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Hot hotels: Mango Beachhouse
The term beachhouse is no false advertisement. You enter from a dusty Jambiani alley and find yourself in a special place that resembles a living room on a beach. The palm trees are surrounded by mussels, several pot plants provide all shades of green, an old boat lies next to the steps leading down to the water. There are many details that won't catch your eye immediately but which emerge gradually. Mango Beachhouse is also home to various pets. Don't worry, they are very polite folks. Still, “If you don't like cats or dogs – this is not the place for you!” warns Lisa, the owner of the guesthouse.
All three guestrooms are on the ground floor of two houses. Facilities are basic. A bed, a narrow table, two chairs, two night-stands. There is no wardrobe but a wooden pole with shelves and a little sideboard. An eye-catcher is the turtle shell on the wall, which Lisa found during a walk on the beach. Another extraordinary piece is a shelf made from an old boat. Every room looks different, and the detailed decorations make the accommodation a unique experience.
There is lots of flotsam and jetsam. Wildlife pencil sketches on the wall and several lamps create an African-Oriental vibe. The beds are comfortable and long enough for tall people. Note that if you are very sensitive to noise you might want to bring earplugs since there are children playing in front of your window and the morning call of the muezzin can be heard throughout the whole village.
The small bathrooms are down-to-earth with WC, sink and a shower with no tub but funkily decorated. A helpful feature of all the rooms is the solar light for electricity black-outs, which happen quite often. Outside you have plenty of spots to hang out. There are porches in front of every room. There are also sofas and chairs that look like they are built from driftwood where you can sit down and chat. If you want to take a nap you can go for one of the beach loungers or the four-poster bed. The whole outside area gives you the feeling of a private beach, especially during high-tide when the actual beach is under water.
You reach Kiddos Café, the guesthouse's little restaurant, via a small circular stairway with a handrail that is embellished with rope. It’s on the rooftop of one of two buildings that are connected by a wooden bridge – which makes you feel like you are visiting a beach castle. The café offers an impressive view over the whole area. There are bookshelves furnished with reading material in case you forgot yours.
The food at the café is delicious, although dinner can be somewhat light. While fish-lovers are in the right place the menu also suits vegetarians, as the buffet offers salads, vegetables, rice and chapati. Breakfast consistes of pancakes, jam, peanut butter, Nutella, bread and all kinds of fruits. There is one communal table for all guests so expect others from all over the world to join you. The guest book features a variety of nations so there is no target audience – expect a smorgasbord of company!
With only three bedrooms and a shared dinner table the atmosphere is intimate. You feel less like you are staying in a guesthouse than in a friend’s exciting summer residence. There is also the opportunity to rent the whole ground floor of one of the houses that includes a kitchen if you want to cater for yourself.
Although you are not isolated from the village there is still plenty of privacy. But that does not mean you have to get bored… Lisa and Kiddo have the latest news on events happening in the area and can give you information on where to do activities, such as snorkelling. On top of that every guest gets a special wake-up. No, not by roosters or the loudspeakers of the mosque – but by the gleaming light of the sun rising over the ocean.
What's to love
+ Very private without being isolated – The beach/garden chill out area is rightnext to the ocean
+ Amazing beds – Comfortable and big, with the mosquito-net flowing down on every side instead of hanging from a nail, you will get a good night’s sleep
What's not to love
– Cats – Unbelievable but true. Not everyone likes them.
– Noisy neighbourhood – Some may look forward to a child-free vacation, but Mango Beachhouse is surrounded by them.