Want to go to paradise? Head to Afro Chic Boutique Hotel in Diani, Kenya

Afro Chic-South coast Mombasa, Diani

I work 13 hours a day and the reason I don’t get overworked and burnt out is that I take a holiday every three months. It doesn’t matter where I go-even my bedroom with all the dvds I can watch for a week is a retreat for me.

So when my friend Mr S and His wonderful travel agent extraordinaire mum suggested a holiday to the coast I was game. They suggested we do Mombasa differently by opting to stay in a boutique hotel rather than your large, affordable but commercial 5 star hotels and I was beyond skeptical. I mean I loved the hustle and bustle of large hotels, the noise and the commotion of various guests; the flurry of activities and large buffet dinners has always been my highlight on family holidays. Of course bratty children doing their ‘thing’ in the pool wasn’t favoured but meeting fellow Nairobians in search of the sun was always welcome.

So the idea of a peaceful, quiet holiday at an exclusive boutique holiday wasn’t at the top of my list, but after checking out the website on the net we decided to give Afro Chic a try and I have never looked back since.

With its exquisitely landscaped garden and its crystal clear swimming pool with Jacuzzi jets, luxurious beach beds, gazebos that are perfect for lounging in with cocktails and large sunglasses and swing-beds that make you think you have escaped to an entirely different island, Afro-chic is true Kenyan chic.

The Afrochic Boutique Retreat consists of 10 individually designed bedrooms including a large Executive Suite. All rooms come equipped with huger than huge beautifully crafted double beds that have given me the best sleep of my life! All the Rooms have a balcony and magnificent view to the Indian Ocean except the “Queen of Sheba Room” that overlooks the luxuriant garden and the very pretty fish pond. The en-suite bathrooms have a bidet and a large shower (two rooms even have a bath tub) so you can imagine the long, luxuriant showers we had in these bathrooms.

Rooms have their own afro-chic style using local art and decor that is exotic, stylish, classy and very sophisticated. In fact the décor and interior design in the hotel is homely yet refined and elegant. Exquisite antiques adorn walls and floors, with luxuriant, expensive, exotic carpets strewn about. African masks and decorations, Lamu chests, Arabian styled devices and gorgeous furniture finishes off the décor.

For city slickers like me, rooms have satellite television, a DVD player, safe, mini-bar and tea and coffee facilities. And don’t even get me started on the balconies that face the ocean with large umbrellas, beach-beds and sun chairs-its perfect for that evening cup of chai.

What charmed and won me over was the service and the fact that you can eat when you want and whatever you want. Afro chic is a full-board, ‘free-style’ system where we got to choose our favourite dishes from a wide selection of an “A la Carte” Gourmet Menu featuring Italian (their arabiatta was made to perfection), Mediterranean (sample their Baba ghanoush), Indian (try their butter chicken), Swahili, Chinese and other Ethnic Specialities . Seafood is aplenty and my favorites were their crab cakes, and prawn cocktail (I’m salivating just thinking about it). Locally grown fruits and vegetables are fresh and always prepared deliciously.

Guests may also choose to dine whenever and wherever they wish: in the dining room, on the veranda, in the garden, on the gazebo, in the tree-house (my favourite) on the beach or in the privacy of their own bedroom balcony.

And the poolside is the best I have seen in my many travels! Their gorgeous gazebos, luxurious beach chairs and beds make Afro-chic an indulging treat.

Another welcome treat for me was the lack of wailing, screaming children as only children over 10 years of age are welcome. And having Dudu there (the manager’s dog) was a treat for me as her friendly paws pattered on the beach beside us whenever we went for beach walks, or wanted to throw a Frisbee and she helped keep pesky hawkers at bay.

(ED NOTE: New manager there now called Stefan-awesome fella who doesn’t have a pet, but Dudu is very close by and you can always request for her)

Dedicated staff are available at all time providing attentive, personalized, and friendly service. The pool is always clean with no living creatures floating about in it, towels are always clean/ fresh and generously provided for pool users, beach beds and swings are clean and stratigicaly placed as the sun begins its journey and sets. I have to conclude by saying that Afro-chic is Paradise on earth and is the perfect spot for some R&R. It’s worth every shilling you spend on your stay there and I have never felt like royalty before. I’m already saving up for my next holiday there.

Rates: range from 400 dollars up per night and depending on the suite and season. 5/5 stars


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