Last November, I enjoyed a fabulous holiday in Namibia. You can read my trip reports here:
- Review: Concorde Room at London Heathrow Airport
- Review: British Airways Boeing 777 First Class from London to Johannesburg
- Review: Airlink E190 Business Class from Johannesburg to Windhoek
- Review: &Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge
- Review: Zannier Hotels Sonop
- Review: Zannier Hotels Omaanda
- Review: Little Kulala by Wilderness Safaris
- Review: Giardino Boutique Hotel, Swakopmund (today)
- Review: Damaraland Camp by Wilderness Safaris
- Review: Hoanib Skeleton Coast by Wilderness Safaris
- Review: Onguma The Fort (Etosha National Park)
Today: Review of Giardino Boutique Hotel, Swakopmund (Namibia)
During my holiday in Namibia, I stayed one night in the funky town of Swakopmund. Situated centrally along the Atlantic coastline of Namibia, Swakopmund is the main town through which most tourists traveling in Namibia have to pass on their journey, as the town links travel routes from Etosha National Park in the north, the capital Windhoek in the east and the famous dunes of Sossusvlei in the south. So, it’s an ideal place to relax after a few exciting days in the desert and wash off the sand.
The charming town retains a strong German flavor – from its cobbled, palm-lined streets and picturesque buildings to typical German restaurants and pubs. The town has become Namibia’s leading adrenaline destination and offers a wide range of activities like sandboarding, quad biking and 4×4 driving in the dunes. If that’s not your cup of tea, you can also enjoy boat excursions to look for seals and dolphins or simply sample some of the finely-brewed local beer and renowned Swakopmund fare such as fish, lobster and the utterly delicious Swakopmund oysters.
Swakopmund is home to only one 4-star hotel (the Strand Hotel), which is located on the waterfront and boasts modern rooms, high speed WiFi (a rarety in Namibia) and the best two restaurants in town. If you like luxury (and chances are since you’re following this blog), then the Strand Hotel is your best option in Swakopmund. The city also features a range of guest homes and boutique hotels, and since I was only staying for one night (with late arrival and early departure), I decided to opt for one of the more charming hotels in town: the Giardino Boutique Hotel (recommended to me by Wilderness Safaris).
This review is not in the same style as my other hotel reviews since Giardino Boutique Hotel is not a real luxury hotel nor a destination hotel, but it’s a great spot for a stayover in Swakopmund nonetheless. The property is set back 10 city blocks from the beach, and offers an enclosed and secured parking (which is great when you are traveling with a rental car in Namibia). It offers modern rooms, which come in several categories. During my visit, I stayed in a family room, which featured two semi-separate bedroom areas, a sitting corner, and a shared open-layout bathroom.
There is a nice, enclosed garden with a small heated swimming pool (open all year round). Breakfast is served in a light-filled dining room and consists of various homemade specialties, including local fruits and whole-wheat bread. I did like my stay at Giardino Boutique Hotel and I was welcomed perfectly by Roswitha and her team and told to make myself at home which I did. There were some odd things about the hotel though, such as the open-layout bathroom (with the wall of the toilet not reaching up the ceiling) as well as the fact that there was no staff at night in the hotel (leaving the few guests inside the hotel on their own). Also, the property’s website lists a dining option on site but the restaurant was not open on the night of my stay (not really a problem as Swakopmund offers plenty of dining venues).