Firstly, this is just an ugly hostel, not a hotel. The place is damped and moldy. The employees looked like they would rather be dead than there, and the receptionist was the rudest, most miserable person we encountered in the whole of Namibia. The owner - Sam- looked like he had not taken a shower or washed his clothes in months. Most of the time we felt like we were intruding when using the common areas, as it was not unusual to find Sam sleeping -mouth open and snoring- in the small living room which one has to cross when going to the reception.
We were there for three nights and every night we killed a cockroach. There was a dental floss in the bathroom floor when we checked in and it was still there when we left -it probably is still there today!- We could not leave this horrible place as it was the end of Easter week and everywhere else was full and so were the hotels and campsites in our next destinations.
Breakfast was horrible, flies everywhere and the two huge dogs, although very pretty, were always in the dining room –during breakfast and diner as well- harassing you for food. They will just sit next to you salivating, coming to the very edge of the table. This dogs were as tall as the tables so it was like they were sitting having breakfast/diner with you. It rained everyday, so you can only imagine the smell of these dogs and therefore, the smell in the enclosed dinning room.
One good thing, Sam really knows about wines, but the wine tasting can be skipped; Sam does not make it fun and enjoyable. It is more like a lecture with a very serious, stone-faced teacher.
We know this is Africa, but in our 20 days visit to Namibia, we stayed at much cleaner, friendlier and cheaper places, these including campsites across Namibia.
Sam's Giardino should not be considered a hotel, and should not be listed in the "high end, top end” sections in Loney Planet, Footprint, ...
There are nicer, cheaper and cleaner places in Swakopmund.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Enjoy the Giardino Experience surrounded by an intimate atmosphere and creative spirit - from the wine cellar filled with the Cape`s finest and candle-light gourmet dinners to libraries of books and travel info. Our tranquil gardens invite you to relax over sundowners, after exhilarating excursions, while our comfort rooms decorated in mostly natural materials ensure that you feel pampered even in your sleep. The Giardino is a haven to those who love all the good things in life ... and Bernese Mountain Dogs. ... more less
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