ACHOLA ROSARIO FEELS FLAMBOYANT AT THE FLAMBOYANT
(Posted 20th December 2020)
I get jealous of the wind, it goes where it wants to, needs nothing to hold on to. But in actual fact, we all need someone, even if it is the form of a sense of belonging. Like a crab that crawls out of the ocean to end up in a swimming pool, our sense of movement, ebb and flow, is what in the end connects us. And certain places tend to act as connectors in the circuit-board of life. Flamboyant Bed and Breakfast, right on Diani Beach proper, is one such place.
Brand new but old at the same time, this completely open plan, 10-bedroom Bed and Breakfast just reopened this September 2020, but used to be a deceptively simple private mansion on the beach. A family business that has been established for more than 30 years in the area have decided to bring a little boutique chic to the party, offering white linen sofas with purple cushions, boards of Scrabble on the side tables, the reception facing a large square indoor water-pond positively overflowing with papyrus and lilies under an open skylight, and in which I was assured were various species of goldfish and carp.
I was too busy admiring the delicate filigree spiral staircases leading to the upper rooms, as I was led to my own ground floor pool-view twin room, all white linen and turquoise cushions, plank-framed mirrors and a carafe of thankfully room temperature drinking water to quench a parched throat.
I dumped my luggage and changed into my Swahili cotton printed trousers, bust out the JVC and went exploring.
A brand-new restaurant and bar called ‘The Patio‘ has also just opened on the premises, offering the mainly business remote worker clientele an intriguing menu that for one, does not offer meat for breakfast (What? No sausage??), but instead regals diners with hash browns and home fries with salsa, crepes and chapatis, as well as Swahili favorites like Barazi (pigeon peas simmered in coconut milk until it is thick and creamy) that is eaten with a scrumptiously slightly-sweet cardamom donut called Mandazi (or Mahamri). I believe the dish is called Mbaazi wa nazi, do correct me if I am wrong my dear readers, that is what the comments section is for….
The food is not expensive and very very tasty, with buffalo wings going for a steady KShs500 ($5), Fish n Chips at KShs 950 and the most expensive dishes, King prawns and seafood platters going for KShs 1800 ($18). They also have black-bean burgers and spinach and ricotta ravioli for the vegetarians, chicken and chips for the Kenyans, no choma yet but soon. But they do have that perennial coastal delicacy, Samaki wa Matunzi- coconut fish curry from Zanzibar with Ugali or rice, Sukuma-wiki vegetables and also some chapati if you are not full enough with all that. And I also spotted some glazed ham on the buffet so no worries for P1g lovers.
Black, White, Yellow, Brown, Red or even the Green Aliens like me, are catered for here, and that is what makes it so informally chill, despite the comfortably stately surroundings. You can tell kids have been used to dive-bombing the meandering pool, with a sign calling the last one in a rotten egg, before running back to the veranda deck where the adults are indulging in adult tales in low-slung armchairs facing the well-stocked bar, and spraying them with their wet bodies. Pets are not allowed though, so you will have to make do with the kids for now.
I continued my stroll past the double-beds in the sun, down a whitewashed tunnel with a shower for washing the sand off your body, past the raised dais for braai/BBQ, straight to the beach, barely 2 min from the main house, sinking my bare toes into warm white sand, staring at the clear water and feeling envious of two lovers simply embracing each other in the warm soft waves. Thankfully a local captain disrupted my musings by offering a morning excursion to a nearby sandbank on a glass boat, where he promised there would be cold beer and a proper mini beach-party. At $10 for 3 hours, I signed on immediately and went back to my room to eat and sleep. My head barely touched the pillow before it was morning again. Very confusing. I blame the Egyptian cotton bed-linen and the buttery pillows. Never-the-less, there were seas to be conquered and sandbanks to be pillaged, so I wolfed down my fruit and sunny-side up eggs on toast (that could have been a little more runny in my books), and hit the beach by 10am.
As I clambered onto the roof of the glass boat for a more commanding view, I ran into a posse of kids that were right up my alley. Confident and funny, we all got into the spirit of the moment and made our merry way to the sandbank, yelling our delight at the mummies and grannies with the babies down below peering at the starfish through the glass bottom of the boat. At last we arrived, and my new co-presenter Maya took center stage, informing us about the F.O.M.O. you are missing out on by not being there with us, and the availability of sharks and dolphins on the other side of the reef.
She then went off to terrorize her grandmother with a live starfish, who retaliated by bombarding her with sand, while a couple of white chicks sunned their behinds, and the local bartender peddled his wares in a cooler perched on a surf-board, yelling “Party after Party!”.
As the tide came back in, the circle of revelers that included our now less modestly dressed grandmothers gathered tighter and tighter around each other, before we finally allowed and got back into our boats to go home. It was past lunchtime and we were ready to feast. And Flamboyant did not disappoint.
A twin room at Flamboyant goes for $72 for single occupancy or $80 for double per night including breakfast. Business travelers and UN/remote workers looking to stay for more than 5 days are being offered a preferential rate of $60 per night for up to 10 days. Christmas bookings are still available and take advantage of the many offers coming up on their social media sites. Wifi on site is available and access points are being upgraded to offer the optimum experience for the business traveler.
To book a room at Flamboyant Bed and Breakfast:
www.flamboyantbedandbreakfast.com or all them at
+254 716 978 599
To watch The F.O.M.O. TRAVEL SHOW Episode 51- Flamboyant:
The Magic is Real – which is why they call it #MagicalKenya