No, really, it's fine. I had a pleasant enough three week stay there, between mid September and early October. My conclusion? Yes, it's fine. I was a little bit worried given some of the reviews here, but I'm pleased to write I was mostly happy. So what's to like?
- Large clean, renovated room, with comfortable bed
- Clean, functional bathroom
- Proper satellite TV (with receiver in every room) with a good selection of channels
- The typical African hotel buffet restaurant is better than many I've been to (though not as good as the often excellent Southern Sun Oliver Tambo, at Johannesburg Airport)
- The bar is friendly, with a decent enough selection drinks, and the bar grub (fish and chips, steak, burger and so on) is decent enough
- Responsive, friendly front desk (though it did take a few calls to get them to come and sort my telly out, one evening)
- Reasonably prompt room service
- Hotel is in the centre of the city, though you may have to put up with views of the swanky new Hilton
- There's an empty fridge in the room and a supermarket downstairs (and nature abhors an empty fridge, so mine was rarely empty)
- And the glassware, made of actual glass, is refreshed daily (compared to the disposable, plastic and polystyrene everything you get in a four star hotel in the US, and increasingly in Europe).
So what's not to like?
- The room was a twin (thank you, thank you, thank you, beloved corporate travel agent), but I think they could have made room for a more comfortable chair (could never find a comfortable reading position in the room)
- Internet is slow (albeit reliable, as opposed to West Africa, where the internet is twice as fast and half as reliable)
- House Keeping a bit mean with the soap.
- Try to get a room facing the city (the view from the Hilton is great, but the view of the Hilton is not so great)
- Try to avoid a twin room
- On week nights, I'd say it is probably safe to walk up and down Independence avenue (walking in the opposite direction of the Hilton, and no more than two blocks) until around 8PM
- On a Saturday morning, do visit the gardens of the Tintenpalast, and the craft markets
- On a Saturday afternoon, the Hilton's rooftop bar is well worth a visit
- For a Sunday, visit the front desk and see if you can arrange a tour (I recommend a game drive, at the Okapuka ranch - Windhoek is pretty dead on a Sunday afternoon)
- If faster internet is vital, take an unlocked smartphone and buy a local pre paid SIM (MTC offers various data bundles that are reasonable value for money, and allows tethering).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Centrally located in the hub of the city center. The newly re-branded AVANI Windhoek Hotel & Casino offers you a place to pursue both business and pleasure. All rooms are decorated to blend into their earthy surroundings and there's only one aspiration: to give you an unparalleled hospitality experience. So wherever you're coming from and wherever you're going, let the AVANI Windhoek Hotel & Casino in Windhoek be your first port of call. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kalahari Sands Hotel Windhoek
- Kalahari Sands Hotel And Casino