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“While everyone else is tightening their belts and bemoaning the state of the global economy, we have been busy renewing, reinventing and reinvigorating our very special selection of properties. In short, we are actively bucking the apparent trend by investing in the uniquely Namibian experience that we are confident will continue to entice and bewitch visitors to our shores.” – Roger Fussel, Big Sky Lodges
The Big Sky Lodges portfolio of properties has recently been renovated, upgraded and expanded. “We see a bright future ahead for Namibian tourism in general, and our properties in particular. We’re very positive; the signs are turning in our favour and we’ve been actively investing in that future.”
Great attention to detail and a high level of service makes the Big Sky properties stand out. As an owner-managed business, Roger is involved in every element of the business and personally visit all four properties on a regular basis. “The business is all about people and our main focus is to make them happy and build relationships. That’s why we make a point of managing our properties in an informal, relaxed and eco-friendly manner.”
THE OLIVE EXCLUSIVE
The Olive Exclusive was created to satisfy the demand for exclusive accommodation in the capital city, providing luxury accommodation for guests entering or departing the country, or simply relaxing between safaris.
The four premier and three junior suites are bound to dazzle. “Each suite is unique and individually decorated with a laid-back, relaxed feel. It’s the most exclusive of our properties and offers personalised service. Here, you’ll never be just another room number.” The Olive Exclusive was opened in July 2011 and is the most modern of the four properties.
Each suite has its own theme inspired by different areas in Namibia, and each item has been sourced, hand-picked or custom-made. Each suite is distinctive, unique and memorable, and it allows guests to stay in one suite on one visit and another on their return for an entirely different experience.
The fusion of well-chosen items eventually evolved when the team’s vision came to fruition and the perfect combinations were found. The extra touches of class such as an extra-length bed dressed in crisp, pure cotton linen, a free standing tub with sweeping mountain views, air conditioning, high definition flat screen television, an iPod docking station and a computer with WiFi access all conspire together ensuring that the boutique hotel caters for every need and satisfies every whim.
ERONGO WILDERNESS LODGE
Two and a half hours northwest of Windhoek, Erongo Wilderness Lodge is situated and boasts luxury tented chalets with a modern feel and shape. The tents have ceiling-to-floor picture windows and wooden sliding doors leading onto the deck.
These luxurious tents, raised on stilts, are in harmony with their surroundings, with broad shaded decks, and indulgent bathrooms built around the existing rocks and trees. The units are completely private and spread out between the boulders, with fantastic views over the wilderness. Inside, each spacious tent is a haven of thoughtful comfort and casual luxury.
A deck outside the restaurant covers 80m² to enhance the guest’s dining experience by offering an open-air dining option.
“Erongo Wilderness Lodge is your break from the hectic self-drive itinerary. You spend so many hours on the road, in your car, so use this opportunity to explore on foot.” The focus here is on nature walks and with knowledgeable guides that specialise in the surrounding nature and wildlife, it promises to be not only scenically spectacular, but also informative. Nature drives, San rock art, Paula’s Cave, a pool chill out, excellent birding, and a guaranteed relaxation are offered.
ETENDEKA MOUNTAIN CAMP
The unique dining area at Etendeka Mountain Camp is a true reflection of it’s long standing and award winning commitment to eco-friendly values.
In the foothills of the Grootberg massif, set amidst magnificent scenery and the ancient Etendeka lavas of northern Damaraland, the ten en-suite Meru tents have luxury mattresses and 100% cotton linen. Necessary comforts have not been overlooked and the open-air bucket shower holds place of pride here.
Simple, fresh, wholesome meals are prepared, either in solar ovens or on open fires, and enjoyed under African skies. Extensive use is made of solar power throughout the camp. Etendeka is a proud holder of the maximum 5 Flowers in the Namibian Eco-awards.
At Etendeka, wildlife has acclimatised to a precarious existence among the towering basalt mountains and dry mopane-shaded river courses of the Kunene Region. A strong focus is on walking activities.
“The feel at Etendeka is rustic; we wanted to bring back that rugged element of the traditional tented camp that most have unfortunately lost.”
Etendeka is what the true nature experience is all about.
AI AIBA LODGE
Ai Aiba Lodge is the most recent addition to the Big Sky group after joining in 2016. You’ll find this gem between Usakos and Omaruru amidst massive granite boulders overlooking the magnificent Erongo Mountain range.
The Erongo Region is one of the most environmentally diverse areas in Namibia, hosting an array of endemic and near-endemic plant, reptile, mammal and bird species, as well as a wealth of cultural artefacts.
Twenty thatch-roof twin bedrooms, tastefully appointed with en-suite shower, offer the visitor a unique, luxurious African experience. The restaurant with its panoramic view, bar and crystal clear pool nestling among the rocks add to the natural tranquility of the surroundings.
“Ultimately, we believe in simplicity. We trust nature. We believe in touches of luxury, but in a comfortable down-to-earth atmosphere. We like what we do, and we believe that it shows. We enjoy good, wholesome food served in generous portions. We are partial to fine wines. We believe in creating a comfortable, natural place for people to be.”
Tel +264 (0)61 239 199 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.bigsky-namibia.com
This article was first published in the Travel News Namibia Winter 2012 issue. Information has been adapted accordingly.