The Central Guesthouse is in an ideal base for a few nights stay in Swakopmund.
Central Guest House: Our full report
Just a five-minute walk from the centre of Swakopmund, the owner-run Central Guest House is a good base for those travelling around Namibia, and perfect for self-drivers. Situated in a quiet, residential area, the guesthouse is clean and bright.
The Central is owned and run by Monica and Jockel Grüttemeyer, who took over in 2010. They are usually around and invariably very helpful. Jockel has long worked with visitors in the area, and knows what options are available for trips and is adept at advising visitors on the various options.
The building is a slightly unprepossessing grey structure with a secure car park to the side, accessed by an electric gate for which you are given a remote control on arrival. There is no garden as such, although there is a small courtyard with tables and chairs at the back of the property.
The Central has eight bedrooms. Six are in the main part of the house, four upstairs and two downstairs. Outside, is a family room sleeping four and a particularly spacious room usually reserved for honeymooners. All are large, with high ceilings, white walls, dark mahogany furniture, comfortable (extra-length) double or twin beds and crisp white linen. Each room has air conditioning, tea- and coffee-making facilities, a safe, a flat-screen satellite TV, a hairdryer, and WiFi access. Each also has its own spotlessly clean white en-suite bathroom with a powerful shower or a bath, although three rooms have a shower and a bath.
Outside the rooms on each floor is a well-stocked communal minibar, thoughtfully located to avoid noise from the fridge at night. This is run as an honesty bar with a small selection of drinks, a tea and coffee station, and sweet and savoury snacks. The two outside rooms each have a minibar inside the room.
The main facilities at the Central Guest House include a comfortable lounge with an open fireplace, with nice touches such as interesting coffee-table books and sherry and glasses left out for guests. A buffet-style breakfast is served in the adjacent small dining room, while outside is a small courtyard with a braai area that guests can use.
Many of Swakopmund's restaurants, shops and museums are within easy walking distance of the Central Guest House, and the owners will help to arrange activities too; there is a wide range of literature on these in the main area. (NB: It’s essential that you read the Quadbike warning in the ‘Health & Safety’ section below for our comments on insurance issues regarding this activity.)
Our viewThe Central Guest House is a cosy, comfortable and welcoming guesthouse, run by owners who clearly care for the guesthouse and its guests. It probably won’t be the highlight of your trip to Namibia, but it is a reliably good base for a few nights' stay in Swakopmund.
Ideal length of stay: 2–3 nights
Directions: The Central Guest House is situated on the corner of Lüderitz & Leutwein streets, close to many restaurants and shops.
Accessible by: Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Owner: Monica and Jockel Grüttemeyer
Food & drink
Usual board basis: B&B
Food quality: Central Guesthouse operates on a bed-and-breakfast basis. Breakfast is generally a selection of fresh fruits, yoghurts and eggs and bacon cooked to order, along with juices, and freshly brewed coffee and tea. If you're heading out early in the morning for an activity, then ask if it's possible to have a breakfast pack. This is usually possible with advance notice and, when we stayed in July 2014, the pack included a sandwich, boiled egg, yoghurt, energy bar, a piece of fruit and a fruit juice.
Lunch packs can be provided for your onward journey for an extra charge; please ask the night before you leave for these.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor Dining
Drinks included: Drinks are not included at the Central Guest House. A bottle of mineral water costs about N$6, a Coke N$7, a beer N$10, and a small bottle of wine N$17-24.
Further dining info: No
Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at the Central Guest House.
Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions.
Special activities & services: None
Generally recommended for children: Yes, we would recommend the Central for children – although note that the stairs are tiled, so relatively easy for small children to slip on.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Power supply notes: There is an emergency lamp in each room in case of a power failure.
Communications: There are no telephones in the bedrooms, but guests can use the guesthouse’s phone in the reception area. There's also internet and wireless access in reception.
TV & radio: Each room has satellite TV.
Water supply: Mains
Water supply notes: The showers and bathtubs are plumbed in, and the guesthouse has flushing toilets.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Medical care: There's a doctor and the private Cottage Hospital in town (about five minutes' drive from the Central Guest House).
Quadbike warning: quad-biking is sometimes available as an activity from Central Guesthouse. As with any potentially dangerous activity, it’s vital that you take responsibility for ensuring that you have adequate travel insurance prior to getting involved. Be aware that some insurances cover quad-bike activities only for bikes with lower engine ratings: check such clauses particularly carefully before you get on a bike.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: A security guard is on duty from about 6.30pm to 6am each night. There is secure guest parking.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in the kitchen, although not in the bedrooms.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: Full laundry service – extra charge
Money: There's a safe for personal belongings in every room.
Accepted payment on location: The Central Guest House accepts Visa and MasterCard, as well as cash payments in Namibian dollars and South African rand.