We stayed at the DSR Kenya from 30/7-21/8/ 2012. We were out there for 3 weeks. We travelled from Gatwick airport.
Great hotel, clean, staff very friendly and helpful, solaman. Abdullah, Shee, Ernest made it a fab holiday
The flight wasn’t the full 10 hours- somehow they managed to make up time, so we landed early- BONUS!
We booked to stay at the DSR as a couple and was booked for our wedding and honeymoon too.
We arrived in the late morning and were very tired. On arrival we was told that we would check out when we went on Safari- I wasn’t happy about this as we had all of our wedding attire with us and also valuables and did not want to take them all on the safari.
We met with George the hotel manager- he was a lovely man, very pleasant.
He assured us that we would maintain our rooms for the duration of our stay and also arranged for my husband to stop in another room the night before our wedding.
We also spoke to George about wedding extras- I do recommend talking to George. Whether you book with George or the wedding rep you will get the same service but a better price.
Thomson= £538.00 + (as no cost for hair and warriors)
In the end we booked through George and got...
Masai warriors, dancers, photos- printed and on disc, DVD, Hair (for Bridesmaid, Mom, and bride), for 52000KS=£370.
We had to go to the bank- via taxi and I withdrew the cash from my credit card- even with credit charges- it was a lot cheaper.
Within my wedding package through Thomson we had the wedding licence, certificates, decorated wedding location, cake and flowers for Bride and groom and toast.
I decided to go for an orange and white theme- and requested Calla Lillie’s and roses in white,- we were shown many photos of bouquets through Renson (Thomson wedding rep) and selected these flowers, we paid extra for a posy for the bridesmaid and wrist flowers for my mom. This cost 4200KES, and was £24.00 I was happy to pay this. The cake we asked for was sponge and it to be coloured in Teal as this was my theme for my husband’s cravat and hankie.
I was so disappointed on the wedding day when Renson asked someone to deliver the flowers- they were just roses and then the cake was yellow.
I was very upset but as we weren't told in advance there was nothing we could do about it this late in the day. ( Renson visited us a few days after the wedding to apologize and offer a refund which we accepted)
The wedding ceremony was at 3pm- I was traditionally late at 3.30. It was very humid although only about 27c most days. The day before we married it chucked it down on the night and this left me wondering what the weather would be like on my big day but it was fantastic.
The Masai warriors met me at my door and walked me down with the photographer and videographer. The dancers were fab- but very noisy so everyone knew there was a wedding about to take place. Weddings are a huge thing in Kenya.
We had a waiter assigned to us for the day ( Soloman). Stacey and George also looked in on us on our wedding day to wish us well.
The ceremony was quite short and there was dancing and singing too. We then had photos around the pool and on the beach. A local man who does sand art created a Rhino for us it was lovely and we had photos with that too!
Then it was back up to cut the cake. The location was decorated beautifully and we had photos under the arch way too. I was very pleased that my sister could take a few photos on our bridge camera that we got for the safari as some photos were a bit blurry that the photographer took which was a shame!
When we got back to the room there was a lovely Palm heart on the door, and all flowers decorated all over the bed in a heart shape.
On the evening me and the hubby had ordered a romantic meal on the pool island- Abdullah served us (we changed the 3 course meal to suit us- we don’t eat lobster!) It was a lovely evening.
The following morning we had breakfast in our room.
We then enjoyed 13 further days for our honeymoon!
We travelled on the Monday but didn't arrive until the Tuesday- the welcome meeting was early evening, when we met our rep Stacey who is a very lively and bubbly person- very friendly.
We were given information about the local area, trips and ideas to have a fab holiday.
First of all- the beach boys will literally hassle you the second you go near the sea.
We travelled together and my mom and sister also came out as witnesses to our wedding- they were there for 2 weeks.
On the first day- the tide was up but the beach boys still managed to talk to us- the sea comes in all the way. There are steps down to the beach.
They will talk to you and offer you a whole host of items, if you are interested talk- but remember to haggle, if not walk away. We soon learnt that it was easier to ignore them because as rude as it seemed, even if you just said hello, they then knew you would talk and would follow you along the beach. There is security from the beach however and they will watch out for you.
There are sun beds on the grass and part of the beach before the steps- after that it is a public beach you can sunbathe but may get hassled.
There are camels on the beach at times too.
You can get a safe key from reception at local charge- it is not much and you also have to pay a deposit. I would defiantly recommend getting one.
On the Thursday we had an early start (you can pre order breakfast the day before at reception), to go off on our ‘Ndogo safari’. We departed on day 1 to Tsavo East National Park. It was a long journey but there are several stop offs and places to see along the way.
I recommend taking money with you- cash Kenyan shillings.
1000KS= £8 approx. It is difficult to say how much you should take on safari as we took about 10000KES and we bought things and wished we had taken more. As a couple with drinks with meals you may pay 1000KES per day and then extras for night drive, masai village and gifts.
We was upgraded which we didn't realise with our accommodation as there had been a situation before we left England that Thomson had messed up our safari booking- we guess they upgraded as gesture of good will, unfortunately this meant that we was not on an identical safari to my mom and sister.
We stopped at the Ashnil Aruba Lodge on a full board basis. Drinks were cheap although we only had soft drinks at about 250 KS max (about £2?)
On Day 2: Friday after breakfast we checked out and Headed for Tsavo West National Park with game viewing on route. There is also an underwater observatory to see the hippo but we didn’t see them here. We saw them from above the water and the crocs though.
We then checked in at Kilaguani Serena Lodge (FB) we also had an afternoon game drive here.
Day 3:Saturday After breakfast we travelled to Taita Hills Wildlife sanctuary arrived in time for lunch at Sarova Taita hills game lodge – this is where we were reunited with my mom and sister for a couple of hours. Then a game drive on route to Sarova Saltlick Game Lodge (FB) This was amazing!!! On arrival to reception you can see loads of lovely elephants. Here we was offered a night game drive at 2000KES each (£16).
We then checked out in day 4 (Sunday) and headed back to the hotel with game drive on route.
Even when we weren't on game drive, there was so much to see, like the locals living their daily lives.
The safari driver- didn't talk much but had the most amazing eyesight and would stop and show us loads on route.
On the drive back we was offered to see a masai village with masai warriors we all agreed to go 1000KS each (£8) it was a great experience but your price will vary- my mom and sister went and paid 1500KS, as they went to a different village- I got the impression the driver got a cut although I could be wrong?!
To say the very least the safari was AMAZING! I was so shocked, on the first day we saw so much that we thought well that’s it, that’s all we will see, how wrong were we!?! Everyday got better and better.( elephants, zebra, Giraffe, buffalo,cheetah,dik.dik, jackal,gazelle various,hippo,leopard,lion,mongoose,baboon,ostrich,hyaena,hyrax,warthog etc. we didn't see rhino but mom and sister did)
Our driver was quite bold and decided to go a metre away from 7 sleepy lions, they wasn't asleep for long- 7 humans that’s 1 per lion!
Asante Sana = thank you very much
We learnt ghali Sana- that’s very expensive.
I cannot stress enough that you must haggle they will give you a figure say 27000KS you MUST haggle at first at about at least ¼ of the price and also learn to walk away they will call you back. I got all my items for the price I wanted to pay.
Excursions with rep: You can book many tours with the rep- you of course have the option to book with locals- we did not book any tours- but here are some in case you are interested.
Jambo Mombasa- $115 Adult, Fort Jesus by night $99 adult, Dhow adventure $120 Adult. All prices are in $, but you can pay in different currency to rep.
At the rep meeting we were told about Alibarbar’s it was my sister’s birthday on the day after our wedding and we wanted to surprise her so we booked a meal there. It was very busy and tasty food, lots of choice. It was a fair priced meal at about £15 per person. We only had main course.
After our Safari we went up to the sister hotel twice as a tour with the entertainment team, all of which were very friendly, we did a few games as well with them i.e. water aerobics and a Kenyan board game, cooking demonstration etc. We also went on a visit to the local orphanage, and the village tour where there was a school too, it was a very good experience.
At lunch you could go up to the restaurant between 12 and 2 or the snack bar near the pool/beach from 11-4 ish, either way there was plenty of choice and not chips all the while either!!
There was evening entertainment but we were there for 3 weeks and it can get repetitive.
Overall we had a fantastic time and would defiantly go back! It did rain 3 times in total whilst we was there but this is expected at this time of year.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.