We drove from the Mowani Camp and after a four hour drive we arrived in Swakopmund nearly at 6:00 pm. We walked over to the Reception, and I cheerfully greeted the woman behind the desk. We apologized for being late, but frankly, I thought the woman’s reception was very cold as she seemed to be in a rush to leave. She walked us to our room and half-heartedly asked if she could help with our luggage.
We visited Namibia the week of Easter, a very busy time of year, and our first choice of accommodations in Swakopmund was the Cornerstone Guesthouse, but it was only available for one night, so we let our tour operator (Island-Safari) book us in the Swakopmund Guesthouse, which happens to be across the street from the pretty Cornerstone Guesthouse.
The guesthouse is situated in the center of Swakopmund, on Moses Garoeb Street, and is only about a five minute walk to the Swakopmund main street, where one finds restaurants, shops, etc… The beach is only two blocks away.
The Swakopmund Guesthouse
The guesthouse exterior is very attractive, reminiscent of a luxurious seaside holiday home. Of course, now the former holiday home has been retrofitted to be an eleven-room plus a suite guesthouse, along with an office/lobby and a breakfast restaurant. Many of the bedrooms face the street, and others face the inner courtyard. The outside of the guesthouse is very inviting, with pretty little courtyards and sitting areas.
Our standard, en-suite bedroom was quite spacious, with a king size bed, and crisp white linens sheets and several pillows. Behind the bed there is a full-wall wallpaper mural of an ocean scene, giving the room a very ocean-like atmosphere.
Room amenities include a flat screen TV, a small refrigerator stocked with cold drinks and water, sold for a nominal fee. There is ample storage for clothes and one does not lack for storage space. The rooms are very clean.
This is a large room, with a separate double vanity area, a separate toilet room, and a very large, walk-in shower, without a door. The lack of a door doesn’t matter because the room is so large, the water doesn’t get out of the shower area. The shower fixtures were quite wonderful, with an overhead shower as well as a hand-held shower.
My biggest complaint was that there was no shampoo or bath soap provided, although a hand-soap dispenser was available in the vanity. Good thing I carried my own supplies.
That evening, we ran into the guide from Nature Friends Safari who was our contact in Namibia, and was staying at the guesthouse. I mentioned the a) disappointing reception and b) and lack of proper shower toiletries, considering the Swakopmund Guesthouse is promoted as an “upmarket” guesthouse.
On the second day our stay, when we returned from our day excursion, we found a shampoo and body soap dispenser rack attached to the wall, with lovely toiletries! How nice, but strange that I had to comment about the lack of shower toiletries and then got them!
The bathrooms are immaculately clean!
After our lukewarm reception the evening of arrival, breakfast time was completely different, and Christianne, the manager, was talking to the guests, and when she saw us gave us a warm welcome and immediately brought hot coffee to our table, and took our hot breakfast order.
The breakfast choices were ample (cold meats, cheeses, cereal, yoghurt and fresh fruits). The hot English breakfast was very good.
We learned that the Swakopmund Guesthouse makes efforts to be an eco-friendly establishment by using solar energy for their hot water, and recycles their grey water for the gardens, etc. ÃƒÆ”Å¡ After all, the desert is on one side of Swakopmund, and the ocean is on the other side. Water is very scarce.
We also learned that the guesthouse manager is family to the gentleman who owns NatureFriends Safari, and before we left the guesthouse, she inspected the vehicle tires, and ensured that our Land Rover (owned by NatureFriends Safari) was outfitted with a second, full-size spare tire. We were grateful for this, because a few days later we had a tire blow-out in the middle of nowhere, and the spare tire located underneath the car’s carriage was very difficult to access; the second spare was a blessing.
To be honest, we didn’t spend a great deal of time in the guesthouse, as we were too busy participating in activities offered in Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.
While the guesthouse is only a few minutes from downtown, it is recommended to drive at night to restaurants and pubs; although, it didn’t seem dangerous. We spent two nights here, and the daily rate for two, including breakfast for two US$120.00. Children stay in the room at an additional rate of US$30.
I would recommend this guesthouse, the rooms are very comfortable, the bathrooms are great, but the management needs to ensure that everything is in place in every room (such as toiletries). The after-hours reception should be friendlier. Breakfast was excellent, and the guesthouse manager, Christianne is a treasure