Just recently returned from a 2-weeks stay at this great hotel (room #17 – 11.03.2013-25.03.2012). This was our second time at the Swahili Beach resort (last time, March 2012), and once again, we had an excellent time.
The feeling of coming home hit us already at the entrance, upon arrival. Neville, one of the "askaris" (security guards) and Hussein, one of the luggage porters, recognised us and welcomed us with a large smile and hugs. Waouw !
Check-in, as per last time was swift and effective, and we were taken to our room. While we had had room #10 last year, I had requested a room on the upper floor with sea view, which was kindly allocated to us by Michael, the reservation manager. This room, as all others was very nice, huge, stylishly furnished and arranged. Last year, I missed flowers upon check-in, this year; these were kindly put into the room, which made it even more welcoming! However, even though mentioned in last year's review ,a few tiny things were still missing (for details, cf http://www.tripadvisor.fr/ShowUserReviews-g775870-d2452982-r127252159-Swahili_Beach_Resort-Diani_Beach_Coast_Province.html), …
The gardens, and the infinity pools, that seduced me on the brochures already last year, were still as beautiful as we remembered. Food, as last year, was delicious, wherever you were eating at. Last year, I had mentioned that it was a pity that the delicious desserts were not chilled enough. It took me a single discussion with Niwas, the restaurant manager, to improve the situation. From one day to the other, he took on board one of my ideas (put big ice blocks beneath the dessert platters and put down the "roof" of the dessert station) and desserts were better chilled the following days. Highly appreciated!
The spa wasn't open last year but was fully operational this year. The setting is stunning and so relaxing. We had a massage and it felt so good that you could actually fall asleep while professional and trained hands run over your body. The money you pay for is largely worth it.
Again, staff, its kindness, its commitment to help, serve and please you is making a big difference compared to other hotels. I can't share other reviewers' comments about the staff being "awful, untrained, inefficient "etc… Maybe it's also a matter of addressing them…As far as we were concerned, we had had no problems whatsoever, and all our requests were dealt with swiftly and with a smile (even personal requests, such as arranging a specify Kenyan plant for my mother was kindly dealt with by one of the main gate askaris!). As a repeat guest, and staying for 2-weeks again, restaurant staff knew our preferences, and our table was reserved for us every morning and evening; at the pool bar, Arafa and Hasanil, knowing how much I loved mangoes, made sure that the 10 AM fruit spikes had mango pieces for me etc…
We will certainly be back next year, and I do hope that Mr Kelly and his crew will ensure that the current standards will be kept up with. In the meantime, I would like to thank Michael, Amani, Julius, Abubakar, Hussein (reception/guest relations/porters), Arafa, Hasanil, Tsama, Fridah (pool&beach bar), Niwas, Moses, Esther, Anisa, Khader, Stephen, Faith (restaurant), not to forget the askaris, Dominic, Peter, Pilatis, John, Neville, Jonathon, Musa, and with a special tribute to Ricky, the kahawa man, who sadly passed away a week before we arrived (R.I.P my friend).
Asante sana na tutaonana mwaka ujao :-)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.