The fine beach sand between your toes, sun kissing your shoulders, sound of waves crashing to the shore, and dipping in crystal clear waters – is easily one of the most relaxing, exciting, and fun-filled places on earth. Does anyone really need to be convinced to take a trip to the beach? But choosing to travel with kids can be a daunting task. Are they pre-teenagers who need to feel a bit of independence? And how can a parent enjoy a break while navigating this awkward terrain? The answer could be an all-inclusive resort, where activities abound, and where your offspring can meet youngsters their own age.
Enters, Serena Beach Resort and Spa. There’s a reason this Resort is so popular with families: they offer something for everyone in the family, from kids swimming pools to fine-dining restaurants making this relaxed top-quality beach resort in North Coast an ideal one-stop-shop. Not mentioning, with the shimmering sands and waters of the Indian Ocean stretching before it, set amidst verdant, bougainvillea-filled gardens, and shaded by gently swaying palm trees, this resort represents the ultimate escape.
So what do you get up to when you have three to seven days at the Resort?
Start off with a Mombasa city tour. Being at the coast of the Indian Ocean, Mombasa served as the entry point for many of the traders and explorers that came and settled in EA making it a hub of rich history, culture and architecture. After a hearty breakfast at the Fountain Restaurant, head out on a city tour and let the kids discover the culture, origins and fun of Mombasa. This half-day city tour is part history and part shopping! Here you can explore Mombasa’s exotic markets for personal treasures. Then tour the city’s Arabic and Portuguese past and witness their present-day influence on this colourful metropolis. Some of the highlights to look out for include the Old town of Mombasa with Swahili and Arabic culture, Fort Jesus Museum synonymous with the history of the East African Coast as well as the food and spice market giving you a glimpse into the lives of the local people. Also be sure to check out the trademark Elephant tusks, Likoni Channel which is the port entry into Kenya or see if you can buy souvenirs when you visit Akamba wood carving factory.
If you would rather skip the city scene altogether, the kids can still soak up the history and culture of Mombasa right at the Resort with a Cultural, architectural and conservation tour of the Resort. The Serena Beach Resort and Spa is a resort replicating the winding lanes and colourful market places of a traditional 13th century Lamu town with its narrow winding streets, a shady market place and a few public buildings, framed by palm trees and overlooking the blue green Indian Ocean. The tour lasting 45 minutes to one hour with enough time to ask questions and enquiries, provides a glimpse of the idea behind the resort and inspiration. You also get to learn about the conservation activities at the resort like the Turtle Hatchery that has been in existence for the last 20 years and is aimed at protecting sea turtles from poachers.
After the tour, cool down with a dip at the pool. it’s time to refuel over lunch. Choose from the central Fountain Restaurant, the charming Jahazi Grill seafood restaurant, the central Sokoni Terrace brasserie and a wide choice of inside and outside bars. Later in the afternoon, spoil the kids with ice-cream at the Ice cream parlor before venturing out to discover more of what the resort has to offer.
After everyone is full and happy, it’s time for a little family fun and you will be spoilt for choice with a wide array of activities to indulge in. At the heart of the resort lies the coral-built Maisha health club and Spa where mum and dad can relax and unwind after an active day while the kids stay active either at the 3 tennis courts or 2 squash courts. Or if much like the kids you would rather burn off some calories Just a short distance from the Spa, you will find the fully equipped gym.
If you are looking for a little more adventure and action in the ocean, walk down to the Water Sports Centre near Jahazi Grill and embark on a water adventure. The Centre offers Scuba diving lessons and provides the required gear and once you perfect that, you can venture into snorkelling, wind surfing or Catamaran Sailing. Or you can opt to test the waters and try Deep Sea Fishing and diving or boat rides in Glass bottom boats. Visit the Butterfly Centre as well and get to see the beauties, learn about the conservation of different species and maybe even participate in the releasing of adult ones.
There is no strip of sand quite like the Serena beach Resort and Spa. Sneak in a morning or evening jog, join in on a game of beach volleyball or watch the kids ride a camel along the beach, build castles on the sand, kick a footy, or play some water sports, before watching the sun slip into the ocean.
To end your day, start the evening with a sundowner at the Nyota bar terrace watching the sun go down or extend your time and watch the acrobatic experience happening at the Sokoni area. After the entertainment, settle down for some scrumptious sea food at the Jahazi Seafood Restaurant. Jahazi is the fine dining restaurant at Serena Beach Resort and Spa set facing the beach and designed with an Arab Dhow in mind. The restaurant specializes in sea food, which is offered fresh and delicious to a fault. Something about the sitting area upstairs will probably remind you of the ships in movies like Pirates of the Caribbean. Meals are served a la carte and favourites apart from sea food include the Jahazi Cannelloni, grilled sirloin steak and chicken, beef tenderloin, roast rack of Lamb and Pork Spare ribs.
Retreating to the modern, swanky and spacious en-suite rooms at Serena Beach Resort and Spa will be the perfect end to your day. The rooms are snug and homely and you will not want to leave once you lie down. The rooms have large glass doors that open out to balconies or patios where you can sit and marvel at the views of the Ocean or the beautiful gardens. Check out the family rooms if you are with your family, or choose from the Village Rooms that simulate a 13th Century Swahili Village.