This intimate, small hotel is the first in Windhoek of the sophistication and style comparable to any top luxury boutique hotel not only in Africa, but beyond the continent as well. It embodies the very essence of contemporary chic comfort and is a comfortable stop to begin and end the Namibia adventure.
From the moment of our arrival the pleasant atmosphere and friendly attitude of the hotel’s staff defined the experience—but what we were most wowed by was the interior design of the Olive Exclusive. The hotel manages to strike the most elegant balance between contemporary chic and African décor—without overdoing the latter.
The six large suites, four of which have lovely plunge pools, are rich in earthly elements and original artefacts. Central to each room are fantastic weaved furnishings: roughly-hewn rattan lampshades, rush baskets and enormous spherical hanging chairs suspended from the ceiling.
The room decoration also includes elaborate masks, painted oryx horns, bongo drums and antique carved doors—but all this is moderated by sharp edges of smooth concrete and massive floor-to-ceiling photograph prints, by South African photographer Micky Hoyle.
A glass wall opens onto the spacious terrace and well-kept greenery beyond, with view over the Windhoek’s suburban hills dotted with violet trees (which flowered when we visited the country in September/October). A rattan roof, perfectly fitting the room design, tops the suite terrace.
The last stop before Safari
The design fits well the boutique luxury of Olive Exclusive suites, and is complimented by the latest technology: fast Wifi, expresso machine and iPod docking stations. Ideal to manage the transition from the “always on” connectivity of the everyday life to the “no network” status of the bush and deserts of Namibia.
The individually decorated suites are named after different regions in Namibia: Benquela, Namib, Caprivi, Erongo, Etosha, Kunene, Otavi. It’s a great introduction to, and inspiration for the Namibian adventure.
Breakfasts: a special thing
The hotel’s restaurant is excellent. The seasonal menu is filled with inventive signature dishes (we had some delicious game here), but the breakfasts—which we always enjoyed it on the intimate restaurant terrace—steal the show.
As the manager cheerfully explained, they had a choice of building the usual breakfast buffet or a whisky bar. “Naturally, we went for the whisky bar—and this gave us opportunity to make the à la carte breakfasts extra special”.
And so they are. Great towering platters of blinis, crackers and sandwiches with fresh cheeses, pickles and cured hams, fruit and cakes and organic bread: they are served first, with coffee in massive cups. Then the main: the Farmers Omelette or eggs with cream cheese earn the big WOW.