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Hotel Galu Beach Retreat Hotel 0 star
Easyexperts
Diani Beach, Mombasa south coast Mombasa, Kenya -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

The Galu Beach Retreat is a small, crowd-free resort boasting friendly staff and an emphasis on total relaxation. This is an ideal resort for couples looking for a romantic getaway in a simple, fuss-free setting. For those who need their nightlife fix, the bars and clubs of Diani are mere minutes away.

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  • Seaside
  • Well located
  • Rest
  • Nature
  • Flight
    • Hotel Galu Beach Retreat

      Galu Beach Retreat   -   © Luis David Alvarez / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Galu Beach Retreat

      Galu Beach Retreat   -   © Luis David Alvarez / EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 1.0 /10

    The Galu Beach Retreat is found in the heart of Diani, on Mombasa's beautiful south coast. About a 25 minute drive to the Likoni Ferry crossing to Mombasa Island, it is about an hour and a half from Moi International Airport, and only 10 minutes from the Ukunda Air Strip.

    Accommodation 7.20 /10

    The intimate atmosphere can be put down to the fact that there are but eight rooms (all standard) and two honeymoon suites on the premises, forming a neat line facing the ocean. Each room is large with an equally large ensuite bathroom featuring a roomy shower cubicle and double sink vanity (although we never got used to those fiddly tap fittings). The double beds are placed on a carved wooden four poster Lamu frame and although we found them a tad short in length, they were comfortable. There are very few furnishings in each room and at the time of our visit, the resort was awaiting delivery of furniture from Zanzibar; we hope that the new items will "lift" the rooms as while we found them spacious and clean, they would benefit from a few extra decorative touches.

    Overview 8.70 /10

    With a maximum capacity for 20 guests, it's no wonder the on-site facilities are limited, even if the essentials are there. Past the small reception area, you'll come across the yoga deck and Jacuzzi, both commanding splendid ocean views. Across the lawns, a lone hammock sways in the breeze, while at the water's edge, the "star baths" offer the ultimate indulgence. When night falls, the baths are filled with hot sudsy water, sprinkled with fresh flowers and accompanied by a bottle of chilled sparkling wine - to savour a deux of course!

    Past the coconut palms and frangipani trees is a small gazebo where private, beachfront dinners are held on the first floor and mud bath treatments take place on the ground floor (obviously not at the same time!). A small BBQ area is nearby for when the hunger for some nyama choma (Kenyan barbequeued meats) strikes.

    Also taking advantage of the prime waterfront location is Galu's bar and restaurant, in a makuti-thatched roof gazebo, shaded beneath a magnificent baobab tree. With a deck floor and simple wooden furnishings, the dining area sits on the first floor, while the bar and casual lounge is found on the ground floor. The open-air structure means that guests benefit from sweeping beach views, whether at breakfast, lunch or dinner.

    Nestled in the untamed gardens (where it isn't uncommon to see the beautiful but endangered Colobus monkey), the pool is next to a pair of gazebos where a range of massage treatments are given. While the location is a bit more secluded (behind the rooms and further away from the beach), it's a shame that the pool does not benefit from the same views as the restaurant.

    Food and drink 7.95 /10

    The Galu Beach Resort suggests a different set menu each day, with a large variety of local and international cuisine. Dietary requirements are of course catered to, and the flexibility is there should you desire something that is not on the menu. We loved the copious breakfasts (fresh fruit, bread, bacon, eggs, pancakes, fritters, fruit juice, and tea and coffee) that are a great start to the day. We must also praise the excellent, friendly service. Here there are no rules; guests are encouraged to sleep late, so that means dining at your leisure. Meanwhile, romantic dinners for two can be arranged in the private gazebo.

    Beach 9.20 /10

    The beach at Galu Beach Retreat is clean, beautiful and extremely quiet. Although it can get a bit windy, the warm waters of the Indian Ocean often sparkle under the sunlight. A few sun loungers and parasols are scattered throughout the beachfront gardens while beach towels await you in your room. We loved this beach because the postcard perfect beauty is there, but without the masses that flock to the nearby all inclusive resorts. The odd "beach boy" passes by but overall, the beach is incredibly calm and a wonderful bathing spot.

    RHP

    To know

    Previously known as Shaanti Holistic Health Retreat, the resort has undergone a mini makeover and under new management, it re-launched as Galu Beach Retreat in late 2010. It is also an adults-only resort.

    Equipment

    • Restaurant
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, spa, wellness

    • Swimming pool
    • Whirlpool bath

    advantage

    • Small, intimate resort
    • Child-free
    • Personalised service

    disadvantages

    • Few on-site facilities
    • The rooms are a tad bare

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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