Swahili Beach Resort Diani, Medina Palms, Hemingways Watamu, Watamu Treehouse, Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge


13 Unique Hotels in Kenya – Visit Kenya

4. Swahili Beach Resort, Diani

Swahili Beach Resort, Diani - 13 Unique Hotels in Kenya

It is a tale as old as time, standing by the seaside with the blue ocean and blue sky meeting at the horizon, that the beach is many people’s idea of paradise. To smell the salt water, hear the waves crashing against the shoreline and enjoy the sunshine is a bliss we hanker after. Which is why, many of us are bent on the road that takes to the beach. While the airports in Mombasa, Malindi, Ukunda and Lamu help to increase accessibility to Kenya’s beaches, travellers also get here en-masse by rail and by road. The geographic distribution of Kenya’s two main principal attractions, wildlife safari and beach holidays, reflects the nature of tourism development. Although beach tourism is a fairly recent phenomenon compared to safari, its uptake has been no less than great. At Diani, along a 22 kms road is Africa’s Leading Beach Destination 2014 through to 2019 by the World Travel Awards. More than any other place in Kenya, Diani Beach Road has the greatest concentration of holiday resorts and its large number of hotels makes it a guaranteed success for local and international trippers as a sun-and-sand-lover paradise. With a mixture of traditional Arab and Swahili decor as well as a modern touch, each room at Swahili Beach Resort offers breathtaking views across the gardens, cascading pools and to the Indian Ocean. “The rooms feature carved niches and are exquisitely furnished with Swahili furniture and decor. Traditional culture and contemporary contriving come together for your luxury”. If the above were not sufficient, there’s the extensive pool with 10 tiers.


5. Medina Palms, Watamu

Medina Palms Resort - 13 Unique Hotels in Kenya

This Resort is a wonderful place for coastal elation. Within the 7-acres property, the elementals vary from well-planned strips of palms, picture postcard coastal apartments and generous walkways, all folded in with the long-drawn fetching pool cutting down the middle, almost from end to end. Accommodation is in a choice of: 1 or 2 bedroomed suites; 2-bedroomed penthouses; or 3-bedroomed ocean lodges all with separate living areas and kitchens. Penthouses and ocean lodges also have private rooftop terraces with plunge pools. Highly acclaimed and rated 5-stars, Medina Palms also offers luxury beach villas which are ideal for families or groups of friends ranging from 3 to 4 bedrooms which include separate living areas, kitchen and rooftop terrace with a plunge pool. “Medina Palms’ architecture follows the lines of a Moroccan medina with a waterway running through the entire property from the entrance, through the Medina and Palmerie areas down towards the ocean. It’s committed to using the latest green technology to promote sensitive land use whilst maintaining the integrity of the local marine environment of the ocean; working hand in hand with local conservation and wildlife organisations with the key goal on alternative energy systems like solar and wind power, water recycling and refuse management”.


6. Hemingways Watamu

Watamu is Kenya’s most celebrated game fishing destination with almost seven decades as a paradise for big-fish anglers.  The waters off Watamu and Malindi beaches are proper “sailfish country” where E. Hemingway pursued his choice sport in the 1930’s.  Up until the 1980’s, big quantities of Barracuda, Yellowfin, Dolphin, Kingfish, Sailfish, Shark, Wahoo and Trevally were regularly caught. Watamu often appears stuck in yester’s vision of tomorrow. The native fishing ngalawa boats remaining a common sight. Time warp! Still set out as a sleepy fishing paradise. Watamu of the 1930’s may have inspired the idyllic paradise essence, complete with pleasant ocean-facing resorts, but the luxury that was cutting-edge when Hemingway came out to holiday here is no match for today’s excellence in lodging options. Ensuring that Watamu does not fall behind the hospitality curve, investors were quick to respond to the rapidly growing needs of travellers by making considerable investments in infrastructure and varied resorts to meets the needs of different travellers. Although Hemingway Watamu is not a fairly recent phenomenon, having catered to its guests for over 30 years, it has overtime had mega-makeovers to keep it updated. The resort is pleasing in every respect, drawing inspiration for the Swahili for both the exterior and interior of the lodging complexes. It has great option too: 1,2.3 or 4 bedroom ocean facing apartments; and deluxe ocean facing rooms, designed and finished to the highest degree of modern coastal luxury. Fishing is still a big thrill for visitors here as well as sunset dhow cruise on Mida Creek and playing a round of golf at close by Vipingo Ridge. Hemingways Watamu is found along Turtle Bay Road nearby Watamu village. Watamu lies 121 kms north of Mombasa City.


7. Watamu Treehouse

Watamu Treehouse - 13 Unique Hotels in Kenya

Although Watamu and Malindi are sometimes put under one bracket, they are in fact two totally different regions.  Watamu covers the regions of Blue Lagoon, Turtle-Bay and Mida Creek inside Watamu Marine National Park, and Malindi Beach sits 23 kms northerly in the northeast corner of Malindi Marine National Park and Reserve. Among the extra-ordinary resorts at Watamu, widely-lauded as one of the best experiences in Kilifi County, is the twin two-storey Watamu Tree House. Located within a sightly forest and overlooking the ocean, “the first version of the tree house was created in 1992, as a single-room home, where the Krystall family came for holidays”. The present towers were conceptualized in 2001 by Nani Croze of Kitengela Glass House. In her distinctive signature style, Croze added quirky, yet elegant, coloured glass throughout the towers. An open plan policy carries throughout its rooms, the roof-top viewing decks looking out over the jungle and beautiful beach. It is found off Turtle Bay Road in Watamu.


8. Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge

Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge - 13 Unique Hotels in Kenya

The dusty but scenic procession of 23 kms from Chyulu Gate eventually reaches Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge. In-spite of it being one of the oldest safari lodges ever set-up in a park in Kenya, and the first hotel establishment in Tsavo West National Park, the world-famous 56-rooms Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge is still remarkably one of most revered safari lodges in Kenya.  Its design, exceptional hospitality, coupled with its nuance of fine views all add up to a top-rated safari experience. The Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge enjoys superb views over its own whooping waterhole, Chyulu Hills, the snowy dome of Mount Kilimanjaro and the plains of Tsavo West.  The Lodge is also situated just a short distance from the fairytale Mzima Springs, Chaimu Crater and Five Sister’s Hills.  From here, travellers may also explore Ngulia Hills and the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary. From Mtito Andei Gate, the Lodge is found 38 kms away via Nhtongoni-Kambu Road.

One of the prominent features of Kilaguni is its splendid verandah, on which visitors can sit all day and watch big and small game of all kinds coming to drink at waterholes in the front of the lodge. The verandah looks over the Ol Turesh Valley and up to Mount Kilimanjaro, framed on the right by the Chyulu Hills, and on the left by Ngulia Range.

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