The Rostock Ritz is surrounded by the Namib Desert and has magnificent views.
Rostock Ritz: Our full report
Surrounded by the Namib Desert and with distant views interrupted only by dune fields and mountains, Rostock Ritz Desert Lodge stands just off the main C14, about two hours’ drive north of Sesriem. A convenient stopping point between Swakopmund and Sesriem, and with several self-guided walking trails, it makes a good place to spend a night or two and its restaurant is popular with drivers on this route who don’t opt for a picnic.
Rostock Ritz offers a total of 20 igloo-style chalets. Their unique design helps to keep them cool in hot weather – although when we last visited in June 2014, we felt that one of their best features was the panoramic desert view seen from every terrace. All the chalets are simply furnished with a double or twin beds, mosquito nets, a fan, lock-up safe, a table and two chairs, while two ‘luxury’ chalets are larger and also have a sofa. The en-suite bathrooms are small, with showers rather than bathtubs. Hot water is generated by eco-friendly solar power, whereas lighting (usually 24 hours) is supported by a generator and batteries, with lanterns helping to soften the atmosphere.
Rostock Ritz also has a reasonably well-equipped campsite with four camping pitches, separate ladies’ and gents’ ablution facilities (each with two washbasins, two showers and two flush toilets), electric lighting and a kitchen area with dishwashing facilities.
The main communal area at Rostock Ritz consists of a reception area, lounge, bar and restaurant as well as an outdoor terrace. It’s a spacious but cosy building with low ceilings and a slightly cave-like feel, yet brightened in parts by panoramic views of the desert from large glazed windows. There is also WiFi available here.
A short walk from this main building is a large swimming pool, a popular spot to cool off in the heat of the day and to admire the view from some rather quirky hanging chairs.
Rostock Ritz was built, and is still owned, by one of Swakopmund’s most successful restaurateurs. Its restaurant caters to both in-house guests and passing visitors stopping for lunch. There is usually a breakfast buffet, but the lodge offers an à la carte menu for both lunch and dinner.
Portions were very generous when we stayed and, while presentation lacked finesse, the food was very good. We also found the service friendly and quite efficient.
Although most guests stop only for lunch or perhaps one night, this ‘Ritz’ really deserves to be treated more seriously! For travellers who do stay longer, there is a range of activities, including a guided sundowner drive, a 4WD trip to see Bushman cave paintings, and ten different self-guided hiking trails. It was well worth the effort to wake up early and work up an appetite on the Sunrise Trail before breakfast, and we wished we had stayed another night to fit in more.
Our viewWhether you decide to stop for lunch or stay the night, Rostock Ritz Desert Lodge is a convenient place to break the journey between Swakopmund and Sesriem. It offers the opportunity to relax surrounded by superb scenery, with unique accommodation and friendly service. A stay at Rostock would also fit very well into a relatively slow trip around Namibia, with an accent on walking.
Ideal length of stay: Usually one night as an overnight stop, or two nights if you have a bit longer and want to properly take advantage of the self-guided walks and scenery.
Directions: Most frequently accessed by road on a self-drive itinerary. Rostock Ritz is around 240km from Windhoek or Swakopmund, and 120km from Sesriem. Turn off the C14 and it's a further 7km on a winding gravel road to the lodge. Alternatively, there is a 1.6km long airstrip and the lodge can be reached by private light aircraft charter.
Accessible by: Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
Usual board basis: B&B
Food quality: Breakfast, served between 7.00am and 10.00am, is usually a buffet of cereals, yoghurt, fruit, cold meats, cheese and toast. A hot breakfast is cooked to order.
Lunch (served daily 12.00–3.00pm) and dinner (from 6.00pm) are served off of an à la carte menu, generally with a wide selection of starters and meat or fish dishes. We found the portions very generous, and were glad we opted only for a main dish; the steak and sauté potatoes may not have been refined, but they were delicious!
There is a much smaller selection of dishes suitable for vegetarians, so it is best to advise the lodge in advance if you have specific dietary requirements.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included: Drinks are not included.
Further dining info: Room service is not available
Walking: Rostock Ritz offers some lovely walking in Namibia, with over 60km of self-guided trails of varying lengths and difficulty. Walking here you can enjoy the Namib Desert, gravel plains, mountain ranges and deep canyons.See more ideas for Walking in Namibia
Attitude towards children: Children are welcome.
Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions.
Special activities & services: There are no specific children’s meals on the menu, but options suitable for children can usually be ordered à la carte.
Equipment: The lodge does not provide any special equipment such as highchairs or cots.
Generally recommended for children: Although children of all ages are welcome at Rostock Ritz, they don't provide any special equipment.
Notes: The pool is not fenced and there are some steep drops the pool deck, and also from the balconies of the rooms.
Communications: There is a central telephone and WiFi is available in the main area. The lodge normally has cellphone reception.
TV & radio: There is a television with limited satellite channels in the lounge of the main area. There are no televisions or radios in the rooms.
Water supply: Borehole
Water supply notes: The rooms have plumbed in showers and flushing toilets. Water is solar heated.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Medical care: Some of the staff are trained in basic first aid. The nearest doctor is in Walvis Bay, approx 210km from Rostock.,.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: There is a night guard, normally on duty between 11.00pm and 6.00am. The chalets have locks on the doors.
Fire safety: Fire extinguishers are placed at stations outside the chalets.
Disabled access: In Place
Laundry facilities: Laundry can be done on request.
Money: There is a safe in each of the chalets.
Accepted payment on location: Both cash (Namibian dollars, South African rands), and Visa and MasterCard are accepted forms of payment.