It’s not what I expected in a former British East African colony: staff speaking German. The Severin Sea Lodge is located on Bamburi Beach, about seven miles north of Mombasa, Kenya, on the Malindi Road, Bamburi.
But, then, it’s not British. The lodge started in the late 1960s as a compound for the friends and family of Rudolf Schulte (a German who’d been traveling to East Africa as a hunter), but soon became a commercial enterprise. Expanded several times, it’s now owned by his son, Severin Schulte. Managing director since 2014 is Sebastian Severin Schulte, a member of the third generation. Because this is a German-owned resort (and the default website is in German), most of the guests are from Germany. (Don’t worry: the staff also speaks English.)
Although I didn’t on this visit, most of those who stay at the Severin Sea Lodge rent cars at the airport (about 20 kilometers south) because it makes it easy to go into town or to visit any of the tourist sites nearby. It also gives a choice of dinner restaurants at other resorts strung out along the coast. Me? I just wanted down-time. The one day I went sightseeing in the former Portuguese enclave of Mombasa I hired a car and guide/driver.
The Severin also offers several day trips (including one on bicycles). You can even arrange that trip into wild Kenya because the parent company also operates Severin Safari Camp at Tsavo West National Park, with 27 “luxury” tents and 25 acres of bush land.
There are 188 hotel rooms and each has mosquito netting around the bed (because you really want to leave the windows open to hear the ocean even though the rooms are air-conditioned).
All units feature a sitting area, with some including a terrace and/or balcony. Each unit is equipped with a private bathroom with the usual toiletries and a hairdryer. Breakfast and WiFi are included. There’s a spa and a fitness room, not to mention a pool (should you prefer fresh water to the sea salt of the ocean — I divided my time about half-and-half).
The Severin Sea Lodge is right on the Indian Ocean with miles of white sand beaches stretching north and south. The lodge arranges snorkeling and scuba expeditions.
(Photos courtesy of the Severin Sea Lodge and by Susan McKee, who stayed at the resort while on assignment for another publication)