Planning a holiday is quite hectic at times; we always have a few factors to consider when it comes to finding a villa or hotel, that’s suitable for our budget, while allowing us to enjoy our holiday with ease. Personally, for long vacations with a group of friends, I tend to prefer getting a private villa, due to affordability and the freedom of being in control with your eating time, rather than hotels which seem to have scheduled times for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
A few months ago, my girlfriends and I decided to go on a week long girl’s trip holiday, just to get away from Nairobi, take some time off work and have a long holiday doing nothing but lazing around by the beach, while sampling a few restaurants and attractions around the area; basically do all the touristy things we could within that week.
After a few back and forth debates, we decided to settle on an intimate, serene villa tucked away in Watamu, as our first home for our holiday dubbed:” The Coast to Coast girls tour”
Watamu happens to be one of my favorite places to help me regain back my sanity every time life gets a little bit overwhelming; hence why it was only right for us to kick start our holiday with some peace and relaxation. We came across a couple of villas on AirBnB while searching for accommodation in Watamu, but sadly we weren’t quite satisfied with what we got, until we decided to check on booking.com and came across a villa called Zawadi’s Residence.
Located in Watamu, just a few minutes walk to the beach, Zawadi’s Residence is a small oasis of peace and tranquility, despite the close proximity to the road. The zen feeling around the property from the wonderful gardens and plants around, creates such a relaxing atmosphere; which was exactly what my girlfriends and I needed for this trip.
The lovey host, Tiziana welcomed us and showed us to our different rooms, which happened to have a spacious balcony outside, perfect for lazying around, catching up on a few winks, especially on days when the humidity in Watamu became too much to bear, as it was during our stay there.
You could tell the interior in each and every room, was selected to taste; from the wood, to the doors and even the bathrooms!
I sat down with Tiziana, our host for a chat over tea, as she explained to me how she designed each and every room herself. I could see the spark in her eyes when she passionately explained how she’s trained a few locals around the community, by helping them acquire skills like carpentry and woodwork, which enabled them to sustain their families.
From the various restaurants we explored around Watamu, I could see the works of her hands, and amazing decor all around.
On our first day at Zawadi’s residence, we didn’t get to spend much time at the property, since we wanted to explore Watamu and the various attractions it had. However, the next morning, as we lazied around our various rooms, I decided to take a walk around the property just to see the various rooms the place has to offer. From 3 bedroom villas, single rooms and two bedroom villas, Zawadi’s Residence seemed to be the perfect place to unwind with a few girlfriends or family.
We headed on to have breakfast at the terrace, which I must say was quite amazing, considering the amount we had paid, for bed and breakfast at the villa. After a sumptuous continental breakfast, our host decided to give us a few tips on the restaurants we could try out as well as a few attractions we could visit, while sampling Watamu as best as we could. The four nights spent at Zawadi’s Residence seemed to have flown by so fast, but we enjoyed every minute of our stay here.
Sometimes we want to go on a holiday that feels different; where we can stay at a place that’s no longer a picture we admire online, but rather a reality. We stayed at Zawadi’s Residence for about four nights, but it made our holiday feel like home because of the friendly approach and homely aura the place has to offer.
On our last morning there, the chef made quite a hearty breakfast for us, and I couldn’t help but wish we could extend our stay a little while longer, although we still had part 2 of the Coast to Coast Tour to explore.
If you are looking for a place to get away, just to enjoy some quiet time, then Zawadi’s Residence is the perfect place for you. I would highly recommend it for a female solo traveler, since the place is quite secure, easily accessible to the shopping center, beach and various restaurants as well. Unfortunately the place doesn’t have a swimming pool, but we left the owner constructing a Jacuzzi, which I hope to try out the next time I’m in Watamu! The only downfall about the villa, is the fact that it doesn’t have air-conditioned rooms, although it does have ceiling fans. But if I were to factor in the ambiance and location, it’s the perfect place to explore Watamu as it’s extremely affordable for bed and breakfast, since we paid 32,000Kshs for four people for 4 nights, inclusive of bed and breakfast!
You can book the place through booking.com or email them on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tips to note when it comes to group travel
Self catering cottages or villas are the better option when it comes to group travel.
Book a few months in advance to help everyone stay committed to the trip.
Disagreements will always arise, but brush them off and don’t let it ruin your trip.
Have an open mind, if your itinerary doesn’t go according to plan.
Remember to be considerate and don’t assume you’re the only guests in the villa.
Hire a chef and split costs which makes it easier for you not to argue on who’s on kitchen duty.
Have fun, but be considerate of the owner’s house and don’t go around spoiling things.
Booking.com has a wider variety of affordable cottages than AirBnB.