The Rostock Ritz is surrounded by the Namib Desert and has magnificent views.
Rostock Ritz: Our full report
Most frequently accessed by road on a self-drive itinerary, Rostock Ritz is around 240km from Windhoek or Swakopmund, and 120km from Sesriem. This quirkily designed lodge offers simple accommodation in an attractive setting with sweeping views of expansive gravel plains and the Rostock Mountains.
Rostock Ritz offers a total of 19 igloo-style stone chalets, whose unique design not only makes them feel part of the landscape but also helps to keep them cool in hot weather. On our last two visits, in 2014 and 2016, we felt that one of their best features was the panoramic desert view seen from every terrace. The landscape is somewhat barren, but a small waterhole in front of the chalets attracts oryx and zebra. All the chalets are simply furnished with a double or twin beds, mosquito nets, a fan, lock-up safe, a table and two chairs, whilst the three luxury rooms are larger and have a sofa. The en-suite bathrooms are small, with showers rather than bathtubs. One of the luxury rooms is a family unit consisting of two twin rooms with separate bathrooms linked together.
Hot water and electricity are generated by eco-friendly solar power, while the lighting has a generator back up, 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 WiFi available here in the main area.
Outside the main area are two fenced enclosures, which are used as part of the lodge's meerkat rehabilitation programme. This project takes injured meerkats and those no longer wanted as pets and gives them the chance to socialise and build a family. Once the group is large enough and they are fully bonded, the new family is returned to the wild. They have successfully released over 50 animals to date.
A short walk from the 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. Breakfast is usually a buffet, whilst 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/walking trip to see Bushman cave paintings, and ten different self-guided hiking trails. On a previous visit, 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. GPS coordinates for the hiking trails are available from reception, as well as GSP devices to make sure you can always find your way back!
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: Stay for two nights if you want to take advantage of the self-guided walks and scenery, although it can be used for one if you are simply looking to break the journey between Sesriem/Sossusvlei and Swakopmund.
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 from an à la carte menu, generally with a wide selection of starters and meat or fish dishes. On our last stay, we found the portions very generous, and were glad we opted only for a main dish; the peri peri calamari may not have been refined, but it was very tasty!
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: There is a two-bedroom family chalet, but 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 from the pool deck, and the balconies of the rooms, so children must be under supervision at all times.
Power supply: Solar Power
Power supply notes: There is also a generator as a back up.
Communications: There is a central telephone and WiFi is available in the main area. The lodge normally has cellphone reception.
TV & radio: None
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.