UNDISCOVERED JEWEL OF BENIN: NATURA LUXURY LODGE
On the coast of the West African nation Benin Republic, close to the UNESCO World Heritage town of Ouidah, the birthplace of Voodoo, lies a little piece of heaven on earth — the Natura Luxury Lodge.
Located right between the beach of the Gulf of Guinea (Atlantic Ocean) and a small ocean lake, the resort is surrounded by both calm lake waters and the rough ocean. Easily reachable with direct flights from Paris to Cotonou, the resort is only 40 minutes away from the busy port city. And if your exploring side takes over, the mystical city of Ouidah is just a quick taxi or motorbike ride away. For the full experience, the drivers will not only pick you up but stay with you the whole day and guide you through the city and its many sights.
Whether you are drawn to discover the rich cultural landmarks and museums, beautiful landscapes, or the mysterious Voodoo culture, Benin has something for everyone. The incredible art scene can be admired at The Musée de la Fondation Zinsou in Cotonou. This cultural center curates the rising art scene in the country and is set to have its first pavilion at the Venice Biennale art scene in 2024.
The owner of the Natura Luxury Lodge, Mr. José Pliya, is a former scriptwriter and actor who now works closely with the government to promote culture and tourism in Benin. Besides working on new constructions of hotels, he has been involved in the opening of several cultural landmarks, such as the great national park and its wildlife, cultural landmarks, memorial sites such as the new Door of No Return and the Slave Route Ouidah.
The resort itself consists of 5 houses, each built in their own style, but all situated by the lake. Different houses are equipped with many amenities, such as a swimming pool, a cozy jacuzzi and bathtub, a BBQ and kitchen, Wi-Fi, a TV, two master bedrooms, and a deck with views of the lake.
Services of the resort include a private chef for breakfast and dinner. If you desire to taste more traditional cuisine, the local fishermen supply fresh seafood each day, fished in the ocean just a few hundred meters from the resort. These can be prepared and served on the same day.
The nature of Benin is incredibly calm, beautiful, and lush. And the Natura Luxury Lodge is here to provide that experience firsthand. Designed from a sustainable point of view, the resort is meant to make you feel like you are a part of the environment. With all materials used sourced locally and designed by local architects and craftsmen, it is a place to be not only visited but also admired.
words by LINDA SCHREITER
photography by GABRIELLA NORBERG @gabriella.norberg & ADEMOLA GIWA @times.jpg
hotel NATURA LUXURY LODGE @naturaluxurylodge