Whether it be for a camping trip, team-building outing, family fiesta, romantic getaway, or even a business get-together, the newly refurbished train carriage accommodation at the Midgard Country Estate (MCE) promises to present a one-of-a-kind experience to its guests.
Launched with a fresh, vibrant and exciting look-n-feel this past weekend, guests to the launch event described the facility – which is an addition to the current Midgard offering – as the perfect fun getaway and group weekend spot. The big bonfire cornerstone in the centre of all three carriages, serves for the perfect ambiance that adds a significant spark to the experience, in addition to the priceless childhood memories that come to life, for those that have had the privilege of train rides back in the day.
O&L Leisure – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group – this past weekend officially launched its newly refurbished train carriage accommodation facility at MCE. In accompaniment of the O&L Leisure Managing Director (MD), Terence Makari, and current MD of Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) (newly appointed CEO of the O&L Group, effective 01 July 2019), Wessie van der Westhuizen, O&L Group Executive Chairman, Sven Thieme, officially inaugurated this new sparkle to the estate.
According to Makari, the train carriages which form a significant part of the Midgard history were outdated and in need of an upgrade. Makari: “We pride ourselves in providing our guests with memorable experiences and thus needed to upgrade the trains to a level we would be proud of. We want to create unforgettable memories and experiences for our guests. This is a unique concept for Namibia.”
The Midgard Train Complex is conveniently located in the MCE gardens and within a short walking distance of the main lodge where the hotel’s dining room, bar, lounge, TV Room, boma and various outdoor terraces, pools, etc. are located. This unique facility is made up of three stationary passenger train carriages. These three carriages share two separate male and female ablution blocks. The facility also includes 2 basic kitchens and separate dining room. In the garden courtyard area is an open boma fire pit and a wood burning barbeque area. Behind the carriages is a parking area with 10 covered parking bays. In addition and adjacent to the train carriages, two fully equipped self-catering units, each with a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen/lounge area is also available as accommodation.
The three (3) carriages were each refurbished according to their own theme, which include Vintage – designed to capture the romantic experience of historic train rides. It was something of high quality and remains a classic experience of comfort and luxury. The aim was to appeal to guests that appreciate the nostalgia and romance of the history of train rides. The Graphic themed carriage aims to play on the connotation of graffiti art on trains. This is more of a play on the apocalyptic "pop culture/street art" theme popularized by the Blade runner movies made by director Ridley Scott. The design style will therefore appeal to a younger hip crowd. The Crisp carriage is a simple, clean and modern style appealing to a broad demographic. This design style is friendly and approachable. It aims to give the end user something fresh and clean. Green colors add a fresh touch contributing to the crisp feel required. The trains are available as ‘self-catering’ and price range per cabin depends on the occasion, whether a business trip, leisure or a NGO team-building initiative. Ranging from N$250 for a 2-pax cabin to N$500 for a 4-pax cabin (churches and schools rates); N$400 for a 2-pax to N$800 for 4-pax cabin (leisure and business rates), and N$500 for 2-pax to N$1000 for 4-pax – Sell to Operator (STO) rates. Train guests may choose to book the normal Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner as offered by Midgard on a standard basis. There is also an option to book special catering for the trains.
Thieme: “It is about challenging conventional ways of thinking and doing, so that we create new possibilities to connect with our guests and take a leap to invest in forward-thinking. Initiatives such as these are brought to life to provide ‘Amazing experiences, and enduring impact’ - envisioning the perfect lodging experience. Converting these old trains into a hospitality showplace; creating new products and truly exciting our customers. While we are not yet accommodating guests on the moon, we must continue to shoot for it and embrace the wonderful reality of investing in the future.”
In total, the three carriages (7 cabins per carriage) can accommodate up to 72 guests – 24 per carriage.