My husband and I spent five nights at Kinondo Kwetu as part of a first wedding anniversary trip after a few days on safari - we really can't recommend this hotel highly enough! It is a stunningly beautiful private home that has been extended to become an intimate hotel - it is all traditional whitewashed buildings with palm thatched roofs and lovely mahogany beams and packed full of fabulous African statues, masks and primitives. Shutters are thrown open during the day onto wide , shady verandahs and in the evenings your room is lit up, the mosquito nets drawn and the bed turned down as if by magic. Then you have to decide which of the several help-yourself bars to have your evening gin and tonic at - it's tough! The estate is set amongst lush tropical gardens full of rustling palms and frangipani trees that are beautifully kept by the groundsmen. The trees around the large swimming pool are alive with very sweet colobus monkeys and a handsome hornbill, all of which you can watch from shaded day beds. The gardens lead down to a deserted stretch of private beach with calm aquamarine water and the ever present sound of surf breaking on the offshore reef. All sorts of activities can be arranged, from snorkelling and scuba diving to horse riding on the beach and yoga.
The Swedish owners, Ida and Filip, are super friendly and treat you like their personal house guests and Penny and Johnny, the British couple who run everything day to day, could not be more friendly, welcoming and good company when you're having a sundowner at the bar.
What also really makes Kinondo Kwetu special is its wonderful local staff, who are utterly charming in the most effortless way. Special mentions go to Rose, Dixon, Ruben, Lucas, Henry and Albert, but they were all fantastic and made us feel so welcome. Pauline and Ngeri give super relaxing, de-knotting massages in a little pavilion on a cliff overlooking the ocean, where there is also a space for taking yoga or other workout classes or you can just go and do your own workout - mats and free weights are there to help yourself to. Everyone's attitude was just so chilled out - nothing was ever too much trouble.
Which brings us to the food... We really loved it. Loads of fresh fish, prawns, chicken and cashew stir fry and coconut ice cream served in coconut shells were firm favourites and grilled lobster with garlic butter sauce knocked it out of the park. There is a set 3-course menu for lunch and dinner (except for a buffet on 'Curry Sundays') but if you want something different the chefs are only too happy to oblige - we asked to have lobster again on our last night as it was such a treat. A really clever and imaginative touch was that you never have dinner in the same spot twice; we had oil lamp lit dinners on the verandah of the main house, with Billy Holiday classics playing softly in the background, in the gardens by the beach, on the balcony outside our room and - best of all - at the top of the water tower, gazing out at the stars. VERY romantic, especially for honeymooners.
Overall this is just such a lovely place to relax and re-charge and we'd love to go back. Thank you to everyone at Kinondo Kwetu for a magical time! We're missing it loads!
Charlie and Charlie x
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kinondo Kwetu is often described as a ‘home away from home’ - a paradise for those wanting a more personal experience on the Kenyan coast. Located on a tranquil private Galu beach on the south coast of Kenya.An all-inclusive boutique hotel - with room for no more than 38 guests, you will always find your own private spot at Kinondo Kwetu, which makes it a very special hideaway for honeymooners. It is also the perfect place to gather family or friends for a private celebration or wedding. In addition to relaxing in the sun and swimming in the Indian Ocean, Kinondo Kwetu offers an impressive selection of exciting activities – ranging from watersports such as Kite Surfing, Kayaking, Deep sea fishing and Scuba Diving, to land activities such as Game Drives, Horse Riding and Yoga weeks. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kinondo Kwetu Hotel Ukunda