Msambweni Beach House is the true definition of a boutique hotel – small in scale, full of character and intimate. A 30 min drive from Diani, Msambweni is very much an isolated off the track location different from the bustling resort town of Diani. The place is quite rural and I must admit my heart dropped a little on the way there, as we passed small village centres which for me was a far cry from the beach paradise I was expecting. It was with great relief when we arrived at the hotel where Swahili style structures stood against the magnificent views of the expansive waters of the Indian Ocean… I was completely blown away.
Msambweni Beach House is built on a cliff with endless views of the ocean, and everywhere you look your eye is hit with varying shades of blue from the water surrounding you. The sound of lapping waves dominates your ears to provide a soothing backdrop as well as confirming how wonderfully close you are to the ocean. At the hotel I got to see the most beautiful sunsets from the cozy sitting area located at the edge of the cliff.
The beaches here are golden brown with rich tropical vegetation and a varied landscape with low lying cliffs. Located on a virtually deserted beach, I got to enjoy the luxury of a tranquil setting which was new to me as my beach experiences are often dominated by beach boys hustling me to buy touristy curios. I was able to leisurely stroll along the beaches and lie under palm trees with a favourite book which was absolutely blissful!
The Swahili style structures of the hotel are blindingly white with makuti roofs. Hotel guests have the option of staying in private villas or standard rooms. The standard rooms are all white with Swahili themed decor and are very clean with the typical amenities.
Let me tell you about the villas, they are awesome! Each has a private swimming pool with simple locally hand crafted furniture. Their simplicity exudes good taste, great comfort and restrained luxury. Each villa has uninterrupted views of the sea and provides visitors with a private enclave where they can do what they please (honeymooners would thrive here!). From what I saw the villas are the height of good living that I need to get coins for!
For me food is where boutique hotels differentiate themselves from the rest! I have this bias against hotel food which is based on their buffets lacking authenticity and ultimately resulting to uninspiring boring food. This was far from the case at Msambweni Beach House where it was clear that a lot of effort has been placed to ensure guests have a great culinary experience. I learnt that a Belgian chef comes every year to create new menus and train the chefs which is evident as the food is consistently good and unique from what I’ve experienced.
Three course a la carte meals are served during lunch and supper from a menu that changes every day. I always found myself looking forward to meal times as the menu always featured something I’ve never tried such as roll up of crab which is crab encased in an egg wrap, pan fried fish with fennel whose textures were prefect and pineapple sorbet with homemade pineapple marmalade. The dishes here are simple and expertly made with a lot of focus placed on fresh ingredients. This is hands down my best food experience at a hotel on the coast.
Service contributes greatly to one’s experience and the service at Msambweni from the wait staff and everyone in general was amazing. The staff wear all white kanzus making them regal and their garments fit perfectly with the surroundings. Service here is very personalized and the staff went out of their way to ensure you got whatever you needed. A big shout out goes to Bushuti, Mutuku, Emmanuel and Ali for setting the bar for me of what good service looks like.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, my experience at Msambweni Beach House was amazing. Like many boutique hotels the rates here are on the higher side but definitely worth the money. The attention to detail stood out with careful consideration being placed on the smallest things which collectively contributed to a great experience. Msambweni Beach House is perfect for those whose priority is complete relaxation with a touch of seclusion. The setting all around is beautiful from the structures, beaches and the ocean views – it really has all the attributes for an ideal beach getaway. I completely fell in love with the place.