Sam's Giardino - a trip down memory lane in photos and text  
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A Giardino Trip Down Memory Lane

1998 - 2003

It all started in 1998, after my, Samuel's, move to Namibia and a year of building and converting a former residential home in Swakopmund-Kramersdorf - Sam's Giardino was opened as one of the first small yet upmarket and environment-conscious  guesthouses in town. We offered employment conditions in line with European standards, which attracted local staff willing to uphold our visions through loyalty and ongoing training.
This was a new concept in Swakopmund, if not in Namibia, suspiciously eyed by fellow hoteliers but welcomed not only by foreign tourists but also by Namibia's budding tour operators.

Namibia was independent for only 8 years, the Internet - only in existence for a short while yet - was off to shaky beginnings in the country, and an ever-growing number of individual travellers had started exploring our far-flung part of Africa.
Self-drive tours had just come into fashion, and many visitors were looking for "something different" in overnight places too, something that matched the surprises and freedom they found in Namibia, something that allowed them to continue taking a complete break from every-day stresses at home and healing of mind, body and soul that they had experienced in Namibian nature, before they reached Swakopmund.

It did not take long for Sam's Giardino and the Giardino Experience to find acceptance in the market place and to achieve high occupancy of our initially 10 rooms.

The number and quality of services we provided right from the start remained one of the outstanding features of our guest house over the years, as did our breakfast buffets and swiss-namibian inspired dinner menus, as well as the choices of wine and activity options we offer, since inaugurating Sam's Giardino.

Sam's Giardino advertising 1998
Our first 'broad-band' advertising image

2004 - 2009

Phase 2 of the guest house's development started within just a couple of years, covering all the extensions and upgrades we had hoped to make, right from the beginning. These included closing the 'gap' between our two buildings with an enlarged restaurant, a walk-in wine cellar, and turning a secluded lounge into the connecting hub where guests could meet for socialising and TV watching, for browsing through books and videos about their travel destinations, for a chat and a drink, and much more.

Building a professional wine storage, getting state-of-the-art wine coolers, upgrading guest rooms, enlarging our libraries of books, videos, and travel info, buying an empty plot behind us for a larger and more secure car park, implementing a sophisticated computer network, converting the bar into a cosy place with another lounge on top, adding art works to the decor, building a gazebo and creating more intimate garden areas were just a few of the things happening in subsequent years.

While others just kept expanding, due to the growth in tourism activities in Namibia, and replacing where necessary, we at Sam's Giardino took the decision to limit our growth in bed/room numbers and carried on with making improvements to our guest experience and also increasingly invested in the professional development of our staff team.

We'll tell you more in pages to follow.


Sam's Giardino 1998
Sam's Giardino 1998

Sam's Giardino 1998/99
These photos come from our first website, in their original size! It seems that nothing much happened via Internet back then anyway ...
The guest rooms and the restaurant were just built but not yet linked to the main building that we had bought with the grounds.

Sam's Giardino 1998Sam's Giardino 1998

Our standard guest rooms and the bar looked like this...and dining took place upstairs

Sam's Giardino 1998
Sam's Giardino 1998

Our garden still looked rather empty although fish pond & bridge were already built in Phase 1.

Little changed over the next 4-5 years except that everything kept growing: the number of guests, garden plants, and wine & dinner menus.
In 2003, Inge Ohm took over our website and marketing, and with her came the first Sony digital camera that produced photos of max.1280x1024 pixels ... see below.


More Giardino photos from yesteryear
Pages 1 / 2 / 3 ...

 

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Sam's Giardino 2003 Sam's Giardino 2003 Sam's Giardino 2003

Left: The Sam's Giardino garden in 2003, no gazebo yet, only deck chairs, and Einstein in the prime of his life
Middle: Our Honeymoon Room in 2003, with a king-size bed
Right: Garden view in 2003 ... we can hardly believe how small the palm trees still were back then

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