Asha Cottage at Diani, south of Mombasa is a mini-paradise. Built right on the beautiful white beach the ever-changing sea is the back-drop to a small hotel which is more like a family home. The owners, John and Dominique, are highly aware of the responsibilities of tourism and can advise guests interested in supporting the local people or environment in a practical way. They are attentive to detail and comfort and have provided an atmosphere in which their guests can relax - whether by the pool, in the small health spa or in the lovely gardens surrounding Asha Cottage where you are likely to see the rare Colobus monkey. As frequent visitors we could not recommend it more highly.
Asha Cottage, Diani Beach, Ukunda, Kenya
Asha Cottages is a small hotel right on the glorious sandy beach an hour south of Mombasa. Run on eco-friendly lines and set among a veritable arboretum of native trees and shrubs, it offers a relaxing tropical seaside holiday with plenty of activities for those who prefer snorkelling, SCUBA-diving, sailing or fishing to sunbathing. There is also bird and animal life aplenty. We were well looked after and entertained and the facilities are excellent and family friendly. Strongly recommended!
Asha Cottages, Dinai Beach, Ukunda, Kenya
Asha is a family owned and run boutique hotel with a socially responsible heart in Diani Beach, Kenya. It’s an incredibly beautiful place, where you totally relax in an intimate setting (only five rooms), eat great food, read loads of books, and pamper yourself. But of course if you really must do something more active snorkelling, diving and safari are also very close at hand.
Very simple and beautiful, go to Watamu, near Malindi in the north. It has the best easily-accessible marine park in the world, which you can swim out to from the beach or take a small boat. The reef is not far and you can swim beyond if your a good swimmer, the rest you just flow with the current.
There are great reasonably priced hotels and resorts and white coral sand beaches, no chavs from down south and you can get in a short safari as well. Should cost about £1,000 for ten days. Family friendly.
If you want something at medium cost, family friendly, snorkelling from the beach (or from plentiful cheap boats). Simple. Turtle Bay Beach Club, Watamu. Don't ask me, ask my kids! It's like their second home.
There are several places that offer great snorkelling opportunities along the Kenyan coast. Choose your time of year carefully though, to avoid the rainy seasons, which can adversely affect conditions and visibility.
My first ever experience of reef snorkelling was at Watamu; a small, laid back and relaxed village about two hours drive north of Mombasa. The snorkelling here is excellent. There is a nice hotel on the beach called Ocean Sports, or for a more Swahili feel, try Marijani Hotel in the village itself. It's less than two minutes walk from the beach.
Alternatively you could head south of Mombasa, to either Diani or Tiwi. Diani is a bit more developed, whereas Tiwi is very chilled out. It may be tricky to get to Tiwi Beach without your own transport, but there is snorkelling available off the beach there. There are various accommodation options in the area.
Near Tiwi and Diani there is also a Colobus monkey conservation project and a very large, community-run elephant sanctuary, which are also well worth a visit.
Snorkelling is also pretty good in some spots just north of Mombasa. There are some big hotels in this area, but they are generally quite expensive.
You could also try scuba diving while you're in Kenya, with it being one of the top-rated dive destinations in the world!
As an alternative to bumping around in a dusty van pointing at distant dik-dik, Pinewood Village is a very very quiet, friendly hotel at Galu Beach, down a bumpy road south of the much busier Diani Resorts.
One of the main attractions (apart from the lack of forced activities, relaxation and friendliness of the atmosphere) is the stretch of beach stretching away from the hotel, pure white and, apparently unusual for the area, somewhere you won't get harassed by beach boys - who'll simply introduce themselves on the first day, point out where their shop is and ask you how long you're staying.
Found it through Trip Advisor where it was highly recommended for a very quiet, peaceful break.
About an hour south of Mombasa is Diani beach, with the usual white sand, clear water and palm trees.
Forty Thieves bar/restaurant is a popular haunt that opens right on to the beach and at night is an amazing place to sit and watch the ocean.
Food is good, particularly the crab. There is music later in the evenings and a pool table but there are quiet corners and comfy sofas to sit back on and enjoy where you are. Locals and tourists alike go there which tells you something.
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