Roça Sundy, São Tomé and Príncipe

Roça Sundy, São Tomé and Príncipe

This article appears in Volume 21:
The Islands Issue

Tucked away in perfect isolation 130 miles off the coast of
, Príncipe is the smaller of the two islands that make up
São Tomé and Príncipe, Africa’s second-smallest nation. In June
Príncipe saw the opening of
Roça Sundy
, a beautifully converted cocoa plantation house
located in the heart of the rainforest with stupendous views over
the ocean.

Back in the early 20th century, Roça Sundy was home to wealthy

plantation owners who oversaw the production of
cacao on the island. Today the company that owns it has
sustainability at its heart, recruiting and training more than 90
per cent of its staff from the surrounding community, paying fair
wages and playing an active part in the upkeep of the natural

There are only 12 rooms – six in the main Plantation House and
six in the Colonial House. Each one has been furnished with
traditional pieces, many from the original house, and several have
spacious balconies overlooking the square or the rainforest. In the
restaurant – where the views from the restored verandah are
astonishing – the chef Angelo Rosso creates dishes inspired by his
environment using fresh and seasonal seafood, fruit and vegetables.
Whatever isn’t grown in the hotel’s own organic gardens is
negotiated for fairly with local producers.

Beyond the house, guests can enjoy activities such as hikes
through the Unesco biosphere reserve, birdwatching, cookery
courses, massage and yoga,
as well as whale and turtle-watching. Later this year the owners
will also open a beachfront resort on the island, which will
provide Príncipe with its first five-star accommodation. Guests at
Roça Sundy will be able to share its facilities, including a
swimming pool, watersports, a wellness centre and a restaurant.

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São Tomé and Principe