Serene Resorts, excellent for getaways; Italian bistros, cafes and restaurants; perfectly tanned Italian settlers and tourists, young and old; modest locals who know no other foreign traits but Italian—all this make Malindi, undoubtedly Kenya’s little exclusive Italy. The beautiful coastal town is my personal favourite destination because of its sleepiness. There, life literally moves slower than in Mombasa, providing a sense of privacy. Recently, took the weekend off to Malindi, together with my girls. And I discovered just how anyone can enjoy a super vacation in Malindi in just 24 hours, or more.
While in Malindi (one of Naomi Campbell’s top destinations), if you can’t stay at the pricy resorts, check out the brand new super classy and reasonably priced The Village, that’s just as superb. Located practically about 10 minutes to every other place you need to go, from the airport, to the beach, clubs or to town in the traffic free town. A cathedral Swahili wooden gate welcomes you into Mwembe (Swahili for mango) Resort leading into The Village (the two are merged). Mwembe’s property boasts monstrous mango trees and hundreds of comfy home-style cottages. The Village on the other hand, is quite the sight. The entry of each one of the one-bed roomed and two-bed roomed self-contained townhouses of The Village has a picturesque patio, upstairs and downstairs, the latter having a set of tables. You know, where you can have a late night snack or drinks with friends and family. This is the place for you.
There are two big swimming pools and an outdoor Jacuzzi, with floors made of Mazeras. In case you didn’t know, Mazeras hoards up warmth from the daytime so swimming at night in the pool becomes a warm-affair.
So, from my experience at The Village, here are 10 quirky steps on how to vacay in Malindi in just 24 hours:
- After lunch, take a flight to Malindi
We departed JKIA at about 1.30 p.m. and by 2.30 p.m.; we had landed and well on our way to Malindi’s The Village Resort. Remember to travel light, you don’t need a dozen suitcases like you are the Prince of Zamunda.
A cold glass of Sangria to quench your thirst and relax you from the Malindi humidity is like ‘The drink of life’ at this juncture. Ask the staff at The Village for the marinated chicken drumsticks and fish cakes. Best fish cakes I have ever eaten all my life!
3. Head out to town for an espresso and a bottle of Italian Wine/Champagne
Enjoy the shaky ride as you take a tuk tuk into town. Ask them to drop you off at Bar Bar Restaurant. While there ask for an espresso. Their espresso is simply rich and fulfilling. The outdoor setting of the restaurant also allows you to enjoy a view of the beautiful town and its weather. Pop into the shop right next door, it’s a little Italian supermarket; grab a bottle or three of your favourite Italian champagnes or wines for drinks later at the cottage. We went for three dry Proseccos.
4. Take a shower and change clothes
Put on a sexy loose dress. It’s pretty hot at night so ladies, go for shorts, short skirts or a flowing dress. Guys, go for shorts and vests. Sit at the patio with friends and talk away life’s problems and blessings as you down the bottles. Oh me, Susan Q, Susan Lucky, Billy, Kaleche and Adelle really tried but we only managed to down two.
5. Lorenzo’s for dinner
Head over to the main restaurant at The Village, Lorenzo’s, for dinner. You have to order Italian pasta and white wine. I had Tomato Pasta with Parmesan – it was heaven on a plate.
By 11 p.m.
6. Hit Club Papa Pata
This is the best club I’ve been to in the Coast of Kenya. Outdoor and white tented décor mixed in black leather seats; a dance floor huge enough to house the whole town; a DJ Booth with caged raging fire on each side; great music; beautifully dressed people and if you walk on the outside of Pata Pata’s back side, you will be met by the white sands of the beach. This is the best way to spend a night out in Malindi. Please note, after being inspired by a couple of drinks, you can decide to have a walk by the beach with your friends or partner if not find a spot to just chill and stare into the big disco light that points out into the dark skies.
You can party till day break; revelers don’t stop checking into Pata Pata. Sometimes, renowned musicians from bongo or the coast region are playing here.
7. Have breakfast at The Village; make sure the chef makes you frittata, an Italian omelet. From there, you could either dip into the Jacuzzi for some inspiration or take a tuk tuk to Rosada Exclusive Italian Beach Bar & Restaurant for a nice morning beach walk, which will provide you the real inspiration. Don’t forget to draw your name on the sand. It’s always a reminder of part of a text I recently read that says, “A footprint on the sand in the seashore, here and then gone, is an inescapable symbol of our brief lives.” The beach at Rosada is as white as cocaine; don’t forget to carry your shades otherwise your eyeballs will be burning all through. Also carry a book or a notebook so you can sit and read or write the thoughts rushing off your mind. Ask the staff at Rosada to get you a Bloody Mary or some kind of cocktail.
8. Head back to town for Biriani – kindly note: It’s a crime to be in Mombasa, Voi or Malindi and not have Biriani and Chai ya tangawizi. Ask for Simba Dishes, it’s a little hidden café in town that serves the best Biriani. They are so affordable, for KES 300; you will have a meal fit for two.
9. Don’t miss your flight back. If you decide to stay for another day or so, do not miss Rosada’s beach party every Monday nights. Come ready to mingle and soon forget anything that might happen, because trust me, a lot will happen :-)
10. Take a minute and relax in Malindi. Trust me, such a holiday, whether brief or long, will wipe away all your life problems and magnify all your blessings afresh.
It was great to hang out with my girls, Adelle, Susan (Q & L), Kaleche, and Clara (who lives in Malindi). I hadn’t been to Malindi since 2011, when I was there filming the annual Malindi Kids Festival. I adore the place, and now with the discovery of The Village (that btw only costs KES 10,000 a day, for a self-contained house that can house up to five people and only KES 35,000 a week), I am set to return soon.
BONUS: If you don’t like the tuk tuk much, The Village offers free shuttle bus service to and from the beach clubs to town. The Village officially opened in October 2013 and is nearly fully booked for the Christmas season. S/O to @goplacesKE @TAC_Village
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