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, also known as Cove Treehouses
, is located in the Kinondo and Gazi
area of the South Coast
Travelling south from the busy Diani Beach area, the level of tourist development falls away sharply and the beaches of the Kinondo Peninsular feel blissfully remote by comparison, just a gorgeous stretch of white sand, backed by dirt tracks through pleasant traditional villages. The plots along the back of the beach are mostly empty, with a few containing the holiday homes of up-country Kenyans and just a couple with small and upmarket beach lodges.
Of all the lodges on the whole 50km stretch of the coast from Mombasa to Chale Island, Cove Retreat one of the very best locations, an absolutely beautiful remote cove in the middle of nowhere. It is a relatively simple place, centred on a decent if rather strange elephant-shaped swimming pool, with a sunken bar and lounge area alongside. Guest accommodation is in just six large treehouses set in an impressive grove of baobab trees. The place has a good reputation for intimate and personal service, usually by owner Stephanie Fernandes herself, and overall it definitely has to be one most interesting places to stay on this south Kenya coast.
Activities in the area include walking and mountain biking around the villages, remote beaches and mangrove forests of the area, plus snorkelling, paddle-boarding, body boarding, sailing and kayaking offshore. Day trips further afield are available for excellent diving, snorkelling and swimming with dolphins in the Kisite Marine Reserve to the south, plus golf. kite-surfing, wind-surfing, sky-diving and other such facilities back in the Diani Beach area to the north.
The main potential downsides are the relative simplicity and other design limitations of the lodge design, the relatively simple levels of service and the fact that you have to go out of house for almost all activities.