Reviews of Sam's Giardino
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
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.
Sam's Giardino review
Central location for easy access to town centre. Sam was a very friendly host along with his St Bernard 'Beethoven'. Great time was had by all at the wine tasting - excellent food - so much so that we dined in twice during our stay.
We did kayaking at Walvis Bay with Jeanne from 'Eco Marine Kayak Tours' of which a highlight was being so close to the dolphins and seals.
The next day, we did a trip to Sandwich harbour with our guide Ernst whose enthusiasm and knowledge made it a day to remember.
Sam's Giardino review
Sam's Giardino was my favorite location, the hosts were very interesting & genuine including Beethoven.
The food & the atmosphere were very enjoyable
Sam's fine wine and dine
Sam was a great host and made us feel welcome, especially with his selection of red wines. Once again the food was of a very high standard and personally served.
Visitors should be aware of Beethoven the Bernese dog who is quite lively and slightly trained!! The room was clean and tidy and functional and the guest house was laid out with lots of information which we could use.
A different atmosphere to our previous experience.
Sam's Giardino review
Sam took time to chat with & welcome all of his guests, as well as insisting on checking us in for the kayaking trip we had booked of his own accord. Beethoven, the dog a great asset if you are missing your own dog - but beware if you have small children, as he can 'play rough - he can't help having a large mouth'!
Food was very nice - well-presented - but with nice flavours. Sam takes pride in his kitchen and in training up his staff.
It was a shame that we hit the 2 days when Sam's large garden pond was being renovated together with the house next door, as this did result in a seven o'clock wake-up call. Slightly strange to have bathroom windows adjacent to outside corridor - would have preferred some sort of blind even though windows were frosted!
Expert Africa arranged for these travellers to go Kayaking at Pelican Point. They commented:
Jeanne, who took us, was friendly, knowledgeable and efficient. She gave us a great experience - we all thoroughly enjoyed the ride across to Pelican Point (it's quite a long way on sand to get to where you can launch the kayaks - not just a nip across the bay, but it's interesting to see flamigoes and salt pans along the route!).
Don't miss this if you go to Swakopmund - kayaking and a baby seal allowing me to touch its whiskers, was for me personally, on a par with seeing rhinos at close quarters in Etosha!
Expert Africa comments
We have since been in touch with Sam Egger, the owner of Sam’s Giardino. He is very aware of the issue of privacy of the bathrooms and has already arranged for new wooden blinds to be installed over the next couple of weeks.
At Expert Africa we always try to flag up to our travellers when any building work is going at any of our lodges or hotels. Unfortunately we weren't aware of the work being done in the garden at Sam's.
Sam has confirmed to us that it's now completed, and they have a new pond with a small waterfall to show for it!
Beethoven - Public Relations Manager!
Nice B & B - very relaxing. Sam very helpful and likes to chat. Good food and wine makes for a relaxing "evening in". Beethoven - 9 month old "bear of a dog" squashes your feet, has a big doggy lean and likes walking boots!
We stayed three nights here however we felt Swakopmund only warrants a two night stay. We only stayed three nights to accomodate previously booked trips - only one of which we felt lived up to expectations. See later for detailed comments on these trips.
We were unfortunate to be caught in a sandstorm when leaving Swakopmund which is not a pleasant experience and it damaged our windscreen. Thank goodness we took Expert Africa's advice and took out the comprehensive insurance (we also had to buy a new tyre as well as a new windscreen - total cost £650).
If you wish to eat out in Swakopmund please note that the much mentioned "The Tug" and "The Lighthouse" seem to be booked up weeks ahead, but there are good alternatives: e.g try "Platform One" at the Old Station for an excellent buffet.