The Top Resort Hotels in Africa and the Middle East
From the red dunes of Namibia and the rugged Atlas Mountains of the Maghreb to the peaks of Rwanda, the landscapes of Africa and the Middle East are sweeping and vast. Luckily for travelers, there is a wide range of resorts showcasing the best of these dramatic landscapes.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.
Related: The 2018 World's Best Awards
The Negev Desert, a massive swath of arid red rocks and wadis that covers much of southern Israel and parts of the Palestinian Territories, is the setting for our No. 3 resort: the Beresheet Hotel in Mitzpe Ramon, Israel. “Wow,” said one respondent; “this hotel is located on the Ramon Crater. Magnificent views.” The infinity pool and many of the resort’s 111 private villas look out onto the crater — arguably the region’s finest example of a makhtesh, a deep, wide valley surrounded by cliffs — while the rest look over the property’s 12.5 private acres of golden desert.
Coming in at No. 2 is Oman’s Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, a pair of hotels just outside the city of Muscat. Set on a private inlet of the Gulf of Oman, the 262-room Al Waha and 198-room Al Bandar have unparalleled views of the turquoise gulf and the striated cliffs at the water’s edge. The resort’s dramatic beaches make it an ideal location for seaside yoga, snorkeling, sea-turtle tracking — or just hanging out at some of the best beaches on the Arabian Peninsula.
But for our winning property, we must venture south, to the vineyard-lined hills of South Africa. Read on to find out more.
3. Beresheet Hotel, Mitzpe Ramon, Israel
2. Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, Muscat, Oman
1. La Residence, Franschhoek, South Africa
The Franschhoek Valley in South Africa’s Western Cape is a lush, mountain-rimmed region whose vine-covered hills have seen over three centuries of viticulture. It’s also the setting of La Residence, a collection of 16 suites set on a 30-acre wine estate. Since opening in 2007, the boutique property has landed on our list three times, no doubt for its produce-driven fine dining and opulent rooms. For all of our respondents, the sheer beauty of the property and its environs were a key factor. Said one reader: “Everything was immaculate, from the location to the rooms to the peacocks that roam the grounds!” It’s no wonder that La Residence is also No. 19 on this year’s list of the top 100 hotels in the world.
See all of our readers' favorite hotels, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2018.