LEOPARD BEACH IS JOINED BY SWAHILI BEACH IN ANNUAL TRIPADVISOR RECOGNITION
Two of Kenya’s leading beach resorts, the much acclaimed Leopard Beach Resort and Spa and the nearby Swahili Beach – the latter the first new hotel opened in December 2011 for over 15 years at the Diani Beach stretch of the south coast – have just received their TripAdvisor recognition for outstanding services, the Certificate of Excellence 2013. Mike Round Turner, who is heading the team at the Swahili Beach, in his communication spoke of a difficult few months, the sector has been going through but expressed his confidence that the future was looking up and shaping up with improved advance bookings. He said: ‘Bookings are looking strong and for the first time in months the tour operators are talking positively’, a sentiment shared by several other hoteliers this correspondent was in touch with in recent days.
Meanwhile, across at the Leopard Beach Resort and Spa things are also looking up, as – following the time critical rebuilding of the sections of the resort damaged by a fire almost exactly a year ago – the focus has now shifted back to the new villas. Construction of the 28 forest and pool villas was halted during the rebuilding of the main resort but has now resumed in full swing and the first phase of forest villas are expected to be open in September this year.
When fully operational, the 2 and 3 bedroom villas will add a further 73 rooms to the resort, which has been enjoying growing patronage from around the world and established itself as a regular contender for ‘Best’ among Kenya’s beach resorts. Notably will the coast’s first fusion restaurant also open at the time, with some of the staff already being trained in Thailand, to be ready to work their magic in the kitchen. Named ‘Lemongrass’ the restaurant will serve the guests staying at the villas but also for patrons from outside the resort, complementing the existing Chaine des Rotisseurs restaurant in the main resort complex.
In related news it was also learned that the Diani beach road, which connects all the resorts, has been re-carpeted with a new solid layer of tarmac, though it is still lacking paved sidewalks where tourists can safely stroll along to visit the shops and boutiques, as it does street lighting, a crucial element for those wanting to walk after dark.
Still, good progress with the resorts and congratulations to the two recipients of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2013.