A warm family environment with extra touches
by Ron Swilling
When three people with architectural and guiding experience join forces to create a guesthouse, you can wager that they have thought of everything to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
Jean and Richard Downing, and Jean’s brother, Paul Liechti, combined forces to open Sandfields Guesthouse in Swakopmund, utilising Jean’s hospitality know-how, her and Paul’s years of travel experience while touring the continent, and Richard’s knowledge of architecture. The result is a residential house converted into five rooms (two suitable for families) that have stone fireplaces with rosewood lintels, laminated wooden floors, flat-screen television sets (DStv), coffee stations, safes, blow-dryers, hot-water bottles and tiled en-suite bathrooms with Oregon pine counters. Off-road parking and its position in a quiet residential area two blocks from Strand Road and the sea, make Sandfields not only well-organised, comfortable and attractive, but convenient too.
The guesthouse provides a homely environment where guests have the option of privacy. A lounge with a fireplace makes a good meeting place, and a feast is laid out in the breakfast room in the morning, offering a mouth-watering array of food. A state-of-the-art fruit salad with strawberries, kiwi fruit, paw-paw, plums, mint leaves and an assortment of nuts and seeds to sprinkle on top, is a breakfast treat. A choice of breads, yoghurts, cereals and eggs, adds to the selection.
Jean offers an optional home-cooked meal for long-staying or corporate guests and a snack menu (if pre-booked) for summer holidaymakers, while Richard treats seasonal guests to a coastal activity which he enjoyed with his father when growing up in Swakopmund, adding a local and down-to-earth element to their visit. He takes guests to dive for rock lobster and collect mussels on the beach, cooking up the fresh feast in the evenings. When available, he brings in fresh snoek, smoking it to add to the delicious seafood platter.
Jean and Richard offer a warm family environment and quality guesthouse with all the mod cons and facilities. They provide information on the area, and assist with reservations for Swakopmund activities, offer a wireless Internet facility and a laundry service. The extra touches, the fresh flowers, friendliness, flexibility, fruit bowls temptingly placed around the guesthouse and biscuit jars (rusks made by Nicholas’s grandma), make the Sandfields visit a pleasurable and special Swakopmund stay.
This article appeared in the Dec ‘09/Jan ‘10 edition of Travel News Namibia.