The vast variety of places to stay in Namibia offer oceanside living, desert solitude, city sights and magical wildlife. Here’s our selection of some of the more unique, yet world-class, hotels scattered across Namibia’s stunning landscape.
Get back to nature at Shipwreck Lodge, a collection of 10 luxury, eco-friendly lodges scattered along the dunes of Namibia’s wild northern coast. Fire up the wood burner, settle down by the window and look out over the fierce waves that have resulted in scores of shipwrecks over the centuries, but which now make Namibia’s untamed Skeleton Coast a top surfing spot. There are eight twin and double rooms, and two family cabins, all of which have access to a bar and restaurant (also in a light-footprint pod) where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. Pick-up and drop-off is at Mowe Bay, 45km to the south.
Guests can breakfast with meerkats, track elephants and rhinos and spot big cats at Omaanda, a cluster of ten traditional thatch-and-clay huts in a nature reserve. The huts have either one or two bedrooms that can accommodate up to four adults and two children. Decorated with African antiques, the rooms feature bathtubs and verandas from which guests can gaze out over the Savannah. Snack and drink around the heated infinity pool and enjoy a four-course dinner prepared with local produce at the intimate Ambo Delights Restaurant. Finish off the day with a nightcap by the crackling open fire.
Situated on the border of the Etosha National Park, the Ongava Game Reserve is one of only a handful in southern Africa where both black and white rhinos can be spotted. Another key draw of a stay here is a watering hole metres away from the main veranda, which is used by all kinds of local wildlife. Accommodations are in eight Meru-style tents, all with indoor and outdoor showers and private verandas. Amenities include a restaurant, swimming pool and souvenir shop. Experienced guides lead tracking expeditions into the bush.
Located on the peaceful outskirts of Windhoek, The Olive Exclusive is the first luxury lodge-style hotel in the capital. Each of its seven suites is themed around a region of Namibia and feature floor-to-ceiling glass doors onto private verandas, laptops, wifi and free-standing tubs with mountain views (the Premiums also come with plunge pools). Dining is at the Olive Restaurant, where you’ll find some of the best gourmet cooking in the city as well as a notable collection of top-notch whisky.
Situated in Windhoek’s oldest suburb, The Elegant Guesthouse favours a contemporary aesthetic, rather than the rustic, bush-inspired look favoured by many of the city’s lodges and hotels. The six rooms centre around a drought-proof garden with tables and chairs, a swimming pool and a traditional fire-pit around which to huddle with your nightcap. A hot English or continental breakfast is included in the nightly fee and lunches and dinners can be ordered from nearby restaurants. The centre of Windhoek, with key attractions such as Zoo Park and Parliament Gardens, is 25 minutes away on foot.
Villa Margherita comprises four houses in the coastal town of Swakopmund, a three-hour drive west of Windhoek. Home to the town’s first doctor and his family in the early 1900s, the complex comprises rooms and suites in the Manor, the Villa, the Nest – a two-bedroom family base with a private garden – and the two-suite Cottage, which were the former stables. All are decorated with warm Namibian hues, African antiques and rich fabrics. Guests also have access to an intimate restaurant and a spa centre where massages are offered.
Guests at the Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre will find their every desire catered to with swimming pools, a casino and cinema among the many things to keep visitors busy. There is also a gorgeous restaurant and a gym and wellness centre, while the 90 spacious rooms overlook the garden courtyard and swimming pool. The design of the hotel complements the historic architecture of the rest of the town and there are myriad activities nearby the hotel that guests can enjoy.
All the fine trimmings of a country estate can be found at Midgard, which offers old-world charm and intimate tranquillity. The location is ideal for a family getaway as the rooms are all surrounded by sprawling country gardens where outdoor activities can be enjoyed, such as hiking, nature drives and sundowners with stunning views. Rooms range from standard to luxury and there is also the unique Midgard Train Carriage that offers accommodation for up to 72 people. Beautiful accommodation is rounded off with a restaurant, pool bar and terrace.
Agama River Lodge offers a truly spectacular break in the midst of the ancient Namib Desert. Although surrounded by little more than sand dunes and desert wildlife, the camp brings an elaborate touch of luxury to its harsh and arid surrounds. The campsite itself is shaded by beautiful acacia trees with the chalets located on the upper banks of the Dieprivier. While air conditioned inside, each chalet also boasts its own wooden deck, the perfect spot to recline on warm starry nights. There is also a swimming pool and dining area.
The Strand Hotel in Swakopmund is an iconic landmark and one of the social epicentres of the city; it’s located on the mole (promenade), surrounded by the ocean on three sides. Rooms range from standard to presidential suites and there is a beauty spa and fitness studio for guests to enjoy. Meal options are diverse with three onsite restaurants, bars, a sea-facing terrace, beer garden, and beach kiosk.
This gorgeous lodge has a picturesque riverine setting that provides a welcome breath of fresh air from the dusty gravel roads that surround it. Unwind and take in the birdlife, sparkling water, and muted sounds that drift over the hills from nearby villages. The lodge offers a selection of bungalows and suites that are all tastefully furnished with a distinctly Namibian flair and overlook the famous and pulsating Okavango River. Fishing and sunset cruises are all part of the fun and the lodge also offers a swimming pool, bar, and restaurant.
Conveniently located in the centre of the city, the contemporary Hilton Windhoek offers rooms, suites and executive rooms that are designed for maximum comfort and ease. Those who want to unwind can book a luxury treatment at the onsite beauty spa or simply relax with a cocktail at the classy Skybar, where the views of the city will take your breath away. There are a number of restaurants and bars to choose from, serving everything from coffee and light meals to gourmet cuisine, and the hotel also features an elegant and modern glass wine cellar offering a superb regional and international wines.
First established in 1905 the Hansa Hotel has long held a reputation for providing luxurious accommodation and friendly, personalized service. Located in the heart of Swakopmund, it offers a large choice of accommodation options ranging from family units to double rooms and suites. Each room is individually decorated and fitted with underfloor heating to ward off chilly seaside nights, and there are two onsite restaurants as well as a bar and a private lounge. The beach is a few minutes away, as is access to some of the best adventure activities on offer in Namibia.
Ohange Namibia Lodge lies nestled in the heart of the Otavi mountains and promises rejuvenation for mind, body and soul. Surrounding the lodge is raw, natural and stunning Namibia at its best and guests are encouraged to simply sit back and enjoy the show. This is a place where time stands still and worries can be set aside as you sink into the indulgence of luxury lodge living. The 10 stone huts all have views of the nearby waterhole as well as shaded verandas for epic views. A swimming pool offers relief from the heat and the lodge offers numerous outdoor activities.
Mark Nayler contributed additional reporting to this article.
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