The Olive Exclusive is a small boutique hotel that embodies contemporary African chic. It is an ideal base from which to embark on a Namibian safari adventure.
The pleasant atmosphere and friendly attitude of the hotel’s staff defined the experience, from the moment of our arrival to departure. But the wow factor at the Olive Exclusive is the interior design. The hotel strikes an elegant balance between contemporary chic and African décor, without ever veering into cliches.
The six large suites, four of which have lovely plunge pools, are rich in earthly elements and original artifacts. Central to each room are stylish weaved furnishings such as 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 the sharp edges, smooth concrete, and the massive floor-to-ceiling photograph prints, by the South African photographer Micky Hoyle.
A glass wall opens onto the spacious terrace and well-kept greenery beyond, with a 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 complemented by the latest technology, including fast Wifi. 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 à la carte breakfasts steal the show. As the manager cheerfully explained, they had a choice of building the usual breakfast buffet or a whiskey bar. “Naturally, we went for the whiskey bar—and this gave us an 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.
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