Stay at Msambweni Beach House on the Kenya coast...
Msambweni Beach House: Our full report
Far to the south of Diani Beach, where the coast consists of cliffs above the beach, the secluded Msambweni Beach House looks out across the Indian Ocean.
There are three large and handsome Swahili-style double rooms in the main house. In front of this, possibly the largest infinity pool on the coast truly lives up to the name, stretching from inside the house itself – where you can dip your toes in what passes informally for the reception area and bar – out to what appears to be cliff edge itself.
Accessed by a boardwalk just south of the pool, is the separate, distinctive and more rustic-style Ocean Suite, which often appeals to honeymooners with its rustling palm-frond thatch and breezy, open sides.
On the north side of the main house, slightly downhill, are three private villas, each with its own pool.
On the clifftop at the edge of the property, there's a sundowner platform, wit a fireplace - a lovely spot to socialise with other guests in the evening if you want to.
The activities you can do at Msamwbeni House run the gamut, from cycling through the nearby bush and farmland on one of their mountain bikes to various excursions, or simply chilling on the beach, in the deep shade of the coral cliff, with a cold drink at arm's length.
A full report on our last visit in February 2012 will follow shortly.
Our viewWith its blinding white walls, distinctive Swahili-style architecture and stunning infinity pool, this is one of the Kenya coast's most enchanting places to stay. You'll be quickly seduced, as we were, by the combination of light, space and colour around the house and villas, by the intriguing and almost deserted beach and caves at the bottom of the cliff, and by the graceful, low-key service of the staff.
Ideal length of stay: 3 nights or more.
Directions: Access is usually via Diani Beach (Ukunda) Airport, followed by a road transfer of about an hour. Mombasa Airport is roughly a three-hour road transfer. If you're transferring to or from from Mombasa, the Likoni ferry crossing, linking Mombasa Island with the south coast mainland can sometimes add significantly to journey times, especially at rush hours.
Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: The food at Msambweni Beach House is high-quality, creative and very tasty, with set menus with choices.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Most drinks are included, but premium wines and spirits are extra.
Further dining info: There are no set locations to eat. People often eat by the pool, but you can choose almost anywhere, including on the beach or on your verandah. There are no set meal times.
Attitude towards children: Well behaved older children are welcome. Families are usually accommodated in the villas.
Property’s age restrictions: 8
Special activities & services: None
Generally recommended for children: Msambweni Beach House isn't ideal for children.
Communications: Fee Wi-Fi is available throughout. The laptop and printer in the shop/office can be borrowed.
TV & radio: All rooms have TVs and DVD players.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: There's a first aid kit at the house and the owner has first-aid experience. Diani Beach Hospital is the preferred local medical centre in an emergency. The local Msambweni Hospital is also available.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: Askaris and guard dogs look after the beach side and there is day and night security on the property.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers throughout and regular fire drills.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: Laundry service is available at an extra charge - around US$2.50 per item – using a machine and tumble drier.
Money: Limited foreign exchange facilities are available.
Accepted payment on location: Visa, Mastercard and American Express cards are all accepted, with a surcharge. You can also settle any extras in cash, in Kenyan shillings, Pounds, US dollars or Euros.