“JEWEL OF AFRICA …”

There seems to be a dearth of good quality, family accommodation all over the world, but boy does Baraza make up for it. We are fairly well traveled and have been fortunate enough to stay in many good hotels, in many different countries over many years, however we can truly say that we have never before found anywhere that comes close to Baraza. Together with our teenage sons, my wife and I had the pleasure of spending 12 nights at this magnificent resort.

Accommodation: we stayed in a two bedroom, sultans villa, which is bigger than the average house (minus a kitchen of course, which would be totally superfluous!). Every aspect was superb; from the 8 foot wide king-size bed and spacious en-suite facilities in the master bedroom, to the well-proportioned day-bed and comfortable lounge; the luxurious furnishings, the private plunge pool and terrace. Nothing has been overlooked and the cleanliness was faultless.

Food: one of the first things our villa host asked us was whether any of us had any particular dietary needs. The answer was ‘no’, but we have never been asked this question anywhere previously. The food is simply out of this world – superb tropical breakfast, buffet lunch cooked to your order and gourmet dinners (not forgetting afternoon tea!). As it happens one of my sons does not eat seafood and on the two or three occasions when there was only fish on the dinner menu, he was able to request a steak or burger instead. You will not go hungry at Baraza – in fact I commented several times that one of the few things I was looking forward to after we left was to feel hungry again!

Staff: the staff are, without exception, fantastic – thoroughly attentive and always wanting to help. Nothing is too much trouble. We have never before encountered such genuine smiles and friendliness or felt so totally spoilt.

Surroundings: fabulous beach – the sun-beds and umbrellas are situated on a raised area (not evident from the website) and are spaced out, so as to offer a degree of privacy. Not that privacy is an issue in the extensive grounds, where it is possible to lose yourself, given that there will never be more than, say, 100 guests in total. The pool is large and rectangular – no fancy curves or gimmicks, which would be out of place here. There are always sun-beds and shade (for those that want it!) and waiters regularly at hand offering drinks, which of course are included in the price.

Facilities: for those that don’t want to simply relax, there is plenty to do. My sons used the well-equipped gym every day and my wife enjoyed her ‘best ever’ pedicure in the excellent spa. The water club offers a range of activities (including tuition) and this coastline is a kite-surfer’s paradise. There is also a very good diving centre, which enabled one of my sons to undertake his open sea PADI course during our stay.

Climate: the weather did pretty much what it said on the tin; although we had a couple of cloudy days (and one torrential rain shower), most of the time it was warm and sunny, but not unbearably hot, such as in high summer in the Mediterranean. There is always a pleasant breeze (of varying strength), the closer one goes to the water’s edge. We found the climate perfect at this time of year (technically winter!).

Baraza is very special. I hope that they will do everything possible to maintain the uniqueness and exclusivity. If there is a better resort anywhere in the world, then I hope that somebody will tell me, as I would like to go there! We hope to return to this wonderful place.

Guest nationality: English

Reviewed August 15, 2010