Lattitude 15 Hotel

Design aficionados will love this boutique hotel in Lusaka. It’s an ideal stop-over for visitors before or after safaris, and merits a night here in its own right because of its chilled ambience and beautiful, eclectic décor.

Latitude 15° is set amidst the beautiful tree-lined avenues on the south-east corner of Lusaka, 20 minutes to the city centre and 30 minutes from Kenneth Kaunda International Airport.

Latitude 15 offers something unique in Lusaka: Think Andy Warhol-esque paintings alongside tables made from Zanzibari doors, carvings from Congo and stunning artwork, glass beads and copper chandeliers made from sustainable and recycled materials including bottles, geysers and bikes. It may sound a jumble but it’s certainly not: the whole ambience is relaxing and chic blended with subtle luxury. The artwork comes mostly from design companies Lightfoot Zambia and Katunda, a Malawian artisan workshop set up to empower local women.

All this is housed in a colonial-style building with tall, metal-framed windows and plenty of light and space.

Facilities include a good-sized swimming pool surrounded by decking and smart calico seating, a lively bar and lounge with plenty of secluded spaces, and an à la carte restaurant. Hotel guests are also able to use the facilities of Latitude’s private members’ club, The Other Side, with another pool, restaurant and bar, a well-equipped gym, a popular spa (it’s wise to book in advance), and some very cool work spaces and meeting rooms if needed. The bar here often hosts live music, and it’s worth checking if local star Kuni is performing – this soulful singer is a regular. The staff are consistently friendly and helpful.

The 32 rooms continue the attention to artistic detail of the main areas: each one is charming and different. With velvet sofas and chairs, faux-fur throws, cool slate or copper tables, hide stools, tumbled glass lamps and beaded cushions, there are so many styles and textures to take in. They have generous beds, a dressing area, a glass writing desk and a comfortable seating area with a sofa, chairs and TV. The bathrooms are spacious with standalone stone baths, a rain shower, twin basins and cool Moroccan tiles. Amenities include a Nespresso machine, safe, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities, and a minibar. For families or long-stay guests there are also three two-bedroom suites with a kitchen and lounge.

The two restaurants are quite different in style and menu choices. The Other Side restaurant is more informal, with sharing food taken around the pool or indoors near the bar.

The Latitude 15 restaurant serves an excellent breakfast buffet with homemade pastries, cereals, fresh fruit, cheeses and meats, along with interesting cooked options such as a very filling poached eggs with crispy halloumi, spinach and smoked tomatoes. Lunch is a selection of light meals including sandwiches and salads. Dinner is à la carte with huge portions and good quality meals including Thai curries, pasta, salads, grilled fish and various meat options. Service can be a bit slow at busy times. Finish the day with nightcaps around the pool areas.