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“Relaxation & foodie heaven” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kinondo Kwetu

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Kinondo Kwetu
4.5 of 5 Small Hotel   |   Galu Beach, Diani Beach, Ukunda, Kenya   |  
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Stay 4 pay for 3!
Ranked #2 of 20 Diani Beach B&B and Inns
Edinburgh, Scotland
20 reviews 20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Relaxation & foodie heaven”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2011

We finished our honeymoon with a week at Kinondo. It was just the perfect tonic after a gorilla trek in Rwanda and a safari in the Masai Mara. A band greet you on arrival and you soon feel very at home....if only home was like this though! Our room and balcony were fabulous, filled with tropical flowers and traditional African artwork but with all the mod cons you would wish for.

The staff were amazing, and we felt we knew them all by the end of the week. They really want to go the extra mile for you; the housekeeper left messages in flowers on the bed ('nice day', 'I wish you a nice flight' being some examples), a daily cocktail is delivered to wherever you are lounging at 11am on the dot, afternoon tea & cake is served by the pool at 4pm, they will fix you some light pre-dinner snacks (my husband highly rated the homemade samosas) and you are taken to a different location around the resort for dinner every evening. On our last night we were very lucky to be given the roof of the water tower to watch the sunset with a gin and tonic, followed by our evening meal (surrounded by petals) served by our private waiter.

The beach is very private and lovely, and the locals seem not to come to the Kinondo beach like they do on the beaches further up; we suspect they have immunity from this as they fully support the local village school and health clinic/small hospital, which were fascinating to visit. There are watersports on offer but after a busy week on safari, we were a bit lazy and were content with our fabulously comfortable beach beds and books - except for a touch of kite-surfing at the local kiting beach when the wind was good enough.

It is a very romantic place, but I wouldn't recommend it if you are looking for a wild party...things wind down after dinner, although you can have nightcaps and cocktails at either of the bar areas. Diani beach town is a 20 minute taxi ride ($15) away which would be the nearest nightlife. It did however, feel a very safe and happy place and I could have stayed longer for certain. The only strenuous activity required all day was getting off the bed to help ourselves to another drink...

Probably the best thing about the hotel was the food, which was just amazing. From the breakfast buffet, to the 3 course lunch by the beach, and then the evening meal, there was not one dish we both didn't thoroughly enjoy. The wines also lovely. But the highlight of the day was definitely checking out the upcoming day's menus! Lots of tropical fruit, freshly-caught seafood and delicious little desserts were the norm. We had grilled lobster and filet steak twice during our week; quite different from your average all-inclusive!

It really is a fabulous place, perfect for anyone looking for a quiet, relaxing retreat with gorgeous grounds, a secluded beach, fabulous food and out of this world service.

  • Stayed September 2011, 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
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67 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
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English first
Berkeley, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2011

Within minutes of arrival I’d forgotten that I’d only just met owners Ida and Philip and that I wasn’t an old family friend returned home for a holiday. Shown to my 2-room suite in the house, filled with African artwork, carvings, furniture, textiles, tropical flowers, luscious natural soaps, it was as if they remembered everything I love about Africa and brought it here for my stay. Even the completely private wrap around upper level porch, with views of flowering treetops and expanses of the sea,were perfect for my daily meditations and writing. As a solo traveler, I felt surrounded by friends in the staff who were genuinely friendly and engaging in conversation while respectful of privacy always. The contributions the owners are making to the community in the way of respectful employment, medical clinic, school, and more are a testament to their good hearted approach to being part of their “hometown” in Kenya. They are engaging travelers of the world who have the means to stay in such lovely places in putting their money where it truly makes a difference for local people. Nice. I’ll be dreaming of the time I can return!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2011

This hotel claims to be a home from home! I wish my home was like this one!! So much space, for so few people. Fabulous food. Personal, discreet and sincere service. So many places to sit and relax, in the shade and sun. You can feel like you are the only guests, it is so peaceful - and a welcome retreat after safari or the Kenyan roads. Spotlessly clean. Beautifully presented rooms. Very welcoming and professional hosts. Truly excellent.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Carmarthen, United Kingdom
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2011

We came here for our honeymoon after a safari in the masai mara. We stayed in one of their cottages. The way this the place is laid out and the individual decor in the rooms, and common areas make this place more like staying at someones home than at a hotel!. Each room and area is unique. It is very peaceful and you can always find a spot where you are totally alone.

The beach is a beautiful private sandy beach blocked from the main beach by a large rock that is passable at low tide. You can walk for miles down the beach in either direction!.
It has lovely grounds with sandy paths throughout - swept clean every morning - there are some amazing trees with colourful flowers - we had many sightings of monkeys jumping around the trees and cottage roofs. It has 2 great pools - a smaller one that seems to be just used by the cottage and a lovely large (very deep) pool, and includes a sauna.
There are large chairs, sun loungers, double covered sun loungers with cushions everywhere....so plenty of places to relax!. They bring fresh fruit drinks to you at times during the day . We went kayaking and snorkelling off the beach, and my wife went riding on one of their horses along the beach. There is a tennis court there and we could borrow rackets and they even lent us a pair of shoes. We went deep sea fishing - an extra activity - (they row you out to the fishing boat that passes the hotel!) although sadly we didn't even have a nibble although the day before we saw someone come back with a huge fish about 4 ft long!.
Staff were always available to help us out..it didnt matter who you talked to they were always willing to help or find an answer to a question you had. The owners were very friendly and welcoming. The service was perfect..the place has an informal feel but you know you can go and ask any of the staff to help. You felt like a couple there that they knew rather than just a room number!

The cottage was great - we had cottage 2 - it has large decking on the front and back with places to sit down and relax. The cottages have been well designed to ensure you have privacy. Inside you have a large ceiling fan above a lovely canopied bed wih mosquito netting. Not sure if it was just the time of the year but we had no problems with mosquitos!. It has a large shower and bathroom area.
The food was lovely - always very fresh with alot of seafood - although you can ask for different menu if you don't like seafood. You were able to get fresh snacks between meals at the bar. Lunches and dinner are served in different places so often its the location is a surprise and one night we had our own private dinner up on a water tower overlooking the trees and beach..
As a honeymoon couple - We were worried initially when we saw some young children as some of the larger cottages have 2 rooms but the way the place is laid out meant that we just didn't even hear them or most of the time see them! They have their meals in a different area so you were assured of privacy.
For our honeymoon we looked at so many hotels by the beach in seychelles/mauritius etc. We felt they all looked a bit impersonal and most of them had reviews of indifferent service. We were so glad to come here and we could not fault the place and service. Well worth going - its worth the money!.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
London, United Kingdom
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2010

it's like arriving in paradise. amazing rooms and interior throughout the whole resort. excellent and attentive service personal. don't want to mention the food and the wine (grilled lobster etc). it's more like being guest at a friend rather than being guest in a hotel.
The beach is great. Since it's a private beach and separated by a rock, you are really alone at the beach without any disturbance which is quite a difference to other hotels in Diani beach.

can't say how much we enjoyed the stay and the friendly people there. The lovely owners created really an amazing place where you can see in every corner the passion and the love they have for this place!

it's not cheap, but i didn't regret any penny i spent there. Worth the money and a no-brainer recommendation!

  • Stayed August 2010, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2010

We have just returned from Kenya, and Kinondo Kwetu was a truly marvellous choice of retreat for the family to relax and enjoy Kenya, after 3 days on Safari. It isn't cheap, but if you can afford it, it delivers a really relaxing experience and bespoke / personal service. Oddly the website doesn't show how good it really is. The owners/managers are hands on and the staff are so very attentive, helpful and attuned to each family (over 100 staff for a maximum of 40 guests). One extra 'joy' was the fact that there is no technology, no radio, tv, dvd/cd player - this is a straight gadget free experience. There is however a massive pool (and a small one), a lovely beach, kayaking, snorkelling, and other water sports.

Dinner the first night was Steak Bernaise and last night Lobster, and we had a variety of dishes in between. Our kids had whatever they wanted - nothing was too much trouble.

The rooms are full of local artefacts, and there is real charm about the decor. We enjoyed the animal chess set in one of the communal areas.

This is probably the best all-round service we have received in a hotel - we were treated to complete personal and informal attention and our stay was organised around us - this is nothing like the cookie-cutter mass chains that just don't really get how to provide an individual feel to a stay.

The service couldn't be better, but a kids club might be something that might think about for those for younger children, to give the parents some time to themselves. Air conditioning would also be out of style, but you do need to be able to cope with the heat as the daytime temperatures are well into the 30's consistently.

We will be keen to go again....soon if we can

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2010

There is nothing you could reasonably wish for that the fantastic staff in Kinondo Kwetu will not go an extra mile to accommodate. They are the most professional, attentive staff I have ever experienced in Kenya and they are discretely always available when you need them but invisible when you want to be left alone. The atmosphere is relaxing and positive in this at the same time stylish and comfortable exclusive boutique resort. It is small and familiar and the food is excellent. Kids are just as well catered for as the adults and happy kids mean happy parents! There is plenty of space for a limited number of guests so honeymooners or over-worked executives need not to worry of being disturbed by noisy families.

The only down-side would be the lack of ceiling fans during the limited periods when the breeze dies and it gets very hot. And perhaps the not so splendid beach. The beach as such is perfectly beautiful to watch or walk along but if you go in for a swim, you would need to use the concrete pier laid out to save your feet from the rough old corals. Or use the very nice pool.

All in all I would not hesitate to recommend this well-managed new-comer at the Kenyan coast. It is perfect for an extended weekend for those based in the region, or as a place to relax and work on the sun tan after a safari for those travelling longer distances. It is not cheap, but considering it is inclusive of good food and drinks, it is competetive as compared to other up-market establishments in the region.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 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 Kinondo Kwetu

Address: Galu Beach, Diani Beach, Ukunda, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda > Diani Beach
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 20 B&Bs / Inns in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Kinondo Kwetu 4.5*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kinondo Kwetu is often described as a ‘home away from home’ - a paradise for those wanting a more personal experience on the Kenyan coast. Located on a tranquil private Galu beach on the south coast of Kenya.An all-inclusive boutique hotel - with room for no more than 38 guests, you will always find your own private spot at Kinondo Kwetu, which makes it a very special hideaway for honeymooners. It is also the perfect place to gather family or friends for a private celebration or wedding. In addition to relaxing in the sun and swimming in the Indian Ocean, Kinondo Kwetu offers an impressive selection of exciting activities – ranging from watersports such as Kite Surfing, Kayaking, Deep sea fishing and Scuba Diving, to land activities such as Game Drives, Horse Riding and Yoga weeks. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kinondo Kwetu Hotel Ukunda

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