Hotel Raider (Diani Beach, Kenya)

En route to my volunteering placement in Kenya I was told that I'd be staying with a family in the sunny coastal town of Diani, which is 30km to the south of Mombasa city. Diani is home to Diani Beach, the No. 1 beach in Kenya visited by tourists aplenty. Perched on the exotic Indian Ocean, Diani's paradisical white sand and palm trees prompted lots of luxury hotels resorts to be built in the area.


Living only 2 minutes away from the beach, I figured I would check these hotels out with my volunteer chums. What started as a modest, touristy look-around evolved into covert jacuzzi op's, undercover sunbathing missions and bogus wealthy personas. In reality we were pretty skint, though it was nice to spend a few hours each day living like the other half!


We became Hotel Raiders - raiding 5* luxury hotel resorts all along the 10km-long Diani coast.

Boy did we see some gorrrrgeous places!!!

Here are my top 5 picks, in reverse order (leaving the best until last!):

5th PLACE - KASKAZI RESORT

Me and my Scottish lassie, Kerris, breezed through the gates looking swank, without a smile or making eye contact. Nailed the 'posh twat' look.

We were suddenly belittled by a gigantic thatched hut that housed the hotel reception - polished floors, mahogany lounge furniture and even a library!



From the reception, an arched corridor led you past ponds inhabited by freckled catfish, while tiny buttercup-yellow birds darted overhead.


The hotel offered small pockets of lounging spaces, including this particular chillax zone, which was situated by a waterfall that conveniently ran through the hotel.


Then we arrived at the pool, and it was a totally different place. The place was rammed with chavvy kids playing water polo while their mums watched on, soggy fags in their mouths and soggy tits on their hips. What is more, the beach was a tragedy. The white, powdery sand was replaced with a rough concrete slope. The magic was destroyed. It was so close! This is why Kaskazi Resort didn't go any further in my ranks! Tisk...

4th PLACE - LEOPARD BEACH RESORT

Once again, me and Kerris were hitting the hotels. Breezed past reception - nicely done! Top wankers.

We wandered through a maze of staircases and seating areas to find a cute little beach being hugged by a rocky cove. And they had volleyball! 


Unfortunately the afternoon storm was coming in. After 20 minutes of torrential rain, the  angry storm clouds were gone and it was all forgotten about. The sun danced out once again and the pool exploded into heavenly cyan oasis.


I dropped my bags immediately and was sat having a back massage under the chopping force of the waterfalls.



The place was gorgeous, but it was so easy to get lost! There were random, confusing restaurants and lounges all over the place and it was a bit of a headache finding the pool. The beaches were pretty small and everywhere was quite secluded. Seclusion is a great thing when you're on holiday indeed, but I couldn't help feeling cramped here. One majorly cool thing they offer, however, is an adults-only beach! 'No Children Allowed', boasts one sign, alongside an inviting stairway carved into a cliff-face that leads down to a private beach. That's my kind of resort! 

3rd PLACE - DIANI REEF RESORT

Our little gang headed along to Diani Reef Resort. Our host dad told us great things about it, including how the reception was built above a gigantic aquarium and had a glass floor. That was kinda true, however it turned out to be a dimly-lit, murky goldfish pond crammed with algae. Oh well - push through!

The hotel was easy to navigate, which was great for us because we could strut through the complex looking like familiar guests when we were really just cheapskates!

The resort offered lots of grassy ponds and handsome, girthy trees - it looked like somewhere in Thailand.



The beach was fabulous. White, chalky sand and palm trees and gorgeous lounging spots. Perfect!





We hung out here all afternoon, using the wifi which was accessible from the beach (!) and absorbing the serenity.




Another hotel well-raided!

2nd PLACE - SWAHILI BEACH RESORT

This place was....OMG.

It was just...

...so we breezed past security once again, and we were welcomed into a bleached, Islamic-style building.




The staff treated us like royalty. It certainly felt like a very special hotel, and indeed we were very anxious sneaking around somewhere this high-class! We nabbed a cluster of sunloungers and explored the many, many swimming pools...



And they had an infinity-edge pool. 50 points for Gryffindor!



Looking over the infinity edge, you're presented with 5/6 miniature cascading swimming pools. It was very hard not to just shriek and die.


We chose a pool and just discussed life and messed around all afternoon.




We left Swahili Beach Resort as very, very happy and sunburnt bunnies. The only thing I can fault with this place is the beach. The sea at Swahili Beach has SO much seaweed it was like wading through noodle soup. Absolutely revolting.

1st PLACE - WATER LOVERS RESORT

Swahili Beach Resort is generally considered as the Big Momma in the area. However, something about Water Lovers Resort just resonated with me. Either it was the modesty of the place, or the cool, aquamarine colour scheme that ran throughout, or the fabulous location (hop, skip and a jump from the sea). I actually visited this place alone. My friends all left Mombasa to fly home, and for a few days I was the only volunteer.

I was walking along the beach and came across this nugget of gold (or rather, blue!).





And it is so so so close to the beach. Can it possibly get better?!


Yes it can. The actual beach itself is flawless. The sand is like flour - you glide through it as you stroll. I've never walked on such perfect sand. I felt like I was in a Bounty advert.



There is not a single fault I can choose with Water Lovers Resort! It's cosy, it's cute, it's in the best location on Diani Beach and it's just so so so pretty! That is why it deserved top spot in my rank. My honeymoon is most definitely occurring here! Yummy!


Hope you enjoyed this sneaky little adventure!


Anthony


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