(12 rooms) 1 Gorges St, PO Box 166, Windhoek; tel: 061 250146; fax: 061 250759; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In spite of the appellation, the German-owned Thule is clearly aiming at the hotel market. Opened in April 2002, it is situated in a prime spot high on the hill above Eros, with sweeping views across the city. To get here from the airport, follow Nelson Mandela Av to the traffic lights after the BP garage, then turn right into Metje St. Take the third left into Olav Palme St, then left at the top of the hill into Gorges (later Gutsche) St. At the top of the next hill, turn left again, and the Thule is behind the imposing gates on the left.
From its flag-festooned entrance past tall palms, the Thule oozes style, although the entrance is decidedly at odds with the almost stark modernity of the interior. Airy, light and very modern, its carpeted rooms are a blend of chrome and glass with opulent soft furnishings that would make a film star feel at home. Each room has AC/heating and boasts two double beds, with a safe, TV, phone, minibar/fridge, coffee and tea facilities, hairdryer. En-suite facilities have both bath and shower, with underfloor heating for maximum comfort. In addition, VIP rooms have a sofa and dressing room. There is also one room designed specifically for the disabled. Views come as standard, either across the mountains at the back, or over the central fountain to the city beyond.
In the main building, and the surrounding grounds, no expense has been spared to maximise the impact of the hotel's location. This is not a place for vertigo sufferers, nor for families with young children. Varying levels feature a pool with elegant tables and chairs, a small formal courtyard, the restaurant and – at the top – the Sundowner Bar. While the restaurant , with its wide curved expanse of glass and terrace beyond, is open only for breakfast at present, plans are in hand to bring in a chef from Germany. In the meantime, dinner is available to guests on request. Not so the bar, which is open to the public from 16.30 to 21.30 – it's a great place for a sundowner. And if you look over the edge of the hill at sunset, you may even spot guinea fowl in the trees below.
Namibian managers Hugo and Roswitha have several years of experience in the tourist trade, having owned and run their own lodge. This new venture will certainly offer a challenge.