On 5 July 1905, master hairdresser Paul Miersch announced to his valued customers that he had moved his business to a new building. This building had so many rooms that Paul rented some of them to travellers. That is how Namibia’s oldest hotel began. Fast-forward to 1954. The hotel was taken over by Sebastian and Elisabeth Rummel who turned the hotel into a luxury establishment. Today, the hotel is one of the oldest and finest hotels in Namibia, and an integral part of Swakopmund and its heritage.
The word ‘Hansa’ is derived from the Old High-German word for group or team. Eventually, it began to mean “a meeting place for travellers overseas”, an appropriate appellation for the Hansa Hotel . The Hotel has won many well-deserved accolades. It is known for its classic elegance and charm, hospitality and fine cuisine.
The Hansa Hotel is located in the heart of Swakopmund, a charming little coastal town with a strong German influence. In fact, it feels more European than African. Swakopmund is known as the jewel of Namibia’s coastline. It is where the desert dunes meet the ocean, creating umpteen opportunities for adrenaline-filled adventures. The hotel is surrounded by boutique stores, book shops and restaurants, all within walking distance. The seaside is just a short walk away. We enjoyed walking along the palm-lined boulevards and the beachfront, and just experiencing the relaxed ambience in the town.
The hotel is housed in the original historic building. The entrance welcomes one into a bygone era, with its dark brown wood and leather furnishings, light marble and emerald green carpets. Immaculately uniformed doormen stand in the lobby ready to assist guests. An ornate winding staircase alongside the resident’s lounge leads one to the upper floors.
There are two restaurants, the more formal Equestrian Room, where breakfast and dinner is served and the informal Terrace, overlooking the beautiful gardens, where lunches are served. Old photographs reflecting Swakopmund’s colourful history adorn the passage walls. The hotel has been recently refurbished while still retaining its old-world elegance and charm.
The hotel has fifty-eight individually decorated rooms and suites set on three levels. We stayed in a wonderful family suite on the highest level, which consisted of two comfortable bedrooms with a shared bathroom and a lobby.
There was a spacious main bedroom and a smaller bedroom for the kids. They had seating areas, wardrobes, dressing tables and a small balcony. Plush carpets and oriental rugs covered the floors.
Ferrero Rochers, one of my favourite chocolates, awaited us when we entered our room. At turndown, we were given more gourmet chocolates. Modern comforts and conveniences, such as underfloor heating, hairdryers, satellite television and complimentary wi-fi were provided. The bathrooms had double basins, bathtubs with showers and bidets.
What we thought
We stayed at the Hansa Hotel for two nights and loved it, especially our ultra-comfortable suite. We also enjoyed relaxing in the intimate resident’s lounge where the Wi-Fi signal was strongest. The hotel’s popularity was evident in the amount of people coming into the hotel, to stay or to eat and meet. The staff were friendly and attentive. When we decided to go out, we were perfectly situated to explore the town and discover its charms. It was a great place to experience Swakopmund from.