Ever longed for a weekend getaway, somewhere quiet and serene, away from everything else, just you and your loved ones getting lost in the moment? Or how about waking up from an afternoon siesta, sipping your favorite cocktail while catching up on a few holiday reads?
My ideal getaway involves the smell of the ocean permeating through the thick air, burying my feet in sand, taking a long walk by the beach while I get a chance to reflect on life’s little pleasures. Get lost marveling at a beautiful sunset, lie on the grass at night staring out at the blanket of stars on a clear night. Whatever your ideal getaway involves, I’m sure we all need once in a while to go somewhere where the Wi-Fi is weak, and the rum is strong.
The coastal area is full of amazing destinations to choose from; be it in Watamu, Malindi, Kilifi or Lamu, but the one place that helps me find myself as it were, has definitely got to be Diani; maybe it’s in the white sandy beaches, the serenity of this beautiful little town or probably just the ambience around Diani which instantly makes you fall in love with the place. Despite having lived in Diani a few years back, I’ve come to realize every visit seems to unveil a perfect little hideaway just waiting to be discovered.
My friends and I embarked on a small weekend getaway in South Coast. From the photos and reviews online regarding Villa Raymond, we knew we had to explore this little haven tucked away in Diani.
Despite the tiring trip from Nairobi to Mombasa, the moment we arrived at Villa Raymond, every dramatic experience we encountered along our journey slowly ebbed away. The hospitality as soon as we arrived at the villa thanks to the lovely the staff; made our checking in at the villa quite easy, as we decided to indulge in some fresh cocktails just to kick us off on what was going to be a memorable weekend.
Among the many things that captivated my mind about the villa, was the intricate architecture and décor, which was well brought out in each and every room; from the wall paintings, to the unique lampshades, it was clear the owner put a lot of thought with the décor, especially the master bedroom as it had this enchanting, calming ambience to it.
The vintage and rustic décor surrounding the bathroom area, made me crave for some alone time a night just to soak in the tub with scented candles, rose petals and some relaxing music.
I thought the tour of the room was over, until we were guided along a small door at the corner of the bathroom and into a spiral staircase heading up the study room, and into a beautiful lounge on the attic.
We still had to take a tour of the guest bedroom and choose or rather fight over who had access to the one with the tub! Of course I won, or rather bribed my way into it, but nonetheless, the guest bedroom was just as beautiful, considering the décor was extremely well played out to create a balancing contrast with the fun, happy modern theme it had; from the beautiful chandelier hanging from the ceiling, to the modern bathroom, yet it still managed to maintain a bit of the rustic ambience created in the master bedroom.
After familiarizing ourselves with the villa, we decided to take it slow and enjoy the amazing Swahili breakfast the chef had prepared for us. We settled down at the dining and lounge area after breakfast getting absorbed by the beautiful surroundings around the place.
I noticed two beautiful fountains around the compound area, and they ended up being my go to place when I needed to meditate and have some me time away from everyone else.
A holiday in Diani is not complete without indulging in some seafood delicacy; and our personal chef for the weekend, spoiled us with a mouth-watering array of seafood fresh from the Indian Ocean.
With the open kitchen plan, and a little mini bar counter beside it, making cocktails became the order of the day, and were perfect enough for me not to even contemplate rediscovering the nightlife experience in Diani.
We all deserve to have days in which we are allowed not to think about the outside world; not to confront life’s daily problems, not to search for solutions, not to be anxious about what tomorrow holds. A kind of getaway that makes you feel selfish for putting you first for once, a getaway that allows you to withdraw from the cares in the world; to reboot as it were.
For the next couple of days, that’s exactly how I felt at Villa Raymond, tucked away from the outside world. Waking up and lazing around by the pool or catching up on the interesting books at the entertainment lounge; they became my only worries for the better part of our stay there.
On our last night before we left, the chef surprised us with a BBQ dinner under a lovely gazebo by the gardens; from chicken to beef and soup, we indulged until our stomachs couldn’t take it anymore.
But nothing was more perfect than that moment, seated under a gazebo on a clear starry night, enjoying the cozy ambience Villa Raymond managed to create for us, as the breeze from the ocean soothed the warm tropical night away.
We had an amazing weekend thanks to Simon and Anita, the owners of this beautiful place, and the wonderful staff at Villa Raymond.
Early this year, I read a quote which ended up becoming my 2017 mantra:” Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold, but other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.” For that weekend, Villa Raymond became my little rainbow; it was the perfect place to rejuvenate and rest away from the pressures of this life!
Pictures do speak a thousand words, but sometimes a visual tour has a way of making you wish you could just pack up a bag, and go back to this little piece of heaven tucked away in Diani.
All photos courtesy of TurnUp Travel.
- The villa is about two km from the road, hence why it is perfect for couples or friends,out to enjoy some holiday away from all the noise.
- It’s quite a distant to the beach and shopping center which makes it hectic finding your way there.
- You can either have the option of hiring a chef for an extra fee or cook for yourself at the villa.
- Transfers to and from Mombasa or Ukunda Airstrip available on request.
- You can book your stay through TurnUp as well.