Travel News Kenya
Discover a Piece of Paradise
Harking back to a time of romance, adventure and legend, Al Hamra brings to life the elegant opulence in which the Sultans of old once lived in their lavish palaces of dazzling white stone and soft gentle curves in a setting unparalleled in its beauty.
The newest addition to Watamu’s spectacular coastline, Al Hamra more than compliments its stunning location. Set against the backdrop of a mile-long powder white beach, the house was designed by Lesley-Ann Rowley, who is also the designer of the nearby Medina Palms Luxury Residences, which are due to open at the end of this year. Al Hamra is essentially a work of art, influenced by the area’s Swahili and Arab heritage. The high white walls and wide open courtyards keep the house cool by allowing the sea breeze to flow through it unhindered, a traditional design technique that has cooled centuries of Middle-Eastern palaces before it. In the centre of one of these courtyards lies the jewel in the Al Hamra crown, the breathtaking multi-layered infinity pool – on the first floor.
Al Hamra sleeps 10 and is built over three floors which are exquisitely furnished in the finest wood and stone with antiques sourced from territories as exotic as Afghanistan and Kashmir. Consisting of two garden suites and one majestically-positioned master/honeymoon suite, all the beds are intricately carved four-posters, enveloping their occupants in the finest linen beneath light and breathable mosquito netting. The ground-floor courtyard boasts another full-length salt-water pool, lined by sun beds.
Every turn reveals Swahili daybeds and Moroccan cushions tastefully strewn in strategic locations, beckoning their guests to recline in the most breezy and picturesque spots. One such spot, the Sundowner Tower, literally is the pinnacle of the house’s attributes. Located on the highest point of the top floor, this area is dedicated to the most sacred of Kenyan rituals, the Sundowner. At the end of the day, high up in the sky with a cool gin and tonic in one hand and a loved one in the other, watching the sky break up into oranges and reds of an East African sunset, the Sundowner embodies everything that is life in Kenya. There is nowhere more fitting for it, than the Sundowner Tower. With all this and so much more, Al Hamra takes its guests to unrivalled heights of blissful escapism.
The level of hospitality offered at Al Hamra is remarkable even in a country famed for just that. The guests are looked after by an amiable yet discreet staff of butlers, chefs, and a resident house manager who will sort out the logistics for all the activities on offer. Be it kite-surfing, big-game fishing, scuba diving or even a cheeky booze-cruise down Mida Creek, Watamu is your playground. Golf and tennis can be played nearby, mountain bike rides can be organised through the Arabuko Forest, and the ancient Gede Ruins can be re-discovered.
Al Hamra is the ideal place to relax and ‘wind down’ with the huge courtyard, massive swimming pool in a location of indescribable beauty.
Al Hamra is also the living showcase for the award winning development of Medina Palms Luxury Ocean Residences currently under construction nearby in Watamu, and due for completion later this year.
Written By Rishi Ahluwalia