Reviews of Villa Margherita
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Villa Margherita review
Excellent friendly service.Read more about the whole trip
Villa Margherita review
Huge Excellent room - very good breakfast.
Easy access to Swakop highlights.
Over fussy - arrival routine wasn't really what you needed after a long drive - a shower would have been more welcome.
Service a little too earnest/over the top. Hard sell of Health Spa services a bit wearing.
3 nights in Swakop probably too much on the itinerary.
Cold and damp!
QUAINT WARM AND FRIENDLY GUEST HOUSE
ONE OF THE BEST FILLET STEAKS I HAVE EVER HAD.
SERVICE EXCELLENT PLUS
Lovely guesthouse in central Swakopmund
Extremely friendly- really helpful and enthusiastic staff and a very comfortable room with private balcony. We didn't have dinner here but they were happy to book a table at The Tug (very good) and we were amused that the reservation was in the name of our room (Romeo and Juliet!).
Also ate at Erich's just down the road, which was also excellent.
A really fun place to stay.
Expert Africa arranged a trip to Sandwich Harbour from Swakopmund. These travellers commented:
We had high expectations as we'd done a similar trip three years ago and this was even better. Berger was helpful, informative and a good host. Highlights of the trip were:
- Driving along the narrow strip between the dunes and the ocean which disappears at high tide,
- The climb up the dunes at Sandwich Harbour and the view of the bay,
- Driving through the dunes on the way back and sliding down the roaring dunes.
- The sightings of springbok and a pair of black backed jackals.
Lunch of springbok lasagna was excellent. We loved the red colours of some of the sand (garnet granules we understand) and the feeling of emptiness.
A truly memorable experience. We loved it.
Villa Margherita review
An enjoyable if quirky hotel
The visit to Sandwich Harbour was brilliant--great dunes and scenery. Kayaking with seals was outstanding
Villa Margherita review
Despite a welcome on our arrival, the service thereafter was adequate. The rooms, although large, were lacking in facilities.
We cannot really comment on the food, as we only had breakfast.
Whilst here, we organised a day trip to Sandwich Harbour for these travellers. They commented:
This was an excellent trip, and we learned a lot. To be recommended! Our guide was Ernst and he was exceptionally good - articulate, faultless driving around the dunes, overall knowledge of the environment and road building on the shoreline.
Villa Margherita review
All the staff were exceptionally attentive and welcoming. Nothing appeared to be too much trouble.
The room/suite was very spacious and comfortable with luxury toiletries plus a TV. Laundry was returned the same day and was the best of all the laundry facilites of the whole trip.
Although there was no tea/coffee making facilities it was only a few paces to the main house and they were more than happy to provide drinks as and when asked for.
Suggestions for activities were provided. Bearing in mind we had prebooked a trip we wanted to ensure that any other activity we did would not replicate that. The staff went out of thier way to make sure this wouldn't happen and arranaged a boat trip which was excellent.
The first night we decided to eat at the Villa. As it turned out we were the only guests eating in that evening. This could have been a loney experience but the staff made it an enjoyable experience with excellent food, good wine and a pleasant atmosphere which made for a special meal. Breakfast each day was good, nicely presented and a good choice.
Being in a town made a change from the lodges and provided some shopping opportunities that weren't really available elsewhere. Gave us an opportunity to see a different aspect of Namibian life.
Whilst here, we organised a day-trip to Sandwich Harbour for these guests. They commented about this:
We enjoyed this trip immensely. Ernst the guide was exceptional as a guide and host - he made the day. We couldn't have had a better guide and he provided a very enjoyable lunch and interesting background information on Namibia as a whole. He went out of his way to ensure we saw Snadwich Bay, digging away sand so we could get through whereas some other guides decided it was too much like hard work and returned home.
We highly recommend the Turnstone tour and particularly Ernst.
Good, bad and ugly at Villa Margherita
During our stay at Swakopmund we experienced highs and lows of our trip within one day. As for Villa Margherita, it provided comfortable lodging (well up to expectations for those seeking only a good night's sleep and a leisurely breakfast), but we experienced shortcomings in hospitality in other respects.
Villa Margherita is an old colonial house converted into a hotel with some charm, about 5 minutes walk from the town centre. We were allocated the “King” room - an enormous, generally well-equipped suite, which comprised a spacious en-suite double bedroom (though rather dimly lit), a second double bedroom and an adjoining lounge. Neither of the latter two rooms were needed or used by us, but we appreciated the gesture. There were other bedrooms within the main house, but we gained the impression that most fellow guests were using the more compact, modern rooms available in a recently built detached wing in the pleasant back garden. The hotel had been well modernized, providing, for example, free internet access to its guests, but, curiously, as described below, only rudimentary telephone facilities.
The hotel supervisor was welcoming. She turned out to be good with routine affairs, but either unimaginative or over-constrained by process when it came to matters of initiative. We gained our first inkling of this when we discussed our need to depart early on our first morning, in order to reach a kayaking rendezvous at Walvis Bay by 7.30am. She gave us to understand that it was impossible for us to take breakfast before 7am – even if this involved only cereal or other non-cooked food. We were not even offered a cold take-out. In the event, we took a chance, went down to the breakfast room at 6.45am and found a serving maid able to provide us with bread-rolls and a hot drink, which we bolted down before setting off at 7am.
We had a delightful day, kayaking among seals and dolphins in the morning, followed by an excursion to Sandwich Harbour in the afternoon. On our way back to the hotel from Walvis Bay, we stopped to take a look at Bird Island (a large artificial platform for collecting guano from resident pelicans, flamingo, seagulls and other birds.) This necessitated leaving the car unattended at a lonely parking area just above the beach, some 100m off the main road to Swakopmund. Our guard was down and we committed the cardinal sin of leaving our rucksack in the passenger compartment of the locked car. On return within 10 minutes, we found a rear window smashed and our belongings stolen. (We later learned that this location was notorious for such crime - with perpetrators hiding in the nearby dunes to await their opportunity).
Back at the hotel, minus ready cash and stolen cellphone, we needed phone facilities to report the car damage to the car-hire firm and to stop our stolen credit/debit cards. Our room had no telephone and we asked if we could use the hotel equipment to report our problems. The supervisor took us to a phone in the dining room, where we had to carry out the calls in the hearing of some dozen hotel-guests eating their dinner (an experience perhaps as irritating or uncomfortable for them as it was for us). She went off, but soon returned to hover over us with a long face and a silent wringing of hands – concerned, as it turned out, that we were making unexpected calls to the UK card companies, which she would have to account for. We reassured her, on completing our conversations, that we would pay for the calls, whereupon she left beaming. Subsequently, we were charged N$225, at N$15 per minute – the latter justifiable, perhaps, if the hotel had invested in a convenient phone system for its guests, but substantially over-priced when compared to the overseas call rates and relative privacy of public call-boxes just down the street.
Our experience of dining at the hotel was limited, though our second breakfast was fine. For our first evening we found that one had to choose from the dinner menu several hours in advance, in order (we were told) that fresh ingredients could be purchased. On this basis, Anni had an unremarkable vegetarian meal. I was still dealing with the mussels from Sossusvlei (discussed elsewhere), so ordered nothing and ate little. For our second evening, reluctant to engage with the choose-in-advance system and, in any case, tired with our experience of the dining room and its phone, we crossed the road to eat tasty, very reasonably priced food at a nearby Mexican restaurant, named Three Namigos.
Expert Africa comments
Expert Africa forwarded these travellers comments to Villa Margherita who thanked the guests for their feedback, and apologized that they did not like their room.
With regards to the early breakfast, staff at the hotel cannot work earlier than 06:30 since no taxis operate before then and the manager does not want the girls walking to work alone from the township. Therefore no staff are available for a 06:30 breakfast, but if guests wish to eat something slightly before 7, the hotel will do what they can to help.
Villa Margherita decided a while back not to have phones in the rooms, mainly due to the cost, but also because most travellers have a mobile with them. They therefore provide cordless phones and free internet, where guests are welcome to use skype.
Villa Margherita are sorry that the guests were not so keen on their food. The hotel buys their food freshly each day and so guests must order in advance. If they prefer, there is a choice of many restaurants within easy walking distance.
villa margherita - an oasis of tranquility
exceptionally warm welcome by beautifully friendly people. incredibly helpful and catered to all of our needs and desires (booking restaurants, early breakfast, laundry etc).
would highly recommend if travelling to swapomund.
Whilst here, we arranged a Walvis Bay Pelican Point kayaking excursion for these travellers. They commented:
kayaking with jeanne is a must.
a most magical experience which was a definite highlight of our holiday. Jeanne is an amazing, passionate, welcoming and enthusiastic host. highly, highly, highly recommend
The room was ok but there was no welcome basket of fruit nor any the next day either. Couldn't open the rather dirty blinds so had to have the light on all the time.
Felt it was a bit of a let down compared with what they sat about themselves.