So, my first Protea experience is a mixed bag, but, as always, it's great to have more options in more countries on more continents, so...
I just enjoyed a brief stay in Windhoek, Namibia at the Protea Furstenhof hotel.
- Incredibly low rate (and lower than the nearby Hilton, but more on that below).
- Splendid breakfast in a modest but comfortable, attractive dining room - particularly given the size of the room, the offerings were exceptional, from eggs-to-order (which is always a treat), to smoked salmon (alongside various breakfast meats), to a great selection of fruit, breads/pastries, and nice choices of juices and hot drinks;
- a large, comfortable room (it wouldn't surprise me if it were an upgrade) with a very comfortable king-sized bed; and good work surfaces and plenty of closet space.
- there was in-room coffee service, and the toiletries were nice; and
- everyone I interacted with at the hotel was polite and helpful.
Less positive reactions:
- the property felt a bit dated;
- the pool was (very) small and did not appear to be open;
- the bathroom was fully functional but needed an update/refresher.
* For better or worse, my conference (and the reason I am here) is not far away, at the Hilton (which is where I'm now staying). I'm guessing that - unless you're purely a budget-driven traveler - most of the folks who are active on this site would find this (the Hilton) more in line with their expectations.
Having said that, the Internet at the Hilton is (objectively) sub-standard. It's slow, inconsistent, and irritating - both in the guest rooms and in the conference rooms (and I'm stunned the conference organizers aren't complaining more), and nothing short of useless in the two restaurants I've eaten. The Internet at the Protea was unimpressive, but at least met minimum standards. At the Hilton, not so much.
As an aside, I had very little time for tourism (although, yes, I did check luggage because I brought my camera equipment), but I did squeeze in an efficient game drive at one of the private reserves. Frankly, an incredible experience.
OK, to be clear, I have never been anywhere near that close to a rhino with no wall/moat separating us before. Absolutely incredible. (Yes, the guide/driver knew these rhinos, we approached slowly and behaved as instructed. But, still... we could not believe how close we were....)
And a few more pictures
although, on second thought, I liked this one better:
and for all of the Baby Boomers who remember the bad (supposed to be Beatles) song from the original animated Jungle Book movie:
Also, I just learned that I happened to be here for World Rhino Day - #worldrhinoday - so it would be a shame not to celebrate the next generation!
I booked my (private, half-day) tour through a local vendor, Kangaroo Traveler: Tour Namibia and beyond, Namibia Tour Operator in Windhoek - I was picked up at my hotel in a comfortable SUV by a sophisticated, pleasant guide/driver/companion. Incredibly convenient, reasonably priced, and I would call Kangaroo again if I was returning to the area.
Message was edited and photos added by: ssindc