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Take in the scenery, relax on a beach,
marvel at the biodiversity &, of course,
spot a lemur.
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Ancient history, dazzling beaches, elephant rides, colourful
temples, leopard tracking, rainforest peaks & tea!
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The Golden Triangle, tiger tracking,
Kerala houseboats & so much more
Book with us for fantastic, insightful guides.
Some owners are natural hosts, welcoming you at the door. Often these owners are real characters that live and breathe the destination. Other owners are behind the scenes, working hard with their team to ensure every guest is treated as a highly valued visitor, not a room number. Some owners have family history in the region, others come from afar, fall in love with a destination or property and never leave. Regardless of their differences, all owners have one thing in common, they want you to love their property and the surrounding area as much as they do.
Although owners at independent properties may not be running a hotel on a day to day basis, they tend to be extremely involved with their managers. Together the owner and manager tend to have a strong, unique vision for looking after their guests. Boutique style hotels, lodges and guesthouses make up the majority of the independent hotels we focus on. We recommend independent hotels where the managers have been leading their teams for over 5 years and our client’s feedback is consistently good. With this combination, the feeling for guests at independent hotels is comparable to that at owner-run hotels.
The icing on the cake for owner-run and independent hotels is that you often don’t pay extra for this highly personal experience. These properties don’t have the huge running costs of larger hotels. And their increased flexibility allows your stay to be tailored to you. It may be an upgrade, a special celebration or simply fitting an extra bed in the room often making the difference.
Using the great relationships we have developed with owner-run and independent hotels over the past 20 years we aim to deliver unique, personal and unforgettable holidays. And if it’s not possible to solely use owner-run and independent properties, we do have some other excellent Sundowner favourites up our sleeves that have proved their worth over the years!
“”A third-generation Kenyan, Che Shale was started by my family in the late 70s. Together with my team, I enjoy sharing my passion for kite-surfing, and overall relaxed beach lifestyle. Warm hospitality and a genuine Kenyan coastal way-of-life is what you can expect staying with us”
“Chanoud Garh is a home first and a palace later, therefore you are not a guest but a family member. The old royal family welcomes you and shares with you a slice of there life, their culture, their tradition, their history, their food and the ever smiling people of Chanoud”.
“Over 100 years ago, our ancestors often entertained guests. Today, we are proud to continue the tradition, giving each guest a personal taste of the bygone era of the Maharaja’s way of life, providing a tranquil haven complete with food & companionship inside the safety of these walls.”
“Verity has been leading safaris all over Africa since the early 1980’s, and she still guides the odd safari now. Verity chose to make the beautiful Sabuk her bush home and her enthusiasm & passion for the wild, becomes obvious in her creation of activities and Camel Safaris on the Laikipia Plateau”.
“”We fell in love with this place in 2004, bought a plot on the seaside, and built from scratch our lodge, the place where we choose to live and host guests. We never regret we did, and still today, driving our guests and friends around, we are constantly surprised by the beauty of this land”.
“We are both from wildlife conservation backgrounds & our aim is to manage the Sarai at Toria in an environmentally responsible manner, providing comfort & indulgence while protecting the natural & cultural environment. Being enthusiastic ‘foodies”, meals are a major focus of our hospitality!”
“A rare Renaissance man with interests as diverse as philosophy, religion, contemporary politics to farming, tribal culture, music, poetry, Durga sports not only a grand moustache but also a wonderful sense of humour. A marvelous and engaging raconteur, his insights will leave a lasting impression”.
“We shared the same dream, to live in nature in a harmonious way with the local community & the surrounding environment. It’s a rare privilege to be in this mystical wilderness. Flame of the Forest is entirely constructed with & by the people of the land creating a strong bond with the local community.”
“True to the ancient adage, ‘Life holds many surprises’, we found ourselves living in Kenya, which is where WaterLovers was born, out of our love of the ocean & nature. We want to share our paradise & our motto strongly remains ‘come as guests and leave as a friend’.”
“Having lived in the Masai Mara for 10 years, I have a strong passion for providing our guests with an authentic off-the-beaten track safari experience. With Enkewa Camp in a privileged location & with genuine, committed Masai staff, I feel I am living my dream.”
“We decided to return to our ancestral farms, & commence work on our most challenging endeavor to date – to create sustainable & self sustaining projects, that would improve the lives of the local people, whilst building support for the natural beauty & resources of the valley.”
“We tried to infuse some humor in our style & a laid back feel so that guests feel at home from the moment they step into our hotel. We believe our guests are travellers. They come seeking an experience, not just a destination & hopefully we provide that.”
“With creating Niyagama House a dream came true for us and we are delighted about sharing this dream with our guests! Here we can offer you our expertise in the field of vacation, yoga and hospitality in a perfect mix. And we happily look forward to seeing you here!”
“The Fort has been in our family for 350 years but was abandoned for 30 years before we renovated it. Now we love welcoming guests to the hotel & camp, enjoying showing off the history of the Fort but also personally guiding them around the area. We want to create memories to cherish.”
“We were born in Calcutta, the 3rd generation of our family to live in India. Restoring the mansion and welcoming guests was a dream of ours. A way to show off our love of India through our interior design of the house, our love of hosting & strory-telling, as well as through delicious meals!”
“We love welcoming guests to enjoy the spectacular beauty of the coast in our isolated beach spot. Above all we aim to do this in a way that protects the marine environment contributing poitively to the environment as well as the local community.”
“We restored our magnificent 150 year old mansion with an eye on emphasising the ancient trading links of the area but also with the aim of provding the most unique, authentic and luxurious accommodation in Mozambique. This is true paradise.”
“We wanted to create a beach hideaway where guests would feel completely at home. Relaxation, privacy and comfort are our priority but it is also about the details. We want to create an unforgettable stay in this very special place.”
“I built the guest house on a perfect island hideaway. Guests wake up to the sound of the lapping sea and all they need is their costume, sarong and sandals. I’m always here to give my guests all the personal attention they could wish for to ensure a perfect holiday.”
“I wanted to create a camp that was in total harmony with its surroundings, a place that guests savour completely, not just the camp but the area all around. I try to get every detail spot-on to ensure my guests have the most wonderful, immersive, revitalising stay.”
“We welcome everyone as friends. This is our island paradise and we love sharing it, showing off the incredible reefs as well as the forests and wildlife. We have tried to create a relaxed home away from home that is at one with the nature that surrounds it.”
“Butiama Beach is all about relaxation in truly special surroundings. We want our guests to unwind, let go and be themselves and help them along by providng a laid-back atmosphere coupled with ensuring we do everything possible for each guest to have the most perfect stay.”
“We loved Zanzibar so much that we bought a 5-acre stretch of unspoilt beach & designed & built an idyllic getaway. Running a hotel here is a lot of fun. We want our guests to relax into their surroundings, and enjoy the uninterrupted views of the beautiful Indian Ocean.”
“We want our guests to immerse themselves in the beauty of Mafia, to forget about the time of the day and be ruled by the slow pace of life around them. And to then explore the warm heart of the island, the rich seas, the environment and totally fall for Mafia, just as we have.”
“We want our guests to see the last of the raw and empty wildernesses in southern Tanzania, where you often don’t see another soul & the wildlife is abundant. So our camps are mobile, in the heart of the bush, offering a totally unique experience, where you are alert to everthing around you.”
“We wanted to share our passion for Tanzania’s people and wildlife by creating two independent camps in the Serengeti wilderness. An authentic bush experience offering our guests a unique window into the landscape & wildlife, designed to be one step closer to the environment.”
“I built Kanyemba to provide a traditional, natural & unique haven for guests to experience their own memorable moments of the area. And to also create a haven for the wildlife, with a strong focus on conservation of the flora & fauna in this beautiful area.”
“We genuinely love to make all our guests feel special and cared for – without the fuss. With our sights set firmly on service and comfort, each guest is guaranteed personalised care and attention. On any given day you will find Doug in the kitchen, up a ladder or on a horse, and Gail baking puddings and doing the reservations”
“What we want more than anything is to fulfil people’s dreams. For many guests, visiting here is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and we want to ensure it’s completely unforgettable. As a small, independent and owner-run camp, we can focus on details and personal touches. It should feel like coming home to guests.”
“Having spent so much our time working in luxury lodges, we wanted our guests to enjoy similar levels of comfort at a reasonable rate and more importantly be able to take comfort that in choosing Bakwena as their destination, they have also made the right choice for the environment.”
“We fell in love with the Muchenje site 14 years ago and are proud to have been involved everyday since the first brick was laid. At Muchenje we know we are blessed – with a great Lodge, great staff, great view, and we are in one of the great wildlife areas of Africa!.”
“I fell in love with Cape Town and now enjoy providing a wonderful tranquil base for others to see this amazing city. I wanted to create a beautiful home away from home, comfortable yet special, somewhere for all my guests to be happy, everyday surrounded by the sights of Cape Town.”
“Hosting is our passion. We want everything to be perfect and believe in being there alongside our team for our guests, each of us being hands-on for everyone who comes to stay with us, doing whatever we can to make certain that every guest is comfortable, happy, relaxed.”
“We strive to provide you with an experience that encapsulates those things we tend to gloss over in the rush of modern life – an opportunity to relax in comfortable, tranquil surrounds with good food, superb local wines, great views and plenty of fresh air.”
“This is our family retreat, bought by Anina’s grandfather in 1960. As much as Arathusa is about a traditional, well-guided, safari that allows our guests to embrace the bush, it is also about taking a personal interest in each individual who visits us so that they leave feeling part of the family.”
“You can expect a few things from our hotel. Beautiful décor! Fantastic breakfast! Excellent service! Spacious Rooms! And with every stay at Rouge on Rose, you’ll also get a generous helping of personality, initiative, real insider’s input & probably a witty remark or two.”
“Flatdogs is about an authentic, personal safari mixed with freedom of choice. We love showing-off the area, the plethora of wildlife, the diversity to all our guests and want clients to feel that they can come and enjoy this magical area in a way that suits them.”
“We want to provide a magical wildlife experience for our guests in relaxed, friendly surroundings, whilst protecting the environment around us. We are proud that our guests embrace this mission and leave with fantastic memories & understanding of the bush.”
“Our aim is to give you the feeling you are staying in a friend’s house and not a hotel. We have a library, a dining pavilion, a swimming pool, arbours and flower gardens, so guests can relax and please themselves around the house and grounds. Or even take the dogs out for a walk.”
“Our mission on Mosaic Private Sanctuary is one of renewal & restoration. Renewal for those who stay here. Restoration of hope & livelihoods in the local community through job creation & education as well as restoration of the eco-system in our little corner of the Cape Floral Kingdom“