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“A pretty 19th century styled guest house with a not so pretty 19th century owner”

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The Secret Garden Guesthouse
Ranked #34 of 48 Swakopmund B&B and Inns
windhoek namibia
Level Contributor
45 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“A pretty 19th century styled guest house with a not so pretty 19th century owner”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 15, 2013

I would not accuse the descendants of the German colonial community of Swakopmund, Namibia, or being conservative, but let's just say that quite a few of them seem to believe that Bismarck is still the German Chancellor, and some of them, unfortunately, own guest houses. I was reminded of this when I was booked into the Secret Garden for a night. It was the night before Nelson Mandela's funeral. I asked if I could get up early in the morning, go into the lounge and turn the TV on. This was rudely refused, but the door was open, and I went in anyway. Around 8am, two of us were quietly watching the moving funeral service when the owner marched in, said it was 'extremely irritating' and switched the channel. I did not bother with breakfast, and checked out as soon as possible. However, that said, if you can cope with the management attitude and politics, the guest house is in an attractive traditional style, with a secluded garden, with off street parking and centrally situated.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank bill1942
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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117 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    10
See reviews for
22
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
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English first
Polokwane, South Africa
Level Contributor
108 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 20, 2013

We arrived from a very long 2 day drive from JHB to Swakopmund; we were exhausted and we had a two little Jack Russell's with us; we were welcomed very warmly and shown to our room; which had everything we needed to feel at home. The owners were extremely welcoming and accommodating because we wanted to eat outside so our doggies could sit with us, the specially laid the table outside for us; our little female was shivering because she was not used to the climate; the owner went into her apartment and came out with a doggie coat for her, and put it on her so she could warm up; where else would you get such fantastic hospitality? The breakfast was great & the coffee was perfect. We will most definitely recommend it to anyone. We were so central we left our vehicle parked in the parking and walked to where ever we needed to be in Swakopmund. I will stay there again.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Cherie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2013

We stayed in this B&B for 2 nights. Upon arrival we were greeted by a very unpleasant owner and informed of the strict rules of the guesthouse within the first 5 minutes. Guests are not even allowed to take their keys with them when leaving the property. The rooms are very basic and laminated signs against the walls warn guests of different things, e.g. ensure to lock valuables in the cupboard as the guesthouse does not take responsibility for loss of valuables from rooms. Being said, the last morning we went for breakfast and locked our rooms, hanging up the keys as we were told. Upon my return, my door’s lock would not work properly and I couldn't get back into my room. The owner’s wife rudely insisted that I explain how I managed to break the lock and wanted to know why I would lock my door. While I tried to explain about all the signs and my valuables, she turned her back and walked away. She even came back a second time and again asked how I locked it and how I tried to unlock it – implying that I must have broken it. The locksmith ensured them that it was a certain type of lock that breaks very easily and that it was no one’s fault. I did not get an apology or any sympathy while waiting for 40 minutes outside my door. I would not recommend this guesthouse to anyone, it was incredibly disappointing and a bad experience overall.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank 454larah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Swakopmund hotels

Level Contributor
29 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2013 via mobile

Stayed 2 nights in this B&B. it is good value for money with average room, wifi, parking and breakfast. There is also a nice garden. Owners are a bit typical but not unfriendly. It is close to restaurants. I would visit again

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Hooglanderveen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
107 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 27, 2013

simple accomodation, room not so big , but a large beds. very good breakfas also per european people ( whit a selection of sweetness ). in the bath there are a hairdresser that is inusual in namibia lodge .good service of laundry all in one day !

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank filofilo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huesca, Spain
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 21, 2013

The secret garden is a very nice place, very beautiful and relaxing, but it is too rigid with the rules. For example, we arrived at 13.00 am and nobody attended us and there was a paper in the door telling that it was not possible to do the check in until two. I think that this is not very hospitable, because although the room could be not prepare, we would have liked to leave our luggage or our car in the parking. During the breakfast you cannot sit where you want, you have to sit where the owner say with the people that she likes and, well, I would have liked to have more intimacy.
And well, some things like that...
Besides, we had very cold at night in the room!
Nice place but we didn't feel very comfortable there.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Delialacasta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SecretGarden36, Owner at The Secret Garden Guesthouse, responded to this review, August 24, 2013
There is an engraved notice on the door that reception is closed between 13h00 and 14h00. This is because the staff go off duty and management takes a lunch break.
The breakfast accommodation is organised in a way to suite most guests, it is impossible to seat all guests at their own table. Guests are always introduced to other guests sharing the same table.
Your visit was during winter , there are heaters in the room and plenty of extra blankets.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
52 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2013

Great spot to spend a few days! Not really sure what others are complaining about! Best wifi of our trip to Africa! Excellent location, great breakfast, secure parking, clean rooms, hot water, great laundry service. Not much more that we could ask for.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ottawaone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Secret Garden Guesthouse

Property: The Secret Garden Guesthouse
Address: 36 Bismarck Street | P.O.Box 2609, Swakopmund 9000, Namibia
Location: Namibia > Erongo Region > Swakopmund
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #34 of 48 B&Bs / Inns in Swakopmund
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — The Secret Garden Guesthouse 3*
Number of rooms: 11
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The Secret Garden Guesthouse Hotel Swakopmund

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