Manda Bay is located on a long stretch of sandy, protected beach on the north-western tip of Manda Island, in the Lamu archipelago.
All of 16 cottages come with a choice of double or twin beds, surrounded by large flowing mosquito nets and cooled by overhead fans inside the nets. Eleven of these rooms are on the beachfront, and five are behind and above the first five beachfront rooms.
There is a central dining room and bar area overlooking the bay and a separate secluded lounge area perfect for unwinding with a refreshing drink.
Cuisine at Manda Bay is based on freshly caught seafood, and private dining on your veranda is also available.
The warm, clear waters immediately in front of the lodge are perfect for snorkelling, and other activities include windsurfing, sailing, water-skiing and exploring the nearby mangrove creeks. In season, there is deep sea fishing (with a tag and release system for all billfish) and scuba diving can also be arranged.
Alternatively, guests can just relax on the soft white sands or enjoy a massage. The (somewhat superfluous) swimming pool is now up and running as well.
Altogether, Manda Bay makes a perfect retreat offering seclusion, peace and barefoot luxury.
Why We Love It
The lodge also has its own private, 60-foot traditional dhow for visiting some of the other idyllic islands of the archipelago or for sundowner cruises.
Set amidst the tropical gardens and leaning palms of Diani's Galu Beach lies a collection of six private villas.
Each of the three bedroom villas is decorated with locally crafted furniture and artwork, and contains an open-plan dining and living area and private rooftop terrace. With no set menu or schedule, guests have the freedom to dine as they please, creating a truly bespoke experience.
The six villas are situated around a communal central swimming pool area where guests can also enjoy the Jacuzzi and pool bar.
Alternatively, head down to the beach and enjoy the 100 yard wide white sands of Diani Beach. You can enjoy boat trips out to the near by reef for a spot of snorkeling or to one of the nearby sand banks just to simply relax during low tide. There is a nearby water sports centre where they can arrange kite and windsurfing, diving, deep sea fishing and also golf and tennis.
Why We Love It
Each villa has its own private staff including a personal chef, maid and waiter so you don't have to lift a finger during your holiday.
For over 20 years Hemingways has been one of the best known hotels on the Kenyan Coast, and after change of management and subtle refurbishment, we are delighted to say it's back on form and pretty good value, too.
Located on Watamu, one of Kenya's finest beaches. Hemingways has 76 bedrooms overlooking the ocean and the renowned Watamu Marine Park. The rooms and suites are spread across several low thatched buildings and are contemporary in design with distinct local touches in the woodwork and artefacts. Palm-filled gardens and spacious public rooms provide a refined yet relaxed atmosphere.
The restaurant is renowned for delicious seafood, some of it caught by the guests, as deep sea fishing is one of the highlights of a stay at Hemingways. There is also an atmospheric bar where guests can ruminate on the ones that got away.
Aside from the fishing, activities on offer include numerous watersports, snorkelling, diving, sunset dhow cruises or visits to the famous ancient archeological site at Gede and the bird-watchers' paradise of Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. On a more sedentary note, the spa offers various massage, body and facial treatments plus full manicure and pedicure facilities.
Babysitting, Childrens menus, Interconnecting rooms
Why We Love It
Ernest Hemingway hung out in Watamu for a time, writing and big game fishing, hence the hotel name. Is there anywhere that man didn't pop up?
Kizingoni Beach Houses
Situated on the southern most tip of Lamu Island at the end of the famous Shela beach, Kizingoni is made up of 6 individual luxury beachfront villas.
Four of the villas sleep up to 10 people and the other two can accommodate up to 8 people. All the bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms, each villa also has a swimming pool and a resident manageress to make sure your stay goes as smoothly as possible. There is also a cook, a waiter and a laundress.
Activities include waterskiing, wakeboarding, snorkelling, picnics on nearby islands, and visits to the historical town of Lamu. Then there's deep sea fishing, sunset dhow trips, fishing with the traditional fishermen and lobsters divers of Kizingoni Beach and swimming with dolphins (seasonal). Alternatively, simply relax with a good book in a deck chair by the pool and book a massage with the in-house masseuse.
Why We Love It
Each villa comes with a 23 ft Yamaha boat, boat captain, assistant boatman and private askari or watchman
Peponi is a small hotel situated in the village of Shela on the island of Lamu, part of the archipelago of the same name just off the coast of Kenya.
Still run by the Korschen family, who opened the hotel in 1967, Peponi is small and personal, and is the perfect rest after a safari or a hide-away holiday from modern life.
All the rooms have ocean views. The superior rooms, some of which are built right on the beach, have private verandas.
Food at Peponi is excellent, with plenty of fresh fish served on the dining terrace overlooking the ocean, where you can watch the dhows coming and going.
There is also a freshwater swimming pool, situated in the shade of two baobab trees, which makes a perfect place to relax with a good book. Activities on offer include dhow trips to the coral reefs, game fishing, water-skiing, windsurfing and fabulous snorkelling trips. Alternatively, enjoy the beach or explore the narrow streets of Lamu Old Town, the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa and a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Why We Love It
The Peponi bar is a renowned east African watering hole and serves everything from a fresh coconut to the famous 'Old Pal' house cocktail.
Waterlovers Beach Resort
WaterLover's is rustic luxury at its best. Found on the white sands of Diani Beach this intimate hotel is excellent value and has something for everyone.
There are six boutique cottages and a self contained villa. Each of the cottages has been uniquely and elegantly designed by the hotel's charming and laid-back Italian owners - think driftwood and warm Mediterranean colours. They are all spaced to ensure privacy and each also has its own private veranda overlooking the sea.
For the determinedly active there is no end of entertainment: kite surfing, windsurfing, diving, snorkelling by the home reef, big game fishing and tennis are some of the many activities that can be arranged during your stay. The 18-hole Leisure Lodge Golf Course is just down the road and nearby Kisite Marine National Park is noted for its stunning and intact coral gardens with more than 250 species of marine life. Those more intent on simply compiling a tan and reading a book can either choose a spot on the 15 mile stretch of long white beach or flop by the hotel's turtle shaped infinity pool.
In the evening enjoy a cocktail at the hotel's bar 'Ocean Spirit' before sitting down to a delicious supper at the hotel's restaurant 'Tides'. The menu combines Mediterranean classics with local ingredients.
Why We Love It
Accommodation is on a half board basis giving you the option of exploring the other bars and restaurants that line Diani beach as well.
The Ocean Spa Lodge
The Ocean Spa Lodge (formerly Saruni Ocean) occupies an undiscovered location making it the perfect stop off pre or post safari.
There are 14 private suites and six luxury villas at the lodge, each with private gardens, open plan bathrooms, king size beds and verandas opening out to beautiful ocean views. When it comes to dining the lodge prides itself on sourcing ingredients locally and guests can indulge in sunset dining on the beach for an authentic gastronomic experience.
Guests can also enjoy taking a dip in the generous 1000sqm infinity pool, sipping cocktails on the beach, or relaxing into one of the wellness experiences at the Saraunity Wellbeing Space.
If your idea of "relaxing" involves messing around in water then try your hand at body boarding, kayaking, windsurfing and stand up paddle boarding all of which are available on site and in nearby Diani. For the safari enthusiasts, game drives to Shimba Hills Nature Reserve (home to the rare Sable antelope) run daily.
Why We Love It
All rooms boast breathtaking beach views and have unrivalled easy access to the beach, which is just what we love.