“Boutique at its snazziest and jazziest in one of Swakopmund's oldest colonial houses”
When it came to creating the guest bedrooms at Villa Margherita Amelio and Claudine thought big and opted to slot in just 7 generously sized doubles. Each one has enough space for a big sleeping area as well as some kind of sitting area, either within the room or in an adjoining annex. In the main house there are 3 upstairs doubles with showers rather than baths: The Queen, The King, and Romeo and Juliet. Of the 2 downstairs rooms, Eden is a double with shower whilst Adam and Eve is alone in having twin beds and both a bath and separate shower. And to one side of the house in a separate wing (which Claudine calls The Cottage) there are a further 2 suites: Lady Hamilton has a shower room whilst her (appropriate) neighbour Nelson has a bath. As is the case in the public spaces, colour is the chief protagonist with a lively combination of lime green, orange, bordeaux, violet and coral tones in both fabrics and paintings, many of which were created to match the rooms by Amelio. All rooms apart from Adam and Eve have big double beds (some kings, some queens) and whilst most furniture is contemporary and angular there are also antique tables, dressers and chairs, all juxtaposed with maximum aesthetic appeal in mind. Most rooms have parquet floors, a couple are tiled and two carpetted in a neutral beige tone with bright kilims sustaining the keep-it-colourful note. Since our visit, Isotta, Tristano and The Nest have also been added. The paintings and bright palette are also present in Villa M's swish bath and shower rooms. Most have additional cupboard space, a couple are large enough to double up as dressing rooms and all come with a big pile of soft white towels and flannels (which are changed daily), bathrobes, and roiboss shampoo, gel and soap.
The chance to dine in Villa Margherita's restaurant Il Tulipano is one of the best reasons for booking a stay here. Amelio learned to cook at one of Italy's top catering schools and is passionate about food. His culinary aim is to combine the best of local ingredients with the recipes of his home country. And the dining room, with its striped olive green and pale yellow wallpaper, funky lamps and bold artwork feels the perfect place to eat a special meal. Suppers often begin with an aperitif out in the garden or, in the cooler months, beside the fire when Amelio tends to be around to talk you through that evening's menu. Our dinner was amongst the best of our trip through Namibia. A starter of beef carpaccio (Amelio's own) with flaked parmesan was followed by homemade fusilli with fresh salmon and a rich tarragon sauce. Guests always are given a choice of main course which tends to be either fish fresh from local market or some kind of red meat: being in Namibia, it will always be of the best. We chose the fillet of beef which was served with fresh pesto sauce, polenta and pan grilled peppers and aubergine whilst the homemade sorbet which followed was the perfect way to end a memorable meal. And there's a small but tempting choice of South African and Italian wines: we chose a merlot and cabernet Kaapzicht which was fabulous: just ask Amelio for his recommendations if you're in any doubt. You're also guaranteed a great breakfast at Villa Margherita which will be accompanied, like dinner, by some kind of uplifting music of the jazz or classical kind. Guests are individually served by Villa M's uniformed waiting staff. After a fruit salad, juice, a basket of fresh bread and rolls, butter and jams and the very best coffee are brought to your table a cooked breakfast order is taken: it could be a variant on the English theme or, if you prefer, smoked salmon with creamy scrambled eggs.
Claudine and Amelio have a young family of their own and are easy when it comes to children: this is the sort of place where nobody will raise an eyebrow if kids come down to breakfast dressed in their pyjamas. The best rooms for families are Adam and Eve (the twin with a couch) and Eden, which can interconnect; or the massive King suite which has two bedrooms.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)