I stayed for 4 weeks at the Amani Tiwi Beach Resort from early December until New Year 2013. The transfer from Mombasa airport can take from just over an hour to more than two, depending on the traffic in Mombasa and the ferry. Leaving the main road you travel 4Km through the bush to the Hotel. This is a very poor area, but rich in smiles! First view of the Hotel is a bit like a barracks and the entrance to new Reception is not inspiring. Reception staff are welcoming to every one and take take to help make your stay to your liking. The standard rooms are somewhat disappointing for a recently refurbished building. Although a double bed and single are welcoming. Each bed having it's own mosquito net. That is needed as our room was continually plagued by Mosquitos. Ours was on the Ground floor and in fairness not everyone suffered from these unwelcome guests, but we met enough to know there is a problem. The dining rooms are confusing at first and it takes time to find each one and what is on offer for All Inclusive (AI). The main dining room is pretty soulless and not a particularly pleasant experience. We had between 50 guests (at beginning of Dec) and 400 plus at New Year. Whilst in general the quality of food was very good quality, choice and attention to continued quality was erratic. There were never enough serveries and quite often a tight squeeze moving between the food stations. As an alternate La Bella Vita was a lovely place and offered a reasonable AI choice. Some guests found it difficult to get all aspects of AI and were often refused Ice Cream and/or Coffee. I never had a problem with my choices, but both had to be fetched from elsewhere. Result being soft Ice Cream and often long waits for coffee. But as with all staff - they are incredibly friendly and as helpful as they can be with the various restricting processes the hotel had in place. You have to sign for every meal and drink at every bar/ dining area even for zero AI choices! I have never experienced this practice in any other hotel in Kenya. The result being several staff hovering around a till trying to sort out all the paperwork and of course service to customers suffered. I repeat ALL staff are lovely. The Baharini bar is at the opposite end of the Hotel and also in a lovely setting, but a little out of the way to work properly. I never went to the coffee shop as it didn't really seam all that appealing but I can tell you be prepared to wait for coffee especially if you want cold milk. The main bar was a bit like being in an airport lounge and wasn't at all a comfy pleasant place. The two main TV's are here and it can all be a bit impersonal especially if people are smoking nearby. Why oh why are there ponds next to the bar? They smell and correct me if I'm wrong don't mosquitos like this environment? The pool bars were OK places but not especially pleasant, thank goodness for the bar staff, so helpful again depending on numbers and restrictive practices.
I was there at the festive season and this is where the hotel let itself down. Animation and entertainment were by far the most disappointing of any I have experienced in Kenya. We stayed at the Voyager in 2011 and had good experiences of what they tried to achieve. I was wary of being transferred to this newly refurbished hotel which describes itself as 'Paradise Under African Skies'. Now if you claim this then you must go an extra mile. They couldn't. The Xmas decorations centred mainly on lights and little else. The entrance to the Hotel was superbly lit up. But you opnly saw that if you were on that side of the hotel. Little else was done for Xmas decorations and the Gala Dinner on Christmas Eve was disappointing to say the least. This was only eclipsed by the fiasco of the New Years Eve dinner on the beach. The hot food was cold by the time it made it to the beach and then was reheated whilst in situ. Not a great start. The evening entertainment so was so disappointing we went to play cards in the main lounge. Many people had the same idea. I have to say the attention to detail in the festive season was a holiday breaker. The in store boutiques had some really lovely things in them but of course were expensive. In my first two weeks it was hard to get a taxi from reception. This did improve as the taxis were brought into the hotel. My wife was non too well when we set off and I can say that the hotel did try their best to help us as much as possible. The sun and rest (no other guests in the first two weeks) really helped and she made very good progress. Henry in the salon really helped with a medical and all the staff in the salon were lovely. The owner was German. There were more staff in the salon than in Animation. The result for Animation was falling between two stools, they didn't know what was being scheduled for the evenings, so what chance did we have. In the first 4 nights we saw the same acrobats twice. I made my observations clear to the management throughout our stay. I tried hard to be positive with my comments. I want this hotel to succeed if only for the staff to retain their positions. The hotel is so isolated the area really needs it to work. I didn't go on safari this time but I did visit two other hotels to see old friends, the buzz in the Baobab and Voyager was a million miles away from the atmosphere on offer at Amani. I love Kenya and most of all I love the fabulous people in Kenya. I hope the elections go well (safely) and I hope Amani can get some way to being the Paradise it claims. At the moment it has a long long way to go. I wish the staff and management well, and I hope I can return one day and I hope I am wrong with my summary. The Hotel was likened to a lovely wrapped Christmas present with lovely bows but nothing inside. I appreciate this is a recently completed (well nearly) refurbished hotel but why did I have to pay so much to be a guinea pig?
- Also Known As:
- Amani Tiwi Beach Hotel Ukunda
- Amani Tiwi Beach Hotel
- Tiwi Beach Hotel
- Amani Tiwi Beach Resort Kenya/Ukunda
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Recently up graded with an addition of another specialty restaurant-Sultan Dhow & Aqua wine bar overlooking the Indian Ocean with a wide choice of wine served by glass. Refurbished Floodlit Tennis Court. A dedicated 3D 84 inch screen facility, Ultra modern conferences in a separate hotel wing.New hotel boutiques, air conditioned rooms, Hi- speed WIFI Internet & 32'' LCD TV with Satellite feed in the rooms, Complimentary mini fridges, electronic safes, Tea & Coffee making facility, Hair dryers, Mosquito nets and superior guest toiletries Dedicated 24 hours in room dining menu. Upmarket Hair Salon Beauty & Wellness Center.Superior guest amenities. Weekly Complimentary traditional renewal of Wedding vows.3 Specialty restaurants and 4 bars including swim-up sunken bar in the a 167 Meter length free form swimming pool ... more less
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