By Sanika Shah
Around the world, beach holidays are a preferred choice of vacationing, and African beaches are on the top of many bucket lists because the combination of the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, pristine white sand and a thriving marine ecosystem complement the luxurious and beautiful experience provided by almost any coastal African nation.
Kenya specifically, is well-known for having some of the best tropical beaches in the world as they offer a tranquil environment, rich biodiversity, a range of activities and lavish beach resorts. While Diani Beach and Nyali Beach in Mombasa are arguably the most popular destinations, Turtle Bay is a stretch of beach in Watamu that is becoming increasingly favoured by tourists and locals alike. About 7 km long and situated on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya, this beach is recognised for its reefs and crystal-clear waters.
One of the best resorts on this strip is Turtle Bay Beach Club, which is a leading player in the all-inclusive holiday market and for decades, has been loved by both families and couples seeking a quality accommodation at an affordable price.
The resort has 145 en-suite rooms that are divided into three categories: super club rooms, Swahili-style Lamu rooms and ocean-front rooms. Each room in the hotel is equipped with a flat-screen TV and air conditioning and certain rooms have balconies providing picturesque views of the ocean.
Meals are crafted to maintain safety, hygiene and social distancing for breakfasts, lunches and dinners and, on some evenings, the à la carte Blue Turtle Restaurant is also open for a candle-lit dinner by the ocean, allowing you to enjoy a delightful meal alongside the calming sounds of the waves. There is also a poolside snack bar and pizza garden which is welcomed by anyone of any age. After all, who does not love eating while relaxing poolside?
Additionally, the resort provides free bikes, a children’s playground, mini-golf and has on-site tennis courts to keep you active and healthy (which is especially necessary after all the delicious food you will devour during your stay).
For families travelling with young children, the resort also has a “kids club” which keeps them both occupied and having fun.
Furthermore, the location only adds to everything that is already so great about the resort. Turtle Bay Beach Club is located only 6 km from Watamu National Marine Park and 2.1 km from Bio-Ken Snake Farm, thereby providing unique opportunities to interact with all the remarkable wildlife Watamu has to offer.
For water sport enthusiasts and adventure seekers, the resorts in house’ Turtle Bay Dive and Watersport Centre provides thrilling activities including scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking, windsurfing, kite surfing and sailing.
Of course, this resort cannot be discussed without the mention of turtle (and dolphin) watching excursions. Guests have the incredible opportunity to take a boat beyond the reef and observe these stunning creatures within their natural habitat. Without taking part in animal cruelty or disturbing the aquatic life, you can admire the turtles and dolphins from a close enough distance as they swim along with the current in an experience you will never forget.
Like any accommodation in Kenya, evening entertainment is also essential to the satisfying experience offered. People are encouraged to relish (and sometimes participate) in the various traditional dance performances that take place, as well as listen to live bands and enjoy a regular disco.
All the above already makes Turtle Bay Beach Club worth a visit, but so far, everything I have mentioned is not even the best part.
In March 2004, ecotourism and sustainability became an official policy of the hotel, and since then, hotel managers meet regularly to ensure that all resources used and purchased, and the disposal of waste, is done in a way that both protects the delicate ecosystems around the resort as well benefits the local community.
Turtle Bay begins is eco-friendly practices through the help of their guests as stickers displayed in all rooms request guests to re-use their towels and bed sheets are changed every three days instead of every two. Both water leakage and water consumption are monitored daily, and in addition to this, the resort is currently looking into low-pressure shower nozzles, installing push taps in staff areas and using recycled water in gardening.
Moreover, they are avoiding the use of hardwoods wherever possible and purchase any wood required, from local suppliers to support the economy.
Ovens are cleaned with a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and oven cleaner to reduce the number of chemicals purchased, which in turn, reduces the amount of harmful substances entering and destroying the surrounding natural environment.
Through the development of their eco-policy, Turtle Bay remains committed to the protection of nature and can sincerely claim to be environmentally responsible. Hence, the resort is the only coastal property to receive a gold rating from Ecotourism Kenya and is the perfect place for anyone looking into sustainable travelling or to simply be more environmentally conscious.
Ultimately, Turtle Bay Beach Resort really feels like a paradise and is the best choice of accommodation as you explore Watamu.
Message from Turtle Bay
First guests have arrived and enjoying a beach holiday in Watamu, North Coast. In line with the new international protocols for hotels and restaurants Turtle Bay will also be getting in line under our ‘Turtles Sociable Distancing and Staying Well program’ Firstly we request that all clients travel with their own face masks that they prefer to use in public areas.
Our team will all be wearing visors/masks and we will now serve you from our buffets to avoid the multiple handling of service utensils.
It might also be a good idea to carry your own preferred hand sanitizer although we will be providing the same at numerous cleansing stations around the premises.
There are Turtle distancing markets on the floors to help us all to maintain the correct space between individuals.
We reorganized our restaurants and communal areas to allow for clients to maintain distances as required. There are also upgraded sanitising programs in all areas and copious hand washing stations. This is done in conjunction with posters to remind all our esteemed guests to wash their hands at regular intervals.
We have experienced much lower impact from the pandemic here in Kenya but we cannot afford to be complacent so we will be doing everything in our power to keep everyone at Turtle Bay safe.