5 things luxury lodges in Namibia could learn

Posted by Colleen Blaine on 7 April 2015

I set out on the trip of a lifetime to visit some of Namibia’s finest luxury lodges and tented camps. I am anticipating extreme comfort, luxurious suites, five star menus, world class wines and endless sundowner vistas. (Well, actually, bottomless gin and tonics.)

While much of my trip was the stuff of dreams (read: five luxury lodges in Namibia that are worth every penny), there were recurring frustrations that sometimes left me wanting. I decided that instead of writing nit-picking reviews that might seem to scar an almost perfect visit, I would rather create a list of positive tips for these many delightful lodges to help them achieve that faultless, unforgettable Namibian luxury experience.


1. The butternut soup saga

Butternut soup - Photo credit Colleen Blaine

Another butternut soup. Photo by Colleen Blaine.

I love a good bowl of butternut soup. However, when I reached bowl number 22 in almost as many days I started to worry about the orange tinge to my complexion.

Dear luxury lodge – your butternut soup was simply delicious. The lodge I visited before getting to you, on the same route that 95% of visitors to Namibia take, also had delicious butternut soup, as did the 10 before them. Please can you try and mix it up a bit – and I don’t mean with potatoes and leeks. I mean with puff pastry and sundried tomatoes or feta and spinach or some kind of mushroom. Anything but another bowl of butternut soup.


2. Two-ply pickle

I am all for an eco-friendly approach, and on every other aspect I wholeheartedly support you in this – but a little bit of two-ply goes a very long way. A happy tush makes a happy guest.


3. Two towel tangle

Towel art - Luxury lodges

Towel art tangle. Photo courtesy of fivepointfive.org

Because I have saved for almost a year to be able to afford my stay with you, I would so greatly appreciate a towel big enough to wrap around both my shoulders and cover my bits. In fact since we’re mentioning towels, your two-swan-inspired towel art extravaganza on the bed is a little more disturbing than exciting.


4. Gemsbok fillet fetish

Gemsbok. Photo by Colleen Blaine

Gemsbok. Photo by Colleen Blaine.

I realise that gemsbok (or oryx) is your national animal, you have a lot of open space, and much of it is filled by this magnificent animal. However, the gemsbok fillet you serve every night on your menu is (like the butternut soup) on the menu of every single other lodge in Namibia. They also serve it with a red wine blah blah fish paste sauce. Is there no other way of serving it? Or perhaps a bit of chicken?

I ended up breaking my rule of never eating fish more than 100km from the ocean by ordering dorado in the desert just to avoid another piece of national pride.


5. First cup compulsion

Tea, glorious tea
I know you have a compliment of staff eager to serve and pander to my every need, but I would rather I didn’t have to subject them to my early morning face because there is no tea or coffee tray in my endless suite. In addition, those frustratingly minuscule milk pods look cute, but provide less milk than the nipple of a male meerkat. They do not help my already-lacking morning personality.

Even with these little niggles, every single lodge I visited in Namibia each had their own special touch and the people who work in them are definitely what make each one unique and memorable. It was an experience that I hope to repeat again in my life, even if I have to take my own two ply and extra milk. I’m also off butternut soup for a year or two.

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