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“Not quite the standard of &beyond Lodges”

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andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Limassol, Cyprus
Level Contributor
84 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Not quite the standard of &beyond Lodges”
Reviewed January 19, 2013

The Namib desert around Sossusvlei is majestic, the quiteness of the desert very impressive. Overlooking a plain and some hills, the lodge has a wonderful view and it is rewarding just to lie in a chair and to drink in the atmosphere.

The lodge has small stone villas with large glass fronts to the deswrt. They are arranged in a way that everyone has a great view without seeing another villa. Furniture and equipment are fine, just in our villa the lock of the terrace door was defect. The central pool is small and at the time we visited it was open for guests but nearby construction work was done.

There are plenty of antilopes, zebras, schakals and hyenas to be seen. The few cheetas are even more shy then the other animals which don't let you nearer than 30 meters, and we did not see one.

They have a obseratory there and also an astronomer available in the evening to show the many stars you can see in the desert. This guy from Georgia, a retired firefighter, was very enthusiastic and forthcoming and competent as an astronomer. However, they switch astronomers every few months so it is possible you will meet another person.

While the service was OK on the surface, we still did miss the spirit of excellence we experienced in other &beond lodges. The impression was more that the staff just happened to work there and did not have the enthusiasm for the animals or this strive for perfect service we saw elsewhere.

Nor did they put the guest above their own desires. Two examples: we did not expect the construction worker to wash down his sweat and dust from a day standing around in the heat into the pool open for the guests (standing around because of 8 workers in average only one did any work). Neither did the friend of my son expect to share the lounge with the kitchen staff watching soccer on TV.

So while we still believe that &beyond is an excellent lodge operator, this specific lodge was not satisfying.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
6 Thank raffzahn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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312 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (71)
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Oslo
Level Contributor
69 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2013

We spent 4 nights on this extraordinary lodge, and would gladly stay another 4! Such an amazing place. I'd never thought desert, sand, rocks and little else could be this beautiful. But the remoteness of this lodge made it so calm and peaceful, almost felt you were on another planet - really a place to unwind and charge your batteries. The service was first class from the moment we arrived, and also very friendly. Food was also very good. Our ranger, George, was 'mr. Cool Guy' himself. He made our morning and afternoon game drives so memorable. The amount of wildlife also surprised us. We saw lots of animals; oryx, zebras, springbooks, ostriches, jackals, cheetahs, birds of pray, and lots more. Really hope to be back at this lodge one day!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ZulumannOslo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi
Level Contributor
56 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2013

We only had the chance to splurge for one night at this hotel and we've done a few &Beyond lodges in the past which very much wow'd us. This was no exception. We loved the setting itself and were beside ourselves just sitting on the porch or in the pool looking out at the view. There was also so much to do but we limited ourselves to quad biking just because we get a lot of opportunities for safari and wanted to maximize time in the lodge itself. The staff were extremely helpful and the lodge was stunning and had everything you could possible want or need. I felt that the rooms were less organic on the inside than I usually like. It felt like being in a suburban house a little which is fine but somewhat of a surprise against the incredible view at times. Appreciated the air conditioning though. If you are self drive, which I think most of their guests are not, I would recommend a 4WD vehicle given the roads you're taking to get there. All in all, I could have spent a lot more time there and would love an opportunity to return.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jchavezfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for two nights in December. It was our second honeymoon and also a babymoon, before the birth of our first child in March. From the moment of our arrival, hot and thirsty after a long drive from Windhoek, till the time we checked out, we were looked after exceptionally well. The Desert Lodge thinks of every detail so the room, the ambience, the view over the waterhole and the food were all top class. This is a place to enjoy the scenery, not to focus on the wildlife, but we still enjoyed the view from the pool, main dining area and our room as a range of different animals made use of the waterhole. Being 6 months pregnant, the air conditioning was also a huge plus!

We also had a very knowledgeable guide who took us on a couple of sundowner drives as well as to the dunes. The dunes were amazing and a particular highlight was having breakfast cooked for us in the shade after a morning of heat and exertion while climbing.

There is nothing I would suggest changing. The only downside is not being able to enter the dunes national park before sunrise so therefore not seeing it over the dunes, but this is only possible from the government lodge inside the park. And I'll take the luxury of the Desert Lodge any day.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank ec77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
68 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

A place to come back and longer, then when you are there for the first time, going on tours and safari full the day. This is not a "BIg 5" destination, but the wild animals come very close to the rooms. The room are modern, very well decorated with an amazing sky-window, located above the bed, to look at the stars before going to sleep. It is with the Atacama desert in Chili, the best place to look at stars and planets, on earth. No light pollution and a very dry climate.
I will not speak about the service in the restaurant, then you get the great african-smile and the friendliness "extraordinaire" of the country, but certainly no good service, lack of training maybe.
The food is OK, and the choice is minimal, but after all one comes for Flora and Fauna in one of the greatest landscape scenery on earth, not to have great cuisine and perfect service.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Thierryonthego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
43 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2013

Really and truly.....perfection. Perfect rooms, food, beverages, staff, views. There is nothing else anyone could say! Need to find heaven on earth.........stay here, and for more than 2 days!! I'm going to give you an example of this awesome spot...........waking up from an afternoon nap on the couch, I open my eyes to see a small herd of zebras running across the plain directly in front of my room/house! One more example.........our laundry is returned to the room wrapped with a ribbon. One more example.......once the staff knew which wine we liked, there was always a bottle in our room!!! Like I have already said........Perfection. thank you Desert Lodge and &beyond.

Room Tip: Any room would be perfect!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Pam G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
436 reviews
123 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 289 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2012

Rating:
- Location and rooms: 5 stars
- Service and food: 3 stars
- Overall (average): 4 stars

Location:
The resort is located in the middle of one of the most beautiful deserts I have ever seen, with wonderful colours and also a great fauna. The location is very quiet, you have great views from all places within the resort. This is a great place to relax and enjoy the quietness of the desert! In addition you can observe the sky during night (there is an observatory) – amazing!

Hotel in general:
The lodge has a main house with restaurant and bar. Very modern and nice décor in nice bright colours. And from all tables you have fantastic views on the desert and the mountains around.

Rooms:
There are 10 separate stone houses / bungalows. Absolutely great rooms, they are large with a living area and a sleeping area, very nice decoration, modern and tasteful. The bathroom has a large shower and also from here great views! Large terrace where you can even watch the Springbok and Oryx – and the neighbours can’t see you as the layout is done in a way that there is no view from other rooms to your room (or at least only very limited)! Two small downsides: the cabinet is too small for such a place, I had difficulties to put all my clothes in so part of it had to remain in my suitcase. Towels: while I appreciate their environment friendly approach not to change towels every day, I would appreciate to have a spare towel in case of need (they give 2 towels and if you need more you need to call them which might be inconvenient in the middle of the night). Minor issues because the rooms are really great and one of the upsides of the resort!

Activities:
This is one big highlight, as you see a lot of the gorgeous region both flora and fauna. Every day you can make several excursions, including a visit to the Sossusvlei dunes – the absolute highlight! But also the other activities like quad biking etc. were very interesting! And you can observe some animals like Oryx, Springbok, various birds etc. – unfortunately we could not find the giraffes but there is only a limited number in the area so if you are lucky you might see them at one of the excursions! The excursion guide is very knowledgeable. One big downside with the activities: you are not asked what you want to do but you are told what is the programme, like in a summer school camp – see more details below regarding service. But again the excursions are absolutely wonderful, I recommend everyone to visit this great place just for the region and its beauty!

Service:
As mentioned above sometimes I had the feeling of being in a summer school camp – no question what you would like to do, this is the programme of activities and this is the time when they start… I would expect from a place at this level a bit more of individualized service.
Also at the restaurant, the service was not really great. Several times staff was talking to each other and I had to wait 30 minutes to get a drink. Whenever I needed something I really had to get up and go to the staff and ask if they could help – some pro-activity and attentiveness would be appreciated.
Please don’t get me wrong, all staff members are nice and friendly, but the hotel claims to be a 5-star luxury hotel (and the rates are accordingly), and therefore I would expect a bit more of service and client orientation.

Food:
The choice of food is very limited: you get only a main dish for lunch (no starter). For dinner there is one starter (no choice), 2 main courses to choose from and one dessert. Again I would appreciate a bit of a choice, not a large menu but at least a choice of 3-4 items.
The quality of the food is OK but far from excellent. The meat is often overcooked and the sides are also not very good. The taste of most dishes is just average. It is OK but again far from 5-star quality.

Summary:
Overall a wonderful place with fantastic location and great rooms, but service and foods need improvement.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TandTSwitzerland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

Property: andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge
Address: Sossusvlei, Sossusvlei, Namib-Naukluft Park, Namibia
Location: Namibia > Khomas Region > Namib-Naukluft Park > Sossusvlei
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Sossusvlei
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Surrounded by rugged mountains and the magical sand dunes of the Namib Desert, andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge is the ultimate escape. An oasis of peace and comfort in the midst of the world's oldest desert, the Lodge offers a cosy and comfortable refuge in the vastness of this strange and beautiful land. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
And Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge
&Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Hotel Namib-Naukluft Park
Sossusvlei Mountain Hotel
Sossusvlei Mountain Namib Desert
AndBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge Namibia - Namib-Naukluft Park

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