What High Net Worth Individuals Look for in Design
When it comes to choosing their next destination to escape to, high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) often seek out unique and luxurious experiences. African properties, with their stunning landscapes, rich wildlife, and immersive cultural experiences, have become increasingly popular among HNWIs. However, it is not just the location and amenities that attract these discerning travellers. The design of the property itself plays a significant role in their decision-making process. From architectural elements to interior aesthetics, and how properties can cater to sustainability efforts in the areas they operate in.
Architectural Elements: Blending with the Environment
One of the key aspects that HNWIs appreciate in accommodation design is the seamless integration of the architecture with the natural surroundings. Architecture that blends harmoniously with the environment creates a sense of tranquillity and allows guests to feel connected to the wilderness around them.
For example, Ongava Resarch Centre in Namibia, is a research facility built to fit the natural landscape. The use of natural materials and open-fronted rooms that are nestled between the rocks create a unique and immersive experience for guests. The lodge at Shipwreck Lodge in Namibia is designed to resemble the relics that line the shores, with timber-and-glass cabins that blend effortlessly with the harshness of the Skeleton Coast.
Interior Aesthetics: Balancing Luxury and Authenticity
While HNWIs appreciate the luxury and comfort that lodges provide, they also value the authenticity and cultural immersion that African destinations offer. Lodge interiors that strike a balance between luxury and authenticity are highly sought after.
Jao Camp in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, is a prime example of a lodge that combines luxury with a touch of Balinese-inspired design. Its elegant interiors, spa treatments, and opportunities for relaxation create a haven for guests amidst the wilderness. Similarly, Cheetah Plains in Kruger, South Africa, offers exclusive-use villas with curated art collections, wine galleries, and muted-colored bedrooms that provide a sophisticated yet authentic African experience.
Wildlife Viewing: Maximising the Connection
For HNWIs, wildlife viewing is often a primary reason for choosing an African destination and accommodation. The design of the lodge should enhance the connection to nature and offer opportunities for up-close wildlife experiences.
Singita Sabora in the Grumeti region of Serengeti, Tanzania, takes inspiration from animals that carry their shelter with them. The cocoon-like bedrooms mimic the nests of weaver birds, while the main area resembles the pangolin. The camp’s architecture and design seamlessly blend with the surrounding wildlife, allowing guests to feel immersed in nature.
Sustainability and Conservation: Making a Difference
HNWIs are increasingly conscious of the impact of their travel choices and seek out options that prioritise sustainability and conservation efforts in the areas they operate. Lodges that actively contribute to wildlife preservation and engage with local communities are highly regarded by HNWIs.
Segera Lodge in Laikipia, Kenya, is known for its commitment to conservation and community work. The lodge supports local communities, has the first women-only anti-poaching unit, and undertakes extensive tree-planting projects. HNWIs who stay at Segera not only enjoy luxury and breathtaking scenery but also contribute to the preservation of wildlife and the well-being of local communities.
Unique Experiences: Going Beyond the Ordinary
HNWIs often crave unique and extraordinary experiences during their vacations. Properties that offer distinctive amenities and activities can create memorable moments and capture their interest.
For example, The Silo Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa, offers guests a truly exceptional experience. Housed in a transformed grain mill, the hotel features pillowed windows that provide stunning views of the waterfront. The hotel also houses the Zeitz MOCAA, Africa’s first major contemporary art museum. This combination of art, architecture, and style sets The Silo apart and makes it a destination in itself.
Accessibility and Convenience: Catering to High-End Travelers
HNWIs value convenience and ease of access when choosing where to stay. Accommodations that offer private villas, exclusive-use options, and proximity to key attractions are particularly appealing to this discerning group of travellers.
One&Only Gorilla’s Nest in Rwanda exemplify this convenience and design aesthetic. Located near the Volcanoes National Park, the lodge provides luxurious suites with private plunge pools and wellness areas, allowing guests to relax and rejuvenate after gorilla trekking adventures. The proximity to the park entrance ensures easy access to the gorilla habitats, making it an ideal choice for HNWIs seeking a memorable wildlife experience.
When it comes to choosing Africa as a destination, HNWIs seek a combination of contemporary, authenticity, cultural immersion, unique experiences, and sustainability. They value properties that seamlessly blend with the natural environment, offer distinctive interior aesthetics, and provide opportunities for wildlife viewing. Additionally, HNWIs appreciate lodges that actively contribute to conservation efforts and engage with local communities. By catering to these preferences, properties can attract and provide unforgettable experiences for high-net-worth individuals seeking the ultimate getaway to Africa.