The Desert Grace – think pink gin and tonics

Posted by Melanie van Zyl on 11 February 2019

The Desert Grace between Solitaire and Sesriem, Namibia

A modern lodge in an ancient place, the newest member of the Gondwana Collection is trendy, eco-friendly and just around the corner from the world-famous Sossusvlei.

Inspired by Old Hollywood glamour and the pink hues of the Namib, The Desert Grace has 24 bungalows decorated with a whole lot of style, and a communal area that features an irresistible gelato and pizza bar. You’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a chic, urban hotel, but the view outside is unmistakable: an endless vista of sand and sky.

A constant play between light and shadow unfurls in the Namib Desert. Image credit: Melanie van Zyl

The Desert Grace not only blends beautifully into its surroundings but also honours them with its eco-friendly structure. The position of the rooms echoes the sloping wave-shapes of the nearby dunes, but the landscape inspiration doesn’t end there; staying in one of these rooms, you’re literally sleeping ‘in’ the desert. Instead of regular bricks, every wall has been built using bags filled with Namib Desert sand. There’s a water-recycling plant, solar energy (with panels doubling as carport shade) and walkways made from a mixture of concrete and recycled glass gathered from other lodges across Namibia.

Everything is geared to have a minimal impact on the environment – in this case, the private Gondwana Namib Park, which backs onto the Namib-Naukluft National Park, home to herds of springbok, gemsbok, giraffe, zebra, and wildebeest. The park now has four lodges – The Desert Grace is an upmarket alternative to the original Namib Desert Lodge, which has recently been revamped. There’s also a new tented camp, which serves as an in-between, self-catering option, and off-the-grid, star-bed suites (read about Dune Star Camp here).

Activities include self-guided walking and cycling trails using e-bikes, sunset game drives across unique fossilised dunes and a scorpion night walk.

There’s interesting decor and attention to detail. Image credit: Melanie van Zyl

Best feature The gorgeous interiors. Fox Browne Creative has brought refreshing design to the desert using soft pink hues, refined gold trims and an exceptional eye for detail, which extends right down to the stylish matchboxes.   

Cost From R2,950 per person sharing B&B, but sign up online for the SADC Gondwana Card (R200) and pay R1,770 per person B&B; activities and dinners also cost 25% less with the card.

Contact +26461427200, gondwana-collection.com

Each bungalow has an outdoor shower and a deck with a pool. Image credit: Melanie van Zyl

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