Stayed here for 6 nights in June 2013 with older teenage kids. Flew into Ukunda airstrip from safari in Mara, hotel 20mins from there. Pretty out of the way but great facilities whether you want a quiet relaxing stay or more action. It was only quarter full so we got free upgrade for one double room to a suite. The accom blocks comprise suite on ground floor with two twins above. Rooms all lovely, good sized rooms and beds, aircon very good, showers variable pressure (funnily enough our suite had poorer pressure than twins on 1st floor above??) but more than adequate. Suites come with option of chef coming to cook for you in house IF you have booked that, not if you get free upgrade, however we were told we would get this on arrival then when we arranged it at reception were told later same day we could not?? To cut a long story short Pinewood accepted they made a mistake, we got in house prepared meal for all 5 of us and it was lovely. Mind you meals in main restaurant all excellent so no real need to have worried. Slightly disappointed by fruit selection at breakfast so asked and following day got big plate of mango and papaya on table. Really sums our stay up: all a bit sleepy as less than half full, it had just reopened from month closed but ask and everyone very willing to help make your stay wonderful.
Activities: we often need something to justify the excesses of food and drink so were very pleased with well equipped but small gym beside pool, wonderful beach for walks/runs (need low tide for anything more than 10mins there and back), beach volleyball, nice pool (not huge but enough to str etch out for a few short lengths), and if you wanted there is a watersport centre on site which offers kite surfing, diving, wind surfing etc (didn't use as were happy with what we did and didn't see anyone else use them). I did go on a snorkel trip which some other guests had organised with some beach boys, was fun getting into a 'sailing'boat that was a dug out palm with sail and outriggers with 5 punters and 3 beach boys, nearly capsized only the once! We headed for a sand bank up the coast (with the wind so took 20-30 mins to get there but 1.5 hrs to get back!), great snorkelling, loads to see, heaps of fish, saw free swimming Moray eel, octopus and fantastic starfish.
Also visited a local school which was just eye opening and for lots of reasons. So impressed by the good behaviour of all the kids, their appearance was so clean and tidy but in no way affluent. Although a private school it was run very much by local business people for local children (obviously who could afford the moderate fees, a lot more moderate than some other private schools nearby).
Pinewood is a fantastic wee hide away that allows you to do as much or as little as you want. Well run and great facilities yet very relaxed, don't be afraid to just to ask for anything not obvious, they will be more than happy to do all they can to accommodate you.
Other general comments:
Monkeys! Sykes monkeys very bold, cheeky and need watched! Leave nothing open or unattended unless you don't mind them having a look! Colobus monkeys much shyer and no problem, very pretty.
Wifi avail foc at reception/main bar as well as pool area.
Water: complimentary 1l provided per room per day
Cocktails: gooood! We adapted an in house one called Dawa into Medicine! Good medicine too;-)
Credit card surcharge: 3% in hotel, par for the course in Kenya
Weather: surprised and disappointed by 3/6 very wet days, not just passing showers either. Not much hotel could do about it but bear in mind that June is end of wet season at the coast!!
- 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
- Also Known As:
- Pinewood Beach Hotel Ukunda
- Pinewood Beach Resort And Spa
- Pinewood Village Beach Hotel
- Pinewood Village Beach Ukunda