Is it possible to enjoy the arid Namibian desert from the most sustainable luxury? It seems so, or at least that’s what they promise us in this secluded hotel.
Rest in the desert? It seems like a chimera, an impossible dream, one of those crazy ideas that come out of science fiction and that only contribute to the idealization of an absurdity, but no, nothing could be further from reality. Resting in the oldest desert in the world is not only possible, but now also desirable. Listening to the shocking absence of sound helps us to relax our senses to the maximum, to find ourselves and, yes, that also requires some architecture.
Dress up the desert in Mad Max Road Fury, a film produced and co-written by George Miller, starring the fireproof Charlize Theron and the imponderable Tom Hardy. However, there was too much engine noise in the movie, so much so that there were even complaints of environmental degradation in the filming area. In short, the fact is that the intractable Namibian desert, along the Atlantic coast, has about 80,000 square kilometers of surface, and within this enclave we find a very special hotel that you will surely want to visit: the Sossusvlei Desert Lodge.
A luxury hotel in the middle of the dunes
The luxury hotel is located within the Namib-Naukluft National Park, the largest in Africa and the fourth largest in the world. Specifically, it sits in the area known as Sossusvlei, a protected area of 130 square kilometers that is home to an unparalleled ocean of dunes, gravel extensions and rock formations. Some dunes exceed 300 meters in altitude, with which you can imagine its immense landscape richness. If to this you add its spectacular night skies, you will understand the reason why many people are choosing to rest in this idyllic space with almost no life.
The works ended in 2019. Some works in which an old hostel from the 90s was rehabilitated and refurbished. In total, the hotel occupies about 4,100 square meters. The promotion was carried out by the AndBeyond company, specialized in luxury tourism, designs personalized tours in Africa, Asia and South America. Ten spectacular stone suites are distributed in a curved shape under a steep rock formation, facing them, the infinite desert, with its arid expression of freedom.
Glass, rock and steel are the building materials
Each suite has a pool, air conditioning, a living room with a fireplace, a breathtaking bedroom that includes a huge skylight over the bed; and a bathroom with views of the desert, so you don’t miss a minute of the magical show. All this with exquisite design by the South African-based studio Fox Browne, and specifically with architect Jack Alexander, who took care of the most technical details.
The guest building has two floors and is made of the most durable materials in the world: glass, rock and steel. The glass helps us to make the most of the views, the rock protects us from the weather, at the same time that they incorporate us into the prevailing landscape, that is, it involves us; and the corten steel makes the difference, distinguishes the main building and creates its own aesthetic. Its drilled plates oriented according to the solar path and its spiral staircase are worthy of praise..
A commitment to luxury, sustainability and the environment
As a good luxury hotel, it has at the disposal of its clients a fantastic bar, a generous lounge, a wine cellar, an interactive kitchen, an infinity pool, a gym to tone up, a wellness center with a hot tub, a spa and a massage room. The conceptualization of this hotel supposed to bring the old hostel to the present century. The selection of neutral colors that reflect the colors of the rocks, the incorporation of decorative details reminiscent of the place, such as ostrich eggs, or leather details of the same animal, of handcrafted pieces from Namibia and its current concept of art.
The second and unavoidable commitment to the hotel’s conceptualization consisted of giving it the greatest credibility in terms of sustainability. For this, they included photovoltaic panels in each building capable of supplying energy taking advantage of the 50 degrees Celsius that the place often supports. The electricity created by the heat is used to generate air conditioning and recycle the water in a self-sufficient way, guaranteeing the minimum environmental impact. In addition, each pool has a volume and size appropriate to the energy consumption of the facilities and when the suites are not used, the pools are covered to prevent water evaporation. Nothing escapes in the desert.
A balloon ride and safari, also included
But if you thought that silence was the only thing you could find in this hotel, you are wrong. The owners will invite you to gaze at the stars with a resident astronomer, fly in a helicopter or hot air balloon for even more breathtaking ocean views of rocks and sands from the world’s oldest desert. And of course they will take you on safari or picnic. Sustainable luxury is expensive, but it has unquestionable advantages, as we saw in another unique hotel space, the Fogo Island Inn.
In case you wonder how much you can get a little stay in the most isolated paradise in the world, we can tell you that a suite is between 532 euros in low season and 854 in high season, per night and person. The price includes almost everything, three meals a day, safaris, etc. Now, if you feel fully economical, you can stay in the Star Dune suite for the modest price of 2,396 euros per night or 3,847, depending on the season. The desert is well worth it, but of course, do not go into it alone.