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I try to avoid hotel bathrooms as much as possible __ that is, until I discovered Amalinda Lodge's "loo with a view" in Matopos, Zimbabwe.
Although still private, this particular commode (located in Room 8) is exposed to its natural surroundings via a floor-to-ceiling window right in front of the toilet, offering the user an eyeful of adjacent Matobo National Park.
Located just a few minutes' drive from the national park, the entire Amalinda Lodge __ the flagship property in The Amalinda Safari Collection's portfolio of four luxury hotels __ mirrors the intimate-yet-wildly-freeing dichotomy of Room 8's "loo." All nine guestrooms bring the outdoors in, with stunning views, granite stone walls and a heavy use of wood and other natural materials.
My group oohed and ahhed and snapped photos of each room during a property tour before feasting on fresh fare at the lodge's on-site outdoor dining area. Although Room 8 was my favorite guestroom, others at the lodge offer special features of their own; some are large enough to accommodate small groups or families, and one even features the remnants of 1,500-year-old cave art.
Although Amalinda is not located within a game area, guests staying here are likely to see ample wildlife, from rhinos and zebras to a variety of bird species. The lodge itself can set up game drives, rhino tracking, a cycling tour and historical excursions in the nearby city of Bulawayo.