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“Brilliant Hotel shame about the restaurant service” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Amani Tiwi Beach Resort

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Amani Tiwi Beach Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   PO Box 1877, Ukunda 80400, Kenya (Formerly Tiwi Beach Resort)   |  
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Ranked #20 of 35 Hotels in Ukunda
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Brilliant Hotel shame about the restaurant service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

I stayed here for 4 days with 15 others as a wedding party and we all had a great time and a laugh.Rooms are excellent quality and the Beach is out its world.
The restaurant is a disaster when it comes to Customer Service,some of us did nt get our drinks some nights and the waiters cudnt be bothered and were clueless.
The food is of mixed cusines most nights and their is a wide choice to choose from.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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342 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Exeter
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

Amani Tiwi is a typical Kenyan beach hotel situated on its own beach. The beach itself is pretty and whilst it does have some seaweed, this does not detract from it's beauty. The hotel need to deal with the beach boys however as they are a pain. We paid them to leave us alone but it only worked for 24 hours. They are not aggressive, just persistent - they seem to spend a lot of time on their smartphones, however, when not following you down the beach!!

We stayed for two weeks over the Christmas period this year and found it perfectly ok but not probably 4 star. We booked a deluxe room and the bathroom was very tired. The room itself was spacious and adequate. However, we had to move rooms as ours had a leak and we moved just two rooms along. This room had just been vacated and should have been thoroughly cleaned. I found something nasty behind the loo and reported it to reception. Nothing happened despite chasing twice. Eventually a cleaner came and cleaned the bathroom thoroughly. He then tried to tell me that it was a cracked tile and not poo that I had found!! Surprising the faulty tile had completely disappeared when he showed me!! The hotel grounds and public areas are kept very clean and the staff are a friendly bunch. We found the food to be perfectly acceptable and they did make a special effort on Christmas Day with Father Christmas arriving on a camel! This hotel operates a two tier service system - one level for all inclusive and another for guests paying on account. This was particularly annoying when they ran out of draft Tusker and told all inclusive guests that they would have to pay for bottled Tusker. This was also the case if you wanted a bottle of water rather than a glass. We raised this issue with Stacey, the Thomson rep, who said she would deal with it. She did nothing, so we raised the issue with the management ourselves. I am afraid that Stacey was not the most proactive when it came to sorting out problems experienced by guests and I think this needs addressing by Thomson - their customer service lets them down.

The meals are mainly served in Palms which is a buffet style restaurant. The quality of food served there was ok and all very clean and well presented. There is an Italian beachside restaurant which has an all inclusive menu and an a la carte menu. The all inclusive was ok and the a la carte had pizzas and the usual Italian options. The pizzas are not expensive and worth paying for as they were very good. The service at this restaurant is a bit hit and miss and you may have to be very patient. However, the location makes it the perfect spot to have a drink whilst you wait. The other two restaurants are Swahili and Middle Eastern. The Baharini Swahili one was right down the beach and the only time I saw anyone there was for a evening show. The Sultans Dhow Middle Eastern one is never open and therefore should not be advertised as a dining option. Overall, I think by Kenyan standards the food at Amani Tiwi is pretty good. We experienced food at Voi Lodge, Taita Hills and Saltlick whilst on safari and the food at all venues was below the hotel standards.

The entertainment team work hard and are good with the children. However, there is not a lot of variety in their programme. The hotel definitely needs to look at its evening entertainment programme as they appear to rely on the staff to provide most of it and whilst they do their best, it is a pretty basic experience.

We booked our own safari independently before we left for Kenya with JT Safaris. Julius who runs the company was very helpful and once in Kenya we met him to discuss the finer points of our safari. We had our own 4x4 Jeep and driver, Joseph. The safari experience was excellent and Joseph was a great guide. I would not hesitate to recommend you book your safari experience (or any other trips) through JT Safaris. We took our 11 year old daughter and felt JT offered a safe, knowledgeable experience - also great value and cheaper than booking through your tour operator. Check out their website and email Julius, he is quick to respond and happy to help.

To sum it up .. we had a perfectly good holiday and felt it was good value for money. The trip over Christmas cost less then a third of what we would have paid in the Caribbean or other Indian Ocean locations. The rooms are not what you would usually expect in a 4* resort but with a bathroom upgrade, they could soon be there. The hotel overall has a laid back feel which we prefer and offers a good spot to relax and enjoy the sun. Kenya has changed a lot since our last visit some 12 years ago (this was our 5th visit) and there has been a distinct drop in tourism. This is a sad thing for Kenya as the people are lovely and the country has so much to offer, whether it be beach or safari experiences.

Room Tip: Deluxe rooms are not 4* and are situated near the noisy pool. The bathrooms are tired and need upda...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Jersey, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2014

we went with what we thought was all inclusive so that should mean that all local drinks and food are included how wrong was we. you can have ice cream in the day for free but go after 6 pm and you have to pay as well as cakes .milkshakes are chargeable at all times and its a family hotel as for having any drinks after 11 pm then you have to pay when i spoke to stacey about it she said to say it at the farewell drink as it would be looked in to witch is what i did only for her to say well all the bars in kenya hotels shut at 11 pm funny how they stayed open as long as you wanted to pay over inflated prices for you drinks i would say shes on your side to your face but in reality its the hotel that matters .there is only 1 restaurant that is covered by all inclusive the 2 others you have to pay for . and the hotel being so far away from diani it will cost you 4000 to get there and back kenya is a lovely place and worth going to but not amani tiwi beach resort

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Burton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2013

Very impressive hotel. Beautiful beach side location. Room clean, quiet and overlooking the pool. Food varied and of good quality. Staff hardworking, attentive and friendly. Excellent choice if you want a relaxed, more laid back holiday

  • Stayed August 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
rushden
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013 via mobile

Arrived at Amani Tiwi hotel on Tues 10th Dec after a long flight and delay at the ferry. First time to this particular hotel. The check in went smoothly, we were met with a cold flannel and cold drink which was lovely then was shown to our room 9202.
We had booked a deluxe room and were both disappointed. The bathroom was definitely not deluxe. The jacuzzi bath enamel was coming away in chunks and the fittings in the bath and also the light were covered in rust.
We unpacked and tried to get the air conditioning to blow out cold.It was not at all cold.The lad who cleans the rooms even had a look at it for us but no joy so we reported it to reception. Miriam was very pleasant and said we could change rooms as there was a fault with it. We went to the welcome meeting then moved to room 9204.
On thurs night we reported that our shower was fluctuating from scalding hot and cold. We also reported the air con was not working efficiently. The maintenance man came back to our room with us and said it just needed bleeding. Sorted. Or so we thought!!! The shower was going to be looked at the next day.
Throughout our two week stay we reported to reception several times that the shower was not working properly. It was boiling hot so you had to dodge the water then it was cold. Numerous times they said they had fixed it. Then they said they would turn off the element. We told them that was not the answer but they did it anyway.
The facilities at the hotel are very good. The beach was lovely and beach boys tolerable. They took no for an answer. The food was good BUT the service was appalling. When going in to the dining room the tables were never set whether it was breakfast, lunch or evening meal. We would have to sit and wait for cutlery and napkins then have to wait for them to order and collect our drinks. One night we waited 20 minutes for the waitress to get cutlery then she disappeared to get our drinks. One evening we sat for 15 minutes waiting to be acknowledged at our table. The service in the Italian restaurant and the cafe was as equally slow but more tolerable.
We wanted to book for the Italian a la carte restaurant but after waiting for someone from guest relations to come and go through the menu with us we left it. The particular member of staff was supposed to be there at 9a.m by 10.15 we had seen the rep and wandered around waiting so we gave up.
The food was of good quality but we couldn't get our heads around the fact that they had two different types of wine one for a/I and one for paying guests. Also two different menus for the same. At the pool bar one day one poor chap had to wait 20 minutes for a glass of white wine, they had to fetch it from the main hotel as they only had the wine for paying guests. What on earth is that all about. I know about paying for premium drinks, that is the norm, but the food that paying guests were getting was of far better quality than the a/I.
This was our 5th visit to Kenya and we have never known service as bad as it was.
Four days before we were due to come home we had had enough and spoke with rep Stacey. She wrote down our concerns and said she would speak to management ref customer service and also sort out the unpredictable shower.
We then had to chase her up on our last day as nobody had got back to us. We spoke to management and he apologised for not getting back to us and said it was too late to sort out the shower. Great. That evening as predicted, as the element had been turned off,it was freezing and there was no pressure. We didn't bother reporting it as we had completely had enough by then.
The thomson rep knew we needed to sign the complaint form Monday eve as we was leaving 5a.m the next day. She totally ignored us after a meeting with management. When my husband approached her about it she rolled her eyes, put her drink down and sighed. That lit the touch paper I'm afraid. In our honest opinion as she stays at amani tiwi she was working more for the hotel than she was for thomsons her employer.
I can honestly say in the 7 years we have been travelling long haul this was a very disappointing holiday. The hotel itself is spotlessly clean. The facilities are very good. But the customer service let it down big time.
We will still visit Kenya but will not be staying at the Amani Tiwi again. If they sort out their service and maintenance issues they could have one of the best hotels in Kenya but as it is at the moment it is no where near.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013

I travelled here with my Husband and Parents, as we were doing a safari trip. We booked through Thomson and they also arranged the 3 day safari, which was reasonably priced. It was a 2 night stay at the hotel followed by 2 nights in Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks, then back to the hotel for the remaining 10 nights. The hotel was all inclusive and the safari was full board.

Hotel ... When we arrived at the hotel after a long flight from Gatwick, we were given a glass of fruit juice and a wet towel. The hotel's entertainment team put on a dance show, which was nice. We were then shown to our room by one of the staff. We upgraded to the deluxe room with a king size bed, which had views of the sea. The room was very spacious and the bed was a four poster with the mosquito nets around it. We were a bit disappointed with the room, in particular the bathroom, as it was in real need of upgrading. The bath and mirror was all chipped and the sink was stained. However, when we returned to the hotel after our safari we were put into a different room, just 2 doors along from our first room. This room was much better, the bathroom was of the standard you would expect in a 4 star hotel.

The food at the hotel was excellent. We had never been to a hotel with a buffet restaurant and we'd heard bad reviews of buffet restaurants in general so weren't sure what to expect. There was plenty of dishes to choose from at breakfast, lunch and dinner. The theme changed every day, although there was a lot of indian influence, which wasn't a problem for us, as we like indian food. They did a Kenyan night once a week, which was the best theme. There was also an Italian, Swahili and Middle Eastern restaurant. They did an all inclusive menu at the Italian and you had to choose your courses in the morning at the reception desk. I didn't really like this, as I prefer to choose from a menu when I sit down to dinner, plus the all inclusive menu was the same at the other a la carte restaurants. We did a la carte one night at the Italian and we felt the food was quite basic. The food at the buffet restaurant was much tastier. We also did a la carte at the Swahili restaurant, which was good. Unfortunately the Middle Eastern restaurant was closed for refurbishment, which was a pity. All in all, you could go to the buffet every night and you would not be disappointed or find it boring.

The pools were kept clean and there was a choice of the busy pool near the beach, the quieter lazy pool in the middle or another large pool at the opposite end. We stuck to the middle, as there wasn't really anybody using it much or kids splashing about. The pool boys were excellent, in particular Bahatisha (not sure of spelling). He was very friendly and took your towels and mattresses to wherever you wanted and then prepared the sun lounger for you.

The beach wasn't up to much. Full of coral and the tide was out a lot of the time. But we knew this before we booked the hotel, as I'd read it on reviews. Even if the beach had been soft white sand all the way into the water, I would have still avoided going in, as the beach boys were extremely annoying. You couldn't walk along the side of the water without being hounded by them and they wouldn't leave you alone. In fact, you couldn't even look out towards the water from your sun lounger without them waving and trying to get your attention. They weren't allowed up onto the part of the beach where the loungers were, as that was the hotel grounds, but on the coast, there are no private beaches as such, as the beach boys are allowed to walk right along the coast past the hotels.

All the staff were excellent and couldn't do enough for you. Every one of them said 'Jambo' as they walked past, even the gardeners.

I think this hotel has the potential to be 5 star but the rooms would have to be upgraded. There would also have to be a bit more variety in the entertainment, as this was a bit repetative over 2 weeks. The a la carte restaurants would need to have more than 1 chef, as you could wait quite a while for a meal if there were more than 3 tables in.

I would definitely recommend this hotel and would probably stay here again.

Safari ... Thomson arranged this for us through Pollman's tours. We were picked up from the hotel and changed into a safari vehicle in Mombasa. The vehicle only carried 7 people, which was better for viewing out the roof. The guide (Aziz) was very knowledgeable and knew all the routes to take in the parks. We seen a live kill in Tsavo West just at the side of the dirt track, a leopard killing an ostrich. This is something you don't normally see and in fact the guide had never seen in all the years he'd been in the job. We were very lucky. We stayed at Voi Safari Lodge in Tsavo East and Ngulia Lodge in Tsavo West. Both lodges were basic but the food was very good. Again, buffet style with plenty to choose from. Voi was of slightly higher standard and had the Elephant water hole, which you could view from an underground cave. On our way back to the hotel we stopped off at a Masai village and were shown inside their houses, how to make a fire etc. Excellent experience and would highly recommend. I think if we go back we would do the Masai Mara. September is the best time to go in terms of weather and what you will see in the parks, especially if you go to the Masai Mara, as this is when you will see the Migration. The weather was hot but not too hot with occasional rain.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
solihull, uk
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here in August and had a brilliant stay. We loved that the scuba team are trying to develop a sea turtle rescue area (basic at the moment but to be commended). We had a beautiful first room before safari but were less impressed with the 2nd room (noisy child above) we were moved the same afternoon. The entertainment crew were great fun and tried to include everyone, we loved stretching with Peter in the morning. The entertainment manager has a great vision for the place and the biggest smile! Good variety of food and a la carte restaurants were beautiful, they changed while we were there so we could eat there as part of all inclusive. Fab stay, we want to return!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Amani Tiwi Beach Resort

Address: PO Box 1877, Ukunda 80400, Kenya (Formerly Tiwi Beach Resort)
Phone Number:
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 ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Ukunda
#14 Luxury Hotel in Ukunda
#15 Romantic Hotel in Ukunda
#18 On the Beach Hotel in Ukunda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Amani Tiwi Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 209
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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Also Known As:
Amani Tiwi Beach Hotel Ukunda
Tiwi Beach Hotel
Amani Tiwi Beach Resort Kenya/Ukunda

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