At my day dreaming best I have imagined a few versions of paradise. One version of my paradise is rather Disneyesque without the mice.
It consists of blue wavy skies, a yellow house, a blue swimming pool in front of the house and the Indian Ocean with a white beach in front of that. (Please note I have purposely used the word white to describe this beach and not golden because there is not a spec of any other colour on this gorgeous beach). Add to that palm trees, coconut cocktails, and canopied and cushioned double bed loungers, and I’m in paradise.
Driving up to AfroChic Hotel, the house from my day-dreamed paradise started to become a reality. I was welcomed into a yellow house by a charming receptionist who greeted us with ice cold sparkling wine and juice that were appreciatively gulped down. We were given a very efficient check in, as she talked us through the facilities available for our stay at AfroChic.
The House itself is situated on the idyllic Diani beach and has ten spacious ensuite bedrooms. The bedrooms with the best views overlook the pool or the ocean. The garden facing room that I was in overlooked a green swamp like pond rather than a green garden. Aside from that, all bedrooms have running hot power showers (which really is worth a mention as many Diani beach hotels somehow never manage to provide this), functioning air conditioners and satellite television.
The first part of the name of the hotel is obvious in terms of the location and its interiors. Though the African interior of the hotel is somewhat sporadic with some areas littered with African tribal artefacts and other areas such as the patios cosily furnished with big lamu beds and large cushions. The bedrooms are scantily “Africanised” with some cushions and bed covers designed with classic African fabrics found in Kenya and East Africa.
Though it is a house, your privacy is never compromised. It is large enough so you do not intrude on anyone’s privacy and small enough to easily access all the facilities without walking long stretches of the property to get there. For a lazy beach holiday bum like myself, that luxury of convenience adds to my beach holiday experience, not just in kilos but in utter relaxation. Children are welcome and WiFi is available throughout the property. The hotel’s website describes it as the place to “flop and drop” which is true to its word.
The famed Kenyan hospitality and fresh food is at its best on the property and probably is the most “Afro” quality. Expecting the typical menus usually plated in many coastal hotels of pizzas, pastas and chips, I was amazed at the quality and variety offered. The menu is extensive and includes a dedicated page to each different cuisine on offer, including a snack menu, Swahili, Indian, Italian, Grills and daily specials. An all day dining menu lets you choose when you want to eat and the menu can be tweaked according to your tastes with absolutely no hassle from the staff. During the day, hors d’oeuvres are circulated and offered to the guests. My personal favorites were the savoury French toast at breakfast and the truffle mushroom risotto. My non vegetarian friends couldn’t get enough of the crab cakes and the “kuku wakupaka” (an authentic specialty of the Kenyan Coast which consists of chicken cooked in a spicy coconut sauce).
For those who get restless with all the rest, you can stay active during your trip to AfroChic including:
1. A good size swimming pool to get in a decent work out (the property does not have a gym)
2. There is a golf course within three minutes drive of the House
3. Trips can be arranged into the ocean for scuba diving and snorkelling
4. For those who want to kick back, the Afya personal wellness program has a variety of treatments including reflexology and detox programs.
5. There are beach and bush safaris available to Kenya and Tanzania national parks with AfroChic as a great starting point.
The experience of AfroChic and what made my holiday there blissful is quite simply their staff. Add to that the quality and range of food, and the convenience of being on a property where the pool and beach are just a few footsteps away from your bedroom is something to give due consideration to, especially in a place where temperatures can quite easily reach 40 degrees celcius.
Night after night when the property was lit with dozens of lanterns and moonlight and as I sat by the pool listening to the waves of the Indian Ocean whispering to the night, Afrochic was confirmed as the perfect beach getaway with superb hospitality and the magic of the Indian Ocean in abundance.