Belo Monte Hotel & Museum

Africa Sao Tome & Principe
Belo Monte Hotel & Museum - Sao Tome & Principe
Belo Monte Hotel & Museum - Sao Tome & Principe
Belo Monte Hotel & Museum - Sao Tome & Principe
Belo Monte Hotel & Museum - Sao Tome & Principe
Belo Monte Hotel & Museum - Sao Tome & Principe
Belo Monte Hotel & Museum - Sao Tome & Principe
Belo Monte Hotel & Museum - Sao Tome & Principe
Belo Monte Hotel & Museum - Sao Tome & Principe
Belo Monte Hotel & Museum - Sao Tome & Principe
Belo Monte Hotel & Museum - Sao Tome & Principe
Belo Monte Hotel & Museum - Sao Tome & Principe
Belo Monte Hotel & Museum - Sao Tome & Principe
27 May 2023

Belo Monte was founded in 1922 as a small roça but stopped functioning after independence. In 2011 a small village was built close the iconic Belo Monte gate for the people living in the old buildings and many of them started to work for the hotel.

The buildings were renovated and furnished in authentic classical Portuguese style and in 2014 Belo Monte Hotel opened its doors. It is situated on one of the most beautiful spots of Príncipe on a hill surrounded by rainforest, overlooking the flame trees and jungle canopy to the ocean.

It is only a walk away from a few of the most idyllic beaches in the world including the gorgeous Banana Beach, aptly named for its shape, which formed the backdrop for the world famous 1991 Bacardi Rum commercial.

Well-known for its authentic hospitality this elegant heritage hotel has the rare and precious sense of unhurried time that defines Príncipe. The hotel has twenty rooms in different buildings, a bar and restaurant with terraces under the almond trees with beautiful views over the ocean and bar and restaurant services at Praia Banana and the swimming pool.

Belo Montes museum is the perfect starting point to the numerous excursions that the hotel offers to explore the unique nature and culture of Príncipe. The friendly and professional service, heart-warming hospitality and passionate conservation approach will ensure an unforgettable and life enriching experience in one of the most unique places in the world.

Elegant and truly magnificent, this Suite offers endless views over the incredibly beautiful Bay of Santa Rita, Praia Das Burras and Bom Bom Islet. Spacious external bathroom with shower and bath, private terrace & splash pool.

The former clinic at the end of the courtyard has been transformed into four spacious luxury suites with verandas overlooking the beautiful gardens. Two of them also have a connecting veranda with sea view. In the building at the entrance opposite the Manor House two other luxury suites are located. The terraces overlook the courtyard and the gardens.

Historically the home of the people working the plantation, now restored to splendid rooms with a beautiful wooden deck overlooking an enchanting private forest, this block offers a variety of rooms and options for individuals, couples and families (with the availability of inter-leading rooms).

Wake up in the morning to and be swept away by a choir of birdsong; in the evenings, be mesmerised by a magical sunset and the sights and sounds of the forest. Take a leisurely stroll through the magical forest, which leads all the way to the spectacular lookout point.

Nestled in the forest with wonderful views towards the ocean, two private stand-alone villas are available. They have a large lounge and outside patio with dining table and decks chairs.

Each villa has two bedrooms, one with double bed and one with two single beds. The bathrooms have outside showers and inside baths and showers. Ideal for families or a group of friends.

Villa Príncipe is a privately owned designer villa, at 10 minute-walk away from Belo Monte hotel and restaurant. It overlooks the famous Banana Beach and Bom-Bom island and offers stunning panoramic ocean views and sights of the surrounding tropical rainforest.

With 5 bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms it has a maximum capacity of 8 adults. The common areas consist of a living and dining room, kitchen, wrap around terraces and a roof terrace. Indoor space 275 m², terraces and roof top 240 m².

When renting the villa you can make use of Belo Montes facilities and services. The Villa guarantees privacy and comfort in the middle of pristine nature!

Every moment is a good one to come and enjoy something to drink or eat in the main bar and restaurant. Try out the different spots inside and on the terraces. The upper terrace is covered by almond trees and offers beautiful views through the lush green towards the ocean.

Come taste the fresh produce of the island and ask our bar tenders to make you one of their special local cocktails. Also the perfect place to just sit and observe the birds and nature.

We invite you to relax at our pool. You’ll by surrounded by the jungle and the beautiful garden. Have a drink at the bar under the big fig tree or enjoy a meal in the garden or on the terrace.

Having a drink at the bar or eating fish fresh from the ocean under the palm trees of Praia Banana while looking at the blue ocean with the golden sand between your toes …. Really something you shouldn’t miss. Did you know that the Bacardi rum commercial from 1991 was filmed at Praia Banana?

The Manor House boasts a private lounge with a private veranda overlooking the exquisite bay and forest, rich leather sofas and original brick floors. Whether you take your afternoon tea or enjoy a cognac after dinner, this is one of the most spectacular venues on the islands.

Whether soaking up the sun on the beach, exploring the magic of the forests, or making the most of the variety of activities and offerings available, Belo Monte will take care of any special events. Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, celebrations – let us tailor the perfect package for you. Why not include team buildings, office parties, end-of-year functions and more?

The board room is situated on the first floor of the Manor House. It can seat up to 14 people and features conference facilities including a beamer, screen, long table and chairs.

During your meeting you can enjoy magnificent views of the bay and make use of the room service of the hotel. The board room is also the perfect venue for hosting private dinners or events. If you need more space we can also host you in our auditorium with a capacity of 40 people

You will find our swimming pool behind the museum. It features a natural stone waterfall and is surrounded by a beautiful garden that extends into tropical forest. Enjoy the sounds of the birds while swimming, relaxing in one of the comfortable lounge chairs or having a refreshing cocktail at the Jungle pool bar sheltered by a giant fig tree.

Príncipe is a fascinating island. Its cultural heritage and natural treasures are worth exploring – regardless of whether you were born here, moved here or are ‘just visiting’. Our museum is situated in one of the buildings at the courtyard.

The exhibition explains how the island came to be, shows some of its unique animals, plants and ecosystems and informs on the history of the people of Príncipe and their everyday life.

The economic and ecological challenges of being a small island are explained, while also highlighting ongoing initiatives and opportunities. Each of the twelve rooms focuses on a different topic.

The auditorium is situated in the courtyard building next to the old cacao dryer. It has 40 comfortable seats with small tables and conference facilities including a projector, speakers and large screen.

Guests are welcome to use the auditorium as movie theatre. The auditorium also frequently hosts researchers giving presentations about the conservation projects that the hotel supports.

Belo Monte is surrounded by a few of the most idyllic beaches in the world. After a 15 minute stroll down through the forest you will be at the famous Praia Banana where you will find Belo Montes beach bar, open restaurant, gazebos and kayaks.

The beach next to it, Praia Caju is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner while watching the sun disappearing behind the small island Bom Bom. A ten minutes walk further you find Praia Burra and its fishing village. On the other side of Belo Monte you can also visit Praia Macaco, Praia Boi and Praia Grande.

The Islands offer adequate spots for various experience levels from beginners to professionals, and the adventure may start with simple snorkelling in order to leisurely enjoy the abundant marine life of the archipelago’s crystal clear waters.

Given the island’s privileged location (virtually on the Greenwich meridian and just off the Equator), it offers ideal conditions in terms of visibility and water temperature for underwater sports.

The reefs are made largely of hard corals and interesting rock formations. A large variety of marine life exists including bright red soldiers, snapper, goat fish, barracuda, turtles, eels, lazy nurse sharks, stony coral, gorgonian sea fans, and volcanic boulders coated in anemone like hard corals of vibrant orange/red and yellow colours.

Belo Monte has a shore dive for beginners – snapper, octopus and angelfish can be seen as you follow the wall that protects Banana Beach. Pedra de Adalio is a reef dive west of Belo Monte which you reach by boat, and has octopus, eel, groupers and sturgeons.

Pedra de Galle is a deep dive to 30 metres that challenges divers as it goes down a sheer rock face teeming with trigger fish, snapper and barracuda. Maria Coreo is again to 30 meters and is only suitable for advanced divers. There are many reef fish here, along with moray eels, turtles and nurse sharks.

Jockey Cap Island has a dive of 24m with large schools of small fish, barracuda, parrot fish, trigger fish and sometimes turtles. Many of the reefs lie at 10m but deep dives to 30 plus meters are possible. During February and March storms occasionally churn the sea making diving unpleasant.

During the rainy seasons the diving can still be good. In June and July, the sea is slightly choppy while the sunniest period is from November to the end of March. Scuba diving is not recommended from March to mid-May due to the rivers emptying into the sea.

The beaches around Belo Monte offer spectacular snorkelling opportunities. Our marine guides will ensure you are equipped and taken to the best places to experience the amazing marine life in a safe and enjoyable manner.

A variety of guided and non-guided hikes are ready to be explored around the island. From 30 minute walks around the plantation, to full day mountain hikes with an experienced guide. A few examples of the hikes we offer:

  • PICO PAPPAGAIO: Take an early drive to Roça San Jaquim. This hike will take you to the second highest peak on Principe (approx. 650m elevation). It is a moderate hike of 6 hours and offers wonderful forest views and birding options.
  • INFANTA DOM HENRIQUES: Vehicle will be left at Ribeira Fria (cold River) and a pleasant hike for an hour or so will take us to the small settlement of Infanta Dom Henriques, all the way through some spectacular forest.

Open Backed or Air-conditioned vehicles driven by a guide or driver are used for all excursions and activities on the Island. Explore the secluded beaches, make the most of the bird watching opportunity from our boat. A variety of options with picnics and combination excursions are available. A few examples of the excursions we offer:

On this excursion you will be taken past the villages of Picao, past the airport to Sundi Plantation. The largest of the Principe Plantations, Sundi offers spectacular views and amazing colonial architecture, also the location where Einstein’s theory of relativity was proven.

From Belo Monte, we drive to San Antonio, and on towards Terreiro Velho Plantation. This roads takes you first across the Rio Pappagaio, past the beautiful beaches of Praia Evora…and finally the spectacular views at Mirrador before we reach the end of the road. (A variety of hikes can be taken from here).

From Belo Monte, we go straight down to Praia Grande, the largest and most spectacular beaches in Principe. Its unpredictable currents and isolation make this also the primary breading beach for oceanic turtles. (Visiting Praia Grande requires a hike of 25 minutes)

From Praia Grande, we continue on to the beautiful Praia Boi (Bull Bay). An easy, scenic drive will bring you back to Belo Monte in time for afternoon tea.

On this excursion, we take you to our coastal neighbours at Praia Burra, an artisanal fishing village. Learn more about the fishing methods they apply, the species they fish for and appreciate their simplistic lifestyle. (Optional hike to down the beach from Praia Das Burras to Praia Banana, with transport back to Belo Monte)

Belo Monte is part of Africa’s Eden, a sustainable tourism organisation operating under the concept of ‘tourism pays for conservation’. Africa’s Eden aims to give travellers the opportunity to experience pristine nature in unique, unexplored destinations and invests the profits generated through tourism in conservation projects in the area.

Africa’s Eden works in a local context to achieve sustainable protection of unique nature and facilitates employment and education opportunities.

The founders of Africa’s Eden, Dutch serial entrepreneur in renewable energy, Rombout Swanborn and Ella Swanborn-van Hagen are passionate nature conservationists who successfully introduced the concept of tourism pays for conservation in Loango National Park in Gabon.

In 2007 they moved on to São Tomé and Príncipe where they operated Omali Lodge and Hotel Bom Bom according to the same concept. In 2011 they started a new project at former coffee and cacao plantation Belo Monte.

The old buildings were renovated to former glory and the interior design aligned with the spirit of the age of the original buildings. Belo Monte Plantation Hotel officially opened on 29th April 2014.

One of the buildings at the courtyard houses a museum that was opened on 29th November 2019, where inhabitants and visitors of São Tomé and Príncipe are welcome to visit and learn all about the unique culture and nature of the islands.

Rooms: 20
Price: from 405 EUR per night


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