Once we were on the beach, we began drifting away from the world as we'd come to know it this year, relaxing in complete privacy with little indication that Covid even existed. Staff were of course very careful, wearing masks at all times and sadly, but necessarily eschewing the usual warm African hugs and handshakes. And of course all properties have robust sanitisation and cleaning protocols. Although these tend to be more behind the scenes additions, leaving the experience in the lodge, at dinner, and in the warm Indian Ocean as normal — and as blissful — as it should be.
We stayed at delightful Matemwe Retreat
on the north-east coast for four nights and then truly magnificent Xanadu
on the south-east coast for three more nights, both of which I chose because they would be utterly perfect for a romantic and exclusive honeymoon.
Although very different in style, the two were similar in many ways — completely private (and huge!) suites and villas, serviced by friendly and personal butlers, private dining for all meals either in our own living space or in a carefully chosen, scenic spot close-by. The mouth-watering food had no business being so good and we watched the sun rise over the azure ocean each morning. It was heaven.