Reviews of Sam's Giardino
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Sam was helpful, especially in giving us a bit of history of the area. His garden is beautiful!
We were not crazy about the dinner, but breakfast was wonderful!
Whilst in Swakopmund this traveller did a sea kayaking excursion, here's what she said about it:
Jeanne was an absolutely spectacular guide! She even sent us videos of our kayaking experience that evening. It is clear that she loves the seals and she knows so much about them. Her stories were engrossing and very informative. This excursion was one of the highlights of our whole trip!
She also tried sandboarding:
So much fun!
And a day trip into the coastal desert and Sandwich Harbour:
Our guide was very experienced and new so much of the history and nature in the region. He was a masterful driver, careening around and over the dunes! We loved this tour!
Sam's Giardino review
Sam was very willing to help and offer advice, which we found useful. Especially on how much we should be tipping the people looking after our car - about 6 namibian dollars, maybe a bit more if at night. His dog is also very friendly.
The garden looked lovely although we only walked through it once. Unfortunately the room could do with updating. We would have appreciated two glasses/cups in the room, and also a label or some information informing us what product it was in the shower (shampoo/shower gel). In shutting the curtains on the day we arrived the pole fell down and hit me as there was no stopper on the end of it. We also had the end room which did not get wifi signal - but then you are on holiday and who needs the internet! However this was meant to be the honeymoon/kingsize room and it did not feel like one.
However, Sam was very willing to do us breakfast early which I understand not all the B&Bs will. Breakfast was ok. It did however enable us to get to Jeanne Pelican Point Kayaking on time.
The kayaking was absolutely amazing. There were so many seals - it is hard to describe how many there are and what it is like without doing it. But as keen kayakers it was nice to get so close to nature. We managed to touch the seals and play with them with the paddles, and they loved us paddling fast and sideways. Something we won't forget! The buns Jeanne provided where great too, and so was the knowledge she passed on about the birds etc on the drive to and from the kayaking point.
We also did Quad Biking with dare devil adventures. My husband enjoyed this, and it was nice to get right into the dunes and to see them. However, I have previously (not here may I add) suffered a quad biking accident and when I got stuck because I wasn't going fast enough up a dune at the start, the instructor got annoyed with me or got annoyed with the fact he had to come back. We felt the instructors needed to show a bit more compassion - and reminding us to tip them at the end, not something we liked... However he did do a good thing with the black sand and magnet, which made a good photo, and it was nice to get into the dunes. But by the end of 30 minutes my husband felt we were just driving around to fill the time.
Nice and quiet at Sam's Giardino
We had a great stay at Sam's Giardino. Sam is a very pleasant man and he has a bit of a oasis in the city.
The only thing that would have been nicer is if we were about 5 minutes closer, walking distance, from the heart of town.
Quirky host at Sam's Giardino
Beautiful garden. Friendly dog. Sam is a very approachable host - always around! Helpful in booking my parents boat cruise.
Room was a little dark and could use a bit of updating.
Breakfast was plentiful - eggs excellent!
Entrance to car park incredibly tight for a wide car/minivan. Had to be very careful as not much turning space for parking either.
Not that close to waterfront - have to drive to restaurants as roads are very dark at night.
During their time in Swakopmund, these travellers enjoyed a kayaking excursion to Pelican Point seal colony. Here's what they said about it:
We never imagined how playful the seals would be and how close they would come to your kayak. What a fun experience! They nibble on your paddle and even your hand! The time simply flew by!
Jeanne is a wonderful lady - very friendly and energetic! She reassured all guests on how to respond to the seals behaviour, especially those who had never kayaked before.
Kayaks all good quality.
The photos and videos she took are a great way to remember our experience. All provided for free! We wish her the best with her business!
Breakfast was simple but tasty (sandwiches and hot drinks)!
Unfortunately Jeanne's truck broke down on our journey home but a friendly competitor came to our rescue!
Good coastal location
Well located in a beautiful garden setting near to the centre of town. Friendly proprietor who readily organised activities for us.
While the breakfasts were adequate we felt the choices were restricted. However, as this is only a small establishment one perhaps can not expect the variety offered by a larger concern.
Our garden room was very comfortable with all facilities provided.
Comfortable. Friendly host. Great breakfast.
Sam is a friendly host and pays attention to his guests and their comfort. The general ambience was Germanic which is appropriate in Swakop.
Breakfast was excellent. We opted to eat in town but found the location just a tad far too far to walk into town on a cold night. Fine during the day for walks around the town.
Sam's quaint and easy to recommend as convenient accommodation in Swakop.
These travellers enjoyed a morning kayaking excursion to Pelican Point seal colony during their stay. Here's what they said about it:
Jeanne Meintjes was the perfect hostess for this activity with her infectious good humour and obvious enjoyment of the whole experience. We had expected to just go kayaking, but instead spent a couple of delicious hours sitting on the water and playing with (mainly young) seals which surrounded us on every quarter. The seals were not shy in interacting with us and the whole experience (despite the mist and fog) was delightful. Definitely to be recommended. Jeanne even fed us rolls and coffee afterwards. The drive around the lagoon with its wonderful bird life and route past the large saltworks was, in itself, special.
Sam's Giardino review
An oasis of greenery and calm in Sam's lovely garden.
This is an understated haven !
He was very helpful in providing us with a map and instructions on how to reach the two garages to purchase a new tyre.
Excellent food and superb wine !
An interesting stay in an offbeat place!
Well Sam is a character - inherently world weary and cynical but, in many ways, well suited to Swakopmund - and to us! He has no hesitation sharing his views on a broad range of issues - and they are informative and insightful, even when it may reflect a different world view from one's own. He's also extremely helpful on the practical aspects of hosting, making tour arrangements, etc.
The inn itself is fine - the fairly standard rooms off a rather bland hallway addition don't really do justice to the overall setting - the garden is beautifully laid out and the main house is lovely.
Definitely worthwhile for dinner - food is fresh and quite good and the ambience is quite charming. In general, a stop in Swakopmund provides an important piece of the puzzle to understanding Namibia past and present - and a stay at Sam's fits in well with that whole experience.
An urban oasis
Sam's is an unusual but very pleasant place to stay. Sam is of Swiss origin and runs a very well managed hotel as might be expected. He has a restaurant and serves excellent food. The most memorable feature is the "Giardino" - a long narrow and lush garden with gurgling water features - huge koi carp in the pond and it attracts many birds including weaver birds who were fascinating to watch making beautifully woven spherical nests dangling from the ends of date palm fronds.
There is also Beethoven, Sam's huge friendly Bernese Mountain Dog - a species not normally found in Namibia - who wonders around in the Giardino. Sam's is about ten to fifteen minutes walk from the centre of Swakopmund with secure parking, which in an urban area is good.
There is much to see and do in and around Swakopmund. We went on two organised tours in 4x4 vehicles, one to Sandwich Bay and to explore the remote lagoon full of flamingoes and other interesting bird-life and also the giant sand dunes of the Namib coast with Turnstone Tours (pre booked with Expert Africa) and another Sam booked for us with "Living Desert Excursions" where we focussed more on interesting "minutiae" of the desert nearer to Swakopmund - creatures and plants adapted to the dunes.
Both trips were very well organised and of great interest with many photo opportunities.
Sam's Giardino review
Sams Giardino was a good base for exploring the area. The guesthouse had a lovely garden and a homely relaxed atmosphere.
We enjoyed the food and the wine tasting experience which Sam offered.
The room was spacious and comfortable.