Casa Blanca Boutique Hotel vaguely resembles a castle...
Casa Blanca Boutique Hotel: Our full report
In a quiet residential area on the edge of Windhoek lies Casa Blanca Boutique Hotel, just under 10 minutes drive from the city centre. The original house was built in 1970 in the style of Namutoni Fort in Etosha National Park. Since then however, the property was taken over by the current owners who have renovated it and added the property next door. Painted white on the outside, in keeping with its name, the hotel now vaguely resembles a castle with its towers and courtyards. Although in a quiet area, this lodge is located on quite a busy corner, so the noise of traffic increases during rush hour.
The fifteen rooms, including seven twin bedrooms, six double rooms and two family rooms, range in size and décor and are all fairly standard, except for the largest double room which is used as the honeymoon suite. Some rooms are located around a small courtyard, whereas others are nearer to the dining area (and therefore noisier) and have small patios with tables and chairs. The rooms are clean and bright, yet unremarkable and all have a safe, phone, well-stocked minibar, kettle, a desk, a TV with a variety of satellite channels, WiFi and air conditioning. All rooms are en suite, some with a bath, some with a shower, and some with both.
In contrast to the rather plain standard rooms, the large honeymoon suite is decorated in a medieval style with wooden panels, a four poster bed and wrought iron fittings. The dark wooden furniture, swags and tails on the dark red curtains and wall-mounted swords add to the feel of the room. By the fireplace and down a few steps is the spacious bathroom, which has both a bath and a shower.
The main building of the Casa Blanca is the breakfast room and braai area, and in the shady garden there's also a small pool next to a Moroccan-style lounge lit by lanterns. Next to the outdoor eating area, which is a covered terrace with flowers growing on it, is a small bar; there's also a conference room for the German businessmen who often stay here. In front of reception is a secure parking area. A gym is currently under construction and there is also a jacuzzi on the level above the swimming pool. On one side of the building is a pretty garden filled with native Namibian plants and cactuses.
Casa Blanca is a functional hotel with a leaning towards the business market. The personal attention and service here are not at the level of some other Windhoek guesthouses and it hasn't got the most convenient location for the city centre, but the area is quiet, the rooms are clean and it's an acceptable stop over at the beginning or end of a trip to Namibia.
Ideal length of stay: 1 night
Directions: South of Windhoek around 5km from the city centre on Fritsche Street. The lodge offers a shuttle service to and from the airport.
Owner: Peter and Frank Young
Food & drink
Usual board basis: B&B
Food quality: Breakfast is a typical buffet, with a wide range of fruits and juices, cereals, yoghurt, breads, toasts and many spreads and jams to put on them. Tea and coffee are also available. A menu with a selection of simple cooked breakfasts (omelettes, fried eggs, poached eggs, all with bacon) is on each breakfast table and guests can place their order with the waiter. The food here is perfectly adequate but not up to the high standards that some guesthouses offer.
Light lunches are available on request.
As long as guests prebook, they can eat the hotel's three course dinner, which changes daily on rotation. On Sundays there's a braai cooked on the terrace. There's also a range of South African wines on offer. On our last visit there was no specific braai option for vegetarians, who would have had to just eat the salad and vegetables that came with the meat. The dessert promised with the braai failed to materialize.
Light meals are available throughout the day on request. Biscuits and crisps can be found in the minibar.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Attitude towards children: Children of all ages are welcome.
Generally recommended for children: Children may enjoy splashing about in the pool (under supervision), but other than that there is not much to keep them entertained in this business-orientated hotel.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: The rooms all have phones, and internet and fax are available in reception. There is mobile phone reception.
TV & radio: There is a TV in each room, with satellite channels.
Health & safety
Malarial area: No
Medical care: There are many doctors in town as well as Namibia's best hospitals.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: High fence, remote controlled gate.
Fire safety: Fire extinguishers in most rooms.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge
Money: As well as Namibian dollars and Rand, Euros are sometimes accepted.