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“Tijara Beach - Beautiful secluded hideaway”
Review of Tijara Beach

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Tijara Beach
Reviewed 24 October 2010

An amazing second week to our honeymoon. We wanted a little untouched hideaway after 4 busy days on safari and Tijara is exactly that! Everything about this place is stunning; from the sea views to the immaculate rolling gardens to the secluded cottages which are truly breathtaking! The owners Ian and Larissa and their team are all lovely people, who smile constantly and love nothing more than to look after your every need! Being complete foodies, we loved being given the day’s menu every morning – getting excited about lunch and dinner as we tucked into our three course breakfast! The best thing about Tijara is waking up in the huge bed, opening the beautiful wooden shutters and sitting on the veranda watching the local fisherman catch your lunch and dinner!
Tijara is for anyone looking for total seclusion – a place that allows them to literally drop everything, forget what time and day it is do little more than take in the sea breeze with their favourite book in hand!! We will be back for sure and we can’t wait...

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank R0BANDSALLY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tijara_Beach, Owner at Tijara Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 15 August 2012

Thank you very much and we hope to host you at Tijara again very soon!

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68 - 74 of 99 reviews

Reviewed 23 October 2010

As we were being driven from Ukunda airport to Tijara Beach, Larissa told us that it had long been Ian's dream to open a hotel like Tijara. Well, after our 5 day stay, I can assure them both that he has achieved his dream a thousand fold!

Despite reading the reviews & looking at the photos neither of us were prepared for the sheer beauty of Tijara & the air of total calm & relaxation which pervades. Most of all we were totally overwhelmed by the amazing warmth & friendliness of the owners, Ian & Larissa, & their staff. We prefer to think of them all as the Tijara family!

We were welcomed & introduced to Tijara with afternoon tea (in my case, a cold Tusker malt) sitting on the comfy sofas below the open dining area. We were introduced to Jane who then took us to our beautiful room which was to be our own space in heaven for the next 5 days. We stayed in #3, which is called 'Nngalowa', Swahili for dhow. After a shower & change of clothing we enjoyed the first of many memorable meals, washed down by a celebratory bottle of fizz, thanks Larissa!

The cottages really are as fantastic as previously described & the huge beds are incredibly comfortable. The day bed on the veranda overlooking the Indian Ocean soon became Mel's throne & the bar soon became my reading room whilst enjoying a cold Tusker malt, served as always with a smile by Fondo.

Tijara is situated 3 kms from the main road down an undulating track. It was perfect for my morning run, enjoying the cool morning breeze. My run took longer than normal because the local children are very keen to practice their English! Everyone I passed greeted me with a cheery smile & 'Jambo Jambo' & I soon got to know quite a few of the locals.

When I returned from my run Joseph was always ready with a large bottle of cold water & a tray of hot tea for Mel. A quick swim in the wonderful pool & we were ready for yet another delicious breakfast which always commences with a huge plate of fresh fruit, presented as always as a work or art.

In fact all of our meals were of a 5* standard. The fresh fish, delivered daily from the beach by the local fishermen, was our firm favourite. The Tijara prawns have rightly already been mentioned, now we know why! Absolutely mouth watering delicious, & we also now have the recipe.

Mel is an addicted 'sheller' after many vacations spent on Sanibel Island, Fl. As well as the Sanibel stoop, she now also has the Tijara version. The shells are beautiful & Mel was always accompanied by one of the gardeners, either Kioko or Hamisi. In fact on our fianl morning Kioko gave Mel a particularly beautiful shell that he had found previously.

On the Tuesday morning Ian kindly drove us into Mombasa when he dropped his son Ivan at school. He dropped us at Fort Jesus where Mohamed, our guide, was waiting for us. Thanks again Ian for arranging this. We spent a fascinating morning being shown around the fort & then old Mombasa. The eastern influence is very apparent & the narrow alleyways, shops & markets were absolutely fascinating. A great morning was topped off with a ride in a tuk-tuk, not to be missed.

Before we left UK we asked Ian if there was a nearby orphanage or school for which we could provide help. In the afternoon he & Larissa took us to Tumaini, a short drive away along the coast. This is a truly amazing project begun only 6 years ago by an English couple, Glyn & Jane, who gave up everything at home to come & provide much needed help for the local underprivileged children. They now have 27 orphans & provide schooling for 600 children a day. They also feed them! We all felt very humble when we left & already Ian & Larissa are providing help & assistance & are promoting the charity through the hotel website. Believe me,it's well worth a visit & please provide some much needed help. A small sponsorship provides a child's education.
See; http://www.educationforlife.net/

Our final morning was spent on the reef walk with Ian. What a wonderful morning, seeing close up the myriad of fish & creatures who reside in the numerous pools. During the walk Ian was able to inspect & purchase the fish for that night's dinner!

As a special farewell, Alloys, one of the 2 chefs, kindly prepared our favourite dessert of caramelised pineapple with ice cream. A fitting conclusion, well nearly.

We have Iowa friends who have a tradition that when you visit people or places that you fall in love with then you should leave behind an item of clothing which will ensure that you have to return to pick it up. Jane has already washed & ironed my T-shirt, ready for our return in 2012!

Asante sana to all of the Tijara family for making this the most wonderful conclusion to our vacation. After hectic days on safari we left Tijara totally relaxed & at peace with the world & already counting down the days until we return.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank nicmeljones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tijara_Beach, Owner at Tijara Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 15 August 2012

Thank you ever so much for this review! The views, cold Malt and your T-shirt - it is all waiting for you here and we are looking forward to hosting you at Tijara again"

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Reviewed 1 October 2010

I was to have done this over a month ago, but I was suffering from ‘tijaraitis’ and it took me time to recover…hence the delay!!

Tijaraitis – is the condition you get when you stay at Tijara!
Caused by over exposure to stunning natural beauty wherever your eye looks…from the mesmerizing ocean views over the lofty tops of swaying trees, to filling your lungs with sea scented air, to listening to the lull of the waves slapping the soft white shore to the singing birds calling your name……..
You get the drift?

Anyways back to the review…

LOCATION- between the bush and the beach lies Tijara … it’s off the main Likoni-Ukunda road on a narrow, winding, bumpy road which is rather confusing and when you almost think you are lost, you suddenly stumble upon it!

We were welcomed like friends by the owner Ian, his assistant, and staff all under the shady trees and then lead down a delicate stone path to the restaurant area.

HISTORY - As we sat on soft cushions and sipped on lemon iced tea, we were given a little history about the place by Ian – I could not help, but let my eye wander across the beautiful garden, with gentle slopes dotted with a variety of trees, intertwined with indigenous plants and flowers. It’s amazing to believe that it’s transformed from dense vegetation and rock to this paradise, in no less than 5 years!

After drinks, we continued down the stone path - enjoying the scents of the frangipani trees and came to an open charming wooden carved door – this was cottage no: 2.

COTTAGE – it is all very exclusive, as there are only 4 on the property. The innovative architecture of the cottages ensures absolute privacy.

The high ‘makuti’ thatched roof, skillfully made allowed natural ventilation of sea breeze to flow through, cooling the cottage perfectly – you don’t need air-conditioning!
The main living area has soft cream high walls and cool stone floors which blend seamlessly with luxurious traditional ‘swahili’ wood furnishings.

DÉCOR - Local art adorned the walls and a glass topped table with fresh magenta bougainvillea flowers in a sisal basket sat in the middle, with complimentary bottled mineral water.

Flowing nets enveloped the giant king size bed with four posters which was very enticing (even at noon!!) with its crisp, white cotton sheets and plump pillows covered with an seductive crimson orange bedspread and scatter cushions in spicy colors.

And who needs a Tv when you can still see the vastness of the sky, and enjoy watching a flock of ravens fly past in a ‘V’ at sundown from the soft depths of your plumped-up bed?
The torch on the bedside table was a practical touch, as power cuts are inevitable and it does get very dark!
A cute dressing table with a lamp and overhead light were apt, and so was the traditional ‘lamu’ treasure chest – certainly the biggest safe I have ever used!

The bathroom felt like it is always full of sunshine – it had delicately textured yellow walls with the ‘borini poles’ in the ceiling. A smart huge tub with double showers and soap in a shell merged into the wall. The organza curtains and seed-bead strands flowing alongside the windows with amazing views of the ocean, made it a very popular room for me!

There is no glass over the huge windows throughout the cottage, so you can hear the crashing waves, even once you close the wooden shutters, and the sea breeze wafts through drifting you into a heavenly deep sleep.

VIEWS - I was mesmerizing as I stepped out onto the veranda by the expansive sea view. You can worship the sun from a sun bed or perfectly collapse on a divan in the shade with scatter cushions. Still on the veranda are two lounge chairs - a perfect spot for afternoon tea or real coffee with those melt-in-your-mouth muffins, as you watch the canopy of trees and little fisherman boats out yonder.

But Tijara is also all about being outside…...

NATURE - The nature lover will also find this place very enticing! It is a pretty idyllic world of bouncing birds and colorful butterflies amidst the greenery!

BEACH - A sandy footpath takes you down to the seemingly people-less soft white powdery beach. The reef is rocky so wear something on your feet and look where you are walking –the cool pools are inviting but deceptive so keep a steady foot. We spent hours shell hunting and crab, lobster, etc, spotting.

A walk to the ‘cave’ is a must – Ian will tell you when it’s the right time to go – you don’t want to challenge the tide there! And he will send a guide with you and even walking-sticks to steady yourself. Amazing light shows inside the cave, although I preferred hanging at the mouth of the cave – as the bats, noise and smell was little too overwhelming for me!

POOL - The swimming pool is attractive, inviting and delightful – when you get to the other side of the deep-end there is a step, so you can sit and catch your breath or sip a drink! You can choose a sun beds direct under the sun or, the shady bougainvillea listening to the palms.

FOOD - The food at Tijara is fresh and tantalizing! Two very capable staff look after your appetite and thirst.

We were shown a 3 course menu every morning for the day, to see if it suited our palates – they were very efficient in ensuring allergic foods mentioned were not even remotely connected to any of the dishes served. The chef was marvelously trained and had a flair for delectable flavor as he crossed from traditional dishes to exotic. Desserts were to die for! Served on a beautifully decorated table every time and meals garnished so well –it was almost too perfect to eat!
Get ready to be enthralled at this table!! A good selection of wines and spirits were available.

As we reluctantly packed our bags after 3 nights and attempted to ‘tidy’ the room - my partner flexed his tanned muscles and declared Tijara to be named alias ‘Arnie’s Place’ – I questioned this strange name? and in response, he put on a deep-Arnold-Schwarzenegger-type-of-voice and said – ‘I’ll be back’ !!

CONCLUSION - I was so impressed with Tijara and very proud of its Kenyan roots. The style was luxuriously ethnic, but not overdone – it is so genuine, that you know it is the extension of real people. The service was impeccable and your privacy highly respected in such relaxed beauty.

I salute Ian and his team! May they continue to enjoy the sea air and utterly chilled pace of life - with ever-growing success!!

Guess…..? I am already longing to catch ‘tijaraitis’ once again!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sweetwaters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tijara_Beach, Owner at Tijara Beach, responded to this reviewResponded 15 August 2012

Many, many thanks for your review and one day we shall meet at Tijara again! We are certainly looking forward to it!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2010

Stayed at Tigara for 4 days at the end of a longer holiday- the perfect place to recover from a strenuous safari! The actual hotel has the feel of a very relaxed, peaceful, home, which doesnt feel like a hotel at all. You have your own Cottage ,of which there are 4 and they are all privately situated. the biggest bed ive ever seen - I needed a step to get up into it! You can spend time on your veranda or by the pool, with its pool bar. The grounds are immaculate and beautiful and theres a small private cove where you can have a picnic( requested from kitchen, lovely) or walk.
Nothing is too much of the staff who are all friendly without being too intrusive and Debbie, the hotel's manager, will make sure everything you want or need is seen to. Spa treatments too were lovely!
You can get wifi if you sit on the bench under the Oleander tree- not a hardship! But its wonderful how, the outside world just melts away while yu're there anyway.,
Food was beautiful and way too much! Youa re given a menu for the day, in the morning and if theres anything you dont like or want, then its changed without question - although we had absolutely no need to change anything!
Owner Ian gives a fascinating insight into all -things Kenya and makes sure you get the most out of your visit- arranging private tours or visits if requred too.
The most wonderful place- recomemend to anyone wanting a bit of peace away from the beach boys for a bit perhaps, or honeymoons ( we were celebrating our anniversary).
Teenagers might find it a bit quiet but theres always the pool.Wouldbe great for small weddings.
Cant wait to go back . We know Kenyan hotels and this is at the top of the list of the best ones! Asante sana Tijara Beach!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Scotty010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2010

Tijara Beach is the best way to end a safari. After spending 2 weeks on game drives, Tijara Beach was a welcome relief and the perfect ending to our honeymoon. With romantic private villas, and stunning views of the Indian Ocean, I couldn't have envisioned a better way to end our journey.

The staff there is absolutely wonderful. The manager Debbie even took us into old town Mombasa one day and gave us a great tour of the markets and old city there. On addition to the great rooms and service, the food here was delicious and presented beautifully. We will definitely return here on our next safari.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank nyc327
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2010

Tijara beach was the perfect place to have spent the last 10 days of our honeymoon, having been on a hectic safari for the first 10 days. All of the staff without exception were outstanding - very friendly and more than helpful. From the moment we were met at the airport by Ian to our last meal in the restaurant we had first class service. Tijara is the place to go for peace and tranquility. The cottages are very comfortable and spacious, with a fantastic view over the Indian Ocean. Visiting the reef is an absolute must. The food is excellent, freshly prepared and beautifully presented. You certainly don't go hungry. We came home very relaxed and we cannot wait to revisit in the future.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank RandH240410
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2010

We chose to spend ten days of our honeymoon at Tijara after 4 days on Somaks Thorn Tree Safari and it was just what we needed. We knew the safari would be a tiring experience and when the travel agent found Tijara on the net we said yes straight away - and it was a great decision. The staff were first class; attentive, polite and friendly, we even joked we felt a bit like celebrities. Every meal was cooked with care and well presented. We enjoyed the peacefulness of watching the waves and fishermen out on the coral from the dinning area.
If you're looking to soak up the sun by the pool without the fight for loungers and dodging a fleet of lilo's this is perfect.
We returned home feeling refreshed and fully re-charged ready for the monotony of office life.... I think we're ready for another visit already.

Thank you Ian and Larissa you gave us just what we required and you can be very proud of what you've created.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank chrisandsarahb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tijara Beach

Address: Kilindini | P.O. Box 99914, Mombasa 80100, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Mombasa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 77 Speciality Lodging in Mombasa
Hotel Class:4 star — Tijara Beach 4*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Intimate, private and secluded, yet only a short distance south from Mombasa Island in Kenya, Tijara Beach is an exclusive private resort hosting not more than 8 people. The owners who live on the property and manage it are always available should their guests need anything.Tijara is about total relaxation, getting out of touch with the world and appreciating the beauty of barefoot luxury. It is for people who appreciate tranquility, nature, personal service and absolute privacy. Unwind and renew your spirit at the best escape from the world! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tijara Beach Hotel Mombasa

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