by Ron Swilling
A rough hand-chipped stone wall highlights a colourful flower display and stylish couch, its natural hues contrasting with the large bold brushtrokes of the small modern artworks painted in warm oranges and reds.
The natural and the stylish, the modern and earthy, mix together in an appealing and attractive blend of shapes and colours, appropriate for the gleaming new Elegant Guesthouse in Windhoek’s leafy suburb of Klein Windhoek.
The Elegant Guesthouse is meant to ‘wow’ the traveller and does so, just as owner Jörn Dedig intended. The elegant reception area with its Jugendstil two-seater settee leads into a dining room and lounge that open out onto a veranda and outside area with a gushing, centrally placed fountain.
Wherever you are, the sound of water entertains you, follows you and sings you to sleep. The aluminium doors of the lounge are folded open to connect the sumptuous interior with the outdoor space.
In the dining area, the stone wall stands in contrast to the smooth painted walls, shining marble kitchen counters and woven-backed chairs. The chairs placed at angles to the tables add an unusual and interesting perspective.
The vibrant colours of the paintings created by Jörn’s wife Birka, often hung in matching sets, carry the feeling of warmth through the rooms, as do the orange cushions lying lazily on the chocolate-coloured couch positioned next to two stylish chairs mirroring the elegant antique settee of the reception area. Displays of twirled sticks in vases create movement, and play with form in an unassuming and artistic manner.
All possible amenities
Secure parking, a small turquoise gem of a pool, a boardroom for presentations, Internet access, DVD player, a full bouquet of DStv channels, a self-catering kitchen and an honesty bar, complete with a wine rack stocked with South African wines, are a few of the facilities that make The Elegant Guesthouse not only stylish, but successful in catering for all the possible needs of its guests.
The six comfortable bedrooms are positioned around a grassy rectangle with three young palms planted in squares of white stones. Covered walkways lead into the spotlessly clean rooms decorated in off-whites and natural tones, with the inclusion of abstract art and decorative sticks in shapely vases.
Leather chairs bring in a touch of class, as do the complimentary nougat pieces placed on the pillows. Air-conditioning, a television and a DVD player, subtly placed in the cupboards, provide the extra conveniences. Textures are once again used in the rooms, the striated effect of the main wall contrasting with the smooth painted walls and tiled bathroom. The rough plaster against the smooth is repeated in the courtyard.
Retaining the personal touch
Jörn and Birka built the guesthouse from scratch, improving on experience gained from the previous two years at their Elegant B&B. Besides their flair for decoration and use of texture, they have kept the floor and wall colours in earth tones. Keeping the guesthouse small, they want to retain the personal touch, giving guests the best possible attention. Jörn, having had many years of experience in various areas of the tourist sector, from guide to lodge manager, uses his knowledge, ensuring each guest superlative attention.
The breakfast buffet comprises an appealing variety of cheeses, meats and yoghurts with a choice of cooked breakfast available, giving the guest a good start to the day before venturing off to enjoy the Windhoek sites or to explore the magic of Namibia.
This Elegant Guesthouse is cool and spacious, modern, easily accessible with all conveniences at the guest’s fingertips. Built with care and attention to detail, a stay in the capital becomes easy and pleasurable. With the three fountain plumes making music, the walkways around the courtyard and the wide-open doors of the lounge and dining area, the guesthouse has a feeling of space and ease. Birka’s paintings balance the coolness with colour, and the effect, all in all, is organised and relaxed, creating a good base and the ‘home away from home’ feeling Jörn wishes to create.
This article appeared in the June/July ‘08 edition of Travel News Namibia.
Additional photos courtesy of http://www.the-elegant-guesthouse.com