What you need to know:
- In the recently concluded World Travel Awards, Diamonds Dream of Africa won Africa's leading all-inclusive resort title
- The highlight of my stay was a visit to the Mvua Spa to experience the hydrotherapy massage pool which is one of a kind in East Africa
When people think of traveling to the Kenyan Coast, Diani and Mombasa are often their first choices. Little do they know about the beauty in the Swahili-Arabic-inspired architecture, the pristine white beaches, and the tranquil atmosphere found in Malindi.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most hotels closed their door but some found new ways of attracting and retaining their clients. Of the few facilities that are still in operation in Malindi, Kilifi County is the Diamonds Dream of Africa Hotel, Sandies Malindi Dream Garden, and Sandies Tropical Village all owned by the Planhotel Hospitality group. In the recently concluded World Travel Awards, Diamonds Dream of Africa won Africa's leading all-inclusive resort owing to their commitment to offering the diamond lifestyle, comfort, eminent service, world-class spa and conference rooms, and their exemplary all-inclusive formula.
On arrival at Malindi International Airport, it only took me a 15 minutes’ drive to get to this chic boutique hotel. At the check-in point, I was given a bracelet to be worn at all times and it gave me access to the three swimming pools, the private beach, the bars, and the restaurants. The hotel has 33 junior suites and two suites, each fitted with a king-size bed, a private hydro-massage Jacuzzi bathtub, flat-screen TV, walk-in shower, double hand wash basin, and a balcony with a garden view. As a guest, I had access to the other two properties at no extra fee and was able to enjoy my buffet meals at the Savana restaurant.
On Saturday night we had a gala dinner set up at the garden with live entertainment from the Afro Simba band which was followed by a beach party at Tropical Village. "Malindi is known for its vibrant nightlife which is making a comeback and we hold beach parties every Saturday for our guests," said Mr. Alexander Zissimatos, Diamonds' General Manager.
The concept at Sandies is "triple f" which stands for family, friends, and fun. Apart from the "triple f", the hotel gives the perfect blend of business and leisure "bleisure" in their Diamonds Conference Center which has four conference rooms all fitted with state-of-the-art modern Samsung LED flipcharts, high-speed internet, and wind-free air-conditioning. The Diamonds ballroom which is the largest conference room can accommodate up to 400 people. It is perfect for cocktail parties, weddings, team-building activities, and any other social gatherings.
The highlight of my stay was a visit to the Mvua Spa to experience the hydrotherapy massage pool which is one of a kind in East Africa. The pool is a combination of pressure and air that clears your tension, cools you down, and rejuvenates your body throughout its eight massage points. After that, I had a thalassotherapy treatment in the Dead Sea salt cocoon pool to detoxify the body, firm the skin, and balance the body PH. My visit was crowned with a soft tissue massage which put me to sleep. It was extremely gentle and soothing. The spa uses natural, indigenous, and local ingredients for its massages and treatments.
On Sunday, I enjoyed the burger festival at Onda Grill Seafood restaurant by the beach as I watched the sunset while I sipped a cocktail. This was my preferred hang-out spot, especially on the stunning comfy white beach beds.
On my last day, I had a free guided tour to the Vasco da Gama pillar and the natural swimming pool by the hotel's animation team. The entry fee is Sh100 for adults and Sh50 for children and the ticket gave us access to the Portuguese church and Malindi Pier through the golden sand beach. There are several other activities to do in Malindi such as deep-sea fishing, a visit to Marafa "Hell's Kitchen", Gede ruins, golfing at Malindi golf course, deep-sea fishing at Malindi sea fishing club, kite surfing, and snorkeling at Malindi Marine Park (the oldest marine park in Kenya).
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