I felt compelled to log on & let everyone know my & my husband's (newly weds - on honeymoon) experience with African Safari Club or as it was nicknamed by all those on holidays with us - in both the Shanzu Beach Hotel, Shanzu Paradise Beach Hotel & Coral Palm Beach Hotel (all part of the African Safari club hotels).- the African Suffering Club. Even Basil Fawlty himself would have been embarrassed by these hotels. After 3 days eating the food which by the way was left uncovered in both the outdoor & indoor restaurant which is certainly against all the hygiene regulations I am aware of in Ireland & I imagine all other parts of the world.
My list of complaints:
1. The food - after becoming seriously ill - severe cramps & vomiting both myself & my husband complained the following day. I was told that noone else complained & it could have been something I touched, getting used to the climate, etc. Many excuses were given but no answers were given when I enquired about the food being left uncovered & about the fact I checked all the orange juice jugs that morning (before our conversation) & they all had pieces of dirt in the bottom. I spent the remainder of my honeymoon with diarrhoea on & off but more on - I believe they call it the Mombasa Express. It left me exhausted & irritable. I did not go to the Hotel Doctor as I had no faith whatsoever in anyone who was working for them - though we were told he was not I did not believe what I was told as he works in the grounds of the hotel. There is obviously some relationship. When I got home I went straight to my doctor who diagnosed Gastroenteritis due to food.
2. The bathroom- tiles had come off the wall, the plughole was disgusting ( I have pics & will post when I upload them from my camera phone). Also there was fungus growing in the corners of the shower.
3. Salt water showers, salt water in the taps. I could excuse the latter but not the former. It's an absolute disgrace in a four star hotel which advertises (I believe from an english couple - thanks nigel) in reputable english papers. The pictures purport it to be four star, etc.
4. Rooms & cleanliness - Our floor was hardly washed at all let alone swept. When we went away on safari after closing up everything we came back & I found the sliding door to the balcony left slightly open. A lizard had managed to find it's way in but he was not the only occupant besides myself & my husband. The last occupant of our room only made a brief appearance when I pulled back the curtain on our last night (after the Goodbye meeting - & what a meeting that was!!). I had heard something tapping on the glass of said sliding door the night before but had not gone to investigate, lucky really as I'm not a fan of cockroaches. Pity really as we had shared our room with one from the Wed night of our last week. Shame some might say we didn't become acquainted before that.
5. Pool - Very nice if you like all manner of insects floating around you as you swim & paddle or learn to swim in my case. No effort (our first week) was made to clean them out. They were obviously part of the whole experience - perhaps they should have advertised them in the brochure, perhaps not you be the judge. When we got back from safari on Wed of our 2nd week I noticed that insects were being removed from the pool so at least that was an improvement. Though at this point a number of our fellow travellers who had spent considerable periods of time in the pool had got ear infections & throat infections - 2 of which were children.
6. Their safari & VIP Coach- I have never in all my life been in a VIP Coach with filthy seats but perhaps VIP doesn't mean what I think it does!! I have no personal experience of their safari vehicles but my husband met a man who had & he had the scars to prove it - when they were going down bumpy roads the underneath of the roof had no material on it to cover the metal bars & he got a gash on the top of his head as a result. Strangely or not, we booked with North Coast Hunters & there vehicles were clean inside & well maintained. We were impressed by their driver Livingstone - a lovely man & very good at his job.
7. Check out at 7am - A note was left the evening before our departure saying our checkout time for our flight at 5 past midnight was 7 am. We went to complain but couldn't get either to reception or the Tourist desk as so many others were queueing up to complain as well. Amongst our group was a man that is a member of the Association of Hotels & Restaurants ( I think that's the correct name) & he said that under their guidelines 10am is considered an international standard check out time. As we discovered that evening at our Goodbye Meeting once African Safari Club get your money they apply the same standard as Ryanair - Accept no responsibility, complete apathy & stoney faced resistance.
After all of this some might say, why didn't you complain more. The reason was that no responsibility was taken by management at all. We heard from various sources that they rent the building from the Kenyan Government & also that the Company are going under - no wonder some of our fellow holidayers said as their standards were awful everyone must complain.
I would hate anyone to experience the kind of honeymoon I did our holiday either that is why I'm writing this. Many people on holiday with us thought it was such a good deal they nabbed it but for us with the sterling exchange rate it was an expensive holiday but it was and what a honeymoon - THE HONEYMOON FROM HELL!!
Take care & hope this helps inform others so they don't make the same mistake we did.
Therese & Bob McKenzie