Kenya. – An invitation to spend a night at the luxurious Medina Palms Resort, recently awarded No. 1 Hotel in Kenya by TripAdvisor, is not one to be taken lightly.
Actually I jumped at the opportunity while in Watamu earlier this month. Balancing work and pleasure, we arrived to scented hot towels and welcoming smiles after a full day working with Watamu Turtles, and enjoyed a night of relaxed luxury and true spoils in our two-bedroom ground floor apartment.
Medina Palms, a reasonably new addition to Watamu’s accommodation offering, is located right on the Indian Ocean and has a selection of suites and villas. They speak of idyllic beach living, are very spacious and decorated in shades of white and blue which subtly connects their interior to the standalone blocks that line either side of a very long rim flow pool, interspersed with water features.
Sundowners were on the deck with views towards Mida Creek and dinner outside at a table under the stars. I loved the mix of Arabic influence in the design, as well as the Italian flair and flavours included on the menu. The Chef came to chat to us about his passion for Mediterranean, Moroccan and African dishes which he combines to best effect and flavour.
True spoiling in an inspired destination that speaks of East Coast living in a part of the world that I was discovering for the first time.
The rim flow pool that takes you all the way from entrance to the enclosed private beach, with it’s gate that opens to the warm ocean.
Lush and landscaped gardens with loungers, chairs and tables, benches and the sweet aromas of jasmine, bougainvillea and frangipani.
Areas to find a contemplative seat and watch the world go by.
Our two bedroom en-suite with all luxuries and modcons, as well as a patio that opens onto the lawns. I took my breakfast and coffee, which was delivered to the room, on this very bench.
The romantic rooftop Star Lounge, said to be the highest point in Watamu, where you can enjoy sundowners, cocktails and tapas as the sun sets across the mangrove trees and Mida creek.
Images from the Sakina Ocean Spa, perfectly placed for pampering.
Walk this way for the most incredible collection of goods on offer at the Passion Boutique. You’ll need your credit card.
For more information on Medina Palms.
Suites and Villas – The Swahili style villa and suites provide more space to breath than a conventional hotel room. The views are across tropical gardens with the treetop penthouses and beach villas as well as ocean front villas offering panoramic sea views and private plunge pools on the terrace.
Food and Drink – You have the choice of a meal in the Amandina Restaurant or a cocktail and snack in the Long Bar or Star Lounge. Whether its something casual or a special occasion, if you want to dine inside or out, there’s somebody wonderful at hand to ensure its just right.
Actually, a few days later I returned with newly made friends to have coffee and biscotti under the ancient trees in the garden. It was perfect.
Health and Wellness – The Sakina Ocean Spa is located on the roof top, with open air treatments further enhanced by the cool ocean breeze. There’s a more sociable area for manicures and pedicures, while the spa menu provides nourishing wellness in a private area.
Nemo’s Cave for the young – If you’re travelling with children, and many people do, then Nemo’s Cave will look after your little ones while you take some precious time out. There are activities such as arts and craft, music, storytimes and painting. Private babysitters can also be arranged on request. For families, this is very important.
Activities – Watamu spoils for choice when it comes to activities on offer. With water sports in the Marine Reserve including snorkelling and diving in the coral gardens and turtle reef. You can rent and take lessons in kitesurfing, stand up paddle boards (SUP), windsurfing, kayaking and body boarding. There are also kayaks and bodyboards freely available to all Medina Palms guests.
Should you prefer to go on a safari, Kenya’s largest game reserve, Tsavo National Park, is just a two hour drive away. There are sunset Dhow cruises, walks in the mangrove forest, mountain biking and the neighboring Arabuko Sokoke coastal forest to visit, as well as the ancient Gede Ruins, the remains of a Swahili town with origins dating back to the 12th century. Also muh recommended that you spend time at the Watamu Turtle Centre to learn about the work being done there.
From an eco-tourism perspective, something close to my heart, I was thrilled to see that Medina Palms had been awarded a Gold Eco-Rated status given their dedication to doing the right thing from the start. Recruiting staff from local communities, buying supplies from Malindi and local towns where practical, especially fruits, vegetables and dry goods and implementing green technology to hold rainwater, making use of solar heaters, replanting indigenous trees, recycling and more.
This truly is a special place in an incredible location, one where the feel good extends from first welcome across all aspects of your stay. Most grateful to have had the opportunity to experience it. Thank you for having me stay and to Wonders of Watamu for making the arrangements.
For more information on Medina Palms have a look at their amazing interactive website. You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for a taste of the the beauty.
Also read through some of the TripAdvisor reviews that have gained them their current position of No. 1 hotel in Kenya.
I love maps and include this one off their website which shows where Medina Palms is located in relation to the rest of Watamu. Lovely spot!
Note. I was hosted by Medina Palms on a Bed and Breakfast basis while visiting the Watamu region. The two spa pics are off the Medina Hills website.
Read more about my previous visits to Kenya here.