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This study investigates the architecture and design of resorts so as to establish the key design factors to be considered in the design of resorts in coastal regions. This study looks at the design of resorts along the Diani beach. The investigation process involves the case study research method to conduct an explanatory study to determine the appropriate planning and design to accommodate resort activities.

The investigation documents the architecture and design of resorts at two scales; resort planning and design and resort architecture. The scope of the study was limited to resorts along the Diani Coast which experiences hot and humid climate. Secondary data was collected and analysed from existing literature on the history of resort design. It then explores the principles of architecture and design in resorts. It then looks at the impact of tourism in coastal resorts.

Fieldwork studies on the selected resorts revealed different approaches in the site layout of functions and relating to the ocean which offers views and is the source of cooling breezes through the resort sites. Different materials and approaches to construction methods are employed to accommodate for the coastal climate . The approach to sustainability in the their designs are incorporated. A comparative study of the different case studies was then carried out.

This study concludes that the operations in a resort affect the environment and the daily functions within a resort, and their impacts should be considered in the planning and design stage. The possible effects of resort planning and design include disturbance of the natural life cycles of the surrounding eco-systems and the operational movement of guests, staff and servicing throughout the resort. The resort planning and design ought to reduce on affecting the natural environment negatively and contribute to the efficient running of resorts. In the design of resort architecture in the coastal region, the buildings promote air movement through narrow singlebank layouts. Open plans and obstruction free interiors in both horizontal and vertical planes ensure cross ventilation. Ample openings also ensure sufficient lighting and ventilation of interior spaces. Some of the spaces for dining, entertainment and alternative sleeping are designated open-to-air and without walls to further channel the sea breezes.