Tourism has for a long time been a valuable industry in Malindi. The first tourist accommodation facilities were built as small structures from as early as 1930’s to cater for up-country residents who enjoyed the beach and sports fishing. This Exhibition showcases some of the early tourist hotels in Malindi, including Brady’s Palm Beach (now The Blue Marlin), Lawford’s, Eden Roc andthe Sindbad. There was a campsite at Silversands which had been a rest camp for the military during WW11, but was very popular until the mid nineties when the area was developed for housing. Smaller establishments in the town catered for local travelers and businessmen.
Modern day tourism really began with the opening of Malindi airport and the start of air package tours to Kenya. Malindi was a popular destination for Germans in the 70’s and 80’s, but as Malindi Bay silted up more hotels were built in the Silversands area to cater for the increasing number of Italian and domestic tourists. Today, tourists include international and local visitors travelling as individuals, families and groups for holiday and learning purposes.
Brady’s Palm Beach Hotel (now The Blue Marlin)
This was the first hotel in Malindi, started in 1932 when Pat Brady acquired an existing old house which had originally been built by a European rubber plantation owner before 1914.
Source: MMS Archives, Postcard
Silversands Holiday Camp
This was a public campsite in the early 1970’s through to the 1990’s. It had a cafeteria at the North end of the Campsite and was mostly used by domestic tourists from upcountry. Daily charges were Kshs. 2/50 per tent and 50 cents per person. Tents were available for hire at Ksh. 20/- per day.
Source: MMS Archives, Postcard
The Sinbrad Hotel (1946)
This hotel was built by Margaret Bowker Douglas in 1946 as the New Malindi Hotel. In 1948, it was purchased by Phillip and Marjorie Mumford and renamed Sindbad. Mr. Mumford engaged architects to give the building an Arab decoration style. The Sindbad was reputed as a prime place to stay in Malindi. Currently, the Sindbad is an abandoned ruin.
Source: MMS Archives
Lawford’s Hotel (1934)
This hotel was built by commander Theo Lawford, a navy commander during the 1st World War. It was built near Brady’s Palm Beach Hotel. The first building was
constructed from mangrove poles and mud plastered over with cement.
Source: Lawford’s Hotel Manager
Photo sourced from Mr. Stephen Mungai
Eden Rock Hotel
This hotel was started by John Carberry in the late 1930s as a simple hotel on a cliff at the north end of Malindi. It was known as the Malindi Hotel. After the war it was upgraded by Carberry in partnership with Charles Schwentafsky and renamed Eden Rock Hotel. In 1962 the hotel was bought by Mr. and Mrs. Meynhart who managed it together until 1992. It was sold in 2011 and later taken over by the family. The hotel was preferred by the Government during Meynhart’s time. All the previous presidents stayed at the hotel during their visits to Malindi. President Kenyatta was a popular guest at suite number 9. President Moi stayed at this hotel for over 22 visits.
Source: Meynhart’s family Archives
Photo and plaque donated by Mr. Patrick Becker