Reviews of Sam's Giardino
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Convenient base in Swakopmund, lovely dog
Reasonably priced accommodation, lots of information available from Sam, good internet availability.
We did the sea kayaking trip to the seal colony with Jeanne, which was brilliant!
Jeanne picked us up in town and was lovely. She was very friendly and chatty, very knowledgeable about the wildllife around town, and took some great pictures of us kayaking with seals and dolphins which she emailled us later.
The seals were very inquisitive and playful - they raced us in the kayak and when they got bored of this they cooled us down by splasing us - and bizarrely sounded like sheep!
This was definitely a highlight of our trip and something we would recommend to anyone going to the Swakopmund area!
Sam's Giardino review
A friendly and unusual place to stay. Not luxurious but very comfortable with good food, wine and a charming host.
Would definitely stay there again if we visit Swakopmund.
Sam's Giardino review
We liked Swakopmund very much after the initial heartsink of being back in the land of alarmed gates, etc. Sam's Giardino is not central but within easy walking distance of the centre of town. However, we decided to eat at the hotel both nights as we were not sure if it would be OK to walk back after dark (it probably would have been). Sam friendly and hospitable. Food good though use of tinned fruit surprising.
The tour of Sandwich Bay which you arranged for us was wonderful.
Sam's Giardino review
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Sam's and felt that he gave the place a really personal touch. Sam was very helpful and provided us with information and tips for making the most of our stay in Swakopmund. We really enjoyed hearing about how he moved to Namibia and built up his business.
We stayed two nights and had dinner at Sam's the first night. Although we arrived at 5:30 pm, Sam was able to accommodate us for dinner and to alter the menu for me (non-fish eater). The food was delicious. The second night we went to The Tug and really regretted our choice. The food isn't a patch on Sam's. The restaurant is crowded and I had staff and other customers constantly brushing the back of my chair, as we were seated beside the main thoroughfare through the restaurant. We left straight after the main course - couldn't leave fast enough, really.
We were surprised to see that it is possible to go on skiing excursions in the dunes around Swakopmund. As keen cross-country skiers, we would have loved to try this, but ran out of time. A good excuse to return?
As part of their trip, we organised some Kayaking at Pelican Point for these travellers. They commented:
We both thoroughly enjoyed our kayaking trip with Jeanne. My husband is keen on water sports and had kayaked previously, so was very much looking forward to the trip. As I have an aversion for water sports, I was more apprehensive. We had a double kayak. Kayaking around the lagoon itself was very calm and we also went out to sea to see the dolphins. The trip felt completely safe throughout and is an enjoyable experience even if you are not a water sports enthusiast.
Whilst on the trip we saw seal and dolphins, as well as lots of birds, including flamingos. Jeanne also took us to see a family of jackals living on the point. Jeanne provided lots of information about the local wildlife.
We arrived home to an email from Jeanne with photos of our trip. As all of our photos showed what we were seeing from our kayak, it was great to have some photos of the two us in the kayak, as well as some fantastic additional wildlife shots.
We both thoroughly enjoyed our morning kayaking with Jeanne.
Sam's Giardino review
This is an goodt place to stay while in town. It is quiet and secure but within walking distance of the centre.
Sam is an attentive host who is enthusiastic about the quality he provides. Cuisine is superb but if you eat two nights running you may repeat some courses on the menu.
He could not be more helpful with information and even supplemented his superb breakfast with the offer of a sandwich for our journey.
Sea kayaking on Walvis Bay Lagoon: Jeanne was not around but the young man who stood in for her did a great job. He was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and provided a safe but interesting experience.
There is plenty of opportunity to get close to the seals and pelicans although it gets a bit crowded when the motor launches come in.
Sam's secret garden!
A perfect and cosy spot tucked off the main drags. Sam was very hospitable and welcoming and his garden delightful.
The map could be a bit better . Normally north is at the top of the map! Rhode Allee should be shown - it appears on the detailed map but actually does not bend round into Anton Lubowski unless we were doing something stupid.
Great having free internet to catch up with the family after being out in the wilderness for a few days. Sam was helpful in booking restaurants and a boat trip.
We discovered one of the boat companies did free pick ups from Swakopmund Laramon - which gave us a day off the driving which was a good idea. However the minibuses were filled to capacity and the two last seats (the ones we had to take) were not particularly comfortable - one seat was partly broken and one was not a proper seat). The captain Dougie was excellent and we had a very enjoyable day out.
Great dinner at Le Tug
Sam was helpfulness itself and his cooking is excellent. I think the star of the house is Beethoven his young Pyrennean Mountain dog.
We arrived in a most impressive sandstorm but the next day was beautiful, and I very much enjoyed my last minute tour to Sandwich Bay although the time in the actual bay was very limited as the tide was against us.
Sam's Giardino review
Sam was a tremendous host, and nothing was too much for him. He provides a set menu for evening meal (if you want it) at N$200 per person. Unfortunately there was always something on the menu which a member of our party did not like, so we did not eat dinner there.
Sam was however happy to recommend and book a table at a local restaurant. Both places that he chose for us were excellent and relatively good value. We were able to walk into the centre of Swakopmund from Sam's in about 10 minutes. Breakfast was very good with freshly cooked egg and bacon, with a wide selection of cereals, fruits, breads, cheeses and cold meats, and the largest selection of jams, toppings and sauces that I have ever seen.
Sam provided advice on travelling, and on our last morning suggested that we make up a packed lunch from the breakfast tables - at no extra cost. Our only slight niggle was that Beethoven, Sam's St Bernard, was overly friendly to the guests. The rooms we had did not have a personal safe, although Sam did have them in a room downstairs ready to be installed. He was happy for us to use the house safe.
Whilst staying at Sam's these travellers went on a day trip along the coast, arranged by Expert Africa, and had the following comments:
A great day out. All went very well, and Ernest, our guide, was excellent.
Did not see as many birds as I had hoped, and in fact Sandwhich Harbour was somewhat devoid of life - a few pelicans, and jackals and some other small birds. Perhaps it was the wrong time of year.
The lunch in the sand dunes was great - the best lasagne I have tasted for a long time.
A little piece of Switzerland
Sam 's is a 10 - 15 minute easy stroll from the centre of town. The main building and rooms are alongside a beauitiful garden, with resident friendly large dog.
The room was light and comfortable with a newly decorated bathroom. The main building was a cosy warren of rooms including the dining area, TV room and computer room with tea and coffee always available and free internet access. The general atmospher was very relaxed and friendly.
We didn't take advantage of Sam's 5 course dinners but the breakfasts were good, particularly the home made muesli!
Wine tasting extraordinaire
Superb! A real treat, Sam is a character and made us so welcome. Swakupmund may have been wet and cold but Sam's Giardino was warm and welcoming. Wine tasting with Sam was entertaining and educational.....we went on to sample several of the bottles from his cellar during our stay.
The first night we had dinner in the "cave" which was cosy and intimate. Dinner was delicious and service excellent. Very comfortable rooms overlooking the garden. Excellent breakfasts with vast array of cereals, preserves, bread etc. and fantastic cooked breakfast to start the day's activities. Beethoven was a hit with our party.
Excellent choice for a stay by the sea and so close to town.