You would imagine that a Valentine's Day on a Thursday would mean low turnout in most Kenyan hotels. Well, romance never dies on weekdays and a number of hotels have already received bookings running into Valentine’s weekend.
At Lido Lounge and Dining at Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort and Spa in Mombasa, the chefs are preparing to impress with a Sh20,000 dinner per couple offering, with those seeking more privacy paying extra for a secluded banda.
“60 per cent of the hotel is already booked. Business has been great since 2018 and the flow is still strong in 2019 as well,” said Siddharth Sathe, the general manager at Sarova Whitesands.
About 24 couples have made reservations for rooms at Sarova Whitesands throughout the Valentine's weekend, he said.
At Tamarind restaurant in Mombasa, 24 people have booked the Thursday dinner on the sailing dhow that holds about 70 people. “We’re expecting the dhow to be full,” said Faiza Ayub of Tamarind Mombasa, adding that they will take advantage of the season and do a post-Valentine's dinner on Saturday at a cheaper cost.
At Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa, the managing director Bobby Kamani said the hotel is at 80 per cent occupancy for Valentine’s weekend as of now and they expect the remaining rooms to be sold in the coming week owing to last minute bookings.
“Most bookings have come from the domestic market. A majority of them will check in on Thursday and check out on Sunday,” he said.
Another hotel, Kenya Bay Beach has already received bookings for 100 people. Jaswinder Kalsi, the director said they are expecting more people as some just show up on the D-Day.
Sailing through Mtwapa Creek is one of the romantic activities that draw lovers to Mombasa. A Valentine’s dhow cruise will start sailing at 5pm at Lamarina Restaurant jetty, going through the calm inland waterways. The adventure will end with dinner at La Marina Restaurant while admiring the moored yachts.
Alice Gacheru, a manager at the restaurant said they already have 10 confirmed bookings. “Some guests make their bookings on the same day. There are even those who wait for the tables to be available,” she said.