“loved baraza” – Relaxation and luxury

At about eleven o’clock, slathered with sunscreen though we were, we decided to move our beach recliners out of the sun and into the shade of one of the little open-air cabanas that line the low bluff along the beach. I was just about to go off in search of something cold to drink when a waiter showed up with two mango and pineapple smoothies on a tray. We sat back in the shade and sipping our smoothies from their frosted glasses and looked out over the clear blue-green waters to the line of breakers on the reef. The New England winter we’d left and our New England sense that too much relaxation and luxury are not good for you slipped away. We gave in. That epitomizes our stay at Baraza.

We stepped out of the comfortable, air conditioned van that delivered us from the airport into what looked and felt like the entrance to a sultan’s palace. We were met with a cool drink, shown to our villa by Rose, who gave us a quick tour, showed us how everything in the villa worked, assured us that she was there to provide whatever we might need, and left us to settle in.

Over the next few days we kept an eye out for the sultan and the sultana but we soon realized that they were us. We were pampered and cared for, all our senses delighted everywhere we went. My early-morning walks along the beach, watching the sun rise in a clear blue sky, were sheer pleasure, and I could have walked forever, except that breakfast was calling. I’d meet Alice, sit down at the table in the breakfast room and a waiter would arrive immediately with a pot of freshly brewed coffee. Did I say breakfast room? Only if you can call a marble-floored, colonnaded area with billowing curtains, open all around to the tropical breezes, a room.

The food was wonderful, imaginative and well prepared, making use of local fruits and the abundant seafood. The staff was friendly and attentive. The walks along the extensive bougainvillea and palm-bordered flagstone walkways were a treat. We swam in the sea and in the pool. We floated in our private plunge pool. We did everything but watch the tv in our villa. It never occurred to us. We had cocktails on a terrace in the moonlight, watching the moon’s path on the water. We slept the way you sleep when you have no schedule, no responsibilities and can go to bed when you please and get up when you please. Still, we didn’t sleep in. We’d have missed too many of the pleasures of Baraza. We’ll be back.

Reviewed January 11, 2009, Guest Nationality: American