In the morning, I was watching elephants contentedly bathing in the red Samburu dust and by late afternoon, I was in a sarong and flip-flops chatting to the bartender who was whipping up a Caipirinha for me with utmost flair.
All this while revelling in the most scenic of views in Zanzibar.
It is no secret that Zanzibar has some of the best beaches in the world and given the influx of visitors seeking luxury on this archipelago, several resorts offering five-star trappings have sprung up.
When it comes to luxury accommodation, my tastes veer towards boutique spots, the more remote the better.
On this particular visit, I was attracted to the South-East Coast, about an hour’s drive from the international airport on smooth tarmac roads and where the beaches are still largely unspoilt with the reef containing the only National Geographic affiliated dive site in East Africa.
You will notice that most hotels employ locally and support local producers but you will also find a few Kenyans working in management positions.
While the Swahili is so fluent it will make you feel a tad inadequate, the island will always feel a bit like home.
As the name suggests, this intimate collection of nine upscale seafront villas really is a gift.
It is a honeymoon haven, the kind of place that calls for a dip in the infinity pool with a lover, blue lagoon cocktails on deck, taking in the view from your clifftop advantage.
A view in which the blue sea, white sand and greenery offset by brightly coloured bougainvillea flowers all seem to paint the most seductive of scenes.
Highlights included being serenaded by a talented taarab trio band while tucking into a delectable dinner. I requested that they play ‘‘Embe Dodo’’, a song that brought back nostalgic memories of a childhood in Mombasa. When they also played a soothing rendition of ‘‘Malaika’’, I knew I would be generous with my tip.
The villas are named after fish. Mine, Nyangumi (whale) felt like a modern beach pad; this place will make you want to own a beach condo!
Glass doors slide apart to reveal an all-white and beige room where on inspection, attention is paid to the smallest of details in the décor with woven baskets and rugs, fish carvings, ladders for towel hangers and more.
The design is open plan. The terrace is perfect for yoga and there is also a pleasant surprise awaiting guests— I promised the manager I wouldn’t reveal!
You can go swimming in the lagoon at low tide and if you fancy crabbing, take a ngawala (boat) to the nearby mangrove forest.
They have an impressive spa and jungle gym, and I really enjoyed walking around their farm with various fruits, vegetables (the dishes are largely farm/sea to table), plants and flowers as well as rear chicken and ostrich.