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“Very special and very much worth it!”

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Barchan Dune Retreat
Ranked #1 of 2 Sesriem B&B and Inns
Reviewed 3 December 2012

We stayed at Barchan Dunes on our first night in Namibia. We arrived late due to a delayed flight and enjoyed spectacular sunset views as we drove down Spreetshoogte Pass. Despite it going dark, we had no problems finding Barchan Dunes and were relieved to get there.
And what a view! We could not believe how spectacular the view was from our room. It was amazing and the website does not do it justice as the hosts prefer to let visitors discover the view for themselves apparently.
The hosts were warm and friendly and it felt like we were staying with friends. They kindly delayed the start of dinner slightly to give us time to freshen up before enjoying a drink on the verandah. We ate dinner with our hosts and two other guests. It was a lovely evening. The food was very good and we discovered the next day that we were not charged for the drinks we consumed; pre dinner drinks, wine and whisky.
As a non meat eater, I did not have high expectations of being served good vegetarian food in Namibia given that it is very much a meat eating country. But of all the places we stayed at in Namibia, including far more expensive places, Barchan Dunes made the most effort to cater to my needs. I enjoyed an excellent vegetarian meal despite being in such a remote place (no supermarket nearby!). My husband was delighted to enjoy local game.
We woke at 6.00am the next morning and could not wait to look at the view in daylight. We got up and found that fresh coffee and tea had already been placed on our verandah. Of all the places we stayed in Namibia, this was the only place where morning coffee and tea was brought to our room,. In addition there was a flask of ice cold water in the room which was good as it was very hot when we stayed there. We enjoyed watching the sunrise from our verandah and taking in the most amazing view. We loved the solitude and watching the springbok and horses pass by our room. I could not stop taking photographs!
Sadly having arrived late and with only staying one night we spent little time at Barchan Dunes and wish we had stayed for two nights. Such amazing scenery in such a peaceful place is not easily found and we certainly appreciated it. With little light pollution, the sky was filled with stars and we even saw a couple of shooting stars.
I was horrified to read the previous review in which the review says “nothing special, not worth it”. Such a dismissive and thoughtless comment to make about a family run business doing its best to survive in the middle of nowhere. The views are very special and well worth going for. The rooms were built by the owners & have rustic charm. Whilst they may not be to everyone’s taste, they are spacious and provide all the necessities. Barchan Dunes is not somewhere where you would want to sit in your room; the view outside is too extraordinary to miss.
As a business owner, it was lovely to be away from cell phone coverage and internet access. I would not have mentioned this as I hardly expected there to be mobile phone coverage or internet access given the location and the fact that Barchan Dunes does not list these things on their website but the previous reviewer has highlighted these things for some odd reason which makes this seem like an issue. What a wonderful escape from every day life!
I also can’t believe the previous reviewer thought Barchan Dunes was overpriced. Our stay was exceedingly good value considering our room rate covered dinner, breakfast, unlimited alcoholic drinks and refreshments served to our room. We were also allowed to check out a little later than normal given our late arrival.
Barchan Dunes IS special and is worth it. We very much enjoyed our stay there. If you are not convinced, then what might tempt you to visit is their delightful meerkat who is incredibly cute!

Room Tip: All the rooms seem to offer privacy and peace and quiet. And amazing views!
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Onlyacustomer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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33 - 39 of 74 reviews

Reviewed 12 November 2012

9 km North of Solitare on the C14, turn off on the D1275, drive 15 km and take the drive way through the signposted gate and drive 3km to the house, then you find this disappointing B and B at the base of the hillside. Once a cattle and sheep farm, it is now converted into tourist accommodation. The uninspiring concrete rooms are separate “air raid-shelter” type constructions in the field in front of the main house, half hidden in the ground. Each room is well enough away from the neighbour so that so are on your own. The rooms are sad and dated and have no concept concerning the interior decoration. Everything is clean and tidy.

This is isolation pure. Residents have the chance to enjoy the silence, quite and the views. The vegetation is a mixture of grassland, a few trees and boulders. The views down the valley into the hills are fantastic. Although there is game around, we saw none during our stay.

The reception we were given was friendly. There is no internet connection or cell phone coverage. The payment is strictly cash only. The evening meal is included in the total price and it is eaten together with other guests at the main dining table. The food was of average quality and not very ambitious, certainly not the acclaimed meal one was led to believe is available here. The meal did include beer and good quality wine. The joint discussion with the other guests was a good round-up to the day. Breakfast is also included and is the standard breakfast consisting of cereals, bread, jam, cheese and meats, as well as bacon and eggs.

Overall, not an inspiring place and overpriced as well. During our stay in Namibia, this was the least friendly stay we had.

Room Tip: Try a different location
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Jazzman101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2012

Everything about Barchan Dunes is fabulous.
The hosts are extemely friendly and helpful.
Views from chalets stunning.
Food basic but delicious.
Best experience in Namibia.
If in the area make sure you spend at least one night but preferably more!

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank mildredCapeTown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2012

I absolutely love Barchan Dune and make a point of staying there every time I head down to Sossusvlei. The place is so peaceful and beautifully set up. So far I've been in three different bungalows and I love the attention to detail, the workmanship, and the amenities in each of them. Every bungalow has a veranda that is private, and with a view of the entire dune as it sweeps down into the veld. The hosts, Hannetjie and Willem, are wonderful people who make you feel at home, and it's enjoyable to meet other guests at dinner. The place seems to attract very gracious and interesting people, much like Hannetjie and Willem themselves. Hannetjie keeps a beautiful garden, and Willem is very knowledgeable of the wildlife and flora in the area. The food is also fabulous and they make everything themselves (except the wine), including the smoked spring bok that they served us yesterday morning. This is by far the best place I've stayed at in the entire area.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank globaltraveller62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2012

Stayed here for only one night but would go back in a heart beat. When we arrived our host took us out for a game drive to see his farm full of springbok and oryx. Apparently you can often see mountain zebras though unfortunately we msised this. At the end of the drive we had gin and tonics on the mountain overlooking the farm, which was a great touch. Dinner was spectacular - we both agreed it was our favorite meal of the entire trip and we loved talking with the other guests. The accommodations are incredible - they are designed in such a way that they fit completely into the landscape so as not to ruin the natural beauty of the savannah. If I remember correctly, they generated all their own power there as well, and I really appreciated that sustainability. My only dislike was the temperature of the rooms. We were there in winter but our room was quite hot. I understand why, though, as air conditioning or even fans would seriously eat into their own-generated electricity. The cherry on top was their cute dogs who played with the meerkats who live out in front. Highly recommended!

Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
Thank Blitzburgh412
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2012 via mobile

The hosts are able to provide a framework which makes you feel at home from the beginning. The Rooms have spectacular views and very nice interior. Dinning together with the other guests and the hosts is a nice change to the anonimity of other places.
It would be great to see the staff more empowered in exchanging with the guests ...
We enjoyed every second !! Thank you ;)

  • Stayed: July 2012
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Thank camenzinda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2012

After 5.5 weeks touring Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls and Kruger Natl. Park in South Africa, Barchan Dunes remains one of our two favorite places that we stayed. Considering the high end luxury safari touring we did in Botswana, that is a high compliment. Barchan Dunes is a cluster of unique buildings which, from a distance, melt into the natural habitat. We stayed in one of the luxurious, spacious cottages that looked out on straw-colored grasslands. We found a pot of coffee on our porch table each morning. Barchan Dunes is tucked into a nook of hills rising on three sides, and it is utterly private and silent. Hannetjie (pronounced “Hahnekky”, i learned) and Willem, the owners, are super gracious, considerate and generous. The food is extraordinary. Part of their land is home to a variety of antelope species and Willem hunts them, as needed, to provide the most delicious game meat for visitors; the springbok we ate was tender, flavorful, memorable! Willem introduced us to our first ever “Sundowner”-- drinks in the bush with a glorious view of the sunset; a tradition that we became thoroughly familiar with as our travels continued.
Willem drove us to Sossusvlei, the fantastical red dunes in the Namib Desert and we climbed Dune 45. The scenery of the dunes and the experience of that climb are among our very best memories of our trip. There is a short, steep hike you can take right from the Barchan Dunes property, and you get a terrific, long distance view from there.
As heavenly as Barchan Dunes was, it was even better because of the two pet meerkats who live outside the front door of the main house. One of them is tame enough to pet, and the other displays lots of typical meerkat behavior. The family’s dogs interact with the meerkats in amusing ways. And, not only were the meerkats there to entertain us, but Hannetjie had raised a tiny young steenbok and we met him while we were there. He (Bambi) is growing up, and he is free to roam and worries Hannetjie when he fails to return home for his bottle after a night in the bush.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Lilytooth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Barchan Dune Retreat

Address: P. O. Box 9679, Sesriem, Namibia
Region: Namibia > Khomas Region > Sesriem
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Sesriem
Number of rooms: 6
Also Known As:
Barchan Dune Retreat Namibia/Sesriem

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