We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us ~ Anonymous.
Hello my friends! 😀 Are you looking for a different kind of holiday this Christmas season? Well, I am excited to share this hidden gem that I recently discovered in Diani: Villa Raymond.
When you travel, do you always opt to stay at a mainstream hotel? With my previous Boutique hotel experiences, I am starting to believe that there are better, more affordable options out there… This quest led me to discovering Villa Raymond, in Diani.
If you are looking for a private, personalized kind of holiday, then leasing a villa might just be for you! How does it work? In most occasions, a villa owner will rent out his entire villa to guests for a certain period, and may provide a chef on request. You then get access to the entire premises for your stay.
About a month ago, I got to go on my first trip to Diani, for a stay at Villa Raymond. I was a little more than curious to see what the trip would hold… Based on my online research, Villa Raymond seemed like a dream, so I simply had to see it myself… You could say that this trip was an answered prayer, right at my doorstep. 🙂
Exploring Villa Raymond Solo
As fate would have it, I got to travel to Villa Raymond ahead on my own, as Wanjiku Thuo was to join me the next day… I had a mixture of emotions as the cab made its way to the villa, on a rough road into the interior parts of Diani. It did not quite look or feel like the Coast… But as soon as we arrived, all my doubts washed away. There, in what felt like the middle of nowhere, lay a little paradise. 🙂
Boniface the manager, welcomed me with a warm smile, as I breathed in my home for the next 2 days!
The first thing you notice as you walk in, is the wide pool reflecting the clear blue skies. Then there is the green scenery of beautiful trees and plants…. It is hard to focus on any one thing at a time; it hits you all at once, in a cool, relaxing blow!
Signature Decor With a Difference
I was led to the lounge where, they had prepared a delicious smoothie. It was just as well because I was hungry and ready to devour anything at that point!
As I downed my smoothie, I could not help noticing the bright colors that surrounded me…
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: WANJIKU THUO
The bright colors blend in well with the surrounding scenery, giving off that calm, holiday feeling.
An Exquisite, Home Away From Home!
By this time I was sure that I had seen every amazing thing that the place had to offer… But boy was I wrong!! 😀
The super, mind-blowing moment came when I was shown to my room… Whoa!! In fact, the word ‘room’ feels wrong in this case! There are no words to describe such places…. Elegant barely scratches the surface.
You can tell that the various pieces in the suite were punctiliously chosen. I later learned that Anita, the owner of Villa Raymond designed it herself. Her taste is simply exceptional, to say the least.
Now for the most breathtaking part…. Wait for it……Boom!
haha, I just had to 😀
This open-plan bathroom, had my mouth agape for a few moments… Plus the high roof makes it all so airy and cool. 🙂
The most intriguing thing about this place is that you feel like you are at home, yet it’s luxurious enough to give you that ‘away’ feeling. They have a big guest suite, and a second room that can house at least two adults. Their guest capacity at any one time, is up to 4 adults, and 2 children (aged under 10). Housekeeping is included. 😊
Coastal Dining Experience
When you stay at the villa you can opt to make your own meals, or they can provide a private chef on request. I requested for us to have the chef.
because fighting with sufurias (pots and pans) does not spell holiday in any language. 😀
Having had the ‘presidential’ tour, I sat down with our chef to come up with a menu for our stay. I particularly liked the fact that he was full of ideas, making the process hustle free.
- Purchase the items (ingredients) for your meals on your way to the villa
- Request to have a private chef as they make the best coastal meals ever!
Relaxed and Breezy
I usually dread traveling to the Coastal parts of Kenya due to the hot temperatures. I was surprised by how breezy Villa Raymond was. You can relax at their gazebo, or on the many lounge areas.
Nothing beats that pool-view though, especially in the mornings before the sun gets hot. 🙂
It is the perfect getaway for everyone! Whether you looking for a family holiday, or a getaway for your group of friends. It’s probably best-suited for honeymooning couples who want all the privacy in the world… This place is even good for a solo-traveler, who is looking to unwind in tranquility and beauty.
- If you are traveling by plane, it is advisable to fly into the airstrip in Ukunda, which is 3.5km from the villa.
- The villa can easily organize your pick-up from the airstrip
- You can request for the villa to organize car-hire services for you in advance
- The beach is a short distance away from the villa, and they can make a beach tour possible for you on request.
Our time at Villa Raymond was unquestionably special. The thing that stood out most for me, was their personalized attention to guests. They make you feel valued and important, so much that you never want to leave! Many thanks to Anita and Simon for the uniquely excellent, coastal-villa hospitality. 🙂
Thank you for reading my dear friends! Did you enjoy the post? I love your feedback! 😀 Leave a comment and/or any questions you might have in the Comments’ section below-I will be sure to respond!
Have yourself a wonderful day, and stay safe this holiday season. 🙂
P.S. As Always, Stay Inspired. 🙂
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A wise man travels to discover himself~James Russell Lowell