Better than average, less than very good...
Starting with the pros, the setting is gorgeous. Historical site, long white beach, beautifully built and designed rooms and buildings, all rooms ocean facing (ours opened right on to the beach!) it is a fabulous location. The service, too, is good quality - staff remember your names, remember orders, respond to queries/requests promptly and kindly. We arrived late evening, and one of the waiters in particular was very helpful (Dalmas). Similarly, at 7am the following morning we started talking with one of the groundsmen (Mohammed) who arranged our sunloungers, cushions etc in our chosen spot. We tipped the latter on the first day (instead of the last) and he ensured that our area was prepared at sunrise each morning.
Moving on to the cons: I hadn't read or heard anywhere of issues swimming, however when the tide was going out on the first day i cut myself twice on rocks. When the tide went out, we could see very large, jagged rocky plateaux. Once i saw those, I could identify a way out to sea without goign over them, but it was a huge disappointment (as I love swimming in the sea). Even after we arrived, reception should have mentioned this!
Secondly, and probably more important to some, is the food. It's just not good enough. I've been to the Swahili coast before, and enjoyed myriad seafood dishes. It's barely on the menu at Jacaranda. Lunch is either a buffet upstairs, or a menu order down by the pool (mediocre pastas; overly processed burgers) and neither is impressive. Food is the biggest point loser for Jacaranda where it would be generous to say it's worthty of a 3-star hotel. Constant disappointment.
Lastly, and this might not be a con for all - the 'Animation' each evening. Whilst it's nice to have a bit of entertainment and an opportunity to meet other residents, having pounding dance music reverberate throughout the grounds (we were at the far end) continuing past 11pm isn't my idea of a relaxing holiday. I could have gone to Ibiza for that. Other evenings were less intrusive with some talented dance troops, but again, why were the 'local' dances to a soundtrack of electronic and dance-pop music instead of swahili, masai or bantu? Most residents that we met were either from or going on safari, and most are interested in the general culture of east africa, kenya and the swahili coast. Opporunity massively lost by the Jacaranda. Music like Ladysmith Black Mombazo should be on the agenda instead.
However, rooms were lovely and comfortable, tv allowed us to glimpse some of the olympics; en-suite was lovely with powerful shower. Air-con is available for the warmer months, and of course a mosquito net hangs over the bed for your protection. he rooms, indeed the whole complex, is immaculately clean and clearly well cared for.
I would recommend staying here with the usual and interesting surroundings, and lovely staff team, but if I did it again it would be half board, not full. Take your meals elsewhere!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.