Regal style overlooking Windhoek, a city with a turbulent past
Castles aren't common in southern Africa, but this quaint castellated building, erected in 1914, is in a lovely secluded setting on one of the hills that overlooks Windhoek. Hotel Heinitzburg was completely refurbished in 2009 and, although it may be a luxury hotel, it still retains the atmosphere and attention of a small boutique hotel. Its top-notch restaurants are popular with both guests and locals in the know; the views are lovely, especially at night when the city lights twinkle; it's close to the city centre and is the perfect place for a touch of pampering when visiting Namibia.
At the lodge
The Garden Terrace, with its panoramic views of the city and its surrounding mountains, is a popular spot for sundowners or afternoon tea, although breakfast, lunch and dinner can be eaten at the umbrella-shaded tables here too. Leo's at the Castle Gourmet Restaurant, which overlooks the Windhoek skyline, has a reputation for serving the best cuisine in the country. Beneath the restaurant is a large and well-stocked wine cellar, the Felsenkeller. Gather here for a German-style brunch.
Hotel Heinitzburg's 16 en-suite rooms, including the turreted and romantic honeymoon suite, are all spacious, clean and completely different in design to its neighbour. Surrounding the rooms are the lovely gardens, where flowers bloom, birds chirp and the relaxing sound of water tinkling from fountains eases any remaining tension. Another turret overlooks a swimming pool that is guarded by an elephant which, rather unexpectedly, squirts water at intervals onto the surface. The water is heated in winter.
Ask at reception desk if you'd like to go on an excursion, a day trip, take a trot through the surroundings on horseback, get in a round of golf or view game – if you're staying for just one day, try the half-day trip to Durstenburg, a game lodge that allows you to see view leopard and cheetah at close range. Massages can be arranged in your room. The hotel can also book private transfers for guests.