Reviews of Sam's Giardino
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Lovely bit of Swtzerland
Sam's Giardino was like staying in a Swiss chalet. At first we thought the rooms were a bit basic, but realized the bed and duvets were great, the room was immaculate, and we really had all we needed. The garden is a beautiful place to relax. Sam was delightful and offered us a great selection of South African wines by the glass. Breakfast was excellent. We'd definitely stay there again if we were in Swapkopmund.
While there, we went on a Hafeni Cultural tour, which was a fascinating and very enjoyable visit to a township, run by two young men who grew up there. Highly recommended.
Sam's Giardino review
We always enjoy staying with Sam and Beethoven, both of whom are extremely friendly and welcoming. We admire Sam for the way he cares for and trains his staff, for their benefit as much as for his own. Sam was so generous in giving us a free wine-tasting as a celebration.
We will stay there whenever we are in Swakopmund, the garden is delightful for relaxation and reading.
Wonderful Experience, Warm Personal Service
What can we say about our stay at Sam's Giardino other than how much we enjoyed it. We were welcome to the B&B by one of the staff members who made us feel immediately at home. We later met Sam and his very charming personality. We were able to experience the wine tasting our first night which is highly recommended. He initially lets you test your olfactory acumen and then your are thrown into wine bliss.
We also had the opportunity to have the prix fix dinner: what a treat! Everything was perfect from the table to the setting to the food. It was surprisingly romantic even with a table of about 12 people dining at the same time. Both mornings, almost at the end of our breakfast (which was delicious) he made a point of sitting with us and having a nice conversation.
During our stay we were also recommended some activities and a great restaurant for dinner. Both recommendations were excellent!!!
The only thing we wish is to have had another night or two in Swakopmund!
Beethoven - good meet and greet dog
We had a car problem on arrival, Sam directed us to the nearby Toyota garage, problem solved. A warm and friendly host, Sam was a font of local knowledge.
The Giardino was lovely, full of character, books and classical music. The gardens were wonderful, so relaxing, and Beethoven for company too.
The breakfast and evening meals were superb, definitely not worth going out in the evening looking for a restaurant.
We did not expect to be so cold!
We don't really understand why Swakopmund exists! More of that later.
After a bright but slightly chilly day exploring the lagoon at Walvis Bay we did not expect to drive into fog on the short drive up to Swakopmund. At Sam's we received a rather brusk reception followed by being shown a very cold room. Heating was a plate radiator which took a long time to warm up and as we were not prepared for such cold conditions, we were in the tropics after all, we were not in the best of humour. We decided to eat in and take Sam's five course dinner which was a mistake as the food was not the gourmet experience we expected but a rather ordinary affair. Sam himself warmed once we started asking questions about the town and its people, frequently putting his coffee cup down at our table and sitting down to converse with us. The second night we decided to eat out which we did at the end of the pier with some wonderful fish - kingclip - but there was no heat there either so we did not linger.
However the bread provided at breakfast was to die for. Perhaps one good thing to come out of the fog is that the moisture conditions makes for better quality bread. Lovely German rye bread along with a wide selection of meats, fruit, etc, and eggs cooked as you like them.
As to Swakopmund it seems to have very little going for it. It sits in the middle of the desert shrouded in fog for most of the year with very few on land attractions. If you want to see the wildlife of which the area has plenty than staying in Walvis Bay would be a far better bet. We wanted to see the Welwitscia plants and duly paid for a permit to go there but no one wanted to see it so rather a waste of time finding the location of the place to pay. The plants themselves for non botanists are not very exciting but for myself they were one of the reason why I wanted to go to Namibia.
All in all, apart from the Welwitscias we could easily have given Swakopmind a miss.
Sam's Giardino review
I had been here before,and it wasn't my first choice,it's ok but don't think the food quite comes up to the hyp. room re ok,but the bathroom a bit tired. Breakfast was very good.
You really have to like dogs to stay here,he is not restricted to the non food areas.
Hospitable host and comfortable stay
Great place to stay and Sam is very hospitable and helpful. Clean and comfortable rooms and a very good wine cellar.
We ate in a couple of times and the food was good and reasonably priced.
Sam's Giardino - full of character
Sam is very much the front man of his Giardino, along with Beethoven the dog, and the establishment very much reflects his character. He is extremely welcoming and knowledgeable, and the whole place is infused with a quirky atmosphere, which you will either appreciate or not!
We really enjoyed his company at the bar and at various times during an excellent dinner. The garden is filled with a great selection of plants and has good siting areas if it is warm enough (not in mid-September!). Rooms are good, and there is a lot of very tasteful art and decor around.
The location of Sam's Giardino is perhaps a touch far from the centre of Swakopmund, in one of the streets that can feel a bit like Clacton on an overcast day. But the personality of the place makes it a great place to stay. Sam's employment policies are laudable, too, and are borne out by his welcoming and efficient staff.
Whilst here, we arranged for these travellers to go Kayaking at Pelican Point. They commented:
Playing with seals at Pelican Point
This trip was one of the highlights of our holiday.
Jeanne drove us past the salt pans, the flamingos, jackals and the Mad Max film set to Pelican Point, where we got into our kayaks. Amazingly, the seals along the lagoon love to play with you - swimming under the kayaks, jumping over, or on to, them, somersaulting, and frolicking next to you. It was a unique experience. We saw dolphins too.
Afterwards, we had hearty sandwiches and hot coffee to warm us up.
Sam's Giardino review
Good service. Helpful.Read more about the whole trip
Sam's Giardino review
Charming hotel with a great common area, very decent food and great wine selection. Rooms comfortable but no frills. We had a very pleasant and enjoyable stay and Sam was very helpful. A little far from downtown Swankopmund.Read more about the whole trip