Franck Edja is no stranger to luxury travel. The 31-year-old travel content creator and influencer has been working in the tourism industry since 2015. Now employed in the eco-tourism sector, he was previously based in Bamako, Mali, where he worked as the communication manager for the first African hotel chain owned by an African, Azalai Hotel Group.
“This position allowed me to travel to all the West African countries frequently during the five years I was working there. It also helped get involved in the operations of luxury hotels in Africa.”
Passionate about exploring the world, Edja has visited many countries, including 22 in Africa alone. By far, one of his favorite places to enjoy a luxury vacation is Côte d’Ivoire, with the best time of the year to visit being during the country’s dry season, which starts in December and last through June.
“During this time you will really be able to appreciate some of the most beautiful beaches in West Africa, like Monogaga, Grand Bereby, or Assinie. You can really enjoy places like Tiassale, Bouaké, or Man during these times.”
Assinie, in particular, is a place Edja highly recommends and considers an absolute must for those seeking a fabulous luxury experience in Côte d’Ivoire. Known as the ‘Paradise of the Ivory Coast’ and the ‘Saint-Tropez of Africa,’ Assinie is a hotspot for the rich and privileged, a preferred vacation destination for foreign billionaires and the Abidjan bourgeoisie alike.
“With its fine sand, coconut palms, and sea breeze which ‘brings the good air,’ the paradisaical seaside resort town seems timeless. A former French colony, Côte d’Ivoire has kept a very strong attachment to the occidental way of living. The culinary options, the design and fashion industry, and the nightlife are some reasons why Côte d’Ivoire is a great destination. You will find five-star hotels with the most renowned restaurants and chefs.”
Some of Edja’s most luxurious hotel stays have included Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire, Noom Hotel Abidjan Plateau, and La Maison d’Akoula. Located on the edge of the Ebrié Lagoon in the Abidjan district, Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire, the country’s first five-star hotel, offers rooms and suites overlooking the lagoon or the chic Cocody district, along with a spa, fitness center, 3D cinema, outdoor swimming pool, four restaurants, and five bars.
The recently opened Noom Hotel Abidjan Plateau offers a plethora of high-end amenities, including an all-day Afro Fusion restaurant, a terrace, panoramic restaurant, a sky bar, an infinity pool overlooking the Ebrié Lagoon, and a night club. The interior design is a mix of simplicity and class.
“For those seeking a truly zen luxury experience, La Maison d’Akoula, allows you to immerse yourself in nature. Its coconut grove, Abi Lagoon, mangrove swamp, orchid garden, vegetable garden of aromatic herbs, its collection of artworks exhibited in the open, and its private beach are just a few of the details that give La Maison d’Akoula a vibe conducive to rest and tranquility.”
The hotel’s location heavily contributes to its undisputed charm. Whether opting for lagoon or ocean, the hotel’s boat is ready at any time to take you across as you wish. Each Sunday, they offer the most expensive brunch in the country, which is also said to be one of the best available.
When it comes to fine dining restaurants, Côte d’Ivoire has no shortage. Some of the best luxury dining options Edja has experienced include La Parenthese, Chez Richard, La Croisette, and Le Mondiale.
“These restaurants are some of, if not the most, luxurious and best restaurants in town. Each has an excellent menu full of amazing food and an incredible upscale ambiance and decor to provide that desired feeling of splendor and opulence.”
A luxury travel itinerary in Côte d’Ivoire can be completed with visits to the country’s impressive museums, national parks, modern shopping malls, architecturally stunning churches and mosques, or even a helicopter ride to admire the Abidjan cityscape.
Though many people are still reluctant to recognize Africa as an ideal luxe destination, the truth remains that the continent offers many options for a magnificently upscale luxury vacay experience. Côte d’Ivoire is just one of many examples of Africa’s continuously growing luxury travel industry. Edja encourages travelers to visit and discover the dazzling brilliance of the country for themselves.
“Luxury is defined differently from one person to the next. Whatever your preference, the best therapy to remain stable and happy is to spoil yourself with what makes you happy. I deserve great things. I work to be able to achieve them. And when you work hard, you deserve a good reward.”
You can follow Edja on Instagram at @prince_edja.