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“Good stopover spot for relaxing”

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Ai-Ais Hot Springs Resort
Reviewed 11 April 2012

We camped at Ai-Ais for two nights - 3 and 4 April 2012. The campsite was surprisingly quiet, which we enjoyed. The weather was very hot during the day, but thanks to the fact that Ai-Ais is located in a cleft between two rock mountains, the sun only pokes its head out from behind the one mountain later in the morning and sets behind the other mountain in the late afternoon. Dawn and dusk are very pleasant. We played tennis in the morning, at about 7am, before the sun became too hot.

The campsites were clean and spacious and offered power and water points. The ablutions are adequate, although there is only one shower for each ablution block. The loos have double-ply toilet paper (always a bonus when camping) and there are field kitchens with cooking and wash-up facilities.

The indoor spa pool is well-kept and the outdoor warm pool is lovely, especially at night. The kiddies pool, however, is in total disrepair, while the (concrete) tennis courts are useable, although not in prime condition. There is a small shop, which while rather scruffy does offer all the basic necessities (some at steep prices) as well as souvenirs.

There is a restaurant and bar and also a spa offering beauty treatments. I had a neck and back massage, which was wonderful. Sadly, the therapist was quite unprofessional and had a bad attitude (she was late for my appointment, left the door to reception wide open during the treatment and didn't seem to understand customer service at all).

In fact, other than the excellent receptionists, the staff were generally not very concerned with guests. Most were absent from their posts and we had to go looking for them when we needed assistance. If we hadn't fetched someone to the front desk, we would not have been charged the N$10 entrance fee per person per day that campers are required to pay to use the indoor pool.

All in all, we enjoyed our stay at Ai-Ais. It's a little shabby in places, but it's a great place to chill and relax after long hours of driving in Namibia. It's not somewhere I would target as an end destination, unless I lived within 200km of the place, but the warm water from the hot springs did leave us refreshed and ready to tackle the next stage of our journey.

Room Tip: The best campsites are those along the river bank, which are shaded by tall trees during the blister...
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Tamara O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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278 - 284 of 364 reviews

Reviewed 23 March 2012

We stayed at Ai Ais after a trip to the Kgalagadi - and what a wonderful place it was! Perfect for relaxing and being pampered after a dusty dry safari holiday. The rooms are great - luxurious and everything you need. Food was very good. Spa and pools (inside and out) perfect. Plenty of comfortable chairs with cushions to loll about on. The setting is gorgeous too! River, canyon. In fact all very, very nice.

Room Tip: The rooms all looked great! Just that the river rooms are on the same level as the spa/pools. But th...
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Steve1942
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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2  Thank denise w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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12  Thank Maija63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank HeidiSomersetUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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1  Thank stranger_and_pilgrim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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2  Thank Shannon22Sandton
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

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: £35 - £89 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Ai-Ais Hot Springs Resort 3*
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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