Kenya Accommodation

  • Mombasa
  • Diani
  • Kilifi
  • Nairobi

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Mombasa

Severin Sea Lodge

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A cold refreshing towel, glass of fresh passion fruit juice and a cohort of staff with beaming smiles; Sever Sea Lodge, Mombasa, sure read our minds for what we needed on arrival after a morning of tiring travel to reach them.

What we loved about this hotel was its sophistication and elegance, without the compromisation of necessary facilities needed to make it a family friendly resort.  For example, Severn Sea Lodge offers a tranquil pool surrounded by sun loungers, perfect for adults who are in need of relaxing. There is also a second pool with an exciting water shoot and waterfall fountain, which went down really well with all the kids on site, including Carmen.  The hotel is located on Mombasa beach, offering a wonderful sea breeze accompanied by plenty of outdoor grass space and seats to wind down on.

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Meal times were kept interesting and enjoyable with a variety of options, ranging from set 3 course meals on some nights, to extensive buffet style options on others.  Breakfast offered the same huge buffet variety, which is just what you need to keep the whole family satisfied.  We never take for granted children’s high chairs as some accommodations we have come into contact with in the past don’t provide them, which proves rather difficult when you have a squirming toddler on your lap who you are trying to feed spaghetti to.  We were chuffed Sever Sea Lodge provided our little one with a child chair and even went to the trouble of rustling up her very own plate of good old fashioned ‘mash potato and baked beans’ on the night of their set 3 course meal, once we mentioned to them non of the optional dishes were suitable for her.

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One aspect we would warn about, though no fault of the hotel’s may we add, is the presence of animals on the grounds.  Make sure if you are eating outside around the pools you pay close attention to the crows, who literally steel your food as soon as your back is turned.  The same applies for having snacks on the balcony, as cheeky monkeys will be after your goods, and will even come into the room given half the chance if your balcony door is left open (personally happening to us).

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The bar area is a lively place to spend the evenings, often hosting traditional Kenyan performances, including music and dancing.  It is a good distance from most of the bedrooms, so sound isn’t a problem overall for the majority of rooms, but for a few closer ones, the entertainment may be heard slightly until 10.30 when it is then switched off.

We had a fantastic stay at Severin Sea Lodge, thank you for having us!

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Diani

Blue Marlin Beach Hotel

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Blue Marlin’s main attraction is it’s location, holding a place on the beautiful Diani beach front, which powdery white sand and turquoise water will fulfil any beach lovers dream. We stayed here for 4 nights and enjoyed relaxing on their sun loungers, under swaying palms, sipping on fresh fruit juices.

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Blue Marlin offers 20 rooms ranging from standard garden view, to superior sea view & penthouse suites, which we would possibly recommend paying the extra for if budget allows. We were based in their garden view room, still only 20m from the beach, however the rooms aircon wasn’t adjustable , meaning it had to constantly stay on 24 degrees. Due to this making little difference we decided to leave it off. We did become accustomed to the humid nights, but other guests may find the room temperature uncomfortable due to their being no fans available, even upon request. You will be pleased to know however, that the superior rooms come with fully adjustable aircon units.

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The male owner and his son did a great job of making us feel welcome at their hotel, both being very hospitable and accommodating with an especially warm manner with our daughter Carmen. They made sure we enjoyed our stay throughout, giving us tips on the area, and extra assistance with speeding up our wifi which was much appreciated. This cheerful outgoing customer service was replicated by all of the hotel staff who worked in the kitchen, restaurant and reception, and they made a lovely fuss of Carmen and always served us with a huge smile on their face throughout stay.

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Food at Blue Marlin was always of a high standard, and we particularly loved dining there on the evenings, eating over a candle lit table, listening to the sounds of the wave lapping the shore. The Swahili fish in particular was so tasty, make sure you order it when you visit. In the mornings, the breakfast option was a huge spread and us Vines fell in love with the delicious pancakes on offer, piling our plates high.

We would highly recommend this spot for anybody visiting Diani beach.

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Kilifi

Distant Relatives Ecolodge & Backpackers

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Distant Relatives Eco Lodge located in Kilifi was rated in 2017 as Kenya’s best hostel, and due to them openly being very positive on their website about hosting all ages of guests including children, we were eager to try them out for ourselves.

Rooms range from shared dorms and private rooms with shared toilets, to banda’s with private bathrooms. The later option was the choice we opted for to enable us to have some privacy and ease with using our own personal bathroom with Carmen. Our banda was impressive in size, with a very high ceiling, holding a double bed and a bunk bed, all with their own mosquito net. There were no glass windows in our room, but instead horizontal metal bars, designed to let in the breeze, whilst keeping out pesky monkeys. This gave the room a very open feel, which obviously may make some guests feel a little vulnerable with insects etc being able to get in easily, however, if it is the ‘back to nature’ feel you are after, this is definitely the room for you, especially when you can hear crickets chirping in the night and birds singing in the morning.

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The same vibe was continued in our banda’s private outdoor bathroom, a huge space following on from the bedroom, encompassed by high thick woven wood to give optimal privacy. It was so surreal and refreshing to take a shower under huge trees lit up by the moon light. Showers were cold water, which if we are honest was testing with a toddler when the sun went down, however it wasn’t too much of a problem to shower during the day due to the weather being humid and the water being quite tepid. The outdoor toilet was a very Eco friendly compost toilet, meaning there was no option to flush it, but instead after each use, you were asked to tip wood chippings into the toilet opening, which over time would turn the waste into rich fertiliser to be used on the land. Although being very different to the western flush, it was a key part of the process for being an Eco Lodge. Our only recommendation if you have a strong sense of smell is to bring a peg, and if travelling with small children, don’t leave them unaccompanied as it would be a traumatic place to loose a little one!

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Staff at Distant Relatives are very relaxed and give you plenty of space to wind down, yet are also at hand to give you help if you ask for it. Their social dining room was a lovely space to hang out, with a bar area serving cocktails and fresh juices, plenty of tables to eat and an area which served us as a play area with Carmen, filled with hoops, building blocks, stilts and soft floor cushions. The outdoor space was enjoyable with a pool, sun loungers and a volleyball sand pit surrounded by vibrant funky art. Also offered was a communal kitchen for guests to use, which came in handy when preparing snacks for Carmen.

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Their local beach, around a 5 minute walk from the accommodation was a small stretch of sand on the edge of Kilifi creek, surrounded by mangroves. Although there was a fair bit of sea weed washed up on the shore and the sand wasn’t as squeaky clean as we had hoped for (possibly all due to season) we were pleased with how calm the water was with no waves, making it ideal for Carmen to swim in. We were impressed to find out that Distant Relatives Eco Lodge do make the effort on occasions to rally support from the locals in the area and blitz the local beach, picking up as much rubbish as they can find, which is a valuable activity to do.

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Nairobi

Four Points by Sheraton Hurlingham

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Four Points, Hurlingham, have established a very stylish, comfortable and modern hotel near the centre of Nairobi, within easy access to the main tourist attractions. Arriving there late at night after they organised an airport transfer for us, Carmen was so excited to see their beautifully lit entrance and reception, she ran head first into their spotlessly clean glass entrance door. Straight away the staff responded extremely carefully and with a lot of care, providing first aid treatment and a follow up call to see how she was doing. Rest assured she was fine and was soon tucking in to a delicious dinner at 11pm served as room service, which option lasted until midnight. The room was spacious, beds comfortable and bathroom had a brilliant power shower and accompanying toiletries with hair dryer also.

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The remainder of our time in the hotel was very enjoyable, Carmen especially loved spending time in their well maintained heated roof top swimming pool, and us adults loved relaxing on the sun loungers with great views across the city.

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The hotel offers a variety of eating areas and we particularly enjoyed eating on the rooftop terrace, with a menu offering a wide variety of cuisines. Throughout our stay here, the food has been top notch, compliments to the chef! We can’t praise the staff enough for their hospitality and assistance offered to book our onward transport from Nairobi. It felt especially genuine and warming when staff recommended we book taxis via Uber instead of going through the hotel, due to the price being much cheaper, which really showed they had our best interest at heart.

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