A tranquil oasis welcomes visitors to Sam's Giardino.
Sam's Giardino: Our full report
The comfortable Sam's Giardino is set in an attractive garden, just a few minutes' walk from the centre of Swakopmund. Run by its enthusiastic Swiss owner, Sam, and his exuberant dog, Beethoven, it is welcoming, homely and slightly offbeat.
Many of Sam's helpful and very proffessional staff are women from the nearby township, who he has helped through an innovative programme of training and employment, and who now add their own welcome.
Sam's Giardino's nine spacious rooms are clean and bright with rustic tiled floors, wicker furniture, white walls and linen, with an added splash of green for decoration. One king-sized room is larger than the others, although an extra bed can be added to any room. Rooms are equipped with cupboards, luggage racks, beside tables, lamps and hairdryers. Those downstairs have large glass sliding doors that lead onto the garden, while upstairs rooms have higher wooden ceilings with skylights and views over the garden from the windows. All rooms have heating, useful in wintertime when it can get pretty chilly in Swakopmund.
Each room has an en-suite bathroom with a shower, toilet, basin and mirror, with soaps and toiletries provided. The bathroom of the king-sized room is very spacious, with a lovely glass tiled shower and large bath.
Downstairs in Sam's main area, a lounge full of books and sofas, and with a TV, leads off the reception area. Through the lounge is the breakfast room, which overlooks the garden. To one side of this is a wine enoteca and there's a small reading area upstairs. There's also a lovely leafy garden where guests can relax on sunloungers shaded by palm trees, or play games with Beethoven the dog.
In the morning, an extensive breakfast is served in the bright and sunny breakfast room, but by night the room is transformed into a romantic candlelit setting for a wonderful 5 course dinner, with accompanying classical music. Sam, who speaks English, French and German, likes to create an elegant but relaxed atmosphere for the evening meal, chatting to guests and serving the meals himself. The enoteca allows him to indulge one of his passions – wine – and guests are enthusiastically encouraged to participate in wine tastings.
Sam is willing to help with booking any activities in the local area, from boat trips to adrenalin sports and more. He can provide maps and tour leaflets, and will explain the location of attractions and shops.
Sam's Giardino is a firm favourite amongst our travellers. It offers a warm welcome, good food and comfortable rooms not far from Swakopmund's town centre – and Sam has initiated a particularly good staffing model, which is having a positive impact on some of the poorer people in the community.
Ideal length of stay: 2–3 nights
Directions: Sam's Giardino is two minutes' drive from Swakopmund town centre, or ten minutes on foot, on Anton Lubowski Avenue. There is secure parking out the back.
Accessible by: Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Owner: Sam Eggar – and Beethoven the dog.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: B&B
Food quality: Breakfast is served from 7-11 and involves a wide range of fruit and cereal, breads, a large selection of jams, cheeses, yoghurt, home-made Swiss muesli, plus cooked eggs and bacon, which is all very well prepared and served.
Lunch is not served, but Sam can make you a sandwich on request.
Dinner is a lovely five-course set menu that is served at 7.30pm. If there are only a few guests then dinner can be served in the enoteca. Guests can participate in wine tasting before dinner, if arranged in advance with Sam.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor Dining
Further dining info: Sam is extremely knowledgeable about wines, and will happily recommend wines to go with your meal. On our last visit in June 2014, the cost of the 5-course dinner was $250 Namibian dollars, which we think was fantastic value for money.
Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at Sam's Giardino.
Special activities & services: Sam can organise babysitting on request, although note that the sitters are likely to be local women who may not be formally qualified in child care.
Equipment: Cots can be provided.
Generally recommended for children: Yes
Notes: There are some games in the lounge.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: WiFi is available in the main areas.
TV & radio: There is a television in the lounge with English and German channels, and another in the family room.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Medical care: There are doctors and a good hospital in Swakopmund.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: There is a night guard from 11.00pm.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in all rooms.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: Laundry is available for an extra charge.
Accepted payment on location: Travellers can pay with major credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard and American Express.