This Swahili-style boutique retreat has a peaceful location between a sacred forest and sugar-white sands.
Kinondo Kwetu has a tranquil beachfront location. It’s cut off from the main stretch of Diani Beach thanks to a rocky cliff, meaning there are no beach boys or crowds to spoil the peace. The local area is classified as sacred ‘kaya’ land and the surrounding holy forest is protected by the National Museum.
The hotel is quiet and has a home-away-from-home vibe; it’s family-owned-and-run and the Swedish owners live on site with their children, so the service is warm and personalised. The family are related to Baron Blixen, husband of Out of Africa author Karen Blixen, and at Kinondo Kwetu they have created a traditional Swahili-style retreat. Rooms are dotted around the shaded gardens and are individually designed, but all have a traditional Swahili décor with cool white-washed walls and hand-carved furniture. The thatched cottages are ideal for couples, while the layout of the villas allows for flexible living. Each villa is made up of various rooms and suites that can be booked privately or together; families with young children are well catered for with interconnecting rooms and a family cottage. Some rooms have a terrace or balcony with sea view.
Kinondo Kwetu’s daily set menu focuses on fresh seafood and local vegetables, but the hotel is happy to go off-menu. As well as the restaurant, guests can dine in a cute wooden fishing boat on the beach, tables out on the sand or on top of the water tower with views out over the resort. For relaxation, the hotel has two pools, a sauna and a yoga deck. There’s a focus on wellbeing, with yoga retreats held throughout the year. Watersports include kitesurfing and stand-up paddle boarding and there’s an on-site dive centre. Guests can also venture further afield to explore the surrounding sacred forest.
16-acre gardens in a protected ‘kaya’ area, south of Diani BeachAirport transfer time:Approx. 2 hours from Mombasa airport including a ferry crossing, or 15 minutes from Ukunda airstrip Rooms:15
Good to know
The beach is tidal and swimming is not possible at low tide.
15 rooms housed in 5 cottages and 2 villas
• Visit Kinondo village and the Kinondo Kwetu community works* • Head out on a stand-up paddleboard to explore the coastline* • Take a boat trip to a nearby desert island*.
All Inclusive • All meals • Selected drinks (excluding sparkling wine and Champagne).