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“Best family holiday destination” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pinewood Beach Resort & Spa

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Pinewood Beach Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Diani Beach Road | P.O.Box 90521, Galu Beach, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Galu Beach
Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Best family holiday destination”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

Last Christmas I made some of my best holiday memories at Pinewood Beach Resort and Spa. its a beautiful resortthat feels like it caters to you as an indivudual as opposed to the factory feeling of most Beach hotels. From the moment yuou drive into the hotel I was conatantly impressed by the decor, the food, the rooms, pool, and beach. The best thing about the hotel though is the service. The staff performed miracles to make sure my wife and 10 month old child were catered to at all times. Very impressive quality of staff at Pinewood. Everything else was also at a very high quality also. If your looking to have a fun, peaceful, happy holiday affordable at the Kenyan South coast then head just 10km from Nakumat Ukunda Mombasa and youll enjoy every minute.

Room Tip: The suits are perfect for Mom and Dad. Get a full unit of 3 rooms for the entire family!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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543 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (69)
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

We stayed at Pinewood over new year and really enjoyed it. Pamela made sure that we were well taken care of from the minute we arrived and sorted out any queries we had. Remy and Nancy were great at making drinks poolside while Fredrick and Moses helped to make dinner a nice experience. The food was not great however given the range of people they need to cater for they did a good job. The spa was very good and one of the best features of the hotel. If you have a chance try and visit Footprints Orphanage. It is a great cause and not too far from the hotel. We visited Shimba Hills which was a bit disappointing but if that is all you can fit in for a safari then it is worth the trip.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

Have you grown tried of the big box beach resorts, with their one-size-fits-all-thinking and inability to accommodate your particular needs? Do you want to be treated in an exceptional way? Then, Pinewood Beach Resort may be the place for you.

We have stayed at half a dozen places along the Kenyan Coast. We know Kenya is a hot culture(as opposed to cold culture). Kenyans are naturally friendly and therefore many resorts have friendly staff. Some have even impressed us with customer service beyond what was expected. However, very few have connected with our souls in the same way as Pinewood. What makes this place really stand out is the warmth and personal attention conveyed to their guests.

This is our second stay at Pinewood Beach Resort. We didn't write a review last year(on purpose). We knew then as we know now that we had stumbled upon a unique place and didn't want to share it. With anyone. Why the review now? We are not sure we will be returning next year and figured it is the least we could do. The bottom-line is that you will have a hard time finding a more magical place anywhere on the southcoast for the same price.

On both occasions we have been privileged to meet the owners, Alnoor and Nafisa Kanji. I don't use the word "privilege" lightly. They are wonderfully relational people who have worked hard to create a special place. Mr. Kanji, who has spent time abroad, returned to Kenya and aimed to create a weekend get-away for his family. From those pure beginnings, the place grew and developed into what is now Pinewood Beach Resort. This dynamic duo contain to be involved in the details of running this place and you can tell.

What works for us?

First, we like the food. It is freshly prepared each day. There is a good variety(unlike the bland, run-of-the-mill stuff at the big box resorts) and it stands out. Trust us, it stands out. Throughout the week, the meals are served at different locations on the property. Saturday nights are Mongolian Stir-fry and the tables are set underneath the stars around the pool. If you can start or end your vacation around the Saturday night, do it. Another night, you are treated to eating on the beach for a nyama choma. You eat this bbq meal with the sand between your toes. Of course, the kitchen staff take the time to get to know you. For example, there is Albert who is in charge of the kitchen. As we walked into the restaurant for our first meal on our second stay, Albert remembered our names. He escorted us to "our table" and engaged the entire family in a conversation.

Second, we appreciate the facilities. They work for our particular family. The entire family--including the children--play tennis. In addition to the tennis courts, there are squash courts, a ping-pong table, a dart board, beach games(bocce ball) and a gym. The gym is only available guests. The equipment is high-end and it is in great shape. The pool is smaller than other resorts, however keep in mind, that because this is a smaller resort you don't have the same number of guests. The Pinewood pool will always have a special place in our hearts as this is where one of the children learned how to swim.

Third, the accommodations work for us. Both times, we have booked into one of the executive suites and we have been fully satisfied. There is a separate bedroom available for everyone, an ensuite master bedroom and a lounge and eating area. We utilize the fridge and stock it with snacks and beverages for lunches. We realize that not all apartments offer the same amount of space, but not everyone has a large family like us.

Finally, the beach is awesome! Because you are off the beaten trail, there are not many people roaming the shore. Yes, there are still beach boys. Yes, there are loads of kite-surfers buzzing around. But there is a stillness to this end of the beach that isn't found further north. For example, you could take a photo of yourself walking on the beach without anyone else in your shot.

If there is a small critique of Pinewood(especially for first-time guests), it would be its location. What do I mean? It is off-the-beaten track. The tarmac ends and you keep going. And going. There isn't much signage telling you where to go and if you are self-drive, it can be a little overwhelming. If you are being picked up by at the airport, it won't even cross your mind. Yet, for us, this made it all the more special. Like the restaurant that no-one knows about or the band that you discovered, Pinewood is a special place.

It doesn't bother those of us who have discovered it that they may have to drive a little farther to be rewarded with its magic. In fact, they may wish it was even more obscure than it already is to keep the masses from descending upon it.

Room Tip: We recommend the Executive Baobab Suite for larger families.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

The Pinewood Beach Resort and Spa is the perfect location for a quiet and relaxing getaway. We visited the facility in December this year with my husband and 5 year old daughter and we all enjoyed the experience. The staff are very friendly and always willing to help.

The beach is clean and quiet and the best part about it is that we enjoyed some privacy without the harassment of hawkers. There were ample beds at the beach and swimming pool areas as well.

The dining experience was good. We especially enjoyed the barbecues.

For those wanting to catch up with family and friends back home, the hotel has wifi facilities accessible at the beach, swimming pool and lounge areas.

Pinewood is a good destination for those looking for some peace and quiet.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

We stayed at the Pinewood for a week at the end of November and can't recommend it enough - as per previous reviews on Tripadvisor the staff were fantastic and we were genuinely sad to say goodbye.

Its situated on the gorgeous Galu Beach with beautiful white sands and amazing crystal clear blue ocean.

As great as the hotel is, make sure you get out and about while you are in the Mombasa area and try and get a feel for the way the locals live - Funzi Island is a really worthwhile trip as well as visiting Fort Jesus and the old town.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Delta, Canada
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012

This is a lovely boutique beach resort located on the beautiful Galu beach, north of Mombasa.
The resort is well maintained with lots of fauna, and a nice clean beach, with tourquise clear warm ocean water.

The accommodation is first class along with the personalized service one receives from arrival to departure. The art work and artifacts within the resort add the special charm to this very place.

The food was excellent from breakfasts, lunches on the beach, to theme meals at dinner time. Afternoon tea or coffee are a welcome treat - if not for you, for the monkeys at least!!

I highly recommend this resort to anyone wishes a truly relaxing vacation. The resort boasts a lovely spa to spoil you, staffed by very friendly and "gentle" personnel. The pool is amazing too!

Asante sana Pamela and the staff for a truly amazing experience.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wickford, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

We stayed at this resort for two weeks and loved every minute. The staff were very friendly and couldnt do enough to help the guests. They made the time to get to know their guests, which made it a personalised stay. The food was amazing and so much variety. Each night of the week has a different theme to the food, but on our stay we didnt see the same dish twice. Not only do you eat in the reasturants, they also have BBQ nights on the beach. The rooms are nice, although watch out during the heavy rain as sometimes the rooms leak slightly. You also need to watch out for the monkeys as they will enter the rooms if doors are not locked and take food from people eating around the pool. This makes for some funny moments, but do not let this put you off, as they are very friendly. Entertainment is put on by locals a couple of evenings a week. There is a beach bar open during the evening til 1am, as well as the bar in the hotel.

We did a flying safari and beach holiday for our honeymoon 19/10/12 for just over 3 weeks.
we stayed at,
Samburu Intrepids,
Great Rift Valley Lodge And Golf Resort,
Mara Intrepids
then on to nairobi to
Sarova Stanley
and then on to 2 weeks in mombassa to
pinewood beach resort and spa.
please look at all our reviews. We booked this through Virgin but they contracted out to Rhino Safaris and we would therefore reommend booking direct with Rhino Safari as the service we received from Virgin was apalling.

We did a flying safari and beach holiday for our honeymoon 19/10/12 for just over 3 weeks.
we stayed at,
Samburu Intrepids,
Great Rift Valley Lodge And Golf Resort,
Mara Intrepids
then on to nairobi to
Sarova Stanley
and then on to 2 weeks in mombassa to
pinewood beach resort and spa.
please look at all our reviews. We booked this through Virgin but they contracted out to Rhino Safaris and we would therefore reommend booking direct with Rhino Safari as the service we received from Virgin was apalling.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pinewood Beach Resort & Spa

Address: Diani Beach Road | P.O.Box 90521, Galu Beach, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Galu Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Galu Beach
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Galu Beach
#2 Luxury Hotel in Galu Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Pinewood Beach Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 58
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pinewood Village is a small boutique beach and water sport resort. It is situated on the stunning deserted shores of Galu Beach, one of the finest beaches in Kenya. It is relaxed and informal. Personalised and friendly service is at the forefront. The resort is set amidst heavy tropical flora and palms and attracts the endangered Colobus Monkey and over 100 bird species from the surrounding forest. Hotel newly refurbished jun 2006. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pinewood Beach Hotel Ukunda
Pinewood Beach Resort And Spa
Pinewood Village Beach Hotel
Pinewood Village Beach Ukunda

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