In Kenya today, the Real estate industry has become increasingly popular as a preferred investment option.
The consistent returns that have been associated with property over the years continue to lure developers and investors alike.
In recent years however, a new front of the property sector in Kenya has emerged- Holiday Homes- especially at the Kenyan Coast, with areas within both the Northern and Southern Coast creating interest among investors.
Indeed, a new report by Knight Frank suggests that Kenya is fast becoming a hotbed of property investment with high net-worth individuals targeting holiday homes in places such as the Coast.
Kikambala Area in the North Coast is fast becoming a preferred area of choice for such developers.
Sultan Palace Beach Retreat
The availability of land and good weather in the area makes it perfect for building holiday and retirement homes. One such developer is Sultan Palace Development Limited that has put up a collection of breath-taking holiday homes within a gated environment in Kikambala, dubbed The Sultan Palace Beach Retreat.
The development consisting of 1,2,3 and 5-bedroom residential units and a 4-star hotel sits on a 43-acre beach front plot in Kikambala, 25km North of Mombasa. The development has targeted and successfully attracted wealthy investors, both Kenyan and of other nationalities seeking to acquire holiday homes.
The first phase of the Sultan Palace Beach Retreat, which was completed mid in 2017 consists of 200 housing units with villas (christened as the Diamond Residences), townhouses (Ruby Residences) and 1,2 and 3-bedroom apartments (Emerald Condos). Prices for the units range from Kshs 10 million for the 1-bedroom units to Kshs 80 million for the 5-bedroom beach-front Villas. The first phase also incorporates a Residents’ Club and Children’s Waterpark.
The second phase of the development will further incorporate a 4-star hotel with several restaurants, a beach bar, health club and convenience store among other amenities, making Sultan Palace a global resort of choice for those looking forward to an exciting holiday experience,” says Susan Makhulo, Architect and Studio Director for the Pwani Office of Planning Systems Services Limited, the Project Architects for the development.
“Already, several houses have been sold, with the town houses and villas completely sold out. The appetite for such development in the North Coast is increasingly high while beach retreats are emerging to be among the most sought-after destinations worldwide,” says Arch. Makhulo.
The Project Architects PLANNING Systems Services Ltd. who were working off a basic concept developed by others, brought in vast experience in Swahili Architecture, having developed the Serena Hotels in both Mombasa and Zanzibar, among several designs for residential and hotel developments along the Coasts of both Kenya and Zanzibar.
The client’s brief was for a ‘Contemporary Swahili’ development, bringing in aspects of both modern and Swahili Architecture as far as materiality, aesthetics and spatial planning were concerned.
The Client’s brief was achieved through use of clean lines that are common to both Swahili and Modern architecture, incorporation of distinctly Swahili features such as concrete crenulations, Omani arches and ‘Mashrabiya’, Swahili-inspired hardwood screens and through selection of appropriate finishes such as cream-coloured coral rock cladding juxtaposed against white-washed lime plaster and darker hardwood, all available locally.
The roof profile was brought together with a combination of flat concrete and pitched roofs finished in Mangalore tiles.
A major focus of the development was on open spaces at different levels; open spaces and terraces being a major component of coastal living. Each housing unit incorporates terraces of varying sizes, with units grouped around green courtyard spaces featuring shared swimming pools.
The courtyards create mini-communities within the larger gated community helping to foster neighbourliness and bringing down to a human scale the experience of the larger development. The 5-bed sea-facing villas feature individual green spaces and swimming pools.
The landscaping and interior finishes for the development follow suit with planting selections being built around indigenous coastal plants which are low-maintenance and can withstand the hot and saline Coastal conditions. Interior finishes and furnishings are based around traditional-style Swahili niches known as ‘vidakha’ and Swahili-style hardwood furniture.
With the soft white sands, refreshing ocean breeze and spectacular ocean views, Sultan Palace Beach Retreat is set to become Kenya´s premier holiday homes retreat.
For Arch. Makhulo projects such as the Sultan Palace will continue to emerge in the years to come, especially those that offer the live-work-play lifestyle concept within a secure development. “Mixed-use Developments such as these are becoming more and more popular within Kenya and the region and will continue to be so in the foreseeable future both for holiday and day-to-day living,” she opines.
On the rise as well are gated communities driven by shared security and other facilities which considerably cut costs for home seekers while affording them the lifestyles and facilities that they desire. Facilities such as swimming pools, gyms, residents’ clubs, electric fences and ample parking can be shared by occupants within gated and mixed-use developments.
The Sultan Palace Beach Retreat achieves and indeed surpasses this with the mix of residentials and hotel uses among others that have been provided, to give clients nothing short of comfort and elegance.