Azhari Beach Suite is a fabulously unique and set in a very private location, situated directly on Kenya’s famous Diani Beach with magical ocean views. The suite overlooks a heavenly garden with 1,000-year-old Baobab trees and is THE perfect place for relaxation, romance, peace and recovery. Its location cannot be beaten, with steps away from one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, yet have centre proximity to restaurants, bars and shopping, as well as the whole load of adventure activities that Diani Beach offers.
The Azhari Beach Suite was named after a large Indian Ocean trading dhow which was constructed in the early 1930s from Himalayan teak wood and became wrecked on the reef directly in front of the property. Its timber beams were then reclaimed and carefully crafted into this now wonderful lodging, this beautiful reclaimed timber now provides the very genetics of its authentic and luxurious character. With considerable skill the old ship has been transformed into a rich and opulent living space, with a compliment of ample and comfortable furnishings. An antique Swahili carved door provides the frame for the central coffee table which displays some of the ship’s original steel hardware. The suite is new, yet steeped in history, it is modern and well designed, yet fits in perfectly with its absolutely gorgeous, natural environment.
The private living area consists of an airy and spacious timber floored king-sized bedroom, with large fully retractable glass doors, revealing the extraordinary panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and cool East African trade winds. A private deep blue plunge pool is situated in front of your dining and living area and provides an exquisitely cool luxury dip, after a long beach walk, as does the intimate teak decked ‘jungle shower’, which seemingly flows out of a giant mahogany tree. The use of a rare fossilised (long extinct) species of giant clam for sinks and water features, adds additional enhancement to the amazing décor.
An additional elevated beach area provides more personal outdoor space, with a private chill and sunbathing spot, hammock, sun bed and beach shower, crafted from a section of the Azhari Dhow. A timber stepped foot path leads to the gateway onto the pristine beach and down to an incredible seafront beach location named ‘Woodhenge’ (for reasons you will discover during your stay) where there is a fire-pit BBQ and hardwood beach deck.
A small service kitchen provides a fridge with a selection of soft and alcoholic drinks and compliments a well-stocked ‘self-service’ bar. Outstanding full/half board, or breakfast only accommodation is combined with excellent management and staff, making your stay here a totally pleasurable, carefree and relaxing experience.
The suite is new, yet entwined in history, it's modern and well designed, yet fits in perfectly with the surrounding environment.
A little history
Giant fossil clams have been repurposed for the bathroom and outdoor water feature. The clams have been reclaimed from inland coastal quarries NOT from the ocean. They are (were) the world's biggest clam species to exist. They became extinct during the later Pleistocene period around 180,000 years ago due to a natural disaster that saw sea levels rise worldwide by 20 meters within a week. They are occasionally found deeply embedded in ancient limestone quarries by using GPR technology. They were similar to today’s giant clamshells Tridacna Gigas, though the Tridacna Gigantea grew substantially larger. The largest one ever found weighed a staggering 530 kilos. Baroque blister pearls found inside these ancient relics are the rarest pearls in the world, only 5 have been found. Most notably the Pearl of Venus which was found while digging a water-well for an orphanage off the Kenya coast. Tridacna Gigantea can only be found along the Indian Ocean of East Africa. Tanzania, Zanzibar Island, Pemba Island and along the Kenyan coast is where they are found. They are available for purchase if you have a heavy wallet. For detailed information check https://venuscollection.co.uk
This private getaway was crafted from the wrecked ‘Azhari’ Trading Dhow after the owners salvaged the large timber beams from the beach which were then re-crafted to build this luxurious and unique beach retreat. Her maximum carrying capacity was 450 tonnes and she spend many years trading between the ports of Asia, Qatar, Iran, Dubai, Somalia, Bahrain & Djibouti. For most of the 1970’s, until her unfortunate demise on Diani Beach’s outer reef, this large trading Dhow used to carry bulk amounts of rice, sugar, cooking oil, cement and other trading goods and mostly plied East African ports using the Indian Ocean seasonal trade winds. In May 2015, during a storm, M.V. Azhari lost power and ran aground on the reef of Diani Beach, almost directly opposite to what is now the Azhari Suite. No one died, but all trading goods and the Dhow were lost. The steel bolts and ship's nails on display in the coffee table, are original and were recovered from the dhow’s timber beams. The sandbank on which she ran aground is clearly visible on a low tide north of the suite. There are still remnants of the wreck including the keel on the sandbank and surrounding reef, which makes for an interesting snorkelling or kayaking trip on the low tide.