BEST PLACES TO STAY ON THE KENYAN COAST (WHEN ALLOWED)
Heavenly House, Watamu
This is a spacious and modern private beachfront home set in an Indian Ocean cove at the southern end of Turtle Bay. It has three stories set on two acres by the beach, with five bedrooms that can host up to 13 people. Heavenly House has a daytime lounge, evening lounge, a shaded outdoor lounge, an office/studio, art/reading room, a huge pool, three dining areas and two rooftop lounges. For families, the pool has three sections, and the shallow, shaded one that comes into the house is brilliant for smaller kids whose swimming skills are still a work in progress.
The Zubeida, Diani
This is a family-owned vintage provincial property which has been carefully transformed and hand crafted into the vision of what a beach holiday should be. From the ornate main villa entrance to the simple yet sophisticated interior furnishings, as well as the delectable a la carte menu, everything at The Zubeida has been consciously curated to offer luxury at the right cost. This spot caters to the most discerning of travelers, and if rest and relaxation is what you crave, look no further. From white sandy beaches to lush gardens, you can easily explore and get lost on your own, or with company.
Manda Bay, Lamu
This is a small privately owned boutique lodge located on the northern tip of Manda Island in Lamu. It is the perfect escape for families or honeymooners looking for the ultimate ‘no shoes, no news’ experience and is renowned for its wonderfully relaxed atmosphere with a variety of activities on offer. The only access to Manda Bay is by speedboat so guests can enjoy this private island all to themselves. It has 16 rooms; six seaview and 11 beachfront. Room 7 has an extra bedroom designed for families and room 11 is the biggest and can accommodate three extra beds.
Ornella House, Malindi
Set on Casuarina Road and designed with traditional African open spaces in mind, this large villa has five bedrooms and bathrooms and is suitable for groups of friends or a family that wants a quiet escape that’s just five minutes away from the beach. It sleeps up to 10 people. Spend your days dipping in the pool, enjoying some sun on the blue sun beds or taking a nap in the shaded gazebo. At the front of the house is a spacious patio and dining room, and your meals can be whipped up in the fully equipped kitchen.