As the festive season approaches, there is a place that should be on your bucket list, especially if you love nature and coastal offerings.
Malindi is the deal. Set on the Malindi Bay at the mouth of the Sabaki River, lying on the Indian Ocean coast, the laid-back destination in the Kilifi County of Kenya is a sanctuary for holidaymakers, nature lovers, families and for special moments.
The city, which is popular among Italian tourists, will spoil you with a wide range of oceanview resorts.
Top among them are Sandies Tropical Village, Diamonds Dream of Africa and Sandies Malindi Dream Gardens, a three-in-one property managed by Planhotel Hospitality Group along the silver sand beach of Malindi.
At the resort, the enchanting force of nature melds with the exotic Indo-Arabic architecture to create a hypnotic charm, which, in Swahili, is known as bembeleza.
While on a stay, guests seamlessly listen to the sound of the wind and the rustling of the palm trees, enjoy the music of the waves and let their hearts dance in silence; all from the comfort of the Balinese armchairs in the room terrace.
On offer at the three-in-one resort are; 51 rooms, 35 rooms and 48 rooms respectively, spread across oceanview villas, suites and other room categories.
Across the three properties, each of the air-conditioned suites has a private terrace with sun loungers, a hot tub and other room facilities.
Apart from the combined 134 rooms, other offerings include; three restaurants, several bars, Mvua African Rain Spa, a health and fitness centre, three swimming pools for each of the resorts, and water sports, among others.
It is also a foodie haven. The à la carte restaurants serve a selection of seafood menus, while Onda, the premium restaurant, has an open-air terrace overlooking the swimming pool. The pool bar serves fresh fruits, snacks and informal lunches.
The Sandies Tropical Village is notable for daily and evening entertainment programmes, amid a variety of water activities at the water sports centre.
A business centre and strong free Wi-Fi enable business-minded guests to touch base with their outfits from the comfort of their rooms or from the silver sand beach.
The family resort also caters to children with its Kids Club, which is managed by an animation team, with offerings such as block-building games, storytelling, dancing competition, shell painting and drawing, beach family walk, among others.
For the more adventurous guests, the resort offers excursions into the ocean with the Alfajiri Dhow to the marine park for snorkelling, you can visit the Hell’s Kitchen, Vasca da Gama Pillar and the rural areas to meet the people.
However, a special offering at the resort is the Mvua African Rain Spa. The speciality spa, according to Raina Effet, the spa and recreation manager of the resort, offers holistic health and rejuvenation treatments that leave guests healthier and with lasting memories.
Apart from the many treatments designed in line with the specific needs of the guests, the Egyptian spa specialist noted that the spa has world-class facilities such as Turkish baths, and hydrotherapy baths, among other treatment facilities.
“Rain is life, and life depends on it. This is the concept behind Mvua African Rain SPA, a balanced oasis to calm the body and senses. Our guests can let themselves be pampered by the skilful hands of our experts at the spa,” she assured.
The resort, owned by an Italian family, according to Alex Zissimatos, the general manager, is worth visiting this festive season and beyond because of its unique location, multiple offerings, world-class facilities, innovative services, and the warmth of the staff.
Moreover, with over 25 years in operation, Zissimatos noted that priority is given to guests’ experience, amid attention to details by the passionate staff.
Sammy Khabiri, a butler and Collins Mwaringa, front office supervisor at the resort, also shared the same sentiments.
Both invite guests to gala dinners on weekends, Cherokee dancing sessions by the animation team at the Onda Restaurant, a premium restaurant and other outdoor venues.
On the other hand, the general manager is offering a special package to would-be guests this festive season.
The all-inclusive package, according to him, offers guests transfers and full-time butler service, upscale dining with the chef, a two-hour superior massage, complimentary use of the hydro-pool, half-day snorkelling or sundowner around the Vasco da Gama site and experience at the 18-hole Malindi Golf & Country Club for KS8,000 (about $53) per guest.
Moreover, access to the resort is seamless with JamboJet and other domestic budget airlines connecting Malindi Airport in less than an hour from major cities of Kenya.
As well, Malindi is accessible by road through the Mombasa-Watamu-Malindi-Lamu Highway, and less than two hours drive from any of the coastal cities along the Indian Ocean shore.
The Africa’s Leading All-inclusive Resort 2023 Award winner at the 30th World Travel Awards, is set to host discerning leisure seekers at its sanctuary, amid improvements in services and facilities offerings.
For a holistic experience, the general manager is urging guests at the community-friendly resort to visit the craft and fashion boutique shops on the property to buy souvenirs made by the talented Giriama people and other tribes in Malindi, to take a piece of their experiences home.