Heaven is neither when we die nor when a loud voice echos the world over announcing the end of times. Heaven is now, and that I am sure of. The gratification you experience when you send a needy child to school and they end up being top in their class, that’s heaven. Heaven is also watching the sun flirt for an hour as it casts a gorgeous glow over the clouds before finally revealing its beautiful self. Heaven is taking a walk in the sea during low tide, the white soft sand rubbing against your feet. Heaven is marvelling at the sea at night, glistering and ever so calm as it rests in the glow of a full blood moon.
Better yet, heaven is getting pampered in the heart of a forest.
As I steered the car on the narrow gravel road at 11am, the sun was overhead shining at full strength but the ancient tall trees provided some much-needed coolness. I turned down the AC and rolled down my window, wanting to soak in that earthy smell of nature and listen to the creaking branches and chirping birds. I almost wished I was taking a walk instead of driving, but I did not stress about that because my day’s itinerary included, matter of fact began with, a one hour nature walk. I was a guest at Entim Sidai, a wellness sanctuary in Karen nestled in 20 acres of indigenous woody heaven.
From the parking lot clearing, a narrow cabro pavement opens up to expansive and beautifully manicured lawn. On the right is the property, a farmhouse built in 1924 but reengineered severally to accommodate the wellness centre growing needs, including most recently, providing accommodation which now makes it a proper resort. On the left, a thick forest stretches out with the iconic Ngong Hills providing a stunning backdrop. A stroll inside the forest reveals indigenous trees, some which have been carefully labelled. Plenty of butterflies sway around providing colourful company as one goes deep into the woods. An old well sits in solace waiting for its wheels to be turned, and once you yield to the desire to give it a whirl, you are teleported to life before tap water and WIFI.
I was hoping to see baboons but unfortunately there were none in sight that afternoon. My guide Maina informed me that they had gone to scavenge for food in neighbouring farms and would be back in the evening. He also did a wonderful job explaining the history of the forest and the labelled trees but my short memory did not keep much. The forest is also a bird haven and would make for an excellent trail for bird watchers.
Back at the reception at quarter past midday, I had fifteen minutes before my spa treatment session could start. I was informed that I would be getting my massage in the clear glass hut that sat in the woods. The fact that one can enjoy a spa session in the outdoors surrounded by trees and in the company of birds and occasionally monkeys is an obvious signal that Entim Sidai is not your typical spa. The room smelt like a fusion of eucalyptus and rose flowers.
I took of all my clothing then slipped into disposable underwear then lay on the massage bed and pressed the tiny bell that was positioned on the edge of the bed. My masseuse walked in and briefed me on the Enesoit treatment she was about to administer for the next one and a half hours. It was a rendition of the hot stone massage where she would use warm basalt stones to bring life to my worn out muscles after weeks of intense activity at the gym. After she was done with the brief, I positioned my head on the gap in the bed facing downwards to a sight of colourful petals swimming in a bowl of water underneath.
Afterwards, I was ushered to their newly done honeymoon suite where my luggage had been stored in advance. The room’s balcony opened up to a most breathing view of the expanse forest that framed the wellness centre and a view of Ngong Hills in the yonder. I grabbed my pot of sweet caramel herbal tea and bowl of dates from the wooden table inside the room and set them on the glass table at the balcony then indulged as I listened to the birds calling out to each other.
Entim Sidai is an Oasis of calmness, one I am glad I don’t need to drive for hours on end or worse still, hop into a plane to find. Entim Sidai is heaven.
**You can read about my previous review here with is more detailed as it includes the outdoor nail studio experience. Much as this post is sponsored, the reviews are entirely unbiased. Entim Sidai gets really busy and it’s advisable that you call and book in advance. Their massages range from Ksh 6,000 to Ksh 9,000, and the spa manicure and pedicure go for Ksh 2,800 and Ksh 3,000 respectively. Accommodation ranges from USD 150 to USD 400 a night depending with the room type and includes a nature walk and a 10% discount at the spa.
And now for the best part, one of you gets to win a voucher for the Enesoit treatment worth Ksh 9,200 from Entim Sidai. Drop a comment on this post telling us your idea of heaven. Follow Entim Sidai on Instagram @entimsidai. Cross your fingers and hope to win! The winner will be announced next week on Tuesday. Best of luck.****