The Pension, or boarding house, is a common type of accommodation in Namibia, combining the best of both worlds in lodging options. What the average pension lacks in frills and finesse, it makes up for with more personalized service and cost effectiveness.
Guests will probably not get to employ the services of a valet and porter when staying at a pension and may have to go without room service, but they will pay correspondingly lower rates.
Pensions are a type of bed and breakfast accommodation with lunch and dinner included. Some even serve morning and afternoon teas. Typically, guests may choose either full board, which comprises three meals a day plus overnight accommodation, or half board, which excludes lunch.
The service is more personalized than with hotel accommodation and the resorts are smaller, often located in a converted residence. While hotels are usually located in the city centres, pensions may be found in the outlying suburbs nearby, and even in areas of the countryside, providing a better experience of the country as a whole.
These establishments are often family-run and are never part of a chain or hotel group. In Europe, many pensions are run like hostels, where rooms feature multiple beds and guests share rooms with others who are not in their party. This is not the case in Namibia.
Typical facilities offered at pensions in Namibia may include:
- Breakfast buffet
- Wireless LAN
- Swimming pool
- Onsite bar
- Business facilities
- Added service (airport transfers activity bookings, tourist advice)
- Secure parking
Typically, guests make use of pension accommodation en-route to the big game parks or the desert as they are situated close to the airport. This also allows them time to rest after traveling and to experience some of Namibia’s city attractions before setting off into the wilds of Africa.