Looking more like a Bauhaus block of seaside apartments than a cheery seaside hotel, the rather imposing exterior belies an explosion of colour and life going on inside. Flamingoes and their pink underbellies feature in motif form throughout the hotel and with good reason - look across the bay and you'll see hundreds of thousands of them, greater and lesser, doing their groovy shuffle or hunched down against the biting cold wind that skims off the polar sea current.
The rooms - standard, luxury and suites - are all enormous with high quality finishes and furnishings. Decor is reigned in for a more neutral, relaxing pose and the floor-to-ceiling windows frame the bird-filled lagoon and setting sun rather well.
Room amenities satisfy all but the most critical of boutique hotel definitions including air con, satellite TV, mini bar, coffee station, WiFi, gadget-sized personal safe, universal plug points and high quality toiletries, towels, robes and linen. If you're staying in a suite, you'll also receive a bouquet of flowers and a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine too.
Fulfilling the grand promises made by the plush finishes and modern amenities, the service at Flamingo Villa is top-notch: warm smiles attach themselves to an attentive attitude giving one the distinct impression the staff here genuinely care about your comfort and happiness. At every turn, the place positively oozes professionalism but nowhere is this more evident than the restaurant.
Open to the public for a more convivial atmosphere, the small but varied a la carte menu gives Namibia's excellent local produce a worldly makeover. Seafood of course is the order of the day with some wonderful venison additions. The wine list is well-thought out pitting South Africa's noble vintages against the new kids on the block.
Between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund you've got a menu of activities to suit every appetite and taste. Birding is a big attraction at Walvis Bay, the lagoon, salt pans and dune fields being highly regarded hotspots. The lagoon supports flamingoes, pelicans and hundreds of waders; seals, dolphins, mola mola, whales and some might game fish thrive on the nutrient-rich waters welling up from the Antarctic Benguela current.
*luxury rooms and suites - feature the best views and bigger beds
You're in Walvis Bay and have easy access to all this coastal town has to offer. The hotel can help you sort out a range of activities.
Firstly, just cruise the lagoon. You can go on a daily catamaran tour. Enjoy a champagne breakfast and seafood. You can see cormorants, black oystercatchers and get a closer view of the flamingos. Watch them fly. It’s a pink spectacular spectacle. Seals are likely to come up, even into the boat, and look out for haviside dolphins which are endemic here. Bottlenose ones hang out too. You may also see leatherback turtles and between August and October you can see the whales which give the lagoon its name - Walvis Bay means whale bay.
If you want to get a closer look, take a kayak. You’ll get to paddle and interact with the dolphins. Excursions can be arranged either guided or un-guided.
You can go wind surfing and deep sea fishing in the lagoon too. Look out for marlin, barracuda, yellow fin, steenbra, shad and blacktail, depending on the season. You may also see spotted gulley sharks and other shark species.
Sandwich Harbour is worth a visit too. Just south of Walvis Bay, it's only accessible at low tide and you have to go with a guide. It really is stunning. A real experience of the Skeleton Coast where the dunes meet the sea.
In land there’s a lot on offer. Sand boarding, quad biking and desert tours. Namibia has some of the highest dunes in the world. All trips are guided.
Or head to the shops - trips to the Swakopmund shopping areas can be reserved in advance. Or just head into Walvis Bay. Book a manicure and pedicure via the hotel too.
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