Spent a week just after Christmas at the superbly built and remote villas in Diani with the family. Initial reaction on arrival was simply, WOW! as have not seen a property such as this on the Kenyan beach. Views were fantastic and each villa seemed remote with the way they were setup.
We had travelled with our family and had taken 3 villas, expecting a level of hospitality equal to pristine modern villas. The expectation quickly turned to disappointment over the week spent at the villas. The promised staff of 1 cook, 1 butler and 1 cleaner per villa, became 2 cooks, 1 butler and 1 cleaner across 3 villas. Even with the lack of staff provided, the butler was most attentive and worked extremely hard, catering to the needs of 11 adults and 6 children. There was a distinct lack of the Nepresso machine per villa again as highlighted on the website. The bar onsite was horrendously expensive and it was cheaper to go to the local supermarket and purchase the drinks from there. Understandably it was not easy to satisfy 17 family members with the lack of staff and even baring this, the holiday would still have been enjoyable had it not been for the owners (who were stayed on site for the duration of our stay) wanting to charge us for one glass being broken (by us) and one dish going missing (remember we were being waited hand on foot, and the food was cooked by their cook and cutlery cleaned by their cleaner) having spent a significant amount of money on the weeks stay across the 3 villas. I would not have expected to pay for breaking a glass if I had stayed in a hotel paying similar amount of money and would not have the need to steal one dish. So overall the place is simply amazing but it seems the owners have gone into hospitality business for the first time and do not understand how to do it. Maybe a few hotel management courses maybe useful if not for the owners then at least for their manager.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Away from the crowds of large resorts, Villa Kalista is an exclusive collection of 6 private Presidential Luxury Villas for the most discerning travellers who seek total privacy. Located in Diani Beach at Galu Kinondo, 40 kms South of Mombasa, Villa Kalista is nestled between the quiet shores of the Indian Ocean and the mythical Kaya Kinondo tropical forest. Each luxury villa embraces a contemporary style with African flavour and luxurious living. The villas are built to five star luxury standards and each villa offers a panoramic view of the inviting Indian Ocean, to provide the ultimate in private escapes. ... more less