Kanani House is set on its own private estate on the Kenyan coast near Watamu, replete with ocean view, three beautiful barefoot luxury open air huts (thatched roof, ensuite bathroom with good hot shower, huge bed), a private hidden passage down to the beach (during low/medium tide) and the must spectacular infinity pool overlooking the Indian ocean.
The staff went out of their way to cater to our every need and the food prepared by Elvis, the chef, was impeccable.
Our stay was made even more special by the company of the two adorable resident dogs.
Thank you Sacha, Elvis and the rest of the staff for hosting us in your beautiful hideaway. We will definitely be back!
N.B. My only complaint (which is not the owners' responsibility) is the taxi journey from Mombasa, which at 2.5 hours was much longer than we anticipated.
Not the end of the world if you're staying for a while, but as we were only there for the weekend every minute was precious. My recommendation would be to fly to Malindi (which is only 20 mins away) if you can!
What I love about Kanani is that it's so peaceful. You're surrounded by nature and it somehow forces you to relax and recharge.
The shaded area up by the pool is perfect for reading, and watching the dhows sail by and the sea birds flock and move at various stages of tide.
The pied kingfishers are still there, a family of three, often to be found in the coral rock cliffs to the left of the passageway down to the sea.
We loved walking out to
the islands at low tide, looking at the birds and all the life bubbling away in
Because there's so little light pollution, the star gazing is wonderful. After supper we'd walk down to the end of the garden and sit on the stone seat overlooking the ocean to spot satellites and shooting stars.
We visited the Gede ruins, the remains of a Swahili settlement that reached its heyday in the 15th century.
It was better preserved than I expected: a fascinating slice of East African history.
It was definitely worth taking a guide around to explain the detail of each building. It's about a 15 minute ride from Kanani in a tuk-tuk so an easy journey from Kanani.
We also took dug-out canoes at sunset around Mida Creek to look at the birds and ate crab samosas in a little restaurant run by the local community group at the end of a board walk they've built through the mangroves.
Sasha and Ollie put us in touch with the people who work with the community group who run this.
Elvis and the gang looked after us superbly with their gentle coastal charm - and a passion for English football (useful if anyone's interested in match updates). Elvis's cooking was great, using lots of ginger and local spices. Grilled fish and stir fried vegetables was our favourite.
If you want a five star tourist hotel with plasma TVs and air conditioning, Kanani House is clearly not the place, but if you want an idyllic natural getaway it's pretty magical.