Note - this is not my main home and is often available, so very happy to do non-simultaneous swaps and happy to do it for different periods of time - i.e. you take mine for two weeks and I yours for a week, or whatever. The house is normally rented July and August, and also Xmas and NY, (school holidays) otherwise it's pretty free.
I spent 9 months building ‘Ruby Hall’ and designed the house with my best friend who’s an architect from the UK. We put our heart and soul into the project and the finished house is the culmination of a lifelong dream to build a tropical, sustainable, paradisiacal retreat in this magical part of the world to return to year after year.
The house was completed in July 2011 and overlooks the waters of Mida Creek – a huge mangrove-fronted lagoon where you can go for a swim, or watch local fishermen from your bedroom in dugout canoes (or you can borrow mine and join them), see ospreys, flamingos, hawks and other wildlife, or just listen to the sounds of the local people who have been living in the same way for thousands of years. There's nowhere quite like it on earth.
The house is set in a 5.2 acre fenced plot, nestled amongst local villages and palm trees and feels like it is in the bush (that’s a good thing!), even though it is 5 minutes drive from a dozen good restaurants and bars in Watamu, a 25 minute drive from Malindi airport and a 2 hour drive from Mombasa.
The staff members who look after the house are Joseph – an excellent cook that has been preparing food for visitors for over 30 years, and Morris, the cleaner, handyman and gardener. One of the most wonderful things about the place is the time you have without having to clean, cook, wash up or do anything other than relax or go on adventures. Plus, the food and living is incredibly healthy, if you can resist too many sundowners!
As a committed environmentalist, I've taken pains to try to reduce the impact on the local environment. That doesn't mean it's not effortlessly luxurious - it is, but I don’t go in for air-conditioning and swimming pools.
The house consists of a large open building which contains two secure bedrooms (the upstairs room (bedroom 3) has room to sleep 4, with 2 double beds, and the downstairs room (bedroom 4) can be used either as a chill-out room or a bedroom with 2 double beds. In addition to this room there is a huge amount of space in which to chill and relax with fitted sofas, plus a kitchen, store room and toilet/shower.
There is also a tower building right next to the main building that is 10 meters high that consists of an open chill out area downstairs and two bedrooms (bedroom 1 & 2 - both king-sized doubles with ensuite bathrooms) with amazing views the higher you go and a flat roof for sunbathing or yoga which looks out over the whole creek.
The beach is 5 minutes drive away and you can swim at medium/high tide right in front of the house.