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Season’s Greetings and 2018 Notes from Luxury Frontiers

Edition 2 | December 2018

Happy holidays to all our friends! We have some news to share with you as we wrap up 2018 and get excited for the journey ahead.

A New Project Underway at Puku Ridge Camp

Luxury Frontiers has begun an ambitious, top-to-bottom redesign and rebuild of the popular Puku Ridge Camp, one of the premier spots for game-viewing in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park, and now under the management of Chichele Safaris.

The inspiration for the lodge’s new look was taken from the colors, textures, and wildlife of the area’s topography, which comprises rocky hillsides, sweeping plains, and the Kalumbi Floodplain. We’re talking pine timber flooring, fiber thatch roof coverings, and stone surfaces. The neutral palette will be accented by subtle pops of rust red— a nod to the colorful plumage of the Southern Carmine Bee-eater— as well as natural textures.

After a long day of guided walks and game drives, guests will be able to kick back in their kitted-out tented accommodations, whose interiors take on a more contemporary approach to a classic safari camp. Warm, earthy tones and varied textures and layers will encourage guests to reflect on the beautiful surroundings and admire the camp’s architecture and interiors.

Under Construction: Inzalo Safari Lodge

“A wilderness reborn” is the motto of owner-operators Dave and Henriette Rieger, who have partnered with Luxury Frontiers to plan the design and development of South Africa’s Inzalo Safari Lodge in the Welgevonden Game Reserve. The luxury tented safari lodge will maximize the magical views overlooking the savanna and crystal clear Sterkstroom River as well as immerse guests in nature. The main lodge will be an airy and welcoming retreat, with large open spaces extending onto an expansive poolside deck and bar area that overlooks the spectacular scenery.

Each luxury tent will be a spacious 540 square feet and feature a splash pool, en-suite bedroom, and lounge area. The custom-designed tents will allow guests to enjoy the tranquility and intimacy afforded by this exclusive ten-bed lodge. Meanwhile, modern building materials such as “Future House” wall panels will allow for a quicker and easier construction process while reducing energy consumption, thanks to their incredible insulative properties.

The guestooms at Inzalo Lodge are completely immersed in the beauty of South Luangwa National Park.
The tented guest rooms at Inzalo Safari Lodge are designed to immerse guests in the unparalleled beauty of the Welgevonden Game Reserve.

Under Construction: Kiho Gorilla Safari Lodge

Set on a mystic hilltop bordering Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest— one of the last remaining homes of the endangered mountain gorilla— Kiho Gorilla Safari Lodge is going to be a haven for gorilla trekking enthusiasts when it opens in 2019. The architecture incorporates a mono-pitch roof and multi-level buildings to allow for the harvesting of rainwater, and the eight accommodation units and the main building are orientated to maximize views of the enchanting forest. The exteriors and interiors are influenced by the surrounding landscape (the forest is home to more than 160 species of trees and over 100 species of ferns!) and local building materials. Inside, flecks of emerald green and gold lend an air of understated luxury.

The high-style accommodations at Kiho Gorilla Safari Lodge pay homage to Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. 
The high-style accommodations at Kiho Gorilla Safari Lodge pay homage to Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

A Message from the CEO

This newsletter showcases a few of our African projects, but there is plenty of news that I’d like to take this opportunity to spotlight. I recently returned from Remote Latin America, an immersive, four-day travel event bringing together media, buyers, and owners from boutique independent hotels from Latin America and the Caribbean. I introduced to the audience Luxury Frontiers’ project in Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano National Park—Nayara Tented Camp. With 21 luxury tented guest rooms, the project is now under construction and slated to open fall 2019. It was such a pleasure to share our exciting news of North America’s first all-year-around tented resort, as well as our passion for boutique experiences and luxury sustainable tourism in Latin America.

Talk about a transformation: the before and after images of the forthcoming Nayara Tented Camp. 
Construction of a guest room at Nayara Tented Camp (left) and a rendering of the project at completion (right).

If you follow us on LinkedIn or Instagram, you’ll know that we were recently featured in a Bloomberg Businessweek feature by Nikki Ekstein titled “Tented Camps are Fast Becoming the World’s Best Resorts.” Her compelling article detailed the reasons why upscale tented accommodations are suddenly “popping up everywhere,” and singled out Luxury Frontiers as a pioneer and an industry leader. I hope that the reader takeaway is the incredible opportunity that exists for experiential tented concepts here in the Americas, with “50 to 70% of guests at the top-tier safari lodges in Africa … coming from the U.S.” and rates even “going for $5,000 a night.” Hoteliers can also “expect to generate 20 to 40 percent more in revenues than their six-star bricks-and-mortar counterparts.”

Another exciting media mention was Selected Hotels’ coverage of the recently opened Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge, which recently received an extensive, multimillion-dollar rebuild led by Luxury Frontiers. The issue described the project as “an iconic hospitality concept, well beyond eco-luxury,” and “a timeless explorer’s lodge that beats with the pulse of wild Africa.” In his editor letter, Frank M. Pfaller, President and CEO, wrote about sustainability: “Today, of course, we all agree that ‘sustainability’ in our luxury hospitality is, in fact, very sexy.” Based on my experience, I’d like to add that sustainability is not only sexy but profitable!

As we close out 2018, I wish you and yours a happy holiday season. May your new year be filled with adventures near and far, and I look forward to discussing with you all the ways Luxury Frontiers can usher your lodging project into the new age of luxury travel.

Travel well,
Luca
luca.franco@luxury-frontiers.com

In the Media

See what the press is saying about our luxury tented accommodations and experiential concepts by browsing our latest clips.

What’s Next

Hotel Investment Conference South Asia (HICSA)
Mumbai, India | April 3-4, 2019
Luca Franco will be a keynote speaker discussing unique tented architecture concepts and their application in the South Asian lodging marketplace.

Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC)
Ras Al Khaimah, UAE | April 9-11, 2019
Luca Franco will be joining a panel discussion on responsible tourism alongside other industry leaders bridging the gap between traditional hospitality and adventure travel.

Office Announcement

Please note that our Johannesburg office will be closed for the holiday season, from December 15th to January 7th.