Black-owned hotels and resorts around the world

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  • Published on September 27, 2022
  • Last Updated March 10, 2023
  • In Spotlight

Support black businesses globally by patronizing these black-owned hotels around the world, from South America to Africa and Europe.

Black travelers have become some of the biggest spenders in the tourism marketplace, representing over 13% of the money that gets spent on leisure travel by citizens of the United States. This financial footprint represents a trend showing that our travel dollars have an even bigger impact than the proportion of the population we take up. While many Black travelers invest in their own communities at home, finding the outlet to do so can be more difficult when traveling abroad, due to the number of Black-owned hotels around the world, which pales in comparison to more mainstream travel options. Despite the discrepancy, those wishing to plan their stay around investing in a Black hotelier have more options to choose from than ever before. The five options highlighted below are a testament to the power of expansive dreaming when it comes to defining the Black travel landscape.

South America: Colombia, Cartagena

Blue Apple Beach and Townhouse: Born to a Trinidadian mother and British father, Portia Hart is proud to have crafted the perfect travel destination from a background as a young, gay, pioneer without even a high school degree. She took her experience working at a yacht club and traveling to islands like Mykonos and Ibiza and brought her favorite part of those settings to her newfound home in Cartagena: beach clubs. Despite her inability to cook, lack of experience as a sole proprietor and the novelty of her business model, things have taken off. Her beach club became popular in a way that speaks to the authenticity of the club’s offerings, with a clientele that is almost equally made up of locals and tourists alike. From humble beginnings, her brand has expanded to grow Blue Apple into a hotel, added another property called Townhouse and a sustainability focused non-profit that repurposes refuse and creates jobs in the community.

Casa Noir: A Harlem native who opened his own investment and marketing firm at the age of 17, Shawn Roseburgh’s foray into hospitality was driven by his humanitarian spirit and commitment to Black people from all walks of life. After developing a series of trips aimed at providing underprivileged residents of different countries with things like toiletries, books, toys and clothing, he pivoted towards creating an authentically Black space in a city where he saw a large population with no reflection of themselves in the culture. He commissioned a mural that praises the area’s African influences by local artists and hosts excursions to explicitly Black destinations for his guests.

Africa: Morocco, Zimbabwe

Jnane Tamsna: Inspired by the story of her grandmother’s grandfather, a man emancipated from slavery at the age of 16 who worked his way from fieldhand to farm owner and then began taking in guests, exchanging hospitality for services like tutoring in literacy, Meryanne Loum-Martin is a maven of luxury and design, whose Marrakech-based inn Jnane Tamsna, covers eight acres with picturesque scenery and refined touches. Her property boasts five heated swimming pools, nine acres of elegantly curated grounds bursting with fecundity, a tennis court, in-house restaurant and 24 bedrooms. Her clientele includes celebrities, artists and actors, and her destination’s ethos is based around creating a boutique feel with personal touches woven throughout.

Mbano Manor Hotel: Driven by a mission to inspire younger generations of African people to strive for excellence in business and believe in their own dreams, Dr. Mati Nyazema opened the Mbano Manor Hotel in 2020 after more than three years of conceptualizing the site. After her initial inspiration drawn from taking a picture in front of the roaring falls decades ago, she brought to fruition a 19-suite, five-star luxury boutique hotel destination that offers seclusion, freshly catered dining and an intimate closeness with nature. The resort’s name, Mbano, comes from the name of Nyazema’s clan and is a word of praise when spoken to the ancestors in gratitude.

Europe: Amsterdam, Barcelona, London

Hostelle: A marketing professional desperate to leave the office grind, Bianca Brasdorp saw a need in the world travel industry and filled it: a safe, affordable and welcoming place to stay for female travelers. At Hostelle locations, she aims to create spaces that feel like giant sleepovers for gal pals and achieves as much through cozy reading nooks, themed activity nights and intentionally diverse staff and decor. Her brand has expanded from its original Amsterdam hub to include locations in London and Barcelona, welcoming female travelers into a safe, relaxed and perfectly catered environment.

This story was created by Detour, a journalism brand focused on the best stories in Black travel, in partnership with McClatchy’s The Charlotte Observer and Miami Herald. Detour’s approach to travel and storytelling seeks to tell previously under-reported or ignored narratives by shifting away from the customary routes framed in Eurocentrism. The detour team is made up of an A-list of award-winning journalists, writers, historians, photographers, illustrators and filmmakers.

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