Swakopmund is a coastal town in Namibia, Africa, where its German colonial origins are reflected in the architecture, local cuisine and fine local craft beers. There’s plenty to explore with its antique shops, arts and craft centre, aquarium and museum housed in an old harbour warehouse. For those looking for adventure, Swakopmund is also known as the gateway to the Skeleton Coast and the dunes of the Namib Desert.
Proudly proclaiming itself “the oldest hotel in the world’s oldest desert”, the Hansa’s 1905 building offers modern comforts in spacious rooms and suites. Satisfy your morning hunger with the big breakfasts. Later, you can opt for lunch on The Terrace, overlooking the garden, and dinner in The Equestrian Room, where springbok, mountain zebra and gemsbok feature on the menu alongside local seafood.
This is a short stroll from the beach and attractions such as the aquarium and craft markets. Ask for a front-facing suite with a private balcony overlooking the town. The Bistro Zum Kaiser serves Namibian dishes with German flair accompanied with award-winning wines. It’s a perfect place for dinner after watching the spectacular sunset from the Rooftop Terrace, looking out to where the Namib sand dunes meet the roaring Atlantic Ocean.
Located in the heart of town, this hotel is surrounded by historic buildings and eateries. “Comfort Rooms” are air-conditioned and come with a bathroom and shower, a desk with power source and USB charger and a balcony furnished with chairs and coffee table. The simple stylish decor includes distressed brick walls, wooden floors, snowy linen and olive cushions. Ask the desk to help you book a balloon safari, seal and dolphin cruise, sky dive, or cultural desert tour.
This aptly named relaxed, modern Delight hotel has rooms of charm and character in colours of the local lighthouse and the sea, with teal blue walls, red throws and monochrome murals of flamingos. You’re a short walk from the lighthouse and the Mole – a triangular part of the waterfront, home to a number of restaurants.
This quirky lodge with its round windows and elaborate stone-trimmed pathways is right on the beach in a quiet area ideal for leisurely walks. Request an upstairs suite with one of the round windows overlooking the waves. Dine at The Wreck on the second floor. Look no further than the Castaway Fish Stew – a delicious dish of kabeljou, prawns, calamari and local black mussels, poached in a seafood broth, served with seasonal veg. End with Rooibos crème brûlée.
With the ocean on three sides, the Strand is a popular spot with the locals. It’s four-star rooms are warm and welcoming to create a “non-hotel hotel”. Choose from three restaurants – the Brewer & Butcher, serving German-style fare with beer brewed in-house at the Swakopmund Brewing Company; the Farmhouse Deli, serving breakfasts and Italian-style lunches and dinners; and the Ocean Cellar, with fresh seafood and oysters. Have tea and irresistible cake in the Welwitschia Lounge, or waffles and milkshakes at Café Mole.
Celebrating Namibia’s German connections, this three-star family hotel welcomes all types of guests whether you’re on business or on holiday. Rooms are simple and fresh in white and natural wood. The Namib Restaurant offers seasonal specials, steaks and seafood. Take shade from the sun and cool down in the beer-garden where you’ll find refreshing ice-cold local beers, as well as imported ones.
This hotel, located in the centre of Swakopmund, has 28 comfortable, low-key suites, from standard to luxury, and also a family room. Prices are reasonable and include breakfast, making it an ideal base to explore the town and nearby activities, from sandboarding to eco dune-buggy tours and sky diving. Book at Outback Orange next to the hotel.
One of the town’s loveliest old hotels dating back to the early 1900s, this building has been renovated and modernised behind its protected heritage façade. There are 17 rooms – some with stucco ceilings, furnished in extravagant pastel florals. Others are more quietly decorated with playful art nouveau touches. The Eberwein serves a generous breakfast, and is a comfortable walk from restaurants, cafes and bars. The hotel can arrange activities ranging from camel rides on a farm, to scenic flights and tandem sky dives.