De-stress • Unwind • Re-connect • Breathe … with your family, without breaking the bank?! It does exist. Yup, a glorious week, or two ;o) at #Almanara Luxury Villas on #DianiBeach in #Kenya is the ideal place to chill, play & laugh. Your own private villa with your very own chef, butler and maid, the most delicious food in the world, a kiddy-friendly swimming pool and the worlds most beautiful beach ... and breathe.
Why do we do it to ourselves? We get into such a pickle … over life … high expectations and over-commitment at work, looking after our homes (& building a new one in our case), organizing special occasions for loved ones, doing a blog (!!), grocery shopping, school runs, trying to spend time with a couple of little people … oh did I mention trying to put on matching shoes?
OK so, our wonderful travel company The SAFARI Company has taken off into orbit this year. Along with being completely thankful for this miracle, my levels of stress were floating dangerously around orbit too … until the sweetest email was ever received ‘would I like to stay at Almanara Luxury Villas with my family?’. Somebody stop me!
A short hop from Nairobi on the lovely Safarilink airline …. Driving up to the the entrance to our very own villa (about a millisecond from the nearest airport, Ukunda), set among the most beautiful, tropical trees and shrubs and being greeted with the ‘smiliest’ faces you did ever see, a delicious swimming pool winking at us and a beach so white, a sea so turquoise … I wanted to cry with joy.
As soon as we were introduced to our most delicious, spacious & cool villa, our delightful team and once we placed our order (yup, whatever we wanted … in the world!!!) for supper, we couldn’t have reached that beach fast enough. I forgot beaches & seas of this colour actually existed outside the world of photoshop. As soon as we hunkered down for some serious sandcastle building, the Almanara beach attendant brought us a box of beach toys for the kids and some freshly squeezed juice; hell he even offered to play with them if I wanted to relax on a beach bed … I had landed in heaven.
Three days of wave diving in the warm seas, sandcastle building, crab racing, walks on the snow-white beach, shell spotting, swimming in the pool, chilling in the sun, eating, eating and a little more eating, I thought life couldn’t get better … when the in-house reflexologist popped over to our house and offered for the services of the maid to look after the kids whilst I had a head massage and some reflexology. Back in heaven.
I feel it is only right to expand on the food as this is such a crucial part of ones enjoyment at Almanara. Honestly some of the best food I have ever had .. ginger crab, delicious salads, grilled lobster, vongole, oysters, crispy seaweed, freshly caught fish, fish & chips followed by mouth watering home made coconut ice cream … either in our villa or the glorious Sails restaurant overlooking the beach … ah yes and were you wondering what the kids ordered when offered anything in the world .. pizza … and pasta! Definitely messed up on their upbringing.
Almanara Luxury Villas – Will forever remind me of being able to unwind and recoup, even in the possession of two toddlers. The location is out of this world; the concept is excellent so a family can enjoy their time without feeling guilty when disturbing others. The owners and management are absolutely charming; the staff are kind, professional and excellent… and you can actually 100% relax. We will be back.
NB. There is also Almanara Boutique Hotel … which is a beautiful boutique hotel in between the villas and the beach, this is for those who would like to have a perfect beach holiday without kids … magnificent and highly recommended.
Diani beach – Diani beach just cant help itself when it comes to winning ‘best beach in the world’ awards, it is a beautiful, wide, long white beach with beautiful shells and turquoise seas … this little part of it is even better than that.
For those travelling to Kenya with kids – Do it, stay at Almanara Luxury Villas at the end of your safari, so that you can get back home refreshed and ready to tackle the world.
For those who live in East Africa – get a couple of families together and GO!!! You’ll have a scream.
Weather – It’s beautifully warm just about all of the time.
What to Pack? – High SPF sun cream, hats, swimming costumes, sarong/Kikoy and light clothes for the day. Mossi repellent, long trousers, skirts and shirts for the evenings… and light pijamas.
Price – From USD310 per person per night!!! Complete bargain. This includes just about everything!! Full board accommodation, yes, your gorgeous private villa, all your delicious food; soft drinks, beer, house wine; your personal staff. It even includes luxury airport transfers and chauffeur services in the Diani area.
My advise – People go on holiday for very many different reasons, if you are looking to spend some valuable family time on a beautiful beach, with yummy food, these villas will suit you perfectly.
Or if you would like to stay in a calm boutique hotel overlooking the Indian Ocean, with no screaming kids, stay at the hotel.