The stress of nearly an entire day in airports and on airplanes dissolved almost immediately upon arriving at Villa Vista Guesthouse. A private garage for stashing my rental 4×4 truck erased the need to hunt for parking and lug luggage in Windhoek, Namibia’s very manageable capital. Check-in was friendly and informative, with the easy conveyance of the amenities of the guesthouse, several nearby restaurant recommendations, and directions to the nearest (and very large and exceptionally well-stocked) supermarket.
I felt myself unwinding just by heading to my room along the outdoor walkways, past the pool and under trellises. The family owners planned and designed every part of their guesthouse with the intent of creating a “unique, fresh, and relaxed atmosphere.” Across the board, they achieved their goal.
Each room is uniquely styled in wood, glass, natural elements, and candles, and most have private balconies overlooking the inviting rectangular swimming pool in the inner courtyard, surrounded by little cantilevered levels of different heights, like a Frank Lloyd Wright prairie-style house.
A large common sitting area with an honesty bar invites you to relax after a day exploring the city. Trellises with grapevines line the walkways around the guesthouse. I couldn’t determine the significance of the clear plastic bags of water with a couple of coins in each dangling from their crossbeams. Were they merely decorations? Or were they some sort of Namibian talisman with which I was unfamiliar? The reason wasn’t so mystical: The owner explained that they hoped the sunlight reflecting off the submerged metal would act as a deterrent for birds, keeping them away from eating the grapes.
Out on the terrace, you can take in 180-degree views of the city, the nearby mountains, and lovely sunsets. You’ll enjoy breakfast here, too — but maybe not in winter, when temperatures in Windhoek plummet and you’ll see your breath visibly float away in the cold. When the weather is more temperate, relish a leisurely and abundant breakfast buffet al fresco, with staples like orange juice, hard-boiled eggs, yogurts, breads (made-to-order gluten-free options if you need it), Cape fig jam, cold cuts, and cheeses, supplemented by a daily surprise, which could be anything from German sausages to egg and bacon cups to butternut and feta quiches.
The guesthouse’s enviable location — in a quiet residential neighborhood, but within easy walking distance of the city center, a wonderful tapas restaurant, and the truly memorable Joe’s Beerhouse (an indoor/outdoor restaurant where you can order anything from Jägermeister to zebra loin steaks) — make it unnecessary to move your vehicle until you’re ready to head out and see the rest of the country. If you’re headed to Namibia, you’ll undoubtedly be arriving in Windhoek, and I’d highly recommend a night or two at Villa Vista Guesthouse to ease you into exploring this fascinating country and its myriad attractions in style.