Visit Príncipe in September, October or November, when the weather is balmy, and the island is quiet and calm, and take 20% off accommodation rates (excluding surcharges).
Find serenity at this distinctive eco-friendly lodge and stay in one of 15 tented villas, which sit in the heart of a jungle thick with banana, beach almond and coral trees. Here, African grey parrots and cobalt and orange-feathered Príncipe kingfishers flutter through the canopy, just moments from the gentle fizz of the shoreline on Príncipe’s rugged northwest coast. Drawing inspiration from traditional casa de pescadores, and the earthy colours of its natural setting, each villa—designed by acclaimed architect Didier Lefort—sits atop timber decks with a swooping white canvas ceiling rising to a golden spire. A striking bamboo restaurant, wellness center and oceanside infinity pool complete this immersive getaway.
Stay in the heart of Príncipe’s chocolate story at an elegant roça, formerly the island’s largest cacao plantation. Respectfully restored with columned verandahs, brightly patterned tiling and peppered with vintage artefacts, the grounds are shared with the local community giving a true insight into day-to-day life, and the chance to get to know your neighbours. It’s also a site of groundbreaking scientific discovery, as observations at Roça Sundy during 1919’s solar eclipse confirmed Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
There is a rare beauty in places that feel untouched, and Bom Bom, with its 17 hillside and beachfront bungalows, set on a peninsula between two crescents of honey-coloured sand on Príncipe’s northern tip has it in abundance. This is a place to revel in the scent of hibiscus flowers on the salt-licked breeze, listen to the lilting birdsong of the blue-breasted kingfisher, or wander, unhurried across a castaway-feel wooden walkway above the ocean to dine at the namesake tropical islet restaurant. In tune with nature’s rhythms, it is also an ideal base to get to know Príncipe’s unique flora and fauna both above and below the waves.
For an exploration base close to São Tomé’s city centre and airport, and for easy connections to Príncipe Island, there’s no better place to rest your head than Omali. Aptly-named, omali meaning ‘ocean and source of life,' this characterful 30-room boutique hotel sits opposite rugged Lagarto Beach, serves the best chocolate mousse at the much-loved restaurant and has an al-fresco pool to relax by. Whether travelling to São Tomé for business or pleasure, a warm welcome awaits.