The Best Resort Hotels in Africa and the Middle East in 2016

La Residence Franschhoek South Africa
Photo: Courtesy of the Royal Portfolio

Some of the top resorts in Africa and the Middle East are surrounded by vineyards. One is perched on the edge of the ocean. And still another is almost in the middle of nothing — and that is part of its appeal. Beresheet Hotel sits on cliffs in Israel’s Negev desert, looking over the Ramon Crater, an enormous box canyon. Guests can look out into the heights over the desert and to the vast line of the horizon with nothing interrupting the view. And they can do it from the cool comfort of an infinity pool. 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 lines, spas, airlines, and more. In the hotels category, readers rated properties on their rooms and facilities, location, service, food and drink, and overall value. Hotels were categorized as city or resort properties based on their locations. The five winners in the Middle East and Africa include Beresheet in Israel, the Four Seasons Resort in the Seychelles, known for its sumptuous tree-house villas, and three South African properties, all in wine country close to Cape Town. Convenience may be one reason the resorts ranked so highly, but there are plenty of others. La Residence in Franschhoek, nearby Le Quartier Français, and Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa in Stellenbosch offer mountain views and easy access to vineyards, as well as plush accommodations and polished service. “The setting is magnificent, the rooms luxurious, the artwork stunning, the restaurant delightful, and the staff gracious and attentive without being overbearing,” one T+L reader wrote of Delaire Graff. It sounds like more than enough to make the flight worthwhile.

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No. 5: Beresheet Hotel, Mitspe Ramon, Israel

Beresheet Hotel, Israel
Courtesy of Isrotel

Score: 91.238

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No. 4: Delaire Graff Lodges & Spa, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Delaire Graff Lodges and Spa, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Score: 92.308

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No. 3: Four Seasons Resort, Mahé, Seychelles

Four Seasons Resort Seychelles Mahé
Ken Seet/Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Seychelles

Score: 92.57

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No. 2: Le Quartier Français, Franschhoek, South Africa

Le Quartier Français Franschhoek
Courtesy of Le Quartier Français

Score: 92.79

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No. 1: La Residence, Franschhoek, South Africa

La Residence Franschhoek South Africa
Courtesy of the Royal Portfolio

Score: 95.27

Though set amid 30 acres of vineyards and plum orchards an hour outside of Cape Town, La Residence isn’t a simple, rustic retreat. The 16-suite property has decor that dazzles, too. Each suite is decorated in a different style — one, for example, is festooned with Tibetan tapestries. “The rooms are the most special I have seen,” one T+L reader reported. The Great Hall boasts checkerboard marble floors, gilded antiques, and Indian chandeliers. Here guests can swim in the infinity pool, explore vineyards on foot or by helicopter, unwind in the spa, or simply sit back and admire the view.

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