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This charming beach

ELLY GITAU

Of all the exotic places I have been to, for leisure, no single one of them beats Mombasa. I might not be too cultured, but the few places I’ve paid a visit for own pleasure, this Kenyan coastal city still does it for me. There is something to do with the ocean, people, culture and altitude, and of course, the white sandy beaches, that always keeps me yearning of being there.

I think I suffer from ‘Mombasa addiction’, or something strangely close to that. Now, I have been to hotels, and I’ve been to The Reef Hotel Mombasa. Let me say that this place is a hidden gem. It’s a perfect place when you need to relax the mind and body away from the hustles and bustles of life. Located on the white sandy beaches of Nyali, the hotel is easy to find.

It’s only 15 minutes from Mombasa CBD, and 25 minutes from Moi International Airport, Mombasa. When we arrived at the eye-catching establishment on Mwamba Drive off Mount Kenya Road, the hospitable crew that met us by the taxi bay instantly swept us off our feet.

With a courteous gesture, the uniformed men offered to port our luggage to the main reception area, where a welcome drink was waiting for us. The cold drink was just so awesome in the humid weather of the Coast. The hotel has four main plenary rooms and one breakout room.

Overlooking the splendid Indian Ocean, The Reef Hotel Mombasa is a full service destination perfect for either business or pleasure, especially with its tropical gardens, four swimming pools, a fitness centre, spa, fine dining, and a selection of 152 guest rooms that reflect hospitality at its finest. I had the pleasure to speak with the hotel’s Reservation’s Manager, Joshua Elloga, who narrated to me a brief history of the hotel.

The original Reef Hotel was built in in 1972, but recently, it had a significant renovation, which brought in some new sleek design for the rooms and public areas. “It’s one of the most iconic hotels in Mombasa,” he tells me.

However, the electioneering atmosphere in the country is not doing any good to such establishments. “Our bookings for the third quarter of the year are not encouraging. They are on a free fall as we approach the election.

July has been terrible, but we expect August to be the worst. Actually, we have no bookings in August. However, we have overwhelming bookings from October through to April 2018,” says Joshua.

Reef Hotel rooms are air-conditioned, each with its own bathroom, balcony, telephone extension and TV. On matters conferencing, the experience kicks off with a team of dedicated conference planners and audio-visual technicians at your service to customise your event, large or small. The conference centre allows for conferences of up to 350 delegates.

There are other 14 conference facilities and a parking area that can accommodate in excess of 200 vehicles. As I got down to uploading the photos on my social media pages, the strong WiFi signal at Reef came in handy.

For party souls, the hotel has an exciting bar, Moonshine Beach Bar (ideal for sport and party lovers), Poolside Bar and Bistro and Tanga Bar and Grill (an a la carte restaurant for sea food dishes, grills and cocktails).

There’s also a forex bureau, spa, gym and basketball and lawn tennis courts. Water volleyball, pedal boat riding, table tennis, French bowling, archery, pool scuba diving and snooker games are among other activities you can indulge in while there. Accommodation prices start from Sh7,000 ($70). The hotel offers a wide range of exquisite delicacies, both local and foreign.

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