As one of the least densely populated places on earth, Namibia makes a great case for travelling to Africa right now. Quiet, peaceful, and scenic beyond belief, with landscapes that vary from stark Skeleton coastline to Mars-like desert dunes and sweeping open plains peppered with soft hills, its hotels and lodges are primarily built and designed to celebrate their remarkable setting. These three lodges offer sanctuary.
andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge
Stars and stillness
The multi-award-winning 2019 redesign by Fox Browne Creative of andBeyond Sossuvlei Desert Lodge has put this existing destination newly on the map as an architectural must-visit. The staggering setting with panoramic views of the desert and mountains in the distance is the star, and yet the design of the lodge itself is remarkable.
The striking combination of rusted metal, rock and glass and combination of rounded and angular lines somehow simultaneously blends in and stands out of the landscape through a clever interplay of forms and spaces. Suites feel open and yet cocooning, in a muted palette of earth tones and glamorous lighting, with a constant connection at all times to the view and landscape beyond.
Down to earth
Inspired by its location on a reserve restored to former glory from farmland, Zannier Omaanda’s cluster of rondavels (a traditional circular dwelling) submerged in the bush is a tribute to vernacular architecture, with rough walls and hand-finished thatched roofs.
Beyond the suites, the main lodge building – open entirely to the elements – celebrates the scenery through a symphony of natural textures (wood, stone, thatch) and simply, loosely arranged furnishings that signal understated sophistication. The décor feels relaxed, thanks to natural linen in soft, warm tones inspired by the earth, but sophisticated due to the considered curation of carefully sourced and displayed rare pieces and African collectables.
A sense of place
Offering immersive and wellness-focused safari, Habitas Namibia, a brand-new lodge only 45 minutes from Windhoek’s Hosea Kutako International Airport, places a lot of emphasis on a cultural and multi-sensory experience – from dance to indigenous craft workshops. As a result, its interiors are location-centric, and foreground simplicity and natural materials with the suites integrated sensitively and sustainably into the environment.
Its spaces hero the setting – with the views as the focal point, and so are understated, but still imbued with a sense of place via locally crafted artefacts and custom furnishings, accents like woven baskets and clay urns grounding you in your surroundings.