An Insider's Guide to Exploring the Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa
Ask any seasoned traveler what their Mombasa hotel of choice is, and chances are you’ll get the same answer, “The Sarova Whitesands,” they’ll say. And such has been the answer since the Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa opened its door in 1972.
In this article, we tell you all about the Sarova Whitesands. About its history, achievements, and location. And about everything that makes it such a lovely hotel, think amenities, activities, and services.
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The year is 1930, and Mr. H Robertson has just purchased a two-bedroomed house in Mombasa. He calls it the ‘Whitesands Hotel,’ a name, we’re guessing, inspired by the nearby white sandy beach.
Fast forward to 1936, when the Liwali Chief, Ali Bin Salim, gives Robertson a few more acres of land on the beach. Mr. Robertson dies a few years later, and in 1941, his widow sells the hotel to Mrs. Stocker, who expanded the property and officially opens it up for business that same year.
Its very first guests are a brigade of army men deployed to assist in onshore duties.
In 1946 Mrs. Stocker sold the hotel to David Brown, who was credited for popularizing it to locals. Fourteen years later (1960), Mr. Brown sold the Whitesands to Akberali Manzi, under whose leadership seventy more rooms were built, a boat bar, and a bathing pool named LIDO.
Over the next few years, the hotel underwent massive renovations, and by 1972 it has achieved five-star status.
The Sarova Group of Companies enters the stage in 1976 and immediately set into motion an ambitious plan that brings the hotel from 70 rooms in 1976 to 173 and finally 340 in 1996.
Today, the Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa boasts 340 rooms, including presidential suites, executive suites, pool-facing rooms, garden-facing rooms, studio suites, and premier sea-facing rooms.
It’s almost impossible even to explain how stunning the Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa is. You see, the resort is nestled in Bamburi Beach, 14km or so north of Mombasa.
It lies on over 23 acres of land and boasts the longest beachfront on all of the north coast.
The beach is strikingly beautiful, of course, replete with very tall palm trees, white sands that stretch far as the eyes can see, and piercing blue waters. Even better and more visually stunning are the lush, manicured gardens surrounding the property.
How to Get to the Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa
A scheduled air flight is the quickest, most comfortable way to get to the Sarova Whitesands from Nairobi. The 45-minute-long flight lands at the Moi International Airport, from where you will take a short taxi ride or an airport shuttle to the resort.
Alternatively, you can take a 12-hour train ride from Nairobi to the Mombasa terminus in Miritini. A taxi ride from Miritini to the Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa is 51 minutes long.
The Rooms and Suites of the Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa
Whether sea or garden-facing, one thing’s for certain when it comes to the Sarova Whitesands’ rooms- they are stunning! Here’s a brief rundown of all the room types available at the Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa.
The Sarova Whitesands Garden-facing Rooms
Nature: Can be used as a double or twin room (extra beds can be added on request)
Chic is the name of the game when it comes to the Sarova Whitesands’ garden-facing rooms. While these are their smallest rooms, they pack a punch with their colorful interiors, plush beds, and riveting pool and garden views. The rooms feature sliding glass doors that open up to a private balcony, en-suite bathrooms, free WI-FI, a mini bar, air conditioning, and round-the-clock room service.
Sarova Whitesands Pool-Facing Rooms
Room type: Can be used as a twin or double room
Size: 28 sq. m
The Sarova Whitesands pool-facing rooms surpass every expectation with their picturesque pool views, colorful interiors, and glass doors that open up to private balconies. They are stunning; the very epitome of luxury!
The best part? Four of them feature special needs rooms each with great in-room accessibility and a roll-in shower. Talk about inclusivity!
The Sarova Whitesands’ Sea-facing Room
Bed:2 Twin bedding/ Queen size
Size:24 sq. m
Light and airy with spectacular ocean views, Sarova’s sea-facing rooms manage to feel homely yet sophisticated at the same time. They are nicely furnished with private balconies where you can soak up the beauty of the Indian Ocean and also offer bathtubs, air conditioning, free WI-FI, and a mini bar.
Premier Sea View Rooms
Bed: Double bed( extra bed can be added on request)
Size:27 sq. m
You haven’t really experienced luxury until you’ve stayed at a Sarova Whitesands’ premier sea view room. Much larger than the sea-facing rooms, these rooms offer both sea and garden views. They are located on the second, first, and ground floors and are ideal for any type of guest be it a solo traveler or a large family.
Bed: Double bed and a sofa bed
Size: 48 sq. m
Contemporary? Check. Private and airy? You got it. Tastefully designed with beds fit for royalty? Gotcha! The Sarova Whitesands beach resort certainly overdid itself with its studio suite.
The suites are located on the second, first, and ground floors and come with a double bed and sofa that can be transformed into a bed.
Amenities include large private balconies, en suite bathrooms, and terraces with Pergola for the ground-floor suites.
Bed: Double bed
Size: 48 sq. m
The Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa has three one-bedroom suites offering spectacular ocean views! Each suite has a separate lounge and bedroom. The lounges come with toilets and TVs.
Other rooms facilities include sitting rooms and terraces with pergola
Bed: Double bed & sofa
Size: 151 sq. m
Set apart on their own little ‘mini island’ with two classy master bedrooms en-suite with a jacuzzi, the Sarova presidential suites are luxury personified.
And it gets better. Each suite has a large terrace set in a stunning setting, a spacious lounge attached to a bar and kitchenette, a private butler, and private parking.
Amenities at the Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa
Great location? Check. Tastefully furnished rooms? Check. But what about the amenities?
The Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa offers a multitude of services and amenities to make your stay luxurious and unforgettable. We tell you all about them.
Outdoor Swimming Pools
Not ‘swimming pool’. Uh-uh! Swimming pools! There are 5 of them including a quiet pool for those who enjoy their swim better with a book in their hands. There’s also one with a poolside bar and another with a slide (your kids will love this one).
Tulia Wellness Spa
Tulia means to relax in Swahili and Tulia you will at the Tulia Wellness Spa. The spa offers oriental, western, and Ayurvedic treatments and is quite literally the embodiment of opulence.
Then again, it’s not every day you get to relax in a spa located on the beach.
Tulia Fitness Centre
Now, there is this select group of people whose idea of ‘Tulia-ing’ is lifting 20 kg weights and breaking a sweat on the treadmill. If you subscribe to this school of thought just head to the Tulia Fitness Center.
It’s packed with the latest gym equipment (think cross trainers, exercise cycles, rowing machines, and free weights) and even has qualified trainers (if you’re in need of them).
The Ozone Kids’ Club
The Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa has something for everyone even the kiddos. At the Ozone Kids’ Club children can enjoy a diverse range of indoor and outdoor activities, a children’s pool and playground included.
The parents are taken care of too! The Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa offers babysitting services and also provides a supervised all-day program for children from 3 years old upwards.
Other amenities include;
- Table tennis and pool tables
- Steam room
- Late check-out and early check-in
- A gift shop
- Spa photo gallery
- Laundry service
- Chargable glass-bottom boat rides, jet skis, pedal boats, and windsurfing activities
The Food and Drinks of the Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa
Swahili. East Asian. Arab. Indian. Continental. And no, we’re not listing different nationalities here, but rather the different international cuisine you can enjoy while staying at the Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa.
The Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa has two lively bars; the exclusive Cocos beach bar and an in-pool bar that extends into the Lido lounge.
Craving a mean martini while you dig your toes into the sand? You now know where to go.
To help you “discover the world through flavor” are the four three-themed superb restaurants of the Sarova Whitesands.
These restaurants offer some of the world’s finest cuisines be it Arabic, European, Indian, Pan-Asian, or Swahili.
The first is the Pavilion Restaurant a buffet-style restaurant known for its exceptional dining options and live entertainment. The restaurant has a 680 capacity and is renowned for its mean drink-free buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The second is the Minazi Restaurant, a round-the-clock restaurant that caters to light snacks and quick bites like pizzas.
Lido Fish on the Beach is the third (a must-try for seafood lovers) and last but not least we have the Pampa Churrascaria which serves more than a dozen different cuts of meat.
How’s the Service at the Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa
Three words only: professional, skilled, and lightning quick. Okay, kinda like four words but you get the gist.
Is the Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa Family Friendly?
Yes! The Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa has a range of amenities, activities, and restaurants that will keep those on a family vacation here well entertained. Plus, with its babysitting services, you can even go off on a romantic evening and leave the kids in safe hands.