Old-fashioned comfort at the coast
by Ron Swilling
This old, solid family home in Lüderitz Street, Swakopmund, was let for 12 years after the Marsden children grew up and moved out of the house. Elke and Roy Marsden then decided to retire and reclaim their house, refurbishing it to create an attractive guesthouse to provide them with a small income in their later years.
They converted the old 1952 house into six en-suite double rooms and a family room. The interior was transformed with imported mahogany cupboards, extra-length beds, headboards, side and dressing tables, hand-woven cotton curtains and richly coloured Persian carpets. The Central Guest House opened its doors in November 2007. The Marsdens felt it important to create a relaxed atmosphere, but didn’t want to compromise on quality. Elke describes how much they enjoyed converting their house into a guesthouse and says that when choosing crockery and linen, they always opted for quality.
The Marsden’s hobby proved to be more successful than they had ever imagined, and they felt that it was once again time to retire. So they sold the guesthouse to Monica and Jockel Grüttemeyer from Tracks and Trails, who took over ownership of the business as from 15 June 2010. The Grüttemeyers decided to keep the guesthouse as it was, appreciating the unique style of the house.
Understated yet elegant
Centrally located, the guesthouse is within easy walking distance from shops and restaurants, and the secure parking facility allows guests to park their cars for the duration of their stay, using their vehicles only at night and when venturing beyond walking distance of the guesthouse. Guests are provided with a remote-control button and their own set of keys, allowing them to come and go as and when they please.
Central Guesthouse gives their visitors a healthy breakfast with home-baked whole-wheat bread and cake, a tasty selection of cold meats and cheeses, stewed prunes, yoghurt and fruit salad, as well as a cooked breakfast.
Besides the understated yet elegant wooden furniture, the rooms have flat-screen television sets with a DStv selection. A fridge outside the rooms has an honesty bar, stocked with beer, wine and cold drinks, and a cupboard stocked with tea and coffee. As the interior of the house is a non-smoking area, an outside sitting area provides a smoking and meeting place. An in-house laundry offers a washing service, and guests have access to Wi-Space via the Internet.
The double-storey house, although having a modern stone-clad entrance and all the necessary modern conveniences for guests, radiates a settled, old-fashioned atmosphere. Everything is well thought out, well placed and in good condition. The Oregon pine floors in the lounge and dining room with their period light fittings, pressed ceilings and cornices, merge with the Persian rugs, the thick curtains and 320-year-old teak antique kist, to exude a feeling of peace, order and well-being.
This article appeared in the Dec ‘10/ Jan ‘11 edition of Travel News Namibia.