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“Tired, dated and unhygenic” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Guesthouse Terra Africa

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Guesthouse Terra Africa
3.0 of 5 Guest house   |   6 Kenneth McArthur Street | Olympia, Windhoek, Namibia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #22 of 70 Windhoek B&B and Inns
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
“Tired, dated and unhygenic”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2011

How I wish that we had spoken with Rolf, and how I wish that I could write a better review. Our stay at Terra Africa had me literally in tears. We were booked in by our tour company for our first night in Windhoek on our 10 day tour of Namibia. So, we had no choice, but were happy to trust our Tour Company with their choice of accommodation. Big mistake.

The location was fine and easy to find, on the back of driving 1,000 km to reach Windhoek. We were given a warm welcome - just as one would expect from a family home. The outside of the property is pleasing and welcoming, and there was also sufficient parking. The reception area was fine, but the difficulties really started with our room. It was stuffy, dark and just simply dismal. Faulty aircon did not help much with the stuffiness. The carpet was grubby and stained and I kept my flip flops on the whole time. The bathroom and shower were better than the room, but only just.

The real problem came with the beds and the linen. Our son's bed had dirty pillowcases with what looked like footmarks all over it, and I removed FIVE long black hairs from the sheets. It looked like it had never been changed from the previous occupant. Worse was to follow in the morning when I discovered the bloodied carcasses of what looked like fleas all over my sheet. See the photos. Thank goodness I slept with my clothes on - after my son's bed I was taking no chances.

To say that I was upset was an understatement. I met the receptionist who had greeted us the previous day and she asked me if I had a good night. When I told her that I definitely didn't - and proceeded to tell her about the hairs and fleas, her smile instantly disappeared and she walked off. I asked her to please come and look at the sheets in my room, but she did not want to listen.

We complained to the Tour Company who told us that 'Terra Africa' is one of their top accommodations, and they were shocked when we told them of our experience. However, as we later found out, their benchmark and ours for 'good' accommodation varies massively. Tired, dated and old fashioned we can live with, but poor hygiene is simply unacceptable. Standards of hygiene also need to be looked at in the breakfast room, which we also found not up to an acceptable standard. As Terra Africa will soon be undergoing a rennovation, we can only hope that these issues will be well and truly dealt with.

All in all, a nightmare start to our stay in Namibia. At R1,498 for our stay for two adults and one child, it was just insult to injury.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terra-Africa, Owner at Guesthouse Terra Africa, responded to this review, January 11, 2012
Dear Mrs Groenewald,

Thank you for your feedback and comments.
We have engaged with your local booking/tour office on matters presented by yourself regarding Guesthouse Terra Africa and your visit to Namibia in general.
We will look into the relevance thereof and commit ourself to better our service efforts as we have done for the last 10 years.

On behalf of Guesthouse Terra Africa I once again sincerely apologize for your inconveniece.
A mild correction: Your husband did speak to me and I was readily available during the morning of your stay. Furthermore, I walked to your tour truck to say goodbye, once again apologized for your unhappiness and made the final arrangements regarding your vehicle that would stay behind in Windhoek as well.

Also, the "fleas" refered to are rain bugs and mossies that may have been attracted by the room lights and the open sliding door - I confirmed this personally after your check-out when I went into the room.
Matters such as the hair on you bed and "feet" on the pillows I personaly addressed with my Manager and staff as well.

I wish you safe travels on your future destinations and a wonderful 2012!

Rolf Hansen
Partner/Group Manager & Receptionist if need be :-)
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Bedford
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2011

Despite the somewhat glowing TripAdvisor reviews, this property is not worthy of such good comments.

My husband and I stayed there 2 weeks ago and the overall appearance of the hotel was tatty and shabby. We were given a very small room with the tiniest of bathrooms (complete with sliding door which was stuck open). Despite hotel management's half hearted attempt to fix the door, we both felt it had probably been like that for quite some time.

The hotel restaurant is shut on a Friday and Saturday night so we had to go out - given we had just flown in, this was a hassle we could have done without.

The air conditioning unit was unbearably noisy and along with a rattling fridge, made for a very disturbed nights' sleep.

Overall a very average experience and not one we would repeat.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terra-Africa, General Manager at Guesthouse Terra Africa, responded to this review, December 1, 2011
Thank you very much for you feedback and post.

We appreciate all comments and feedback to ensure that the future of Terra Africa remains inviting to all the hundreds of guests we welcome monthly as a visitor and friend in the Terra Africa House.
I always welcome guests to speak to us direct if they are unhappy. For this, we have a very open-door and engaging policy, as we are not a hotel, but a family house, renovated into a personal guest house for travellers around the world. And, if we can, we will always try to move a guest, help out a guest and advise a guest on their stay with us and in Namibia.

I understand the concerns of the clients and respond thus:
Terra Africa House was built in 1974 as a family residence. The complete residence was converted into a guest house for travellers in 2001 and we celebrate 10 years of accommodation operations in 2011. We are aware that some rooms are smaller than others and in this case, the sliding door to the bathroom refered to is sometimes pushed off the rail by guest who handle it a tad bit too rough. I personally looked at this problem when the guests complained and apologized for the inconvenience trying to fix it myself, in the evening, as the previous guests must have pushed it off the rail by accident.
The mini bar fridge is standard, with a switch that can be turned off if it bother clients - similar to any other. Air conditioners and fridges where newly installed 2-3 years ago.

As a policy and noted so on our information and website, our kitchen has always been closed on Friday and Saturday evenings. We make referals, book and arrange taxi's for our guests 7-days a week with outside restaurants should they so wish. For stay in clients, there is also a "Dail-a-Meal" option to order restaurant meals, delivered at the guesthouse.

Terra Africa is undergoing renovations in 2011-2012 and we look forward to the celebratory new look, feel and style of the old lady taking on a new dress.

In the meantime however, I do apologise to the clients if their stay was not up to their desired standard. We take these comments to heart and confirm that we will look into relevant matters that need to be addressed!
I welcome any guest like we have for the last 10 years, to engage with members of our team and I to see when and how we can make their stay more enjoyable!

With warm wishes, blessings of light, laughter and joy for the festive season,

Rolf Hansen
Terra Africa
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2011

Perfect choice for everyone looking for a accomodation in Windhoek. Reasonable prices and perfect value.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terra-Africa, General Manager at Guesthouse Terra Africa, responded to this review, December 1, 2011
Thank you very much for your kind review.
We are happy you enjoyed your visit to Namibia, and that your stay with the Terra Africa House was enjoyable.
It is always heart-warming to get such nice feedback, and we value and use the posititve and negative to consider all future operations at our Terra Africa House!

We hope to welcome you to Namibia again one day!

Regards,

Rolf Hansen
Terra Africa
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Stuttgart, Germany
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2011

My partner have stayed one night at the Terra Africa Guesthouse in Windhoek on our trip to Etosha National Park. The guesthouse is totally OK to stay for one night when on a stop over from or to another destination. To be frank we expexted a little bit more according to the other reviews we have read about the guesthouse and the pictures we have seen.
The garden in front of the guesthouse is indeed a beauty, including a nice pool and very relaxing couches along the pool.
The room we had was unfortunately around the corner of the guest house where we hadn't have any view to the garden at all. It was no real door which closed our room but a glass sliding door. The room had glass windows/sliding doors on two sides from where we could see all bypassing guests which were on their way to/from the other rooms.
By the way: As far as we were able to judge that, almost all rooms (also those along the poolside) had glass sliding doors and allowed to look into them from the outside. Someone might require some more privacy.
The room itself was clean but not exceptionally great. The en-suite bathroom seemed to be pretty new. The shower was very nice and spacious.

The breakfast we had was totally OK, nothing exceptional or outstanding - completely satisfying.
The guesthouse is a little outside of the city center (5-10 min drive) close to the recommendable guesthouse "Am Weinberg". The area where the guesthouse is located is wihtin a government area (seemed so) and appeared pretty save.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terra-Africa, Manager at Guesthouse Terra Africa, responded to this review, October 21, 2011
The Terra Africa House celebrates 10 years of welcoming international travellers to our Windhoek family residence in 2011 and we thank you as well for sharing in the magic and blessing to open this home to the world. We are very excited about our lovely renovations starting in 2012 that will see our "old lady" polished and shined and modernized to her "new glory" and we hope that more good memories wil be shared at the Terra Africa House.
In terms of windows/glass doors - yes, most rooms have big windows and glass sliding doors that look into the garden or courtyards as we are in beautiful Namibia with lovely natural light and nature, but therefore we have also "blind-out" curtains at the windows for privacy. Some rooms are north and some are south facing, while some rooms are inside the old family residence and some are in the garden courtyard (which was your room i presume). This is what makes Terra Africa unique: being a large family villa that has been opened for the world to call a home in Namibia.
We do not wish to be a "hotel" or "lodge" etc, and hence we remain focussed on intimate, personalised service, style and architecture.
Thank you for your feedback, positive, negative... all helping to create a better Terra Africa for future visitors.
I hope you enjoyed your journey through Namibia and I hope to welcome you back at the Terra Africa House in future one day again!

Season's Greetingsand Kind Regards from a Sunny and Spring-filled Namibia!

Rolf Hansen
Co-owner, Manager, Family Member and your Host in Windhoek :-)
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toronto
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2011

Lovely place, good service. Quiet, safe. Ask for a room in the main building. Although the other rooms are nice, a bit difficult to navigate in the dark.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terra-Africa, Owner at Guesthouse Terra Africa, responded to this review, July 5, 2011
Thank you very much for your feedback. We will definately look into why navigation to the garden rooms are a bit more difficult. It's always nice to get a guest's persepctive on things, because owner's do not actually sleep in and experience the property each day like a guest would and such platforms for feedback in addition to our own feedback forms can only be helpful!
Thank you once again!
Hope you enjoyed the rest of your stay in Namibia and we look forward to welcome you back to the land of the golden dunes some day!
With many kind regards,

Rolf Hansen
& the Terra Africa team!
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San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2011

We stayed here for during our last night in Namibia and it was a phenomenal end to our journey. The location was awesome right across from the presidential palace in a quiet residential villa neighborhood. Our room was very spacious and it led right on the terrace with a pool and several lounge areas - very relaxing. We had a dinner there as well as it seemed too far to walk to town. The dinner was served on the deck above the pool overlooking the surrounding areas - it was quite spectacular.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terra-Africa, Owner at Guesthouse Terra Africa, responded to this review, July 10, 2011
Thank you very much for your kind feedback!
It's warms our hearts to pick up reviews like yours, as this shows that the little extra we try put in, in terms of personal care and attention to our services and Terra Africa House in general pays off!
We would like to welcome you back to Namibia and enjoy our lovely country in future!
Kind regards,

Rolf and the Team!
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Haarlem, The Netherlands
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2010

The location is perfect, just outside Windhoek but with all facilities like the shoppingmall nearby. It makes Terra Africa a perfect start for your journey through Namibia. The manager, Rolf, makes you feel really welcome and is a great help when it comes to lost luggage (and believe me, that happens more often then you want in Namibia...).

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terra-Africa, Owner at Guesthouse Terra Africa, responded to this review, October 23, 2010
Thank you very much for your wonderful reply and personal "thank-you"!
Being a frequent traveller myself, I know what a hassle it can be to loose luggage and feel stranded.. and therefore, my Terra Africa team and I always try that little extra to sort luggage drags as best we can ;-)
Your review and various scoring is taken into account and there where we can improve we alwasy do, but thank you once again for a lovely feedback! This warms our hearts and make us strive to make the stay of our guests even more enjoyable and personal!
Regards,
Rolf Hansen
Co-owner and Manager
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Additional Information about Guesthouse Terra Africa

Address: 6 Kenneth McArthur Street | Olympia, Windhoek, Namibia
Location: Namibia > Khomas Region > Windhoek
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #22 of 70 B&Bs / Inns in Windhoek
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Guesthouse Terra Africa 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hansen & Locher family welcome you to the Terra Africa House. We hope you will relax before or after a trip through our magical Namibia - OR for the business person, a home away from home! Guesthouse Terra Africa has welcomed guests for over a decade to Windhoek and we look forward to seeing you at the Terra Africa House too! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Guesthouse Terra Africa Hotel Windhoek

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