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“What a Surprise” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ai-Ais Hot Springs Resort

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Ai-Ais Hot Springs Resort
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“What a Surprise”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 March 2012

The last 20km down the canyon to Ai Ais is rather bumpy and what a surprise when opening the back door of your room to find it leads to this magnificent long spa hall. The room was well furnished and the spa area spotless with very hot clear water. Food and service in the restaurant was very good. Well worth the drive.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank denise w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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322 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    108
    60
    29
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5
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (66)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
95 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 January 2012

Ai Ais has recently been rennovated, so I think that older postings relating to it's construction site appearance can be overlooked. The rennovations have been completed, and to be honest, they have done a pretty good job. If you are coming from Germanic Europe and are used to five star all singing and dancing spas, then you may be disappointed. Ai-Ais is back to basics, even with the rennovations. This is no bad thing. If you are also looking for quick and efficient service, you may also be disappointed. You will need lots of time and patience at Ai-Ais.

We didn't camp, but the difference in price between camping and rooms was 50 Namibian Dollars, so it was a no brainer for we hopeless campers. It was a room for us. The room was large, clean and spacious with air conditioning, fridge and lovely big balcony which overlooked the mountain. One door opened onto the balcony and lead to stairs which took us directly to our car which was very convenient, and the other door took us directly into the spa which was fantastic! Another 25 steps took us to the dining room, so we had everything close by.

The room was not fancy, but the beds were clean and comfortable, and the bathroom was spacious. We particularly liked the outdoor shower, which also meant that everyone was ready much more quickly with two showers which could be used simulteneously. There were a number of different plug points for charging up phones, etc, and this was also very useful.

We loved the outdoor pool, especially in the evening when the sun had gone down and it was much cooler. It was a lovely pool to swim in, although all that you can really be bothered to do is splash and float around, as it's so warm. Around the pool area, there are a number of sun loungers which all seemed to be in good condition. The source of the water is from the ground and not the mountain, and you can watch the hot water as it bubbles up at 65 deg C. You CANNOT put your foot into this without serious burns - I'm amazed that other reviewers have done this!!!

The spa itself if very pleasant and relaxing and the waters are a delight. This is what real spas are all about - never mind the fancy extras. Having said that, you could treat yourself to a massage if you wanted to. Even though the masseusse had finished for the day when we arrived, she was happy to come and do and evening massage if we required. We didn't as we just wanted to wallow in the spa.

The food we found to be average fare, but it wasn't bad at all. Given that we were in the middle of nowhere, we were just grateful for having a selection. Service was painfully slow but pleasant, but we weren't in a hurry. Breakfast was good, with a selection of cooked breakfast items made to order and some delicious home cooked muffins.

Overall, we found service to be friendly, but usually slow. When I asked for more information about the spa waters, one of the reception staff took me outside to show and tell me more about the waters, their composition and the source. This was a nice touch.

The drive from Ai-Ais down to the South African border was one of the most incredible of our entire 10 day drive through Namibia - especially driving past barren desert on one side of the road, with lush, green vineyards literally on the other. It was an amazing experience, and Ai-Ais was the perfect half way point stop over en route for home in Cape Town. Go to Ai-Ais and enjoy.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Maija63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Quantoxhead UK
Level Contributor
174 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 November 2011

Good clean NWR site with free access to indoor spa (large outdoor pool closed for maintenance). Not busy. Nice walk alongside the Fish River. Very hot though - over 50 degrees! Water was 65 degrees from the hot springs but they cool that down - thankgoodness. Maintenance of whole site could be improved a little and staff just seemed eager for us to eat in their restaurant. We were cooking for ourselves and appreciated the oven for a jacket potato!

Room Tip: One night here is sufficient we feel.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank HeidiSomersetUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
101 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2011

We camped at Ais-Ais in July 2010 for a night before and a night after hiking the Fish River Canyon. The campsite was more than adequate and the ablutions were very clean with decent showers. We had access to all the pools and found them to be very clean and a real blessing especially after doing a 5 day hike. They also looked after our vehicle (at no charge) while we were doing the hike - which was another blessing and a relief too. We also had a meal at the restaurant and thoroughly enjoyed it - the food was good and the service and prices were reasonable. We would have no hesitation on going back to camp there.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank stranger_and_pilgrim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sandton
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 August 2011

Ai-Ais resort is set amongst some of the most awesome natural beauty we've ever seen. Our room was great, comfortable & clean. The hot springs were delightfully relaxing. Everything was just great except the service. On arrival, the receptionist continued with her private telephone conversation while we stood waiting to check in. Later at the bar, we wanted to order a cocktail or glass of wine, but of 5 items we chose iff the menu none were available. We eventually settled on a beer that we could see was available. We asked if we could charge it to the room and were told no, because he'd already put the transaction through. Later at dinner we had similar experiences with items on the menu not being available. Food must have taken 45 minutes or more to come. It took a further half hour to clear our plates away once our meals were finished. After dinner, my husband asked if he could charge it to his room and was told no, because guests leave without paying. Very well. He asked if they accept Diners and was told no. He then produced his Visa and after a long time battling with the machine was told it didn't work & he'd have to pay cash now. We subsequently went to many accommodations within Namibia where we've had great service. It's really a pity because the Ai-Ais resort has the potential to be fantastic, but the staff dont appear interested.

  • Stayed July 2011
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Shannon22Sandton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint-Pierre, Reunion Island
Level Contributor
88 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 June 2011

This hot springs resort is niched in a desolate valley in the middle of a moutainous desert-like wasteland, about a hundred miles from the nearest town, but it was one of the highlights of our visit to Namibia. It was a surprise how modern the whole thing is, and the installations are of good quality.
We stayed in one of the rooms just next to the hot pools in the main building. They are very nice indeed, and the price was reasonable. In fact, the bed is one of the most comfortable I've ever slept in. The hot pools are fantastic, but watch out for the slippery tiles which should have been replaced by now.
The restaurant serves good international cuisine and breakfast was fine.
We recommend this resort. Don't let the distance put you off. It's worth it.

Room Tip: They are all good!
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Andrew H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maryborough, Australia
Level Contributor
117 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 June 2011

I was gobsmacked when of Nomad Safari truck wheeled into the grounds of this resort!
After a long long drive over very rocky roads that seemed to have endless rocky and barren mountain terrain rewarded I must admit by the mighty Fish River Canyon. The camp was
like an oasis in the desert.......and the hot springs a real bonus!
Our double accomodation was a huge room, with lounge area, and a rear patio. Very clean,
with aircon etc.
I had to take a pic of the building anomalies though.........the fire hose fittings had been
cemented into the wall finish...the hose disconnected and a small portable fire hydrant
in its place. Apparently its Government built with dubious labour which accounted for the tarp over one section of the roof as well. What a shame.....a lovely venue which has building problems so soon after being completed.
Nevertheless, we enjoyed it....and breakfast was great as well. Could have stayed
more days if we were on our own time schedule!

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank Australiangroup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ai-Ais Hot Springs Resort

Property: Ai-Ais Hot Springs Resort
Address: C10, Fish River Canyon, Namibia
Region: Namibia > Karas Region > Fish River Canyon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Fish River Canyon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 22
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Ai-Ais Hot Springs Hotel Fish River Canyon
Ai-Ais Hot Springs Resort Namibia/Fish River Canyon

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