The thought of the best beach vacations conjures visions of long stretches of endless sand, waving palm trees, relaxing massages, and sumptuous comfort food. The only decision to be made is what cocktail (insert your poison of choice here) to toast to the setting sun. If this is your idea of a relaxing holiday experience, then a stay at the Swahili Beach Resort should be at the top of your travel list.
This tropical paradise (I know that is a cliché, but this hotel is the reason that clichés exist!) is an open secret and the perfect place to escape to and rekindle the sunshine in your soul. With tourism opening up on the Kenyan coast, Swahili Beach Resort is the destination of the moment. Not only does it hold an enduring appeal for those looking to enjoy an indulgent, sun-drenched beach break, it is also a favoured weekend get-away for the city folks.
Striking Architecture That Warms Your Heart
From the moment you step into its massive open lobby, you will be embraced by the five-star ambience of the mixture of Swahili architecture and traditional Kenyan hospitality. A cold ‘dawa’ Kenya’s signature welcome drink awaits you. The ambience in the reception waiting area is something out of an Aladdin storybook. Arched doorways, white coral walls, marble archways, cosy palm wood furniture. Its cobalt path leading from the reception to the expansive pool area has now been re-named ‘the most famous street in Diani beach,’ as it has become a common fixture on many Instagram posts.
Be prepared to be captivated by the amount of space at this resort. The sheer abundance of light and openness is refreshing and relaxing; you immediately feel like your vacation has just begun. What is striking about the resort is that it is not interfering with the area’s beauty and landscape. The property is carefully spaced out into individual cottage-like accommodation, surrounded by trees upon trees, making it feel less crowded. If the resort aims to symbolize tranquillity, they have succeeded.
Relaxation permeates every part of the experience
By day you can relax under the shade of the indigenous palm trees that lazily wave their fronds over your sunbed, overlooking the Indian ocean. You will want to treat yourself to a lazy swim in one of its nine cascading pools or sip a long icy drink, or wind-down over a relaxing massage overlooking the ocean. Of course, you could choose to spend the day on the pristine white sand or dip into the clear azure water of the private beach. By night, you could watch the sunset strolling on the beach or relax over a cocktail at the Baharini Beach Bar.
The discreet yet charmingly attentive staff embody the politeness that people from the Kenyan Coast are so famously known for. I promise that by the time you leave, you will know at least half of them by name.
Indulgent Culinary Offerings
Besides the main restaurant, which serves a sprawling buffet of local, continental and Asian meals, there are several dining options to choose from. There is an exclusiveTeppanyaki restaurant that serves decadent seafood and a world-class Indian restaurant, Spice Route, where Chef Pawar demonstrates his culinary prowess mixing traditional and modern Indian dishes.
No shortcuts have been taken in the design and comfort of the accommodation. Every corner feels richly textured but not overdone. And even though the hotel is barely ten years old, it feels like it’s been here forever because of its timeless Swahili architecture and design. There is a range of accommodation to suit different tastes and needs. The rooms are simply breath-taking. With a hint of Arabic opulence, you will feel like royalty upon entering the room. From the décor to the pristine white bed dressings matched with Persian rugs to the hammam style bath tabs, vast enough to enable you to bathe like a queen. Everything is designed to encourage you to relax and just …. breathe.
A glance at the Swahili Beach resort website will reveal just some of the amenities on offer at this resort. The list includes all the basics that you would expect. Still, you can let your kids run wild with the host of activities offered by the resort’s junior club or book them a lesson on marine conservation also available at the resort. If, like me, you like to get an occasional work out while on vacation, then check out the gym – or better still, catch a sunrise run on its coastline.
And finally, the spa is not to be missed. The delightful menu of massages to partake in are ridiculously spoiling yet manage to be organic. Their eco-friendly Divine products make the experience feel heavenly. For those seeking a reclusive experience, did I mention that the spa is strategically situated at the south end of the resort and has a private cascading pool, directly overlooking the ocean.
Insider tip: if you book a spa slot before noon, you get a 20% discount.
Minimum Ecological Impact
It is important to note that the Swahili Beach Resort was built with careful consideration of abundant precious natural resources in the vicinity. For this reason, the most current technology has been used to ensure minimum environmental impact. This proves that luxury does not have to come at a high price for Mother Nature.
So, Where Do You Find This Tropical Paradise?
The Swahili Beach Resort is located on the famous Diani Beach on the South coast of Kenya. The warm Indian Ocean edges this East African country and offers the most amazingly diverse collection of wildlife to the west. It is perfectly possible to combine a safari to the world-famous Maasai Mara Reserve during your beach holiday here.
The excellent airport and road accessibility mean that you can explore the surrounding area. It is packed with so much to discover, like natural wonders, cultural and historical places of interest, water sports, and cosmopolitan food. Or you can relish the tranquillity of the hotels relaxing spaces. In fact, this beautiful beach resort offers something for everybody, from the youngest to the oldest guests.
With the world re-opening to travellers, many people are checking their bucket lists, and dream holiday destinations like the Swahili Beach Resort are increasing in popularity. This beautiful tropical destination is now within reach of many tourists looking for safe, good-value-for-money locations in Africa. Kenya is a beautiful country and deserves a chance to share its wonder and effusive hospitality with you, and you will be rewarded with so much more than a bunch of photographs at the end of it. You cannot return from a place like this the same as when you arrived. It may be the African sunshine, the smiling faces of the Kenyan coastal people, or just something in the air, but it will change you in some way. You deserve the privilege of taking a break from life and hearing the words “karibu nyumbani” “welcome home” as you walk into the utopia that is The Swahili Beach Resort, Diani Beach, Kenya.
PS: this is not a promotion piece, rather a patriotic one, aiming at showcasing the best that my country Kenya has to offer. Stay tuned for more posts inspiring you to travel to magical Kenya when it is safe to do so.
Tips for booking a Swahili beach resort package
- Timing is everything when making your booking. Flexibility with your dates could make a difference between paying $150 and $450
- Book the resort’s full board package, which includes complimentary breakfast, lunch, 4:00 pm tea (yes, we are very Downton Abbey-like in Kenya) and dinner
- Select the rooms that are on the upper floors to make the most of the sea views
- Monkeys will take off with your food or rummage through your room if you leave the doors or windows open. And the stereotype that monkeys are more scared of men than they are women rings true here
- Airport transfers are offered at a cost, as are transfers to Mombasa if you want to catch the train
- You can get around Diani easily in Tuk Tuks which are both affordable and a great way to explore the island
- Pets are not allowed, unfortunately
For more inspiration on visiting this Eastern African paradise check out this youtube video.