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“Return visit” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Reef Hotel

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Reef Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Nyali beach | off Mount Kenya Road, Mombasa 82234-8010, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #17 of 46 Hotels in Mombasa
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Return visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2012

B&B Stay for 4 days with my husband, we love the Reef, the staff are chilled helpful and friendly.Our room was basic as expected, as we just wanted a Mombasa base, clean and comfortable,our room cleaner was fab, left a 100/150 ksh each day as they did a great job.

TV, bottled water each day, great air con very cool.Breakfast good food always hot.
Pools really clean, beach ok not the best on the coast, lots of things to do around hotel, visited Mombasa ate out in town and locally fab food but take advice on where you eat.Also ate at the hotel grill good food and price.
Will be back again very soon,

Room Tip: upgrade if you want something more special, if just a base needed then basic rooms are fine
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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274 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
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English first
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2012

Recently stayed at this hotel and was pleasantly surprised after reading some of the reviews so here is a summary............
RECEPTION: One of the best I have had pleasure of dealing with in Kenya, always addressed any problems or queries, efficient, pleasant and polite.
ROOM: As I do not go on holiday to spend it in the room as long as it is clean, comfy bed and ensuite then I am happy, this hotel ticks all the boxes for that criteria. If you are someone who spends most of their holiday in the room then yes they are a little tired and you may wish to consider doubling your budget and staying in a five star.
FOOD: I had no complaints at all about the food, it was not recycled mush that I have served in other Coast hotels, all the food is freshly cooked. It is impossible to say there is nothing to eat, always on an evening was fresh soup, a salad bar, then for mains rice, potatos, vegetables, pasta, fish, meat and vegetarian dish.
EVENING ENTERTAINMENT: Every evening a different act from acrobats, masai dancers, live bands etc. All excellent and was nice to see the hotel making the effort to entertain the guests rather than leaving it to the Animation team which a lot of hotels do.
DAYTIME: Sunbeds are plenty, pool is certainly large enough and clean (bikini didnt rot or turn a different colour), Animation team were extremely good, not pushy and knew when to talk and when to leave you in peace.
MANAGEMENT: There was one Manager who you would see from breakfast until the entertainment finished at night, very nice Gentleman who was approachable with any comments. His man management skills shone through with some annoying Germans who were rude to the staff, over bearing and irrational.
BEACH: When the tide is out it was nice to stroll down the beach as far as Voyager and back. Beach Operators weren't too bad.
OVERALL: This hotel is offically rated a 3* and is well worthy of that. It is excellent value for money, it is clean, nice garden, good food, well trained bar staff, good entertainment, it is very chilled out and makes you feel extremely relaxed. My only criticism of this hotel would be of an ex employee who likes everyone to call him Mr President who spends a lot of time in the hotel. This man is no Ambassador for this hotel and Management should consider why they would allow a taxi driver to drink in the hotel all day, who gets vocally louder to the extent that as guests we had to ask him to be quiet. He bragged he was drinking in Bobs Bar until 5 in the morning, was hopelessly drunk yet collected guests from the hotel to take to the airport at 11 the same morning stinking of alcohol. He also purchased cocktails for 15 year old Nairobi girls and arranged to meet one of them outside of the hotel on the evening to take her night clubbing. Management should take on board what impression this man is leaving on there hotel and what damage he may do.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012 via mobile

I had reserved an ocean view room, though the trees blocked most the view of the water it was nice a nice view. I was quite disappointed to have had paid $120 for 1 night. If it were in K
Los Angeles that room would have cost 70 bucks. Wifi wasn't free in fact it was pretty expensive. The service was amazing. People are kind and their food was delicious.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
London, United Kingdom
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012

We are a family of 4 who stayed at the Reef over Christmas 2012. This was not the hotel we booked but where we ended up with 24 hours notice when Cosmos had operational problems with the original hotel we booked in Malindi. Whilst we were disappointed we tried to make the best of things. Fortunately we had insisted on an upgrade to a sea view room which had been renovated. Some of the rooms in the unrenovated block looked dire. However the air conditioning broke down no less than 6 times in the second week and the bathroom was best described as not very nice. The shower only trickled water and there was quite a lot of mould. The plug to the shower could not even cope with this small amount of water and you ended up paddling in it. The gardens are nice, the pools are OK but I saw no testing of the water and the beach smells of sewage at low tide. The food is buffet and not very inspiring. We also found that not all of the buffet food is refrigerated and left standing around in 80 deg plus of heat not to mention the flys and the ants. During our holiday we all suffered bouts of tummy trouble which got steadily worse. During the second week my daughter and myself were taken very ill, I was almost hospitalised due to severe deydration as I could keep nothing down and lived on Nice biscuits and water for the rest of the holiday. The actual cause of our illness is unknown but both myself and my teenage daughter lost a great deal of weight. Whilst the staff at this hotel are lovely particularly the restaurant staff who were actually concerned that we were ill, I feel that I really cannot recommend this hotel and I would say if you have a choice, which we did not, go somewhere else instead. This was my third visit to Kenya and I know from past experience that good hotels do exist out there but you may need to pay a little more for them, however it should be worth it in the long run.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2012

March 2012.
Staff helpful, friendly, efficient
Rooms OK, nothing exciting, a bit tired but clean and well-run
Food good to fair rather than outstanding, buffet breakfast less varied than I have seen elsewhere; dinner OK but not exciting; bar snacks we liked.
Evening entertainment every day - perhaps predictable including Maasai dance etc
Beach OK, v little hassle from beach boys and touts
Varied clientele, no hassles, nothing loud
Gardens very thoroughly maintained
Pools clean and pleasant
Security and safety appeared to be good
Location - not too far from the airport, sufficiently far away from local hotspots of noise and hassle

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2012

We went to Kenia for 9 days.

We were ready for the lower standard of accomodation in comparison to EU hotels, so didnt expect Four Seasons or Ritz quality.

BUT the room we got was AWFUL! It was on the 3rd floor of the building farthest from the beach and main hall - hundreds of steps to go there (god bless to room boys! and thank you for your help with our bags!). The room overlooked the rubbish bins and the street outside the hotel. But the worst things were still to come: ants everywhere in the bathroom (around the sink, in the toilet, on the toilet paper - EVERYWHERE); no pressure in the shower (we both have short hair but it was impossible to wash them); aircon placed in the window frame and was loud like a running car engine (had to keep it on all night otherwise would suffocate from the heat). I felt so cheated and upset. We asked at the reception if we can change the room, we were ready to pay them cash for the upgrade into any room away from that one! But we were told it was not possible until the next day.

The next day we stayed 2 hours in the reception until we got attention of the travel agency representative. We paid for the upgrade and were shown several available rooms, so that we can choose the most suitable for us (we looked at 4 different rooms and chose one with sea view and a double bed - as requested in the original booking request but which we never got on the arrival).

From that moment we could finally start enjoying our holidays as we could take a shower and go to the beach.

The hotel in general was nice: the food during the dinner a bit repetitive and some food without any destinctive taste. However, we really enjoyed the BBQ evening dinner - really delicious!
Beach boys and sellers understand the word 'no' if you repeat it firmly couple of times. The beach is nice and when the water goes away - interesting to walk around and look for 'nemo' fish and sea plants.

Room Tip: Pay a bit more and get a sea view room - it is worth it!
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2012

This is the 2nd time I booked the Reef Hotel. The first time was in August (2010) and it was just okay. Since I only stayed one night I decided not to write a review. This time around I stayed there for 4 nights with my wife. Upon arrival the reception was not good at all. I was able to check-in but not given a key until much later in the evening... I was told that my room key wasn't ready??? so the housekeeper had to open the door for me... once I got in the room is was VERY hot!!! I had to close all the windows then turn on the air and let the room cool off for a while...that was sad because after traveling on a hot day from the airport the last thing i want to feel once I get into my room is ADDITIONAL heat... I went back to the front desk to ask if I could get a 2nd key and was told simply no. I wanted a second key for my wife since we both wanted to enjoy every bit of the hotel without being restricted by not having the key to get back inside. The food was good but not much meat dishes. The nightly entertainment was okay as well. But it was good that they provided entertainment each night for about a hour (2100 to 2200). The pool was small but okay since there wasn't many people that was in the pool. Most people seemed to be interested in getting a tan which was fine with us. The beach was very depressing. Too many people bothering you to buy this or that. We hated it. And if you ignore the sellers they will make it seem like "you are the problem"..lol... We never felt safe to leave our room key or camera on the beach while we went into the water. The purpose of a trip is to have a good time and take pictures but how can you when people keep bothering you every time you step on the beach or try to lay down to relax with your wife!!!! I wish they had some way to stop the sellers from harassing you... Now back to the room. We slept okay. The strange thing at night is that if any of your neighbors forget to close their door all the way it makes a LOUD NOISE until they close it. For some reason, we thought it was some strange animal making all the noise since we heard it every night. Then we found out that it was due to a guest not closing their door the whole night which he probably didn't know either. I stayed in room 338. The view was depressing so we kept the curtain closed the whole time. At the end of our stay we decided to use the laundry service. When the laundry was placed in our room while we were out, one of the housekeepers approached my wife asking her to pay cash to him!! I was very upset about that. The purpose of our trip is to feel comfortable and at peace not to be hassled or hustled by housekeepers. I was told they wasn't suppose to approach you about paying with cash but only to pay at the cashier's office. The hotel offers wireless but that was a joke! I paid for the wireless (which you only have for 12hrs or 24hrs but not 12hrs worth of internet!!). if you buy the wireless for 12 hrs, once you log in the timer starts and never stops until 12hrs later... which means when you logoff the internet the time keeps going.. the sad part was that the hotel says that there is wireless access in every room but in my room (rm 338) there was no signal. I had to walk outside the room and down the hall in order to get a signal. The bathrooms were a mess. The shower has no pressure so don't think you will get a perfect shower after a hot day. Now after writing this review the hotel wasn't worth it at all. I will never stay at this hotel again. I should have learned by lesson the first time. This is the same reason why a week later my wife and I decided to stay in another hotel once we returned to Mombasa from a safari. I'll write about that hotel next... it was 100 times better than the Reef.

Room Tip: Not room 338!!
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gallinsky, Director of Sales at Reef Hotel, responded to this review, March 30, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience at Reef Hotel with us. We are sorry to hear that your stay with us did not meet all your expectations.
We understand that the same property can be valued in a different way by different guests and we usually are being rated from very good to excellent.
Please allow us to comment and give our point of view on some of your remarks.Some of the comments puzzled us so we take the chance to clear up the facts as best we can.
Reef Hotel has more pools ( 4 ) and bigger pools that most hotels in Mombasa. We have a child’s pool, a dedicated rectangular Olympic swimming pool, a huge sea side free form pool for water games with a swim up bar , and a 4th pool on the garden wing in a more area. (Please see the home page of our website for images) It’s one of the hotels strongest assets. There is no other hotel along the Kenya coast with so many pools.
According to our records a second room key was issued, this is a computerized key card system so we can verify it.
Mombasa in March is the hottest time of the year. But the beach and gardens are fresh with sea breeze. It is normal for us not to keep A/C’s running till a client arrives as it is a waste of energy, which is a very expensive item in Kenya and not a form of responsible Tourism. We do not have central air-conditioning, but silent split unit A/C’s and they cool down the room quite quickly once activated. There is also an exterior balcony to use if it’s hot inside or to enjoy the ocean breeze.
Every day we offer a selection of fish , meat and .poultry…..we have a 14 day cycle menu for buffets including a variety of national dishes and international selections. If a guest wants to eat outside the buffet menus, we do have a dedicated sea side grill that offers grilled meats and sea food.
Since January the government made strict regulations on how beach traders can approach tourists relaxing on the beach. The situation is monitored by the Kenya wildlife Services that have the priority to stop any harassment on the beach and in fact it is such a success we have placed permanent sun umbrellas in front of the hotel for clients who now prefer sometimes to relax on the beach. This situation is not isolated to the Reef Hotel but the same for most hotels on the north coast. We congratulate the ministry of Tourism for solving an old problem that has been a real thorn in the side of tourists and hotels with such a success. We monitor the beach daily and get a lot of positive feedback of our guests.
Leaving any valuable assets such as a camera in a public area and with no one looking after it, like a park or beach anywhere in the world is probably not a good idea, but we don’t hear of thefts on the beach at the Reef from other guests. We have dedicated sun umbrellas directly in front of the hotel beach side with hotel security adjacent, and we never had any reports of thefts.
All hotel doors have a slow return self closing mechanism so they do not bang. If a guest was in the room and it was that noise disturbing you, would the guest not have been the first to close his door? To avoid this kind of situations have a 24 hour reception at your service that can be contacted in case of any issue or noise during the night.
Room 338 has a partial view of the ocean, and an undeveloped sea side plot. We would like to remark that we dispose of three categories of rooms corresponding to different price ranges. Sea facing rooms and renovated deluxe sea view rooms do have a direct sea view.
We are aware that for over a month most of Mombasa had a serious disruption to the internet due to the undersea cable being damaged. This has caused a lot of dissatisfaction with guests but also all other users and companies in the coast of Kenya, and even upcountry. This was totally beyond our control; however we did manage to keep a service operational at all times.
We are very sorry that you did not get enough pressure in the room, we have inspected room 338 and it but it now seems to be normal. It is connected to the hotels main system and there was normal pressure elsewhere so it may have been a partial blockage at that time. We encourage guests to report any thing they need fixed to the reception as soon as possible so we can fix them to their satisfaction and if not we can even change rooms.
Again, thank you for sharing your observations with us as this gives us the opportunity to make improvements and thus offer all our guests better service, which is our ultimate goal.
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Additional Information about Reef Hotel

Address: Nyali beach | off Mount Kenya Road, Mombasa 82234-8010, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Mombasa
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Mombasa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Reef Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 146
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Reef Hotel Mombasa is a friendly, relaxed Hotel, professionally managed since 40 years by the same family to serve a mix of international and resident guests. The hotel offers a combination of resort facilities for beach holidays, as well as business services including conference rooms and corporate business facilities. The Reef Hotel Mombasa is conveniently situated on the white sandy beaches of Nyali overlooking the beautiful Indian Ocean. We are adjacent to the very best shopping areas, clubs, restaurants and golf courts and only 7 kilometres north of Mombasa city centre. The original Reef Hotel Mombasa was built in 1972. The hotel just had a significant renovation and has re-opened with new designed rooms and public areas. Reef Hotel rooms are air-conditioned, each with its own bathroom, balcony, telephone extension and TV. Buffets are the traditional way we serve meals with a international mix of cuisine. Enjoy our romantic candle-lit dinners on theme nights (African, Chinese, Lebanese, Indian, International, etc) and regular barbeques. A choice of 3 restaurants and 4 bars, and water sports directly on the beach assure you that the Reef Hotel Mombasa is ready for your holiday. With regular entertainment by our resident live band and disco, 3 fantastic swimming pools, Jacuzzi, tennis courts, relaxed sun-bathing and elegant evenings; yours will be a very special holiday in Reef Hotel Mombasa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Reef Hotel Mombasa

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