26 Mar, 2015
Crusoe, Cousteau and Bond; all in one day
As Hip Hotels quip on their website, “Here you can be Crusoe and Cousteau on the same day”. I would add that on the day you arrive you can be James Bond too. Powered by two 115hp Mercury engines, your speedboat wastes no time in getting you to the jetty of Fundu Lagoon. Your arrival feels worthy of 007 and a martini begins to beckon in your mind at what must be one of the coolest bars in Africa.
Rustic luxe with a twist of the 70’s, the lodge is accessible only by boat and is barely visible from the approach. Eighteen tented rooms and suites sprawl across a thick jungle of vegetation that tumbles down onto Fundu’s pristine white beaches. In this remote and exclusive patch of East Africa, your footprints will certainly be the first of day. Decorated in tranquil tones of parchment and neutrals, each tented room is a statement in comfort and beach luxury. Canvas strips criss cross the gauzy windows giving a faux pane effect and further securing the cosy home from home in a tent concept. Thoughtful touches such as beach baskets and straw hats complete the look. Low key seventies touches are in evidence through the use of batik, bucket-shaped basket chairs and even a conversation pit in one the suites – perfect for those late night discussions over a night cap or two. Being able to hail the bar from your in-room walkie-talkie is a modern day touch that Robinson Crusoe just wishes he had.
Three bars, two restaurants and various lounging options are peppered across the property soaking up the inhabitants to deliver an almost uninhabited atmosphere – yet without the isolation. The attentive staff are always discreetly accessible for more gin and tonics, a legendary burger poolside or a heavenly massage.
Fundu Lagoon lies in one of the world’s best and most exclusive marine playgrounds. The diving is some of the best on the planet and unlike other famous sites, there is no one around! Even the novice snorkeller can expect to see some dramatic ocean life with shallow coral lagoons dropping off to outrageous depths. The team at Fundu lagoon’s dive centre are at once professional, experienced and friendly. Dive-master Filbert has a quiet competence which inspires confidence even in the most nervous of swimmers so everyone from the specialist diver to the starting out snorkeller is guaranteed of a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Please don’t forget to try your hand at deep sea fishing. Those of us propping up Africa’s coolest bar will gratefully accept some more dorado served ceviche-style with lime juice, garlic, coconut milk and a touch of chilli.
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