Hotel Of The Week: Fish River Lodge, Namibia

On the edge of the world’s second largest canyon stands Fish River Lodge, whose quiver trees and pale grey euphorbias contrast dramatically with its angular lines. An architectural masterpiece, the flat building of concrete and natural stone has smaller squares spread out on both sides. As the sun sets it bathes the house in warm golden rays.

Fish River Lodge

Courtesy of Fish River Lodge

Inside, the details are exquisite. Chandeliers consisting of strings of ostrich shell splinters adorn the wooden ceiling, varnished concrete floors are covered with animal skins, and near the enormous half-moon shape leather sofa, a fire roars. Natural elements are also used in the rooms. A dried branch in the bathroom, a rustic wooden ladder that serves as a towel rack. Nature gets personal here with an outside shower that overlooks the canyon, and a yoga platform that doubles as a summer bed. Inside, walls are dark grey, floors are black and decoration is sparse, as if to only play a cameo role supporting the dramatic canyon as the main attraction.

Fish river lodge_louw (7)

Photo by Marinda Louw

The 20 rooms are spaced well apart along the edge of the canyon, with the restaurant/reception and rim pool forming the focus. As a half-board option, the restaurant serves simple but excellent food: salad Niçoise, oryx goulash and a cheese cake are prepared from limited supplies. A stylish wine list complements the menu. During dinner staff entertains guests with songs and dance, then promptly disappears to carry on their tasks.

The lodge is located on the western side of the Fish River canyon and allows for the afternoon light to cast warm rays into the folds and chasms of the canyon. It is a long and dusty road to get there and you will be greatly rewarded by staying at least two nights. This will allow enough time to enjoy a hike or massage, admire the play of light during the day or just to sit, soaking up the deafening silence of the canyon.

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