Arrival - welcome drink and hot towels, shown to AND through the room, guided through the entire lodge on arrival, details given of additional activities offered by the lodge. Excellent welcome
Accommodation - about 12 individual luxury tents/rooms, comfy twin beds pushed together, safe provided, coffee/tea facilities, separate loo, shower, washbasin, outdoor bath and shower also, 2 lounge chairs and small table, lamps, air conditioner/heater, fridge, mosquito net, extra blankets, insect spray, outdoor table and chairs, under cover sitting area, park car outside room. No overhead fan, curtains thin (so no sleeping in), no fly screens on windows, or screen doors (to let breeze in).
Main Lodge - large, open plan area, fully enclosed (windows etc) with deck doors opening out on decking area, bar area with bar stools, plenty of lounges and chairs (in separate settings, if you want privacy), dim lighting, African music playing, a TV near bar area, open fire place, toilet facilities. The dining area was attached to the main lodge, table’s setup for individual guests depending on your group numbers (not communal). The deck area faced the river (dry when we stayed), outdoor lounges and chairs, and tables to eat at also. Really nice evening atmosphere, felt like after dinner you could recline in a lounge and relax (instead of being sent to your room with a full stomach!). A small plunge pool was to the side of the decked area, with chairs and sun lounges. The main lodge was cosy, clean, well-spaced out, well furnished (good quality furnishings) and was the best we experienced during our 5 week African trip.
Meals & timing - Quality of food outstanding, any allergies or requirements will be asked from you upon arrival. Dinner was served around 6.30pm, we arrived in the main lodge area at 5.30pm for per-dinner drinks, to relax a bit. No pressure to eat at 6.30pm, we sat down at 7.15pm, no hassle. Dinner was a starter, main and dessert. All meals were really great quality, small portion sizes but this means you can get through all courses. Well-paced, no pressure to hurry up and eat quickly. Breakfast served at your specified time, basic hot and cold options. Breakfast pack consisted of ham & cheese sandwich, hardboiled egg (salt provided), chicken sausage, yoghurt, fruit juice, apple, muesli energy bar, serviette. We did not eat lunch during our stay.
Reservations - Booked via lodge website online and selected to use firstname.lastname@example.org. Efficient and professional. We chose to do a bank transfer instead of manual credit card form.
Activities offered - Sossusvlei dune excursion, all day sunrise to 4pm (permit, lunch and drinks provided N$1200 p/p); Sun downer on hills nearby (N$250p/p) and Namib Naukluft mountain excursion, all day 7am to 3pm (lunch and drinks provided N$ 1200p/p).
Bonus – free wifi provided in main lodge, limited cellphone coverage.
Advice - if you have 4WD you can do the Sossusvlei Dunes trip on your own, leave lodge 45mins before sunrise, wait in queue at Sesriem gate, drive through 1st gate, park at large building on right side after gate 1 and get your permit! (restaurant, toilets, bar & permit building). We waited 20mins here and were 5th in queue. Shop here sells cigarettes, booze and camping food. Outside NWR entrance was a petrol station. It's about 45 mins to dune 45, then another 20 mins to 2WD car park (toilets), then another 10 mins on serious sand (4WD only!!!!!!) to that car park area - then climb, walk to other dunes (Dead Vlei, Hidden Vlei & Sossusvlei). The best light for photography is early morning or late afternoon (gates close at sunset). Organize breakfast pack with lodge night before and they place it in your fridge. We left lodge at 6.00am, arrived back at 11.30am (didn't climb every dune though).
Hint - you can stock the mini fridge and have wine/beer on your veranda for sunset, or while your read. We purchased some slices from Solitaire bakery and placed in the fridge for later days.
Travel - left Walvis Bay around 7.30am via C14 except we got trapped in a sand storm (really bad!) just short of the tar road ending, turned back and drove via Swakopmund, heading for the C28, then via the 2 permit roads cutting through the Namib Desert Park, back on the C14 towards Solitaire - stopped at bakery here (must do, amazing pies, sausage rolls, coffee, cakes, slices) fuelled up, them 45 mins to lodge, its just past Sesriem turn off. Trip time total 6.5 hours (loo breaks, photos, food and detour).
Best - main lodge was superb, no rush to finish dinner, high quality food served, committed and friendly staff, great breakfast pack for morning trip to Sossusvlei and Dunes, peaceful setting.
Improvements - noisy fridge in room (hint: turn it off at night), fly screens on some windows.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.