At the beginning of this year, my family and I embarked on a journey to County 001: Mombasa. We hoped that if we travelled after the holiday season the hotel would be less crowded, but it seems that a few other Kenyans were thinking just like us. Needless to say, I genuinely believe that the hotel did a tremendous job in satisfying its customers.
We checked in at around 3 pm and coincidentally about 4 families that had travelled with us on the Standard Gauge Railway were also checking in around the same time.
Voyager Beach Resort is located in Nyali, Mombasa. It is approximately 45 minutes away from Moi International Airport and Standard Gauge Railway.
We were six of us and we had booked three double rooms. At first glance, I immediately fell in love with the interior decor. The room was sparkling white with frames of the ocean and palm trees hang on the wall. Generally, the theme was blue and white. The curtains were a beautiful turquoise that fit in perfectly with the rest of the room. There were also added facilities such as a mini-fridge, a kettle for tea or coffee and a safe. The wardrobes were equipped with bedroom shoes and a gown.
Other than that, the bed was big enough to accommodate two people comfortably and could be separated into two beds. I also loved the view that we had on the balcony. I mean, I would have appreciated a top floor ocean view but we were notified that they were all occupied. However, I settled down as soon as I saw all the palm trees overlooking the balcony.
The bathrooms, however, were a little disappointing. Aside from having little to no aesthetics, the floor was a little bit rusty. The toilets had also become discoloured from the regular white. Our door was a little out of service and quite difficult to open up.
We managed to get an affordable all-inclusive package and that was quite exciting. We were entitled to food and drinks from all the restaurants. The hotel has three restaurants: The main restaurant, the snack bar and the Italian Restaurant. Our original plan was to experience food from each of the three restaurants but we forgot to book the Italian Restaurant twenty-four hours prior as we had been advised. So we missed out on that.
The breakfast at the main restaurant ranged from Swahili Breakfast to American Breakfast. There was a lady who was specially making mahamri and viazi-karai, my all-time favourites from Mombasa.
I was a bit disappointed that they did not have a variety of animal protein while I was there. I do not eat fish so most times I had no option but to eat chicken. Other than that I specifically enjoyed the pasta with bolognese sauce and blue cheese. I don’t think anyone can name a better trio.
Between lunchtime and dinner, we took advantage of the Snack Bar. They had pizzas and burgers. I particularly loved the Boulevard Pizza and the Beef Burger. The service in this particular restaurant was quite slow. We had to wait a good forty-five minutes for our meals and this extended to almost an hour sometimes. However, when the meal came, all was forgiven. It was amazing.
The hotel had ice cream every day from 2 pm-4 pm. We missed out on the first two days because of misinformation but we managed to get some on the third day. The strawberry and chocolate combination was my favourite with the waffle cone.
The hotel had a lookout bar that had jaw-dropping views of the ocean. It also had a Sports Bar that I never got around to visiting given that the charges weren’t inclusive. Lastly, they had a bar at the main restaurant and another at the Snack Bar.
What I enjoyed the most about the drinks was the alcoholic cocktails. First, they were extremely refreshing and had the perfect juice to alcohol ratio. I’m not a big fan of beer, but they had unlimited keg beer throughout the day. From what I heard, the keg beer was quite dilute and low in alcohol content. So that was one of the major complaints. Other than that, the package had stated that there would be unlimited local beers but when we got there we were informed that only Pilsner was on the package. Any other beers would have to be paid for separately. That was another major disappointment.
The bartenders were also not as friendly. When it comes to cocktails I like to try out a variety but because they weren’t quite helpful I stuck to two drinks: The Caribbean Breeze and Take Me To The Beach.
One thing I can say with certainty is that you cannot get bored in this hotel. There are a variety of activities ranging from table tennis, scrabble, darts, outdoor tennis and pool table. There is an entire section for children to play that has a wide variety of games. The children are taken care of staff hired just for that purpose.
The hotel has four swimming pools. There is an infinity pool overlooking the Indian Ocean. However, I must say that the state of the Indian Ocean was quite disappointing. It had a few huge rocks and accumulation of seaweed. It was also littered with plastics. I soon discovered that the beach a few metres away was much cleaner and aesthetically pleasing.
There is also a pool by the snack bar and two others next to the infinity pool. It was disappointing to find out that the water slide was not operational as that was one of the things I was really looking forward to.
My Favourite Spot
Other than the restaurants, I loved the Swahili Lounge. It is a space for meditation that conveniently has no internet connection, and silence is advised at all times. It has couches overlooking the Indian Ocean with just enough Palm Trees to set the mood right. I managed to do a lot of thinking and refocusing in this spot.
Like all good things, this had to come to an end too. The checkout time for the hotel is 10 am. We were scheduled for the 3.15 pm train and so we pleaded with them to check out a little later. They gave us an extension of one hour thirty minutes.
The reasons why I would go back to Voyager Beach Resort are as follows:
- The aesthetics and the ambience. The hotel did a great job in the theme on the walls and in the bedrooms.
- The swimming pools. I really enjoyed the fact that one has the luxury of choosing between one of four swimming pools.
- The Snack Bar. This was hands down the best part of this hotel. The pizzas were to die for and the burgers had just the right amount of cheese.
However, there are a few things I think they need to work on.
- Customer service. As I’ve said before, the bartenders were a little unfriendly and unhelpful when it came to choosing the cocktails.
- The cleanup of the ocean. I think the hotel should try to clean up the oceanfront as well as encourage people to stop littering in the water because it plays a significant role in climate change.
- The drinks offered in the all-inclusive menu. We felt that some of the drinks being offered were substandard. As for the beers, they need to include more local beers on the menu.