Unexpected Luxuries in the Heart of Nature

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“Luxury is a necessity that begins where necessity ends” – Coco Chanel

When travelling on a luxury safari or cruise, there are certain expectations every traveller has; location is key of course, as is the comfort of excursions and accommodation. Wildlife and local cultures should be rich and plentiful, while other tourists should be scarce. In order to attain these experiential luxuries, however, one must forgo more traditional indulgences. Right?


We never compromise luxury and comfort, and we understand that even when you’re in the Serengeti, for example, there are some things that one should never be without. Here are a few unexpected luxuries you can expect from any vacation with Sanctuary Retreats:

Gourmet Drinking & Dining

From the moment you arrive on a Sanctuary Retreats vacation, you will be treated to freshly pressed juices, exotic cocktails and aromatic entrees. Our skilled chefs blend mouth-watering ingredients and exotic flavours to create an authentic fine dining experience in the heart of nature. Guests can enjoy lavish dining experiences such as Sanctuary Ananda’s sandbank dinner – a lantern-lit gastronomic event held under a blanket of stars on the shores of the Irrawaddy River.

Even our bush picnics boast crisp, white linen sheets, the finest china and silverware, plus a scrumptious selection of local and international delicacies. Even Gordon Ramsey couldn’t fault this al fresco banquet.

Luxury Vacation Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer Restaurant

Top End Amenities

Although many of our properties offer “tented” accommodation, this is not camping. While the term “glamping” is somewhat clichéd, you’d be hard pressed to find any reason to call a stay at a Sanctuary Retreats property anything but. Our well-appointed rooms come complete with glorious en-suite amenities, comfortable king-sized beds and everything you’d expect to find in a 5 star hotel.

At our flagship property, Sanctuary Chief’s Camp, suites even come with their own private plunge pool. Not what you would normally expect when staying in one of the most remote parts of the Okavango Delta.

Luxury Vacation Sanctuary Chiefs Camp Plunge Pool

Spa & Gym On-site

When guests are finished enjoying the day’s activities, whether that be hiking through Shennongjia Natural Reserve in China or enjoying a walking safari in the wilds of Africa, there is no better way to relax and unwind than at our on-site spa. Many of our properties and ships boast a range of spa treatments and while you might not expect to find a masseuse in the remote Serengeti, our mobile spa is on hand to help.

In addition to a spa, what top-end accommodation is complete without a gym? Keep up with your fitness regime while sailing along the River Nile in Egypt or while watching elephants stroll through Sanctuary Makanyane Safari Lodge.

Luxury Vacation Sanctuary Ananda Spa Massage

Luxury is in the Detail

We know that when it comes to luxury vacations, it’s often the littlest things that make the biggest difference. Take, for example, the hot water bottle you’ll find warming your bed on a cold night, or the complimentary laundry service offered after a long day on safari.

With champagne receptions and Wi-Fi available in most parts of the property or ship, you’ll be forgiven for forgetting you’re travelling in some of the most secluded parts of the world.

Luxury Vacation Sanctuary Serengeti Migration Camp

Personalised Service

True luxury isn’t measured solely in thread count and design – although we do offer deliciously brilliant bed sheets and sumptuous décor – but rather comes from creating a home away from home. Greeting guests by name from the moment of arrival, our staff are highly trained in the art of hospitality, taking pride in ensuring that no request goes asked, let alone unanswered.

Guests staying in Sanctuary Ananda’s Owner’s Suite, or Sanctuary Chief’s Camp’s Geoffrey Kent Luxury Suite can also enjoy the crème-de-le-crème of service with personal butlers, guides and dining experiences. Now if that isn’t luxury, we don’t know what is.

Luxury Vacation Sanctuary Baines Camp Staff

To find out more about our luxury safaris and river cruises, please contact our reservations teams.