Diani beach has to be one of my favourite places I’ve experienced. Having travelled to many beaches, I somehow always come back thinking “Diani is far better!”
There is just something special about the pristine beach and mesmerising clear blue water that always has me coming back for more. I spent a few nights at the 5 star Swahili Beach Resort in Diani and it got our Citizen Femme stamp of approval.
Located only 5-10 minutes from the Ukunda airstrip, the drive to and from the airport is simple. As you drive in through the large Swahili wooden gates you already feel the grandeur of the resort. Surrounded by towering palm trees and greenery, the entrance itself feels like you’re entering a hidden paradise. Walking in to the main lobby, the large open space with imposing arches and domes brings in a cool ocean breeze. The Swahili architecture throughout the hotel with all its curves, angles and intricate details are an instagrammer’s dream.
The property is very green! Beautifully green with its well-manicured grass, tropical palm trees and eye catching white and pink bougainvillea which you see everywhere, even surrounding their iconic cascading infinity pools. Which brings me to the main attraction. From walking in, you are already planning your days with a morning splash to your quiet evening dip next to the polar. A seven layer cascading pool that runs for 200m to the very edge of the white sandy beach. Fed by spring water and natural salts, it will also be a great treat for your skin.
Whether sipping on a cocktail, playing a game of volleyball in the bottom pool or escaping in the mini rock pools in the middle, there’s was spot for whichever pool activity you fancy.
Perfectly situated on either side of the pools are the rooms. Spacious, comfortable and elegant, with everything you need, so that when you need a little break from the heat you can spend your time relaxing in a robe watching TV and 24/7 room service! Each room has balconies with views of the pools, Indian Ocean or gardens, you are in your own heavenly oasis, ripe for relaxation. All rooms are equipped with Air Conditioning, flat screen TVs, mini bars and WiFi.
The Food & Drink
This is where you won’t want to stop. And you shouldn’t! That’s how good the food is. For breakfast, the buffet has the works: fresh fruit, cereal, an egg station and freshly made waffles. Lunch was always down by the beach at Baharini. With a little bit of everything on the menu you can indulge in a delicious new dish every day. I should give a special mention to the pizzas which were perfectly thin, oven-fired and perfectly made.
Zanzibar is their Asian inspired Teppanyaki restaurant, the first of its kind in Diani. The menu features a variety of dim sum and other Teppanyaki dishes that I haven’t even seen elsewhere. You leave satiated, with a stuffed belly and big smile on your face.
The Baobab Pool Bar is where you want to cool down and enjoy a drink. Try one of their signature cocktails to start and rehydrate – the Sawa, fresh lime juice, honey, soda water and ice, served in tall frosty glass; all the way to their signature sunset cocktails.
A resort holiday is never complete without a quick trip to the spa. Right by the beach, enjoy the Indian Ocean sea breeze, coupled with the massive windows and doors opening to a beach view, you are in heaven for your treatment.
Try one of their personalised massages using botanical body oils, or an incredibly relaxing body scrub based on jojoba, calendula and sweet almond oils.
The City: Diani
You are unlikely to want to leave the hotel, but if you do decide to venture out into Diani, here are some of things to do:
- Sail a boat out to the sandbank and snorkel with Diani’s colourful marine life or wallow in the shallow crystal waters around the sandbank
- Enjoy a candle lit dinner at Sails Restaurant
- Take in the beauty of the Diani sunset with a drink in hand at the Congo river (The Estuary)
- Get the sand in your toes and dance your way to the early hours of the morning at Forty Thieves Beach Bar