Roça Sundy, Príncipe Island
São Tomé and Príncipe was uninhabited by humans until the fifteenth century, when the Portuguese arrived and established vast plantations. At one time this nation was the largest producer of cacao in the world. The legacy is a handful of beautiful plantation houses, or ‘roças’,one of which is Roça Sundy.
Roça Sundy’s two main houses have been carefully restored to sympathetically represent a bygone colonial era. Along with modern styling you can expect heritage colours, sweeping staircases and a carefully curated collection of magnificent antiques. The twelve rooms (six rooms in the Plantation House and six rooms in the Colonial House ) are comfortable and spacious with elegant high ceilings, four poster beds and peaceful views over the plantation grounds or tropical forest. Dining takes place in the Colonial House and the menu features a blend of organic produce grown in the kitchen garden and seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers. Fresh fish is served straight from the ocean and rare, exotic ingredients are sustainably sourced from the island’s forests. The environment is a bountiful natural larder bursting with unique flavours.
The activities available at Roça Sundy range from 4x4 excursions to spot the island’s astonishing wildlife to whale watching, diving, plantation tours and jungle hikes. Between September and April you can observe turtles spawning and hatching, assisting with conservation projects if you wish. One of the most relaxed and rewarding activities is a simple stroll through the island’s village communities, where the locals will greet you like old friends.
Roça Sundy blends old world grandeur with modern day style and immerses you into an unspoilt garden of Eden. Visited by only the very fortunate few, this is one of Africa’s best kept secrets.
Why we like it
Virtually no tourists
Colonial grandeur meets modern style
Breaching whales and hatching turtles
A forgotten paradise