Kivulini Luxury Resort/KENYA
The hotel puts the accent on the leisure – beautiful tropical garden, numerous intimate corners with a beautiful view, and also the service – friendly and attentive.
We arrive to the hotel a few minutes before midnight – the way from the airport takes approximately 2 and a half hours. The villages that we pass on the way are quite busy because for people in Kenya Saturday is the time of having fun. The resort is situated a couple of kilometres from Malindi and from a popular resort Watamu. In the reception, Paola waits for us – an Italian, that takes care of the hotel (it belongs to an Italian network). Concerning the time of the day, we postpone filling in documents for a next day, we enjoy our welcome cocktail (refreshing mix of fresh juices) and we go to the room. A moment later, the service enters with a supper prepared for us. It is nice that someone thought that after a dozen or so hours of flight and the food in the plane, we might want to eat something.
The scents and sounds fascinate us from the beginning. The visual elements don’t attract attention until the next day. High, thatched roof, an open reception – wooden armchairs combine with the tropical vegetation. There are plaited chandeliers under the ceiling. The advantage of this hotel is the local architecture: a lot of natural materials, wooden sculptural furniture, figurines and masks perfectly match a broad pool, a beautiful garden and an Indian Ocean – a perfect background.
Renovated not so long ago, Kivulini Luxury Resort takes 300 metres of the coast inside natural sea reservation. 4 hectares of tropical garden intertwined with double bungalows. Each one of them has a broad patio, and from part of them we can see the ocean. In the room we pay attention to African elements – panthers on curtains, a wooden bed with a canopy.
A large pool is perfect: its shape allows us to splash with children and swim without disturbing each other. Another pool is located in the further part of the garden, next to the volleyball court. The beds with sunshades are in various places on natural patios, guaranteeing us privacy.
The bar becomes a natural place of meetings, especially in the sunset. The guests watch the sky full of colours, while enjoying a refreshing cocktail (I personally recommend sparkling wine with fresh mango juice). The thematic evenings for guests are frequently organised – Maasai dance, live local music.
There is also a quite large restaurant opened in the season. We were there in the period where the courses were served in a lovely restaurant near the ocean. Normally guests can order a fish supper in advance.
The Italian base of menu guarantees security for the pasta fans. Lunch and dinner can be bought for 2000 schillings (about 20 dollars). In the restaurant, with glass protecting from the wind from one side, we can admire sea and try Italian and local foods: appetizers are served on a table, behind a mosquito net. The choice is sufficient: a salad with octopus or squids, fresh vegetables, Hindu samosa, baked rolls. Cake and fruit salad for a dessert. From the menu we can choose soup, first course (2 types of noodles plus tomato/Bolognese sauce) and main dish: fried fish, stuffed beef, or chicken stew. All of the dishes are prepared using fresh products in an open kitchen.
What we liked:
• Well chosen music, in different parts of the hotel
• Very nice and helpful service
• Fresh food
• Power outlets next to the tables in a lobby, cafe and restaurant
• The number and quality of the service (all of the people were very kind and helpful)
• Consistent architecture with local themes
• The size of the hotel wasn’t overwhelming, the opposite – we could feel kind of like at home
• The sense of security, that was contagious