Strand Hotel: Our full report
The Strand is an exciting new development on Swakopmund's historic Mole.Built on the site of the old Strand Hotel, and opened in 2015, it has the Atlantic Ocean on three sides – giving uninterrupted sea views from some of its 125 rooms.
The Mole, built in 1899 by architect F W Ortloff, was originally intended as a sea wall to enhance Swakopmund's struggling harbour by providing large cargo ships with a place to moor. Unfortunately, due to long-shore drift, the harbour entrance was blocked by a sandbar within five years of its construction, and soon a small but pleasant beach formed.
On a sunny day, locals and tourists alike enjoy this strip of sand, now known as Palm Beach. If you're going to swim anywhere from Namibia's coast, it is probably one of the best places to do so, thanks to the protection offered by The Mole and the sandbar. Be aware, though, that the water is usually very cold – thanks to the Benguela Current that flows northwards up this coast from the Antarctic.
The Strand Hotel is well-placed to take advantage of this setting, with superb views from some of its 125 rooms. These come in a variety of guises: Standard Rooms, Luxury Rooms, Junior Suites, Luxury Suites and a Presidential Suite. All feature an en-suite bathroom, tea and coffee station, minibar, LCD satellite TV, safe, free WiFi, telephone and air conditioning.
Both rooms and suites are smartly decorated without feeling too sterile, their soft duck-egg blue walls complemented by soft furnishings in earthy reds and browns. Black-and-white photos or paintings of times gone by in Swakopmund adorn the walls, and chunky metal light fittings add a nautical tone.
The Luxury Rooms and all the suites have their own balconies, too, with guaranteed beach or sea views. In addition, all the suites have an open-plan lounge and separate bedroom, and both the Luxury and Presidential suites come with their own dining area.
The main foyer at the Strand Hotel is bright and airy, with a large, glass wall giving interrupted views of the Atlantic, and a number of comfortable sofas and seating areas. The hotel also has a choice of four restaurants offering a varied choice of food and atmosphere:
- The Ocean Cellar, a high-end seafood restaurant, wine and oyster bar with a sushi and sashimi kitchen and eat-at counter. One of the more expensive restaurants in Swakopmund.
- The Farmhouse Deli, a delicatessen, bistro-style restaurant and coffee house with a bakery, patisserie, charcuterie, fromagerie and sea-facing terrace.
- The Brewer & Butcher a micro-brewery, restaurant and bar with a sea-facing terrace and beer garden. It specialises in Namibian and German meat dishes and its craft beer comes from the Swakopmund Brewing Company’s on-site micro-brewery.
- Café Mole offers burgers, hotdogs and other light meals, and is a great spot for families with young children who don't want to venture too far. There’s also the Welwitschia Lounge, Bar & Terrace, which offers three open-plan areas, an exclusive cocktail bar and bar lounge, and a private sea-facing terrace.
For those seeking to relax (or work out!) after a day packed with activities, the Strand has its own gym, and a spa that includes steam rooms, a couples' therapy room, a roof-top garden terrace and an outdoor therapy suite with fireplace.
Further afield, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay offer plenty of activities, which can be booked via the Strand’s Activity and Adventure Travel Office. (NB: If you intend to try quadbikint, it's essential that you read the Quadbike warning in the 'Health & Safety' section below for our comments on insurance issues regarding this activity.)
Although a significantly larger offering than most of the accommodation we recommend in Swakopmund, the Strand offers a very modern and comfortable stay in a great location. It also benefits from its own four restaurants, and is well-placed for other local eateries, so you don’t have to travel for lunch or an evening meal.
- Swakopmund & Walvis Bay, Namibia
- Ideal length of stay
- Most visitors stay in Swakopmund for 2–3 nights, as part of a trip around Namibia, although there are enough activities in the area to keep you busy for much longer.
- Swakopmund is around four hours west of Windhoek and is accessible on tarred roads from the capital city.
- Accessible by
- Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Bed & Breakfast
- Food quality
- With its range of restaurants, the Strand Hotel offers plenty of choice, and there are also lots of other restaurants within easy walking distance.
When we stayed in the hotel for two nights in 2018 we did sample a couple of the restaurants. The sushi at Ocean Cellar restaurant was a particular favourite, also the large selection of steaks and meat options at the Brewer & Butcher.
- Dining style
- Individual Tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Further dining info, including room service
- Room service is available.
- Drinks included
- Drinks are not included.
- The Strand Hotel is one of the largest and most luxurious in Swakopmund. With facilities that include a gym and a spa, it is perfect for keeping fit or for a relaxing break on your holiday to Namibia.
- See ideas for Wellbeing
- Any list of luxury hotels in Swakopmund would be short, but most would start with ‘The Strand’. This ocean-front hotel has the best location in town, plus smart, very comfortable rooms; a very good seafood restaurant; and a rooftop spa complete with garden and outdoor therapy suite.
- See ideas for Luxury
- Attitude towards children
- Children of all ages may stay at the Strand.
- Property’s age restrictions
- here are no age restrictions for children here.
- Special activities & services
- Cots are available for younger children.
Two of the Standard Rooms can accommodate up to two adults and two children on a sleeper couch, and all have space for two adults and a child in a cot.
The Luxury Rooms can accommodate up to two adults and two children of 15 years or younger.
- Generally recommended for children
- The Strand has more facilities for younger children than some of the smaller guesthouses in Swakopmund such as the ability to add cots to the rooms and high chairs at meal time. It is also well placed for the beach and other seaside amenities and attractions.
- Due to the size of the hotel and its proximity to the ocean, younger children would require constant supervision.
- Every room has a phone and free WiFi.
- TV & radio
- There is a flat screen satellite TV in every bedroom.
- Water supply
An eco-leader in the Namibian hospitality industry
The Strand Hotel Swakopmund stands out as a leader in the Namibian hospitality industry. Its achievements and innovative design were awarded the Best Hotel Development in the 2017 Africa Property Investment (API) Awards.
Completely rebuilt in 2015, various opinions were consulted in its new construction, including those of many members of the public and the Swakopmund Aesthetics Committee. The consultation and planning process resulted in a design which suits every need and expectation.
WSP, one of the largest multi-disciplinary engineering consultancies in Africa was commissioned with designing a sustainable gas/plumbing and drainage system, as well as efficient air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation for the hotel. The new equipment was carefully selected to comply with sustainable development standards and was designed to have a life span of between 20- and 25-years, without major refurbishment during this period.
The Strand Hotel also benefits from a unique aesthetic which combines a functional and contemporary approach with indigenous art, thus meeting the requirements of the local heritage council.
See more great sustainability projects in Namibia
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- There are a number of doctors and hospitals in Swakopmund.
Quadbike warning: Quadbiking is sometimes available as an activitiy in this area. As with any potentially dangerous activity, it's vital that you take responsibility for ensuring that you have adequate travel insurance prior to getting involved. Be aware that some insurances cover quadbike activities only for bikes with lower engine ratings; check such clauses particularly carefully before you get on a bike.
- Dangerous animals
- Low Risk
- Security measures
- There are security guards on site at all times.
- Fire safety
- There are fire extinguishers in all rooms and in the main areas.
- Disabled access
- In Place
- Laundry facilities
- Laundry is available at an extra cost.
- All rooms have an electronic safe. There is no currency exchange available, but there are several banks and ATMs in Swakopmund.
- Accepted payment on location
- Travellers can pay with Visa and Mastercard, or in cash using Namibian dollars or South African rand.
Other lodges in Swakopmund & Walvis Bay
Alternative places to stay in this same area.