views.
The resort also offers a spacious communal lounge, boutique, media centre and wine cellar, where guests can enjoy private tastings. Complementing the sophisticated sips is fresh cuisine made with local ingredients at the on-site Jellyfish Restaurant, or all-day snacks and refreshments at the Star Bar.
Those willing to tear themselves away from the lodge and its spa can explore the unique flora and fauna of the island, with its myriad reptiles and birds.
The more adventurous can hit the warm waters for a spot of snorkelling, diving, deep sea fishing, and dhow cruises.
On Quilalea Private Island within the Quirimbas Archipelago Marine Sanctuary, nine private villas make up the exclusive resort.
Each eco-friendly villa is complete with a private plunge pool and outdoor shower, with the Villa Quilalea offering a romantic private clifftop escape for honeymooners.
Quilalea is the only Mozambican island with a house reef, and the snorkelling is incredible. Visitors travelling during the right season may be lucky enough to spot a variety of turtle species nesting at Turtle Beach. Last but certainly not least, another must-see highlight on the island is the majestic ancient baobabs, which can be explored on a private or guided walk.
Top tip: Choosing Villa Quilalea for your honeymoon will see you treating your loved one to private dining, a personal pool, and swimming and snorkelling right from your doorstep.
Images © Azura Benguerra
Six Senses Zil Pasyon – Seychelles
Always wanted to visit the spectacular Seychelles? Do it in five-star style at the breathtaking Six Senses Zil Pasyon.
Situated on a private island of coral-fringed beaches and imposing granite rocks, Six Senses is a haven of natural splendour.
With everything from one- and two-bedroom pool villas to three- and four-bedroom residences, there is an accommodation option for every traveller.
The spacious vvillas and residences are quiet, secluded, and surrounded by tropical vegetation. Each offers incredible ocean views, as well as private infinity pools and even a guest butler service.
The villas boast inspired design, modern finishes, and every luxury and comfort a discerning guest can expect.
The sensory spa reflects the island’s ecosystem, and boasts an elevated pool with a sundeck, and a yoga and meditation pavilion for island wellbeing. The wide range of holistic natural treatments is inspired by Africa and designed to nourish by nature.
Dining at Six Senses is a gastronomic treat, with Seychellois cuisine reflecting the various cultures that have shaped it over the centuries, including African, Chinese, French, English, and Indian. Expect traditional favourites with a modern twist.
Noteworthy nearby activities include exploring Coco Island, hiking through the Félicité jungle, cycling around La Digue Island, sunset cruises, turtle expeditions, and a myriad of watersports.
Images © Six Senses Zil Pasyon
Contact us to plan your own incredible island stay!