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“Great relaxed stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pinewood Beach Resort & Spa

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Pinewood Beach Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Galu Beach | P.O.Box 90521 Mombasa 80100, Ukunda, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 38 Hotels in Ukunda
Hawick
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Great relaxed stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2013 via mobile

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!!

Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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521 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (68)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
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English first
Barnsley, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

Stayed here for 4 nights after a safari. Stayed all inclusive which is brilliant. Long drive from mombasa but worth it. Got free upgrade to suite as was quiet. Own chef in room. Peaceful resort with lovely beach and good staff. Would recommend to couples lookin for a peaceful get away. Thank you pinewood for a fantastic time.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

Loved this place at the beginning of April. A little out of the way but with all you could wish for once there. So welcoming with warm smiles and genuine service, quality food (lots of choice, always very fresh and healthy) and large cool, private room with balcony (Monkeys are a cheeky addition to the balcony!). The rooms are clean and comfortable with a huge bed; not luxurious but not rustic either. The beach is magnificent, and remote enough not to be pestered by beach sellers etc. Take a long romantic walk or chat with local fishermen. a real plus was the tropical garden - watching the bright yellow weaver birds busily building their nests while sipping a cocktail. A fabulous pool with swim up bar, a beautifully appointed spa and oh yes, I mustn't forget to mention Wycliffe at the beach bar who cheerfully provided fresh mangos every day for me once he found out how much I loved mangos. A great hotel for relaxation and winding down although diving and other water sports are available, and reconmmended. We did both and enjoyed the underwater scenery immensely. No need to take dressy gear for the evenings - the style is relaxed and easy going. Evening entertainment Is low key and local. The nearby Shimba reserve was a wonderful surprise in that we saw loads of elephants, giraffes and other animals just on a quick morning visit witha guide organised through Mr C at the hotel. Some families were there when we were as it was during Easter holidays, and a clientele from all over the world. Loved it and would return

Room Tip: Ask for a first floor room for a breathtaking view through the trees to the ocean.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Mombasa
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at pinewood for three nights, it was great. We enjoyed the clean beach, there was no hassle from the beach boys, the rooms are ok could be better, the view from our rooms 190 and 191 were fantastic and truly very very relaxing, these are the best rooms to stay in at this place.
Apart from this, I was disappointed by a couple of things, one being that the use of the in room safe was chargeable, this is really strange, in Kenya we should be promoting safer holidays and a room safe I believe should be a starting point, this type of charge should not be there, I request the management to remove these charges for all guests!
Secondly I would have rated pinewood a 5/5 if the food and cocktails served for all day and for lunch at both their restaurants were better, the lunch meals were a let down and should really be looked into, the sandwiches,pizzas pastas and salads served for lunch were not upto our liking, I think this was a big letdown but on the other hand breakfast and dinner were good, dinner was served on the verandahs of our room overlooking the ocean.
The service was very good all through the hotel.
Overall we enjoyed ourselves and we shall come back!

Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

OK it's a long way from the airport (and a long drive to the centre of Mombasa) but when you get here it's a world away from the other hotels to the north catering to the package trade.

When you arrive, the reception is not as grand as other hotels but that is just indicative of the focus on relaxation that seems to be the ethos of Pinewood Beach. This is helped by the location being far away from anything else so it's a taxi ride to go out to any where - if you want a hectic night-life, this is not the place for you.

The hotel itself is relatively small (58 rooms) so there is never a crush for the pool, bars or restaurants.

Rooms are sensibly sized, well furnished and clean - particularly liked the air-conditioning (March is just before the rains so the humidity was extreme) and the largest balcony that we have had in any hotel.

Food was good and there was always something that my fussy eater other half could enjoy. The idea of mixing in theme nights and moving from the restaurant to the barbecue area worked well. Mr Pudding was always good fun and he does make exceedingly good desserts (chocolate and hazel nut cream was top of our favourites).

Lunchtime at the grill on the beach was always a relaxing treat. Tip: look out for the coleslaw which was the best I've ever tasted - so much so that I badgered Chef Hamisi for the secret(s) on the promise that I wouldn't divulge to anyone else.

There were a lot of sunbeds around the pool (which has a swim up bar) but these were virtually deserted. Nearly everyone uses the sunbeds under the thatched umbrellas closer to the beach. The beach is great and kept really clean but there is a lot of seaweed beyond the low tide line and you really need beach shoes to venture out to the reef because of the bumps and crevices in the coral. There are some pedlars at the edges of the beach but they are not troublesome and, if you're up for a bit of banter, can be quite good fun.

In the evening, the bar next to the restaurant is only really good if you want to watch the television - just head to the beach bar and enjoy an al fresco Tusker or two.

Watch out for the monkeys - they carry out lightning raids on the breakfast tables and will try to get into the rooms. Tip: lock your room and your balcony door even if you are in the room as they know how to open unlocked doors. Several times we had monkeys noisily trying the room door handle. When I opened the door there was a guilty looking Sykes monkey half way down the stairs.

Tip: we went all inclusive and, for us, it was the best decision as there are no restaurants or bars in walking distance nearby.

All in all a great find and we will certainly go back again when we are back in Mombasa

Room Tip: Only Executive rooms have a sea view and are closer to the pool and beach
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, UK
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

I've lost count of how many times I have stayed at Pinewood now (must be nearing 20) but with each return visit my expectations are exceeded yet again. The superlative service from all of the wonderful staff is a constant, as is the presentation of the hotel in its' beautiful setting.

Comments are made about the distance from the airport, the ferry crossing and the final stretch of bumpy road. If you want to find yourself a small intimate hotel, run superbly, situated on a quiet stretch of an unimaginably beautiful beach, with a creatively planted and wonderfully maintained garden complete with a resident colobus monkey family, a rich variety of birdlife and lots more that offers you an opportunity to relax, recharge and just enjoy that indulgent feeling of justifying eating yet another delicious meal without having done anything since the last one, then a couple of hours in transit from Mombasa is a very small price to pay. Don't be put off unless you are willing to miss out on a very special holiday experience. One of their tag lines is ‘ a special place for special people’. It is very true.

I'm not going to go into detail about the facilities as all has already been said by other reviewers. Yes, the pool is a real treat and kept very clean by Fred. Yes the rooms are spotlessly clean, the wood burning pizza oven delivers spot on pizzas, the rest of the food is delicious (apologies to Dixon's team of chefs for not eating more of it. Indulging in zero activity on all inclusive board meant that I couldn't keep up with the number of meals). In short there isn’t an aspect that falls short of wonderful. I will add a minor footnote here. The rabbit and tortoise enclosure may need a design rethink. The monkeys are far too greedy and clever and wait for the fruit and vegetables to be delivered, helping themselves to a lot of/most it. The rabbits are not deterred by them and tuck in well but I’m wondering how much gets left for the tortoises, who I have to admit are my favourites. I count and keep tabs on the babies every year.

I will offer a couple of recommendations. Firstly, fit in a visit to the Spa. I’m not one that usually bothers with massages or treatments but this time I had the hour long exfoliation treatment at KS 4,500 just before I left for the airport. Not only was it sublimely relaxing, it left my skin feeling like silk and it has been the only occasion I haven’t suffered from that dry skin syndrome that aircraft cabins leave you with. It’s worth every single penny. They added a bit of a back massage as well to help me out and I had the most pleasant return flight ever (if there is such a thing!)

Secondly, please don’t be put off going down to the beach if you like walking or swimming in the sea. The beach is one of the major points of a holiday at Pinewood. The beach guys will approach you as they are trying to make a living. But they do take no for an answer. They are nothing like the beach boys up in Diani or around the larger hotels further up the beach like Neptune and Baobab who do make life a misery. If you are willing to talk to them you will find that they are interesting and can offer a wealth of information. Their little shops offer a range of souvenirs at very good prices if you get your haggling right and don’t pay more than you would want to.

I would like to send my sincere thanks to every single member of Pinewood staff.
You all, without exception work incredibly hard to make sure every single guest feels special and respond to every request. You all give exceptional personal service and attention and all the reviews attest to this. Every single time I talk to other guests everyone is saying the same thing. They cannot believe how good the service that you all give is and how genuine you are in your wish to make sure everyone is happy on their holiday. You made my month long holiday truly the most special I have ever had at Pinewood. I am proud to call you friends. You really do make feel as if I have come ‘home’ each time I return. Keep well, take care and I’ll be back as soon as I can.

Room Tip: All rooms are great. Suite if you want a chef. Executive if you want a sea view. Just enjoy your tim...
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver Island, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

My husband, friends and I ended our trip in Kenya at the Pinewood. What a great way to end an already amazing trip. The resort is small and personable with truly great staff. Our room was immaculate and although some didn't like the monkey's visiting their balconies, I thought it was great entertainment while drinking my morning coffee. The dinner's put on with a theme each night prompted us to over indulge regularly. Our favorite was the Mongolian Grill night out by the pool. Make sure to indulge yourself at the spa, not only wonderfully relaxing massages,but super reasonable pricing. Some of our party went back more than once it was so good. We met one woman from the UK by the pool who was back for her 9th time. If it didn't take 22 hours for me to get there I too would be going back frequently for R&R. If your into the resort night life this is not going to be for you. However, some of the boys did go down the road to a night club couple of times and seemed to have a good time.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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: Galu Beach | P.O.Box 90521 Mombasa 80100, Ukunda, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda
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:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ukunda
#4 Family Hotel in Ukunda
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Ukunda
#6 Luxury Hotel in Ukunda
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 Resort And Spa
Pinewood Beach Hotel Ukunda
Pinewood Village Beach Hotel
Pinewood Village Beach Ukunda
Pinewood Beach Resort & Spa Kenya/Ukunda

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