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“Our African Dream” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Turtle Bay Beach Club

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Turtle Bay Beach Club
3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   PO Box 10, Watamu, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 25 Hotels in Watamu
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
185 helpful votes 185 helpful votes
“Our African Dream”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2009

We first booked our Holiday to Kenya in January 2007 to depart in April 2008 but sadly due to the troubles in Kenya our Tour Operator cancelled our booking so we rebooked straight away to travel out April 2009.

The long wait was finally over and we departed from Gatwick on 10th April 2009 for a 2 week Holiday staying at The Turtle Beach Club in Watamu. We flew with First Choice in Premier Class and found the service we received on the out going flight excellent, pity we couldn't say the same about the return journey...!!!
We landed at Mombassa Airport early morning of the 11th April which also happened to be my Birthday and after collecting our cases we were soon on our way to the Hotel. The journey took about 2 hours. Upon arriving we were greeted by Staff with a cold towel and a refreshing cold drink just what we needed.

We were soon taken to our room Lamu 42 which was just perfect, lovely views and peace and quiet just what we had wished for.
The Room Boy came in daily and kept our room very clean. The Sockets in the rooms are the same as the UK so ideal for all your needs. We had a kettle in the room and Tea, Coffee, Sugar and Milk were all provided and restocked daily. Also each day a Flask of Fresh Water was left. Clean Towels were left daily, Shampoo, Shower Gel and Soap were all provided. There was also Mosquito net around our Kingsized Bed.

We found there was an excellent choice of food, plenty of it and always piping hot. We tried the Pizza Restaurant one lunch time and really enjoyed our meal. We dined at the Al A Carte Sea Shell Restaurant for my Birthday and the food and service we received were of an excellent standard. The Hotel also gave me a Birthday Cake. When we returned to our room there was a Birthday Banner and a little Basket of Fresh Flowers from the Staff, a lovely touch.

The Beach we found to be nice in parts but due to the fast approaching rainy season there was a lot of Seaweed churned up and the Sea was quite rough at times. There was a breeze which at times was quite welcoming in the heat.

The Beach Boys were a friendly bunch and could pester you at times but as soon as we told them we had already booked our excursions with Abdul of Tunda Tours they were not so pushy and just made pleasant conversation each time they we saw us.

Excursions, as I said previously they were all booked with Abdul and these arrangements were made before we travelled to Kenya. We did a 3 day 2 night trip to the Masai Mara staying at Fig Tree Camp. We also booked at 3 day 2 night trip to Tsavo East and Tsavo West. The first night was spent at Manyatta Camp which is within the grounds of Voi Wildlife Lodge and the second night we stayed at Ngulia Safari Lodge. Both Safari's I shall be doing separate reviews on the Camp/Lodges and adding Photographs so be prepared to be amazed at Manyatta Camp...All I will say for now is out of this world....!!!
We did a Snorkel excursion to Mida Creek which also included a Lobster Meal and the day ended with a visit to Watamu Turtle Sanctuary where I helped release a Turtle back into the Sea, a truly wonderful experience.

The Staff at Turtle Bay made this Holiday for us, they were friendly, attentive, polite and treated us so well. Our drinks Waiter was Ratibu an Eddie Murphy look alike he was fantastic along with the other staff we dealt with like Samson our Restaurant Waiter. I feel we must also mention Little Roy, Mr Eric, Hamish, Alex the Catering Manager, Janet in Reception. All the staff were wonderful. All the Staff are a credit to the Management so a big thank you to Damian Davis the General Manager and Sabine Pruss Marketing Manager. We are already planning a return trip for August 2010.

We were disappointed with the First Choice Rep, his name was Julias we met him on our first day at the Welcome meeting and that was it we never saw him again. We called him along with several others and arranged to meet him in the Reception of the Hotel at 9.15am the day before we returned home but he didn't show up and didn't even ring to say he would be able to make it.......Thanks Julias...!!!!

All we can add to this is that at Turtle Bay Beach Club we had HAKUNA MATATA....( no worry's) and would like to say to everyone at the Hotel ASANTE SANA ( thank you very much).....

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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681 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 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
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English first
Cumbria, UK
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2009

We stayed at TTBC at the end of March 2009, we arrived after a 4 day safari to Tsavo east and west . We had read rave reviews and knew that it recieves many returning guests but our first impressions were of a very basic but clean room and rather shabby shared areas that were in need of some updating, I was wondering what all the fuss was about. However, we soon came to realise why people come back here year after year, the service you receive from the staff is second to none, they are friendly courteous and unlike other all inclusive hotels we've stayed at are extremely attentive even on the beach, we tipped 100Ksh (approx £1) occassionally which ensured we were extremely well looked after. Even without tipping though the staff were friendly and chatty.

The food was excellent, we never got bored of it unlike other hotel buffets, there was a great selection every lunchtime and evening. Breakfast was also very good. Made all the more enjoyable by the staff serving us. The pizza restaurant is also very good.
We didn't hear of anyone getting ill. The hotel website implies there is quite a strict dress-code i.e. women should cover from shoulder to knee, but in reality this didn't seem to be adhered to.

We did some diving with the dive shop on site and this was well organised, there are no big things to see anymore, last whale shark sighting was over 2 years ago, but there are thousands and thousands of fish, nice coral and very few divers or boats which is great. we found the prices quite expensive but you are charged in euros and the exchange rate at the mo is definitely not in our favour.

One word of warning would be about a waiter called Hamish he is very friendly and funny but he may try to arrange for you to visit a school that he is involved with locally. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this may be a bit of a scam, with him taking backhanders and making the school appear to have no equipment when in fact all desks etc are hidden before any tourists arrive, he didn't ask for any donations from us but we heard that other people had given a lot of money to this project and had not seen any changes over the past 3 years or so. He did ask us to buy some books etc for the school which we did at a local shop, again we heard that he would later take this back to the shop and split the difference. We really do not know to what extent any of this is true but just wanted to make people aware. Of course we wanted to help the local community in anyway possible but cash donations invariably end up in the wrong hands.

The guys on the beach do hassle you a bit at first and are very good at spotting newcomers, after a while though they know whether or not you want to buy something from them and just want to be friendly, they are also very grateful for any clothing or books you no-longer need/want.

We had an amazing holiday and would definitely go back to Turtle Bay Beach Club again.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2009

We have just come back from the best 2 weeks abroad we have ever had. As soon as we arrived we were greeted by the hotel manager Damian, check in was easy & we were taken to our room right next to the beach. The staff are amazing, nothing is too much trouble for them, no matter where in the hotel you are they are so friendly and love to help. The food was superb, different choices every night but cooked to perfection, would suit anyone.
The beach is fantastic & the sea is like a bath. There are a few beach boys waiting to try and sell something, but they all understand the word NO & they to are very friendly.
We booked a safari through our thomson travel rep, although they did not go to the resort we wanted to go, Alex helped us find someone who did. We went to the FIG TREE CAMP in the masai mara, which again was mind blowing from the minute we stepped off of the plane. We did 2 nights, but could have stayed longer, you have to do it. you can buy from the beach boys, and there are close trips like savo east & west, but to do it properly you have to go to the mara.
When we got back the hotel staff were so interested in what we saw, we really loved them out there.
We also did the Sundower boat trip, which again was fantastic, you're out there for over 2 hours, the food is superb & they make you the "dower" cocktails which taste amazing.
Although this is a 3* hotel, & the rooms show this, the staff, beach & food are so good, its just heaven they make it a 5*, we will be going back next year without a doubt. We just cant wait to see everyone again.
this was the holiday of our dreams, it could not have been any better.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Stowmarket, United Kingdom
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2009

We travelled from Gatwick to Mombasa with Monarch on 09/03/2009, please note that Monarch are no reflection on TTBC, but if I had known that I was flying with them I would have cancelled this holiday a long time ago.
Completely my own fault, for getting far too excited and not bothering to ask Thomas Cook who the flights where with, I just automatically assumed we would be flying with Thomas Cook Airlines… On the way out we had a 40 min delay, the cabin crew were just plain awful and the lack of duty free amazed me.
I was getting married in TB and before we flew out I called Monarch to see where I could hang my dress on the plane and all the Indian call centre could tell me was put it in the hold… NO it’s my wedding dress, after a huge argument with them (I offered to pay extra for it as hand luggage) I ended up hanging up on her. I took my dress with me as hand luggage and hoped for the best, the check in staff where not much better and said that I could hang it up on the plane and the cabin crew would tell me where, so when I got on the plane asked where I could hang it they told me they didn’t have the facilities to help me and put it in the over head compartments, I had no choice but to do this but I was really unhappy about it. (It wasn’t a big meringue dress either just a normal dress that wouldn’t have taken up much room any where).
When we got to Mombasa Airport our cases where no where to be seen… PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF WHAT I TYPE NEXT, IT MAY BE A SCAM, MAYBE NOT BUT I WOULDN’T WANT IT TO HAPPEN TO YOU!!!!
My case had been taken by an English woman and was located quickly it was a genuine mix up, but my other halves case well….
After a long search by security it was no where, so we filled out loads of forms, the case had been put on the plane and should have been there, on the way to the hotel we got a call (on our mobile) from a Romanian number (0040) and said that he had our case (our number was on the case) we put the man on to our rep who told him to take the case back to the airport and leave it with the Thomas Cook desk. Ok… so late afternoon, reception came to find us and said that the case had arrived, we expected to find our rep but instead it was some random Kenyan man who claimed the Romanian had but the case in his taxi paid him £50 (5000 shillings) to bring the case to us, then he asked us for another £50 as a gratuity for him bringing the case to us and fuel, we told him to do one and that he should never have even touched the case never mind brought it to the hotel, he said he wasn’t happy and wanted his money so we told him to deal with Thomas Cook direct and funnily enough we never heard no more from him.

Any way TTBC – well what can I say, Check in was easy, no delay’s. We were greeted with cold towels and fruit juice, and then shown to our rooms.
The rooms were lovely, basic but clean and our cleaner Marris was the nicest bloke ever. The ‘double bed’ was 2 singles pushed together… and hard is not the word every day I woke up sore and stiff it would have been softer sleeping on the floor, but if you like a hard bed then you’ll have no problems.
We had a bottle of champagne and fruit waiting for us which was lovely.
We met Nancy the wedding co-ordinator the day after we arrived and I have to say she is possibly one of the nicest woman I have ever met!!!! She is so quiet and polite, she knows her stuff about weddings and what we wanted etc…
The hotel is not the best by far, but the staff there makes it one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in, there friendliness and good humour is infectious. They always have time to speak and never want any thing in return for their friendliness. Even the chefs had time to speak. The food was to die for, I wouldn’t even like to guess how much weight we out on lol.
There was different entertainment on every night, some of it good, some not so, watch out for the acrobats – amazing!!!! The funbase team also does a show once a week, although I found it pretty funny when they dressed up as the girls from Mama Mia I don’t think it was supposed to be funny though.
The beach boys (and not the good singers from yester year lol) they where a right royal pain in the behind, and that is putting it nicely if I’m honest, I did read the reviews on here before I went and a lot of people said they where good fun, make friends with them etc… ok if you have been here 18 times they maybe your friends but when this is your first time and you get of the plane whiter than white thanks to our lovely English winters, the beach boys home in on you and will take your eyes then come back for the blooming sockets!!!! Luckily me and my other half like to travel to Africa and Asia and we know the whole process of bartering etc… but these guy’s – Wow – they are just unreal, one guy wanted £18 for a keyring, sorry did I look like I just stepped out of my money making factory? I did try to be friendly hoping to make some new friends but it never materialised all they were interested in was my money, never mind!
Back to the hotel – there were always plenty of sun lounges around the pool and on the beach although finding some shade was quite hard, you had to be up early for the best spots…
The hotel is brilliant I highly recommend it, there was just one thing that niggled me and because of this reason I will not be going back.
As a first timer here I got treat so different to the repeaters, for starters they got the best rooms – free, they got picked up and dropped of at the airport – free, they got a welcome pack, we didn’t, and they also got a better service from the staff there is also probably other things too but if I’m honest I didn’t ask, am I not special enough to get this sort of treatment??? Is my money and what I have paid some what different to some one who has been here 5 times?
The wedding in total took the whole of 10 mins hardly worth the £700 we paid but still some what cheaper than the UK; we paid £210 for 200 photos and never bothered with the video. The registrar turned up 35 mins late and in that heat I wasn’t best pleased and all he seamed to go on about was death and bigamy??? Strange lol. But all that aside it was a truly beautiful day and I can recommend getting married here, if any one would like any more info on this don’t hesitate to email me, I’ll be more than happy to help you.
On the way back we were delayed by 13 hours JOY OF JOY’S luckily we could stay in the hotel for the day and catch the last of the sun, they looked after us really well it was just like an extra day in the hotel, still went for breakfast, lunch, dinner etc as normal. We also booked into the VIP lounge in the airport on the way home $25 each defiantly not worth the money, you get free drinks, horrible stale sandwiches, free internet access and a TV on the wall to watch BBC. Also where the VIP lounge is you can smoke outside, look for the black marble stairs go up there and you can smoke in the café.

Would I go back NO, would I recommend it YES with out a doubt.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2009

We went to the Turtle Bay Beach Club in January after a weeks Safari with Somak, the safari itself was a truly remarkable experience and we loved everything about it but Safari although fantastic is not relaxing so we needed a week to unwind, this place was perfect there is a lot in other reviews about feeling ignored becasue of the large amount of repeaters and yes there were a lot of them but we were never ignored, there was plenty of room by the pool and on the beach and yes if you ventured down on the beach you would be approached by the beach boys all trying to sell something but they were never intrusive, we found if you just said no thank you a few times they would leave you alone, you have to remember that this is a very poor country and these peoole are just trying to put food on the table, they are not in general trying to rip you off and even if your not interested in what they are selling you can have a very pleasant and interesting conversation with them. This is also an area where you can do some good, take an interest in local projects, particulalry the school and the soon to be "happy house" It will make you feel good, the children are all so happy and if you take a couple of boxes of pens, some paper in fact anything, tee shirts, socks, pants. they will all be gratefully accepted and you will be making a real diference. This is also a nature reserve, rescued turtles are released from the beach, the reef is fantastic to dive, if you have never done it before like us, there is a dive school at the resort, they will teach you the basics and take you out for a dive, all for about £80, well worth it, however if you don't want to do anything but lay in the sun, eat and be entertained this is all there too, the food was brilliant, lots of choice at every meal, a great a la carte restaurant if you want a change and entertainment every evening, usually consisting of a disco, they even provide local lads to dance with if your husbands or boyfriends are not the dancing type. The staff also put on a show every Saturday, Grease and Mama Mia while we were there, all tonge in cheek and extremely good fun. The staff are great we did not find a single person who was not pleasant and polite to us, they really couldn't do enough for you, your drinks are replenished even before your glass is empty, they will remember your name from day 1 and never forget it, even if you go back next year they will remember you when you walk through the door. All in all this place has a real feel good factor to it, thats why people go back year after year, we will definatley go again.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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 2
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4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2009

I had a fantastic fortnight at TBBC, with the friendliest staff i've ever come across. One night in the restaurant, the chef made mash and gravy just for 3 old dears!!! Nothing is too much trouble.
As has been said many times - this is a 3* hotel, so don't expect luxury, but the staff, food, beach, weather etc etc more than make up for that.
The only problem was the long stay guests who think they own the place. I had arguments on several days on the beach for apparently sitting on "their" sunbeds. They arrive for a 3 month stay and reserve themselves sunbeds for the duration of their stay - and the staff let them!!! At 6pm one evening when I was leaving the beach, 80% of the sunbeds were already "reserved" for the following morning - absolutely ludicrous!!!
As far as trips are concerned, my Safari with Abdul of Tunda Tours was fantastic, though the journey to/from Tsavo east is not the best.
All in all I had a good time, and will probably return. Just hope they've sorted the sunbeds out by then - I don't go on holiday for a row strangely enough!!

Stayed February 2009, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2009

As others have mentioned this is a 3-star property and that is what you get. A very good, clearly above average but still 3-star standard at 3-star price. Service is excellent, rooms are comfortable if a little worn, the bars and restaurants probably the hotel´s best feature along with the beach itself. Nothing really to complain about except that everything NOT included in the all-inclusive package (a la carte dinners, imported alcohol, transportation, diving etc) was surprisingly expensive. Maybe that´s how it usually is but I am not used to it.
I was there in July and weather was quite bad, rainy and windy in the mornings and/or evenings and diving which I was looking forward to was not possible and some of the staff said it´s normal for that time of the year.

  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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 Turtle Bay Beach Club

Address: PO Box 10, Watamu, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Watamu
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Watamu
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Watamu
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Watamu
#7 Family Hotel in Watamu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Turtle Bay Beach Club 3*
Number of rooms: 145
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Also Known As:
Turtle Bay Beach Club Hotel Watamu
Turtle Bay Beach Hotel
Turtle Bay Beach Resort

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