8 Replies Latest reply: Dec 31, 2016 8:49 AM by painedplatinum RSS

First Protea Experience - Windhoek, Namibia (with Rhino Pictures!)

ssindc Platinum 42 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

So, my first Protea experience is a mixed bag, but, as always, it's great to have more options in more countries on more continents, so...

 

I just enjoyed a brief stay in Windhoek, Namibia at the Protea Furstenhof hotel.

 

Positive reactions:

  • Incredibly low rate (and lower than the nearby Hilton, but more on that below).
  • Splendid breakfast in a modest but comfortable, attractive dining room - particularly given the size of the room, the offerings were exceptional, from eggs-to-order (which is always a treat), to smoked salmon (alongside various breakfast meats), to a great selection of fruit, breads/pastries, and nice choices of juices and hot drinks;
  • a large, comfortable room (it wouldn't surprise me if it were an upgrade) with a very comfortable king-sized bed; and good work surfaces and plenty of closet space.
  • there was in-room coffee service, and the toiletries were nice; and
  • everyone I interacted with at the hotel was polite and helpful.

 

Less positive reactions:

  • the property felt a bit dated;
  • the pool was (very) small and did not appear to be open;
  • the bathroom was fully functional but needed an update/refresher.

 

* For better or worse, my conference (and the reason I am here) is not far away, at the Hilton (which is where I'm now staying).  I'm guessing that - unless you're purely a budget-driven traveler - most of the folks who are active on this site would find this (the Hilton) more in line with their expectations.

 

Having said that, the Internet at the Hilton is (objectively) sub-standard.  It's slow, inconsistent, and irritating - both in the guest rooms and in the conference rooms (and I'm stunned the conference organizers aren't complaining more), and nothing short of useless in the two restaurants I've eaten.  The Internet at the Protea was unimpressive, but at least met minimum standards.  At the Hilton, not so much.

 

As an aside, I had very little time for tourism (although, yes, I did check luggage because I brought my camera equipment), but I did squeeze in an efficient game drive at one of the private reserves.  Frankly, an incredible experience.

Namibia - rhino 1.JPG

 

OK, to be clear, I have never been anywhere near that close to a rhino with no wall/moat separating us before. Absolutely incredible.  (Yes, the guide/driver knew these rhinos, we approached slowly and behaved as instructed.  But, still...  we could not believe how close we were....)

 

And a few more pictures

Namibia - wings(2016).jpg

 

and

Namibia - Giraffe 1(2016).jpg

although, on second thought, I liked this one better:

Namibia - Giraffe (sq BW)(2016).jpg

and for all of the Baby Boomers who remember the bad (supposed to be Beatles) song from the original animated Jungle Book movie:

Namibia - vulture (1)(2016).jpg

Also, I just learned that I happened to be here for World Rhino Day - #worldrhinoday - so it would be a shame not to celebrate the next generation!

Namibia - rhinos(2016).jpg

 

I booked my (private, half-day) tour through a local vendor, Kangaroo Traveler: Tour Namibia and beyond, Namibia Tour Operator in Windhoek - I was picked up at my hotel in a comfortable SUV by a sophisticated, pleasant guide/driver/companion.  Incredibly convenient, reasonably priced, and I would call Kangaroo again if I was returning to the area.

 

Message was edited and photos added by: ssindc

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

Location Brand Hotel
Windhoek, Namibia Protea Hotels Protea Hotel Furstenhof
  • Re: First Protea Experience - Windhoek, Namibia
    razorbackfan Alumni Steward Platinum 23 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thanks for the review, ssindc.  I don't know if we will ever travel to Aftrica, but if we do, we will definitely take advantage of the photography options.  Were you really this "up close and personal" with the rhino or did you have a big lens? Please tell me you didn't check your cameras, only your tripod, battery chargers, etc.  Please share more pictures.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: First Protea Experience - Windhoek, Namibia
      ssindc Platinum 42 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Don't worry, razorbackfan,

      • I wasn't THAT close - or in other words, I wasn't shooting with a wide angle lens! (But we were close enough that I initially thought the guide was crazy, and I never turned my back on the rhinos....); and
      • no, I carried my camera body and lenses, which I why I had to check my luggage (you know, all that unimportant stuff you need for a conference, like suits, dress shoes, etc. - all those things that IAHFLYR considers superfluous....)

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: First Protea Experience - Windhoek, Namibia
    guidedog613 Platinum 6 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thank you for the review of Protea.  What an incredible photo, even with a big lens you are still very close.  It makes me want to reach out and touch the beautifully wrinkled skin...they are very majestic animals. Thanks for sharing.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: First Protea Experience - Windhoek, Namibia (with Rhino Pictures!)
    razorbackfan Alumni Steward Platinum 23 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I've never been fortunate enough to see a giraffe in the wild, but I loved getting up close and personal with this beautiful creature.

    Giraffe.jpg

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: First Protea Experience - Windhoek, Namibia (with Rhino Pictures!)
    clebert Platinum 21 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Fantastic pics - thanks for sharing!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: First Protea Experience - Windhoek, Namibia (with Rhino Pictures!)
    painedplatinum Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Excellent write up, ssindc .   I saw both the Protea and the Hilton from the outside but never went in. Great photos.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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