São Tomé & Principe, São Tomé island, Santana, Ondas Divinas, Mawo House
Mawo House is a real hidden gem and unique building, settled on a cliff right above the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, just some miles off the equator. It is part of Ondas Divinas, a collection of individual houses designed by Yves Peladeau. Half Cameroon and half French Yves operated a star rated restaurant in Paris before he fell in love with São Tomé and Principe.
Less than a 1/2h drive away from São Tomé city, in the village of Santana—one of the cool surfer spots on the island—he bought land on the coastline and started building stylish vacation homes. Although he did not studied architecture or interior design he turned out as a nature talent. “Building houses is like creating a yummy dish. You take ingredients you find around, engage and learn by local craftsmen and just put all together to something new“, says Yves. “Actually, the local constructions are really thoughtful in their structural engineering, beautiful and sustainable at the same time. “None of our houses needs air condition—it’s designed that there is always a breeze, sometimes supported by a fan“. The houses remind a bit mid-century architecture in bringing nature inside, combined with basic elements of the classic local constructions, where the buildings are set on wooden stilts.
Visitors searching for expensive and pretentious luxury won’t get happy here. Those who are looking for an essential living in nature without leaving their comfort zone, looking for „barefoot“ luxury are on the right place. One of Yves basic philosophy claim is: “Once you wake up in the morning, the first you see from your bed should be the Ocean“. All of the houses have a great Ocean view and some, such as Mawo house additionally deliver the soothing sound of breaking waves. This stunning studio house contains a kitchen with gas stove, a spacious bathroom, stylish furniture and floor to ceiling windows on three sides, all with small terraces. The entire building offers panoramic views over the sea to the island of Santana and Club Santana resort and to a secluded beach (just some foot steps away to be reached on a wooden staircase).