A small luxury hotel tucked in a leafy, historic Windhoek suburb, this tranquil modern hideaway has 17 rooms with views over the Klein Windhoek River, three pools and an innovative restaurant.
Utopia Boutique is a small contemporary luxury hotel tucked away in the leafy Windhoek suburb of Klein Windhoek, just 30 minutes from the international airport. Windhoek's urban African buzz and rich cultural sights make it a perfect jumping-off point for safari adventures in Namibia. The hotel’s tranquil location is in the vicinity of Windhoek’s original 1840 settlement, which was established near a hot spring. Today, the city offers an eclectic skyline peppered with German castles, tall glass buildings and cathedral spires, along with a walkable center.
In this luxurious urban hideaway, 17 rooms and are surrounded by lush gardens and views over the Klein Windhoek River. Crisp, sleek modern design is coupled with the use of stone, light woods and other natural materials to create an elegant, fashionable oasis. Each riverside room has an en suite bathroom, air conditioning, writing nook and individual outside veranda, and is equipped with a large plasma screen television, DSTV and complimentary Wi-Fi. A roomy bath and shower invite you to soak away your travel weariness.
Meals are shared at the Taste Academy, a restaurant that is beautifully set in a restored 1912 German manor located on the hotel grounds. The dining experience is widely admired for its innovative cuisine, extensive wine list and warm ambience. Utopia Boutique’s three swimming pools offer a respite from the hot Namibian sun, along with a fully equipped gym.
Inside a private reserve with direct access to the Namib’s towering sand dunes, the camp’s 11 stylish thatched villas offer magnificent scenery, private plunge pools and rooftop skybeds for stargazing.
Kulala Wilderness Reserve, Namibia
Little Kulala lies within the private Kulala Wilderness Reserve, the only reserve with direct access to Sossusvlei and the Namib – the world’s oldest desert with the world’s tallest sand dunes. The flight itself to the camp provides jaw-dropping views of the spectacular landscape that has made Namibia a favorite feature for National Geographic magazine. The camp offers magnificent dune scenery to the west and a rugged, mountainous Namib escarpment to the north and east, with grassy plains and “fairy circles” filling the space in between. The camp’s 11 stylish thatched villas or kulalas (meaning ‘to sleep’ in the local Oshiwambo language) merge impeccably into the timeless desert landscape, with exquisite furnishings and fixtures, innovative bleached decks, and indoor and outdoor showers. Each villa has its own private plunge pool and a rooftop 'skybed' for romantic stargazing. The main area offers a relaxed lounge, dining room, bar and curio shop all under thatch.
Early morning game drives to the magnificent dunes take guests through a private gate into the reserve, for close-up views. Guided drives and walks are also offered on the private reserve for a chance to see desert animals and smaller desert fauna and flora. During our explorations we may see lone oryx, ostrich or other wildlife as they traverse the massive golden dunes. Another option, at extra cost, is a balloon safari at first light, offering a truly unique experience to soar silently above the spectacular sand dunes and desert, ending with a champagne breakfast.
On the private Palmwag Concession in one of the Kaokoveld's most remote areas, understated elegance permeates the seven-tent camp in this tiny outpost overlooking a stark and mesmerizing landscape.
Hoanib Skeleton Coast
Skeleton Coast, Namibia
Accessible only by light aircraft, Hoanib Skeleton Coast sits in a broad valley at the confluence of two tributaries of the Hoanib River in the northern part of the private Palmwag Concession. Its location straddles the Palmwag region and Skeleton Coast National Park, in one of the most remote areas of the Kaokoveld. The tiny outpost, flanked by rugged hills, enjoys 360-degree views of the stark and mesmerizing landscape. The camp, exclusive in location, design and amenities, consists of just seven double tents and one family unit, all with en suite bedrooms and shaded outdoors decks. An aesthetic of understated elegance permeates the camp, from its sleek contemporary furnishings in a cool, neutral palette to the romantic allure of a gourmet dinner by lantern light. During the heat of the day, cool off in the long, rectangular pool and relax on a cushioned wooden deck chair. Then, once night falls and the temperatures dip, share stories around a crackling campfire in the sand or retreat beneath canvas in front of the fireplace.
A luxurious hilltop lodge with 14 rock-and-thatch units inside a private game reserve with resident white and black rhino, the camp includes an inviting pool and meals served within sight of the busy waterhole.
Etosha National Park
Ongava Lodge is situated along the southern boundary of Etosha National Park in the privately owned Ongava Game Reserve. The lodge offers luxury accommodations in 14 en-suite units made of rock and thatch. The main lounge, bar and dining areas offer impressive views, as they are situated close to the top of a hill, surveying the foothills of the unpronounceable Ondundozonanandana Range. An inviting pool beckons guests to cool off in the heat of the day. Meals are either served in the main dining area under thatch with a view over the camp's waterhole, or on the dining deck under the stars. Ongava Lodge was listed on the Condé Nast Traveler's Gold Reserve List for 2005.
Etosha National Park is Namibia's premier wildlife destination and one of Africa's largest game reserves. Large herds of wildlife teem around the waterholes and the endless plains offer breathtaking vistas. Activities include game drives in open 4x4 vehicles into the Okaukuejo area of Etosha where lion, elephant (seasonal), gemsbok, springbok, black rhino, greater kudu and red hartebeest are seen at numerous waterholes and fringing habitats. Apex predators like leopard, cheetah and spotted hyena are also present in this area.
In addition, hides and guided walks are available on the private reserve. Ongava is one of the few private reserves in southern Africa with resident white and black rhino, allowing guests the unique opportunity to see both of these charismatic species. For those who enjoy close wildlife encounters, tracking white rhino on foot with a guide is a highlight not to be missed.