If you crave white beaches, palm trees and the sound of the waves in the background as part of your ideal holiday – then look no further than the exquisite Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort and Spa, just 14 kms North of Mombasa in Kenya.
I was lucky enough to spend 4 nights and 5 days at this absolutely picturesque resort in November last year, and have to be honest, I cannot wait to visit again.
The staff were super friendly and kind – and I really loved that there is literally everything on site, so if you do not want to even leave the hotel you do not have to – that’s my kind of holiday!
Upon arrival at the hotel, we were ushered through the beautiful tropical gardens to our pool facing room. The rooms are beautifully, yet simply furnished in shades of ocean blues and light woods – and the balcony overlooked the pristine blue pool, with the ocean visible in the distance.
The pool was peaceful and no kids were allowed at this one – more on the kid-friendly facilities below – and the sound of the beach which was just on the other side of the bushes. I spent a great amount of my time here.
The welcome fruit basket and bottle of wine were a lovely touch, and I also loved that they replenished the bottled water daily, and it was plentiful (I drink a lot of water and purchasing at resort prices can become very pricey.)
There are a variety of cost options on the rooms ranging from Presidential Suites, to Executive and Studio Suites, as well as Premier sea facing rooms and Pool and Garden Facing rooms to suit all budgets.
The side of the hotel that we were on is usually reserved for honeymooners or guests without children, while the other side of the hotel is super kid friendly and even has its own pools with water slides and the Ozone Kids Club, which looks after the littlies to give tired mums a break too.
Dining at Sarova Whitesands is always a treat and there are three themed restaurants to choose from with live entertainment in the evenings in the two bigger restaurants. The local food buffet was extensive and looked really tasty, however, I selected to eat mostly at the more casual Minazi restaurant, which offers a wide variety of local and international cuisines, from curries to fresh fish, pizza and salads, and more.
I was also impressed to learn that across all the Sarova properties the menu’s are on a two-week cycle, so you would never be served the same meal during your stay, even if you were staying at a number of their hotels or resorts!
Watch the sun go down in Coco’s Beach bar which overlooks the white sand and ocean, the local vendors will try and tempt you with their wares, and camels along with their minders stroll the beach. (We went for a 15-minute ride which was really fun and cost about R 200 for 2 people.)
I mentioned the pools a bit earlier, but in total there are five outdoor swimming pools with water slides, springboard, diving boards and four floodlit tennis courts that also serve as a landing ground for helicopters.
The onsite Tulia spa is award winning and has taken home a number of international accolades over the years. Tulia is the Swahili word for relax and that they certainly do!
The Spa bandas are set on greens at the beachside at one end of the resort, designed for privacy and relaxation in the quiet zone (near our room). Facilities include massage bandas, Ayurvedic massage rooms, outdoor Jacuzzi, reflexology pool, steam and sauna.
Sarova offers ten properties in its Kenyan Collection, ranging from city hotels, to beach and game lodges as well – including the highly popular Sarova Salt Lick Lodge (the beautiful rondawels are on stilts and the elephants roam around underneath!)
We flew with Kenya Airways via Nairobi and used local carrier JamboJet to travel from Nairobi to Mombasa. The hotel sent an airconditioned shuttle bus to collect us and the drive took about an hour to the resort.
Make sure to take mosquito spray, even though there are nets over the beds and air conditioning, they bite during dinner and as the sun goes down at the beach bar.