We stayed at The Cove for a total of 11 nights. We arrived midday on the 11th December having flown overnight from Gatwick to Mombasa. We were both tired and my husband-to-be was asleep in the back of our private transport to the The Cove. He was soon woken up when we exited Diani and the road suddenly ran out and became a rugged track of pitted coral.
At one point we were wondering if the driver knew where he was going, but after about 25 minutes we pulled up outside a set of wooden doors which were opened by a smiling security guard. Our luggage was offloaded from the taxi and we were ushered into the quiet and cool of The Cove's restaurant for a welcome fruit cocktail served by Raphael.
We didn't really know what to expect, and our first impressions were that the site was a lot smaller and intimate than we thought. The website gave the impression that maybe the restaurant and swimming pool were located away from the accommodation but, in fact, everything was within a couple of minutes walk - including the beach.
The treehouse came as a bit of a shock - we weren't quite sure what an inside out bathroom was, so it was a surprise to see that you could sit on the loo whilst overlooking and being overlooked by the seating area outside on the veranda, but as we weren't overlooked by anything else it really wasn't a problem - and you soon got used to it.
Facilities in the treehouse were basic, but perfectly adequate. The fridge was well-stocked, there was a water cooler for drinking water and (just about) sufficient hangers to put your clothes onto. The four poster bed was "to die for"! Unfortunately, none of the safes were working as they had been affected by the high humidity, but as the site was so secure - this really wasn't a problem and we didn't think twice about leaving valuables out.
We were allocated Treehouse No. 1 which is probably "the" treehouse to have. Right on the beach, next to the swimming pool and in prime position.
We were due to stay for 3 nights before heading out on a 3 night safari and then returning back for a further 8 nights. As The Cove wasn't full, we were able to leave all our luggage in the treehouse for the period in which we were away which was a fantastic bonus.
We returned after our safari, and it felt like coming home! We were now in the run up to our wedding on the 19th which would take place under our treehouse where it would be cool and shady but still with a perfect view of the beach.
The wedding went perfectly, and Stephanie and Doris (The Cove management team) worked very hard to ensure that everything went smoothly. This was not a first marriage for either of us so we took no friends and family with us. Raphael acted as my husband's witness, whilst Daniele who owns one of the villas in The Cove acted as mine.
We left for Mombasa airport in the early hours of Christmas morning with our packed breakfast (thoughtfully provided for us the night before) and many happy memories.
The staff were brilliant, Raphael, Charlie, John, Philip and Patrick (the chef) just couldn't do enough for you. It's fair to say none of them were butlers in the true sense of the word - but everything they did was done with a smile and in the true spirit of Hakuna Matata "no problem". The food was good, and they were happy to prepare alternatives when requested. We were lucky enough to buy fresh sardines from the fishing community one morning - and we had these for dinner that night.
Whilst we were there fellow guests were a mixture of ages - honeymooners, returning guests and couples celebrating wedding anniversaries. Despite being very few people there, the atmosphere was friendly and cosy and you had the choice whether to mix with others or not.
The only disappointment was the beach. Swimming was prohibitive due the the shallow water which went out for what looked like quarter of a mile. You could only wade with shoes on (due to sea urchins), but this was typical of the whole Diani area and not limited to the location of The Cove.
All in all, a fantastic experience. A wonderful venue for a wedding and a truly unique venue.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- COVE TREE HOUSES - DIANI BEACH, KENYA Our small intimate lodge is nestled in its own private cove, just 12kms from Diani Beach Town - but well away from the hustle and bustle of mass tourism. The Cove offers guests exclusivity, excellent service, and the peace and quiet of a magical retreat! Here, time doesn't matter, and our team will work around your schedule. Your long, lazy beach walks will be uninterrupted, and the only sounds you will hear are the wish-wash of the tide, the cry of distant fish eagles and the rustling of the Baobab and Coconut tree leaves. The Cove has only six ocean-facing villa treehouses, with their own private decks. Enjoy panoramic vistas of the East African coastline dotted with pretty Ngalawas (Swahili boats). The Cove is a romantic retreat and is perfect for honeymooners. If your dream is to have a Kenyan beach wedding then you have just found the perfect place for it. Diani Beach has been voted Africa's Top Beach Destination 3 years in a row (beating Mozambique, Sharm El Sheikh, Zanzibar and Cape Town!), and is everything you'd expect from a tropical beach get-away: a gentle breeze whispering across powdery white beaches fringed by coconut trees and lapped by the warm Indian Ocean. Diani is on the Kenyan South Coast, a scenic forty-five minute drive from Mombasa. Like any good beach destination - Diani Beach is not short of activities. We can organise kite surfing, diving, snorkelling, deep sea fishing and so much more while you stay with us..... Or you could choose to indulge in absolute relaxation during your stay with us. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Cove Retreat Hotel Ukunda
- The Cove Treehouses Kenya/Ukunda