Bursting with stunning aesthetics, Watamu in Kilifi County is known for its spectacular coastline, crystal clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, pristine beaches, exciting water adventures and marine diversity.
When I met Paul Krystall, the owner of Watamu Tree House, he was warm, charming, hospitable – and barefoot.
The adorable art connoisseur and hotelier shared that he learned his artistic skills from his father, the famous late Dr. Eric Krystall, an African anti-apartheid activist and academic known for his pioneering puppets in Kenya.
The father-son duo bought the land 30 years ago, which was the only property in Watamu with the original jungle.
The award winning Watamu Tree House is exceptional. It’s a picturesque escape, a place of healing. guests will be separated and reset; rejuvenate, recharge and reinvent. Intimate and grand moments in this place become lifelong memories for ocean loving souls.
“It was quite an undertaking to turn this getaway into an award winning hidden gem,” said Paul.
His father’s wife, Nina Croze, a well-known artist and environmentalist, advised Paul not to cut down trees. So he worked with the original footprint of native trees.
Nina designed and built the first room and decorated it with her famous stained glass, which comes in royal colors like turquoise, green, purple and blue.
Paul and his team took over and continued to create the Watamu Treehouse masterpiece, room by room. The enchanting retreat now features the tallest yoga room in Watamu with 360 degree views of the sunrise over the Indian Ocean and the sunset over the dense coastal forest.
“We exist to share the best we know of what a lifestyle is in harmony with the natural environment,” said Paul, who shared the Watamu Tree House philosophy.
With joy in his eyes and conviction in his voice, he said, “I was intentional from the start. I enjoy water sports and yoga. I like to eat healthy. I wanted to share these experiences with other people. I recorded this dream on a vision board on concrete.”
Watamu Tree House has received three awards from the Kenya Tourism Board. Epic kayaking expeditions, sunset yoga experiences and floating adventures on Mida Creek were recognized as three of Kenya’s 29 experiences.
“Did you know that walking barefoot has benefits?” asked Aja Krystall, Paul’s daughter, who manages the gem. Like her father, she walks around without shoes.
“The philosophy behind walking barefoot should not be a barrier between humans and nature. You refuel with the natural polarity with the earth. It’s good for your feet and ankles,” she said.
The food, an integral part of the house, is based on the principles of Ayurveda: gratitude and nature. They do not serve any fried or artificial food. They don’t serve meat or alcohol, but guests can bring their own liquor.
For more information, see Part 1 of Art of Living on KTN Home