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“What a wonderful world” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Diani Sea Resort

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Diani Sea Resort
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Beach Road, Ukunda 80400, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #10 of 36 Hotels in Ukunda
Dorset
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“What a wonderful world”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

Second visit to this hotel and a little worried as sometimes it is not so good when you repeat an experience. However from the start, to the wonderful reception on arrival to the end it was everything you could wish for in a holiday. We didnt go on safari this time as we had had a few stressful months and just wanted to relax and this is the place to do it.

The room was spacious, very simply furnished (only had one small drawer) but perfectly adequate and always kept very clean, floors mopped daily. The bed was a bit hard for me and rather high, had to clamber in but they arent all like that. We had ground floor room with a small terrace /balcony area, but didnt really use this as spent time on the palmed area overlooking the sea. here we could sit under the palm trees in the shade or dappled sunlight and not worry about burning. It is very hot. The wind really picks up about lunchtime but we found this pleasant. Also a lovely quite large pool which you could sit around, we like to see the sea and the beautiful almost white sandy beach.

The monkeys come out to play around 4-6pm and are an entertainment. They could be a nuisance but are kept under control by staff. Tourists cause more of a problem by feeding them and then shooing them off if they become a nuisance. Why cant people be sensible, same with seagull in Uk and then same people become annoyed when they get aggressive or come too close.

Sea is very warm but tides could be quite strong n the afternoon but fun to jump the waves and just so warm.

The food was excellent, always something to suit and fresh pineapple, mango, watermelon, papaya at all meals. There is a pool bar restaurant which serves pizzas and chips plus various rice or pasta dishes but we always preferred to use the main dining room.

The staff are amazing. EVERYONE says jambo (hello) and is very friendly and they cant do enough for you. It is all inclusive but it is important i think to give small tips to all, they dont earn a lot and our 50p is quite a lot to them so doesnt break the bank.

The hotel has a great entertainment team who will push you a bit but not too much to participate in the varied activities. I loved the history of the coconut talk (free under the palms) and the trip to the orphanage (only around £3 each although extra donation is kind of compulsory) and of course books , pens , crayons, sweets always welcome. I didnt enjoy the trip to the local village - to much of a stage set for me. I wanted to go to the local school again which i did the last time but i was the only one to turn up so didnt go. What a pit if people dont go to this as you do get a very good idea of the way people live from this and well worth the small cost (around £2) - do go!

The snake farm is an interesting experience, a walk up the beach in the afternoon and only charge is the small entrance fee. You will see and be able to handle if you wish snakes and chameleons (cute).

The massage which is down on the edge of the hotel is brilliant (around £10) but do have to book early.

A truly wonderful place and the staff cannot do enough for you - i love it.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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754 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 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 (133)
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English first
Reading
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

We would thoroughly recommend this hotel. We travelled here for our honeymoon in August 2012 and we had an amazing time. The location is about an hour and a half out of Mombasa and the hotel organised the transfer from the airport. We had already upgraded to one of the beach view rooms and it was well worth it.

The staff were fantastic - friendly and helpful throughout our stay. We enjoyed relaxing by the beach and the view of the Indian Ocean was one of the highlights of our stay. The food was plentiful and there was always a good choice - we tended to eat breakfast and dinner in the hotel restaurant and use the beach bar for a snack lunch, although there was the option for a cooked lunch in the restaurant too. We particularly enjoyed the theme evenings and the African night was a great way to sample some of the local foods.

Our room had a balcony with a partial sea view and we were impressed with its size and cleanliness. Apart from a visit from one of the local lizards, we had no problems with any of the wildlife. We did take a plug-in mosquito repellent, which coupled with all the netting resulted in few bites.

We were recommended two restaurants to visit whilst there - Ali Baba's Cave restaurant and the African Pot restaurant - both were brilliant! The seafood at Ali Baba's was some of the best I've ever tasted and the prices were reasonable for a three course meal. The African Pot restaurant was very tasty and a good way to experience a different form of cooking. In both cases, the hotel organised the transport to and from the venues as night time wanderings are not recommended.

The security at the hotel is good with guards on the main gates and also at the beach entrance. You can leave the complex and visit the shops outside, just be sensible as guests are a source of interest for the locals! There are lots of items which can be bought and/or bartered for with items of clothing. We found that having a clear price in mind worked well and don't be afraid to walk away! Our negotiation skills were quite refined by the end of the fortnight!

The safari which was part of our package deal was undoubtedly the highlight of our trip - it was organised by Pollman Coaches and our driver Khalid was amazing. We spent three nights and four days in the parks around Mombasa. I've reviewed the lodges/hotels in which we stayed separately.

I can honestly say that this was the best holiday that I've ever had - beautiful scenery, fantastic people and incredible memories. People are right when they say Africa gets under your skin - we can't wait to come back.

Room Tip: Pay that little bit extra for an upgrade and if you're going on safari, you can pay to keep your...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Farnborough, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
125 reviews 125 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 68 cities Reviews in 68 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

Firstly, this hotel is not for the disabled, it has many steps and lacks ramps. The Accommodation is split either side of the complex running down from the Reception/Dining area to the Pool and Sea. We upgraded to the rooms at the bottom with a partial sea view. The rooms are in blocks either two storey (at the top) and three storey as you go towards the sea. The pool is adequate for the number of rooms and there were never many people in the pool at any one time. It water is clean although some of the steps into the pool require attention. The is a bar and a small cafe by the pool, the food although limited in variety is of a good quality and there was always a "chef's special" each day. The meals in the main Restaurant varied. Breakfast was a buffet type with freshly cooked eggs to order with bacon and sausage, freshly cooked pancakes, cheese and cold meats together with yoghurt and fresh fruit. Lunch again was a buffet and on the rare occasion we climbed the incline too was of reasonable quality. The Dinner meal however, left a lot to be desired. The week consisted of four nights in the main restaurant and three outside on the terrace. The four meals lacked choice with only a main meat course or fish course or vegetarian option after a soup course, dessert normally being fruit and small cakes etc.
Of the three outdoor affairs, two were pretty poor with chewy meat (you need to be early to enjoy any prime cuts). The BBQ night was definately the stand out with thin strips on tender meat together with roasted corn cobs and veg.
The accommodation was clean and tidy and if something wasn't working properly it was quickly attended to. The bed was comfortable and the bathroom was well appointed. One thing I noticed during my visit was that empty rooms were ventilated each day by opening the main door and terrace door.

With the Sun loungers guests were actively encouraged to moved them to a place where guests wanted to be and not having to use where the management wanted. Staff brought out mattresses and took them away every evening before the monkey's arrive.

The Staff throughout the hotel were excellent who were happy to help at anytime with whatever the guest needed. I felt sorry for the entertainment staff who were struggling to get some of the older guests involved. Each evening there was entertainment consisting of local dancing, acrobats, fashion show, the inhouse Colobus Squad and a live band.
All in all we had an enjoyable holiday relaxing in the sun, my only major gripe is that as this hotel is fully all inclusive, why were we asked to sign for every drink and bar meal we had.

Room Tip: Upgrade to the sea view rooms at a cost of about £200 for a fortnight. If you want shade pick rooms...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

We arrived at Diani Sea Resort (3+ Star) at 19.15 after travelling since 07.30 after an amazing weak on "The Best of Kenya" safari with Pollman's. On arrival at reception it looked OK how wrong could we have been. We paid for a 'superior room'. If our twin room was superior I would have hated to see an inferior room. We were shown to our 'superior room' 305, not impressed at all, and it just got worse. The shower door came off one runner on opening and came off totally on leaving the shower, all around the shower was dirty, we waited till 10.30pm to have it replaced.The ceiling light was hanging off. The toilet seat was loose so when sat down the seat moved-seat was half on and half off. Twin wash basins only one plug. I boiled the cordless kettle filling it with enough water for two cups-no sign off leaking. When it boiled the water leaked all over the base and tiled floor mixing electrics with water extremely dangerous.The food was awful and other Brits and Polish complained too,staff not friendly at all unusual for Kenyan people. After complaining we were offered another room but after all the above decided to transfer to the better 4+ Star " Southern Palms" down the road which was absolutely amazing and so totally different-thank you Stacy the Thomson rep and "Southern Palms" Thomson rep Merie for the putting the finishing touch to our holiday.I have travelled to many countries, some third world, and never ever stayed in a hotel as bad as DSResort. Reception did not seem concerned that we left and due to the many problems incurred our cancellation fee was wavered. I would not recommend this hotel to anyone, especially Brits, judging by what we incurred. The standards must have really dropped since the last review was written and all I have written has NOT been exaggerated one bit. We didn't pick up any good vibes at all from DSResort but felt completely at home at the hotel we transferred to. Photos taken of all the above.

Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends

Value Location Sleep Quality Rooms Cleanliness ServiceLess

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hertfordshire
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

Would recommend anyone to stay at this hotel. We stayed from 14th-21st Dec 2012 and as a mixed group from England (22 year old female, 25 year old male, 28 year old disabled female and 61 year old female) we were all very impressed. The food was amazing and the rooms were a very good size (and no bug problems). Pool was lovely and we have never met such lovely staff. The entertainment in the evening was good as it did not go on till late, was just on after dinner.

The beach boys are just trying to make a living, especially as tourism has been very poor this year (the hotel seemed empty!) but the beach is absolutely beautiful. Would recommend a trip to Robinson island which you arrange at the water sport hut for a very reasonable price.

Would also recommend JT (Julius Tact) Safari's who are based nearby. We booked with them rather than with our tour operator and it was well worth it. Have written a review on there if you are interested.

Brilliant holiday overall will visit again.!!

  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swansea, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013 via mobile

We have stayed in a great many hotels in Kenya and this was up there with the best . Nice big hotel with lovely large grounds and great swimming pool. The manager Ben is doing a great job and the staff seem happy in their work , which shows in their attitude and helpfulness.The food was of a very good standard although the waiters were very slow at serving drinks and on many occasions i ended up getting my own . Entertainment was mediocre, something for everyone , nearly all of this came from external acts leaving the colobus (entertainment) team an easy job in my opinion.Our room was comfortable , spacious and clean and for a few schillings i ensured we had an constant supply of towels.The beach was superb fronting this hotel and not too much hassle from the usual beach boys . Overall , we had a great time here and would gladly recommend it to anyone . Whatever you do people DO NOT stay at Kaskazi , it is the worst hotel , the worst food , no beach just rocks and terrible customer service but at Diani Sea Resort i think you will be very happy .

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Pulborough, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

Overall we really enjoyed our stay at the Diani Beach over late Dec and into January! New years eve party/food was absolutely brilliant!! although the rooms are basic, they are very large, clean and tidy. We found the staff extremely friendly,cheerful and attentive- nothing was too much trouble.The security was good and kept a lot of the beach sellers away from the hotels stretch of beach! We booked our safari and other trips from the UK before we travelled (so glad we did) the company i used was JT safaris a guy named Julius Nzumbi. He was fantastic, he organised everything including the best lodges in both Tsavo east & west, a good guide and timings to suit us.A once in a lifetime experience.We can highly recommend him and the Diani Beach hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 Diani Sea Resort

Address: Beach Road, Ukunda 80400, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Ukunda
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Ukunda
#11 Romantic Hotel in Ukunda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Diani Sea Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 170
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on the most beautiful unspoiled crystal white sandy beaches on the south coast of Kenya. The expansive compound is shaded by coconut palm and a myriad of exotic tropical trees & flowers; the resort offers the ultimate tropical paradise. Animal life abounds in the compound and various varieties of monkeys can be seen jumping around in the vicinity. Bright white against the blue sky, the hotel has 170 rooms. The rooms are of 3 main categories: Standard rooms with garden view, Family rooms & Bahari rooms with sea/pool view. All rooms have TVs, coffee/tea making facilities, mini bars are in the Bahari rooms ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Diani Sea Hotel Ukunda
Diani Sea Resort Kenya/Ukunda

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