Top 10 Hotels in MEA
We take a look at the scores for Travel and Leisure’s “Top 100 Hotels in the World” to bring you the top ten hotels in the Middle East and Africa.
With a Travel and Leisure score of 96.60, the Lion Sands Game Reserve is the 34th best hotel in the world. A part of the MORE hotel collection, it rents out lodges and treehouses located on the Sabie river bank, in Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa. One of the top safari lodges in Africa, according to Travel and Leisure, it was also named one of the top 20 lodges in the region by the 2018 Condé Nast Traveller Awards.
With a place on Travel & Leisure’s World’s Best Awards every year for the past decade, making it a WBA Hall of Fame Honoree, Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa has a rating of 96.63. Located in Johannesburg, South Africa, it counts with an infinity pool, a world-class spa, multiple restaurants, luxury suites and three standalone villas. Ranked as the 32nd best hotel in the world, it was awarded “Africa’s Leading Boutique Hotel” 2019 by the World Travel Awards.
Based in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania, the Highlands allows visitors to experience African safaris from the privacy of a slope on the Olmoti Volcano. Ranked the 29th best hotel in the world, it has a Travel & Leisure score of 96.84. It is run by Asilia, a safari company with 32 lodges across Kenya and Tanzania. Guests at the Highlands stay in domed suites equipped with king-sized beds, en-suite bathrooms and floor-to-ceiling bay windows.
Situated on the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa, Londolozi has a Travel & Leisure score of 97.45, making it the 20th best hotel in the world. Based on a reserve that is part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park, Londolozi offers guests an opportunity to witness wild elephants, buffalo, white rhinos, lions and leopards. With a history that dates back to 1926, its facilities include five camps with access to 34,000 acres of historic game-viewing land.
The 16th best hotel in the world, Ellerman House is located in Cape Town, South Africa. With a Travel & Leisure score of 97.60, Ellerman House offers 13 rooms in a luxury hotel and two private villas, presenting guests with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. Among its amenities are a bar, sea-facing gardens, the Ellerman House Spa, a world-class collection of South African art and a 7500-strong selection of South African wines.
Situated in Marrakesh, Morocco, Royal Mansour has a Travel & Leisure score of 97.78. A stone’s throw from the famed Jamaa El Fna square, it is ranked the 12th best hotel in the world. A hotel that seeks to capture the feeling of an authentic medina, its offerings include restaurants, gardens, a 2500 square metre spa and 53 high-end riads. The hotel also has a network of underground tunnels that allow staff to work discreetly for guest comfort and privacy.
Located in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia, the Bushcamp Company’s Mfuwe Lodge has a Travel & Leisure score of 97.87, making it the 9th best hotel in the world. With 18 luxury chalets at its disposal, the safari lodge offers guests the opportunity to view game such as giraffes, hippos, buffalo, antelope, crocodiles and elephants. A part of the Bushcamp Company, the Mfuwe Lodge was founded in 1999 and is one of six such bushcamps. Its facilities include a spa overlooking a hippo lagoon.
The 8th best hotel in the world, Singita Grumeti is situated in the Serengeti National Park Area, Tanzania. It has a Travel & Leisure score of 98.12. Founded on a reserve that was created in 1994 by the Tanzanian government to protect wildebeest migration and indigenous biodiversity, Singita has been managing the property since 2006. Singita Grumeti is one of 15 luxury lodges and camps across Eastern and Southern Africa run by Singita which offer sustainable ecotourism funded by the Grumeti Trust.
2. Gibb’s Farm
Based in Karatu, Tanzania, Gibb’s Farm is the 5th best hotel in the world, with a Travel & Leisure score of 98.56. Overlooking the Great Rift Valley and Ngorongoro Forest, it offers accommodation in the form of a farmhouse and 17 cottages. Originally, it was a coffee farm in the 1920s before being converted into an inn. Gibb’s Farm prides itself on its green initiatives, such as recycling water and using solar panels for 90% of its hot water.
A WBA Hall of Fame honoree, Singita Sabi Sand is the third best hotel in the world, with a Travel & Leisure score of 98.59. Based in Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa, its property includes a privately-owned game reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park. Owned by the Bailes family since 1926, it opened its first lodge in 1993. Owned by the Singita brand, it is renowned for its high density of big game and leopard sightings.
For more information on business topics in the Middle East and Africa, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief MEA.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.