Lillian’s weekend thoughts

When Lillian Gaitho sends in her weekend material I am always expecting to read about getaways, and why not, #TembeaKenya is high on the marketing agenda of the tourism board and travel, as far as I am concerned, should be a fundamental human right …One of the places Lillian describes, ahead of a trip to the Kenya coast last year wanted to invite me and when I finally had a date in mind I was given a quotation which reminded me of school fees for a term at a top school, giving it a wide berth. That however should not stop anyone from saving up, or mortgaging their dwellings, to afford such luxuries …

Quaint Adventures: Seven Hotels You Should Visit in Kenya before the Year Ends

Just a couple of days ago, the Business Insider reported that, “the naked restaurant in London now has almost 30,000 people on the waiting list” How intriguing. While the Kenyan investors and developers in the hotel sector are yet to explore the (market) potential in dining in the nude; we can still boast of unique settings that seek to indulge guests in more than just a good bed and breakfast experience. Here is my top 7 list you should consider adding to your list of been there, done that or else scribble it on your bucket list.

Cove Tree House

Remember that famous classified, “drink___________ and know why birds fly” Cove Tree House does give the same experience; only that this time you’ll be nestling between palm fronds and giant nuts as opposed to flying above seas and volcanoes. What’s more, unlike in the young days where the dream to spread our wings was surrounded by a cacophony of leafy roofing, you can now enjoy nature and seclusion with the usual luxuries you are used to. Located in Diani, the houses constitute of en-suite bathroom with a bath tub, an airy balcony, air conditioning and fridge. An infinity swimming pool also lets you enjoy the freedoms of a refreshing swim. That impeccable balancing of nature and luxury really does beat any top off the rank star chains!

Desert Rose Lodge

Heard of Elbarta plains? How about Karisia Mountains? The sheer mystery of these places is perhaps the very reason you need to pay a visit to this oasis in Samburu County. Desert Rose Lodge simply echoes its name by awakening all the senses of any rugged wanderer; enabling them to soak in the raw, yet tranquil and convivial atmosphere. This trip should be made as a rite of passage for any urbanite who still thinks the trinkets of development fade out at the city’s fringes. Save an hour or four and visit the community around, for in the words of French Novelist Gustave Flaubert, Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”

Cottar’s 1920s Camp

Kenya’s own gift to the wonders of the world is about to kick off in the coming months; if you’ve not been able to catch the Wildebeest Migration, then you can do it in style at the Cottar’s. The Camp is located between Maasai Mara, Serengeti and Loliondo Reserves, therefore giving it an advantage over other Mara accommodations. What’s more, Cottar’s out of Africa theme is designed to ensure that guests are in total synch with nature, whether listening to folklores over open fires or dining under lantern lit open skies.

Distant Relative Ecolodge

There’s something about this all-inclusive property in Kilifi, which makes you feel connected with Mother Earth and nature; it’s in the African-oriented architecture and atmosphere that allows sojourners to share tales of their adventures and travels over bonfires and mud huts with grass thatching. The huts are surrounded by flourishing greenery that go hand in hand with the eco-lodge theme. Distant Relative Ecolodge is eco-rated Bronze by the Kenya Tourism Board, and therefore a fully-fledged eco warrior. Make a visit, and enjoy nature without disrupting its natural ways. Accommodation options are also limitless, starting from camping sites and safari tents, to dormitories and private lodges complete with patios.

Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant

Not exactly a hotel, but a restaurant that could give your Diani vacation a fresh and unique twist. Ali Barbou’s Cave restaurant is built within rocky caves estimated to have formed between 120 000 to 180 000 years ago. The restaurant set up is intricately built around the rocky, interlinking chambers and tunnels with a towering makuti umbrella webbed on a giant blue gum poles. The ‘roofing’ off the restaurant is open, thus allowing for star and candle lit warmth to the diners indulging in the restaurant’s specifics of mouth-watering sea food culinary.

That said, the cave restaurant has two ‘cousins’ by the name of Forty Thieves, a relaxed beachside bar where sand between the toes is a must, and their ‘Flamboyant Boutique Hotel‘ which I just sampled during a recent trip to Diani and about which you can read shortly. So when at Ali Barbour’s take a short walk and give those two a lookover too.

Treetops Lodge

Located in Aberdares National Park, this lodge stands out among other hotels built on such settings due to its design and structuring. The pre-independent accommodation has grown to embrace new technologies including Wi-Fi and in-room entertainment. Treetops is built around a watering hole and salt lick, therefore allowing guests near-life encounters with elephants, buffaloes and rhinos who come to quench their thirst beneath the massive wooden pillars that hold the 1932 built lodge together.

The Floating House Boat

From tree houses, to underwater glass houses and towering cottages; the human imagination is without doubt limitless. Kilifi boat house is located right after the Kilifi Bridge, thus allowing uninterrupted views of the creek. The self-catering house is moored on the shores of the Indian Ocean, again, giving way for amazing sightings across the blue waters from the open deck on the upper lounge. It’s a perfectly unique place to explore with friends and family.

Now go travel … TGIF is tomorrow and as the saying goes, don’t wait until tomorrow turns into today before you book your tickets, pack your bags and set foot into that fantasy world only travel can paint in an observers mind.

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