April 24th, 2018 marked 20 years since well-known hotelier Ulf Grünewald decided to nest his hotel on a secluded rocky bay in the town that is entirely built on rock. Inaugurated in 1998 by then-President Sam Nujoma, the Lüderitz Nest Hotel has a reputation for delivering unparalleled service as a four-star establishment and being the leading tourism industry employer in town.
Lüderitz Nest Hotel offers more than just the essential indoor comforts. Free Wi-Fi and a sauna are some of the features for guests to enjoy. They can relish a meal at the restaurant or a drink at the bar with unsurpassed views of the Atlantic Ocean, or go for a stroll on the hotel’s rather private beach area with a small jetty that provides great photo opportunities during golden hour. The hotel is centrally located and only 500 metres from the historic Goerke Haus. The hotel takes guest feedback very seriously and hence the winds of change have brought about major renovations and expansion. But the protection of the environment remains at the top of the hotel’s priority list. Regardless of its location in a small, developing town, its efforts are no throwing straws against the wind: Lüderitz Nest Hotel became the first hotel in Namibia to replace plastic straws with recyclable glass straws, setting a trend among tourism establishments in the country.
When Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias first planted his cross on the windswept shore in 1488, he probably never would have imagined the colourful, quirky coastal town that would emerge and the interesting twist its historic path would take. One of the rocky turns led to the discovery of diamonds about 10 km inland from Lüderitz in what is now Namibia’s famous ghost town, Kolmanskop. The place was named after transport driver Johnny Coleman, who abandoned his wagon there during a fierce sandstorm.
When asking Ulf if there is any truth behind the rumours and legends of the windy town, he replies that the wind is, in fact, one of Lüderitz’s most sustainable treasures. It creates ideal fishing conditions and some endangered birds, such as the African Penguin, flourish in these surroundings. Visitors come here to savour the delectable seafood and experience the natural world that would not have been the same without certain weather elements. His suggestion is to spend more time in the area to experience all of its different facets.
On the topic of treasures, it’s the staff that makes the hotel so exclusive. Four staff members, who are still in the hotel’s service after 20 years, hatched their careers at the Lüderitz Nest Hotel and turned into full-fledged birds. Food and Beverage Manager Anne Gumbo started out as a waitress, Maintenance Supervisor Petrus Adelino got his first job at the hotel as a handyman, Cecilia Ngwedha worked her way up in the housekeeping department to become Supervisor, and Tylves Likondya earned his position as the Head Barman. To thank them for their love and dedication, they were all treated to an evening of wining and dining, after which they spent their first night ever in the hotel as guests with their partners