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!):
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.
I dropped my bags immediately and was sat having a back massage under the chopping force of the waterfalls.
We hung out here all afternoon, using the wifi which was accessible from the beach (!) and absorbing the serenity.
Another hotel well-raided!
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.
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!