From a hotel in iTowers South – the tallest building in Botswana, to central accommodation in Masa Square and hotels near attractions like the Natural History Museum, National Botanic Garden and Gaborone Dam, here are the best places to stay in the country in Southern Africa.
The capital of Botswana gives little hint of the wildlife adventures that lie beyond in the Kalahari desert to the west and the Okavango delta to the north. It’s a quiet, relaxed, safe city, home of government ministries and shopping mall, and makes a gentle introduction to Africa for overseas visitors. Few generally linger in ‘Gabs’, as it’s known to locals, but that’s a pity as it has quiet charms of its own.
This recent development rises from central Masa Square in blocks of natural stone. It has 152 rooms with the usual amenities, given warmth and a touch of style with ochre-and-red features walls and modern artworks. There are two restaurants – the Don Carlos for well-prepared steak and chicken, and the casual Carlito’s Café. Start with a drink at the Gin Bar on the roof terrace beside a spectacular rim pool with views across the city.
Regent Select Hotel | Courtesy of Regent Select Hotel / Expedia
Newest upmarket addition to the city, this has some 30 rooms, a smart restaurant (white linen and silverware) and an outdoor pool. Family rooms have kitchenettes, microwaves and fridges and private bathrooms. The government enclave is a short walk away, or take a drive to the National Museum, the Natural History Museum, the National Botanical Garden and Gaborone Dam.
This occupies iTowers South, tallest building in Botswana, giving it great views out over the city, and attracting businessmen, politicians and diplomats. You have a choice of 52 modern, well-appointed rooms, some with balconies. The front desk will direct you to restaurants, bars, Gaborone’s shopping malls with cinemas, discos and nightclubs.
Two kilometres (1.2mi) from the Central Business District, this has 130 modern double rooms in well-kept gardens with soothing water features. The lodge serves generous breakfasts at Chatters Restaurant and Cocktail Bar, and impressive buffet or à la carte lunches and dinners. There’s also a Terrace Snack Bar. Unwind at the swimming pool (there’s a separate kiddies’ splash pool), or stroll through the gardens to nearby Gaborone Dam. You’ll find an 18-hole golf course and squash courts nearby.
This quietly elegant two-storey hotel with red-tile roof offers international standards at affordable rates. Each of the African-chic 67 suites and studios has self-catering facilities and internet access. There’s a swimming pool to dip in before dining at the hotel’s popular News Café restaurant.
Built in 1966, the Cresta was the first hotels of its kind in Gabarone. It’s been revamped down the years and today sports sophisticated furnishings in red, fuchsia and acid yellow. Rooms all have desks and seating areas as well as big beds. There’s a pool to lounge at in the spacious grounds, and you can sip cocktails at the Pule le Thebe Bar. The Terrace Restaurant, one of the city’s best, serves full breakfasts, and buffet and à la carte lunches and dinners. The National Assembly of Botswana is a short walk, as is the striking Three Dikgosi (Chiefs) bronze statue depicting Khama III of the Bangwato tribe, Sebele I of the Bakwena, and Bathoen I of the Bangwaketse.