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“Brilliant yet again” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Resort

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Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Resort
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   North Road, Diani Beach, Ukunda 80400, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #19 of 31 hotels in Diani Beach
isle of wight
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
“Brilliant yet again”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2010

We had a wonderful time at this hotel last year so I booked it again. The hotel is quiet and a little out of the way. There are activities, but not so many that you are overwhelmed. The food is great and they will go out of their way to make something for you. I am a veggie and there was a new chef this year. Every night the veggie option was some sort of curry, so I availed myself of the pasta station (very nice). I did mention to the restaurant manager that it would be nice to have pizza or canneloni or lasagna or something not curry and the very next night there was lasagna. We also got pizza and canneloni.

We have an Ocean front room and I thoroughly recommend it. It is a bit maldivian, but not such a long flight and you aren't stuck on an island. If you are not a party animal and can overlook a few small niggles (we didnt have any this time) then this is the hotel for you. If you like to be close to the action with plenty of organised things for kids and adults then I would suggest the Southern Palms (massive pool) or the Diani Sea Resort.(value for money and right next to the supermarkets) South Mombasa has much nicer beaches than the north although the transfer is a little longer.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 4 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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183 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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Tunbridge Wells
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2010

Only had a few days but we loved it - room was large and very comfortable, staff responded quickly and with a smile to any requests. Food was lovely, waiter served or buffet (or both!). Plenty of sunbeds with very helpful man to position them, sea beautiful - clear and warm and we had no one trying to sell us anything on the beach as security guards kept them all away (they were all outside the hotel next door it seemed!). Lovely pool. All in all a very relaxing holiday with no complaints - lots of praise. We will definitely be returning for a longer stay.

  • Stayed February 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
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the Netherlands
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2010

Nothing fancy but a decent hotel for a few relaxing days at the beach after a couple of days of safari.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Amsterdam
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2009

We were with a group of 12 persons: two families with teenagers and granddad and grandmom. The children had an excellent time and participated in most activities organised by the entertainment staff. We hardly saw them. We spent our time at the very nice beach with beds under the palmtrees. The view is perfect. Beachwalking to the left gave a creek and non-tourist beaches. To the right miles and miles to walk along the other hotels. We did two one-day safaris: Shimba Hills & Malungani elephant sanctuary and a seafari to Shimoni and Wasini. For both days all-in for Euro 110 was very well spent (and we booked with a guy on the beach). By the way: don't bring dollars or euros. Everything can be paid in kenyian shillings to be obtained at all ATM's.

We never book a luxury hotel and Jacaranda fully met our expectations. Luxury with an african touch. The rooms were quite good, as were the gardens. The staff is well trained and very friendly. It very well shows they do their work with passion. We had full board and all their food is really excellent. We applaused for the chef for his great Christmas dinner. If you are a good client (we couldn't find out their criteria) all restaurant staff joins and sings in a procession (watch their smiles and fun) and offers a cake to the guest (group).

Our one week felt like two weeks!

If you like a good beach resort with african touch and want to relax and experience a very friendly staff: book Jacaranda.
If you want to stay in a top hotel, are afraid of malfunctioning things in your room and want plastic smile service. Don't book (and don't go to Africa).

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 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
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Sussex UK
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2009

Our first visit to the hotel was in November 2007 and based on our visit we decided to return to get married.
The hotel was as we remember it and the service was as great as ever.
We stayed in a beach front room and since our last visit the bathrooms and toilets have had a makeover and we found the room to be very clean and the air con worked extremely well and you need it in such a hot country.
We booked our holiday with Thomas cook and upgraded at the hotel to all inclusive and I suggest this to be the best way and a good idea as drinks etc can be expensive and you loose track of how many you really drink throughout the day and it soon mounts up.
We booked the wedding directly with Catherine at the hotel and she dealt with all the arrangements for us including the cake,flowers,location and all other areas of the wedding.
The wedding day came and went without a hitch and was done to the very highest standard and we cannot thanks the hotel and staff enough(Catherine and Dalmas(Best man) especially for making our day special)
The local photographer Evans took our photos and the pictures are a great reminder of what was a great day and we can highly recomend his services.
If you want a great holiday in a relaxing hotel with great staff then this is the hotel for you,
We will be going back in the future to what is one of our favourite hotels.
Swimming pool nice size and very clean
Staff are great and cannot do enough for you
Activities and hotel entertainment staff are great and variolus local entertainers are good.
East Sussex UK

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Canada
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2009

This is my third Mombasa-Area beach resort experience. You can find my other reviews under Diani Reef and Serena Mombasa.

Compared to the other two hotels (above) this hotel rates third on my list.

The only reason that Indian Ocean rates third is because of the presence and quality of facilities. For example there is no spa. There is a salon but it is more of a medium quality. Still this is a good place to get your nails done for a nice evening or your hair. Serena and Diani Reef both have amazing spas. I also noticed the lack of a fitness facility at Indian Ocean. Also there is a nice pool at Indian Ocean but it doesn't have as pleasing a design as the other two hotels and especially Diani Reef which has multiple pools.

Indian Ocean Beach Club is right on the beach and that was the major draw for us. There are an abundance of lawn chairs around the deck and near the beach so you can really enjoy the sun. During our stay my sister enjoyed an organized game of water polo and they were also doing beach volleyball. These organized games were really fun for her.

We were on a Bed and Breakfast option so we had no dinner included in our stay. Those who do get dinner get a 4 (or was it 5?) course meal. If this is not included in your room it costs about $20 for the meal. If you are not getting this fancy meal you have to specially request access to the lunch a la cart menu, which I do not think is very impressive. The food is good (nutritious, will not make you sick, varied) but not great (imaginative, memorable). And even the mood on the lunch a la cart menu is a bit pricey by Kenyan standards. There is also a poolside bar but not a swim up bar (which both other hotels have).

It seemed to me that all rooms have an ocean view which is so nice. The property is laid out in a maize of little buildings with only a few rooms per building. Everything is designed in a swahili style with buildings painted white and roofs "thatched". When the sun is out the turquoise waters and the white buildings and the green green grass really sparkle and give the property a magical feel.

I really give good recommendations to this hotel for there guest rooms which are very beautiful. My room had a sitting nook (a nice addition), a big bed with high quality linens, a well outfitted bathroom complete with rain-shower, bathtub and separate toilet room. There is also a desk and sitting chair and a semi-private (only for your use though not actually blocked off from the public areas) patio right outside your door with two chairs and a little table. I spent a lot of time on my little patio with the sound (and sights) of the waves crashing on the beach only 100m away.

One big "uh-oh, I'm being dinged" moment was being told you have to pay 175ksh ($2) per day to use the safe. This was a first for me. I don't know why a hotel would put in high quality safes for guest use, and then put signs up advising the guest to use the safes, and then make the guest pay for it on a daily basis. Ding!

We happened to pull up to this hotel after a night in Diani Banda. I really liked Diani Banda but my sister was looking for a true beach-front experience. We chose Indian Ocean because it was beautiful and classy and because they cut us a "deal". The quoted "residents rate" was 13000 per night for two people sharing the room. We ended up paying about 9000 per night just by asking. I don't know what to advise on this topic but it seems Kenyan hotels are often over priced and never offering discounts and then when you arrive you may be dinged for the safe or put into a servants room (see my Serena Masai Mara report) and because you have prepaid you have no real way to complain so you just enjoy yourself. In my opinion Kenyan tourism is not worth the money because of their shoddy attention to true customer service but... that's just me and don't let me sway you away from your good experience.

Also, as a warning, Indian Ocean Beach Club is at the end of the road. This will mean that taxis may be a bit more expensive. If you walk down the road you get to Diani Reef in about 30 minutes but it would be quite a lot further to get to town. And MOST IMPORTANTLY for anybody planning to get a bit of work done... there is extremely spotty cell service because it is so far to the end of the road. My Safaricom internet stick barely worked at all and my Zain cellphone was equally effectively useless. I did come here hoping to do some work and it was very difficult. Of course they have an overpriced and slow-sleep business centre for your use as an alternative.

So generally - this is a nice place. I suggest you ask for a discount.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Dubai
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2009

The hotel itself is nice and direct on the beach. The rooms are nicely done in single/double bungalows or small houses. It looks like a little village. We've heard a lot of positive comments about the hotel before the Jacaranda chain took over. Before this they belonged together with Masai Mara Keekerok Lodge and Amboseli Ol Tukai Lodge. Those two are still great with excellent service and fantastic staff. But Indian Ocean Beach Club obviously changed. There are definitely some members of the staff, who are really nice. These guys work mostly outside the restaurant. In the restaurant we found a special kind of staff. Here is our major complaint. Service is not friendly at all. Food is sometimes finished already one hour before the restaurant is closing. Two times we had problems with our bill, since there was more written as we had. In general the hotel is alright, if you stay outside the restaurant. Inside the restaurant check your bills carefully.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
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Additional Information about Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Resort

Address: North Road, Diani Beach, Ukunda 80400, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda > Diani Beach
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in Diani Beach
#14 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Resort 4*
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Also Known As:
Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Club Hotel Diani
Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Hotel
Indian Ocean Beach Club

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