It’s been a week since I got back from Watamu and I think I’ve just about settled back into life in Nairobi. Back to the cold reality of early morning alarm clocks, hectic work days and bumper to bumper traffic (UGH!).
I already miss the lazy, luxurious life we lived in Watamu! When is the next holiday? Is the Pope coming back anytime soon? Obama? Maybe the Queen can pop over? I need a break already! In the meantime, let me reminisce as I do a recap and quick review of Saba Saba Villas.
Ahhhhh, Saba Saba. What a slice of heaven it was! Fun fact: What is now Saba Saba Villas (and the hotels immediately surrounding it) actually used to be part of a private, gated community. Rumor around town is that when the owner’s wife did him wrong (feel free to think the worst here), he up and sold the entire gated community, then packed up his bags and left, never to be seen again. The property was then split up into several small hotels, including the one we stayed at.
With only nine rooms, Saba Saba has a warm and cozy feel. I think there is something soothing about a hotel that doesn’t quite feel like a hotel, where you’re not dodging hotel cleaners and numerous fellow guests along long corridors or battling pre-teens for a good spot by the pool.
Saba Saba is both intimate and elegant, with a tasteful Swahili theme carried throughout. It feels like your very own private beach home, like the holiday home you’d build for yourself if you won the lottery. Or became an MCA.
Then there is the tranquil, charming outside garden. I instantly fell in love with it! That garden is both scenic and serene – peaceful, lush with a variety of trees and complimented by great views.
When you add the glistening blue temperate pool and the hammocks strung up on shady trees, that garden is the perfect oasis!
Every single morning before sunrise, Mr. Big would go out with his camera to take pictures of the heavenly garden. Every single morning. Before sunrise.
The staff at Saba Saba will make it their mission to make you as comfortable as humanly possible. Warm, friendly and exceedingly helpful, these guys will go the extra mile for you – they helped us decide on holiday activities (including where to party on New Year’s Eve!) and organized for all transport during our stay. If it wasn’t for them, we would not have been able to do half the fun stuff we did. They were truly wonderful.
No hotel is perfect though, and naturally, there are a couple of areas in which the hotel could improve upon: While there were highlights in the dining experience including perfectly crisp fries and juicy nyama choma, the rest of the meal planning and execution was average. It is also a hotel with a limited number of staff which meant that sometimes the housekeeping was not as urgent and continuous as needed.
We were open with management about our feedback and were happy to hear that they are currently in the process of recruiting a cohort of new staff, including a Head Chef! And that’s another thing I love about Saba Saba, the management is accessible, transparent and excited about where they’ve come from and where they hope to go.
In short we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Saba Saba Villas and give it a definite thumbs up. The lovely hotel, great outdoor activities and magical town of Watamu all made for an amazing vacation. I would recommend it to anyone and can’t wait to go back!