Keeping up with the Kenyan Coast
All of the publicity surrounding tourism on the Kenyan Coast in the recent past has tended to highlight the plight of tourism along our coast as opposed to focusing on, the road ahead for the industry, properties, and companies that are trying to re-establish the aura the Kenyan Coast demands. Set along the ‘busier end’ of Diani Beach, Swahili Beach is a relatively new property that was built just before the Kenyan Coast experienced a massive downturn in business (mainly due to increased insecurity), set in amongst some of the older resort hotels that now sit derelict.
Swahili Beach opened during very trying times for the Kenyan Tourism sector, but they did not allow those circumstances to stop the beautifully designed, Swahili-styled hotel from breaking the mould (of traditional European style resort hotels) and opening a tasteful property that remains relevant along the Kenyan Coast, whilst many of those around have crumbled.
The architecture at Swahili Beach is traditionally Swahili making the entire property elegantly understated. From the moment you walk through the traditional Swahili doors at the entrance and into the luxurious setting of a modern day coastal Swahili Medina that is Swahili Beach. With a pool that runs from the reception down to the beach, the poolside never gives the impression of a crowded, noisy resort pool, which means that you can actually relax by the pool.
The pool culminates in an oasis style beach bar, restaurant and network of pools that makes a great area to lounge.
Hotel rooms are always the subject of scrutiny, especially at beach hotels and resorts. The wrong layout and quality of room fit out can greatly impact impressions of the hotel and the client’s stay. Maintaining the traditional Swahili theme has allowed for the rooms to be incredibly spacious and comfortable, yet functional. With big furniture pieces and a lot of ‘built-in’ stone furniture, the attention to detail brings out a distinct traditional Swahili feel in the rooms, without compromising on comfort or high-quality materials.
There is nothing worse than visiting a seasonal hotel that appears to be unprepared or is missing various amenities when their occupancy increases. With the volatile tourism situation in Kenya, this became the modus operandi for numerous hotels, lodges, camps… that were not able to remain relevant in challenging times.
Swahili Beach has stayed and remains relevant. They have built up a loyal client base of local tourists that often get overlooked and host numerous functions and events at the hotel in the quieter seasons, such as weddings, live music events and parties that fill the hotel.
There are a few properties along Diani that have not allowed the state of the tourism industry to dictate the terms of their business. Swahili Beach has done that and more, becoming the property that most people associate with Diani Beach.