It must have been decades since I last stayed at Baobab and some 3 or 4 years since I last visited and walked around the property. As it was then did the resort - now including three separate hotels, Baobab itself, KoleKole where I stayed this time and Maridadi, their couples resort - present itself from its sunniest side.

Gardening was superb and of course the piece of ancient rainforest the hotel maintains on its extensive grounds all add to the first, second and more important, the lasting impressions one takes away with her or him. Check in was prompt and I was shown to my first floor room, which allowed for garden, pool and Seaview from the balcony. The room turned out to be more like a junior suite with a generously spaced sitting area.The bed was decorated with flowers and a welcome message and the bathroom stocked with plenty of amenities and a LOT of towels.Everywhere I looked, I do that especially at the coast given the moist climate, was sparkling clean, not a hint of mold anywhere in neither the bathroom nor any 'dark spots' so often seen in lesser resorts.

Once settled it did I wander around this unique 'three in one' resort, explored the many swimming pools, restaurants, visited the Spa - looking only as usual - the gyms and that magic view point from the end of the cliff, from where one can see why Diani is voted time and again as Kenya's best beach, as Africa's best beach and even made it into the top ten of the world's best beaches.Baobab has a VERY long stretch of beach along their property, which must expand over 70 or 80 acres, giving them at least 700 meters of beach frontage. Notable was the beach swept of debris every day and while there did the hotel also organize a general beach cleanup to collect any debris which had been swept ashore during a spring tide.

Meanwhile, at the resort - which offers an all-inclusive meal plan, i.e. all the food one can eat at any of their restaurants apart from their a la carte specialty restaurant - and all drinks they offer for free such as house wines, local beers, sodas, juices and even some cocktails. Ice-cream too is part of the menu as is the pizza and burger joint menu at the KoleKole pool, a superb deal for guests who know that they can spend extra money on Spa and a la carte or diving or deep sea fishing, but that all the basics are covered.

My first meal was lunch, served in a buffet format in the three main restaurants - and they are all open for guests from any of the other accommodation units. The choices were very extensive, with two active cooking stations including one for pasta! Starters, soups, main courses, salads, condiments, cold cuts and

desserts all showed the kind of quality one gets when staying at the Baobab, presentation wise and quality wise.Dinner again was served in buffet format, notably with different hot dishes, and that variation continued through the three days I spent at the resort. Full complement to the chefs for that, and compliments too for a very valiant effort to present me with an 'Egg Benedict KoleKole'!

The hotel has its own nature walk through the forest, with a guide of course, and I enjoyed the banter sharing memories from decades ago of this place, when it was first opened as the Robinson Baobab Club. This walk should be taken by all guests during their stay to understand better what effort the hotel has been making to preserve this ancient rain forest. Also unique is the main entertainment theatre, where daily performances, after dinner, thrill the guests - and I found the seats packed to the rafters of course as entrance if free and the quality of the presentations absolutely worth a visit.

My time ran out all too soon but one of my New Year resolutions for 2020 is an early return to the Baobab, and for a few nights more than just two.My stay can only be described as one of the closest to perfect beach experiences for a very long time, notwithstanding the quality of some of the resorts I frequent when at the coast, so I extend full compliments to the Baobab's entire staff and management for their friendly and cheerful disposition throughout and seen at every corner, nook and cranny of the resort.

The writer is Prof. Dr. Wolfgang H. Thome publisher of ATC News, Eastern Africa’s largest aviation, tourism and conservation news blog of its kind. Wolfgang has over 40 years of experience in the tourism, aviation and conservation fields in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, covering all aspects of safari operations, hotel operations and air operations. Since 1992 he resides in Uganda, previously living for 17 years in Kenya.

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