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“Very good - it has good beer and a gym.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Southern Palms Beach Resort

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Southern Palms Beach Resort
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Diani Beach Road, Diani Beach, Ukunda, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #11 of 32 Hotels in Diani Beach
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“Very good - it has good beer and a gym.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

Hotel General,
Well laid out, only half full when we were there so plenty of space. The grounds are well kept and attractive the hotel is not huge so it does not take long to get to your room/meal/sun bed. Music stops at 11pm prompt so no rooms are better than the others as far as noise is concerned.
Food
At first I was disappointed, it was not awful just that I have had better (and much worse) By week two I had the following view. The grill restaurant is fantastic and although you need to book, it is in the AI package. Italian is OK but they managed remove all the taste from my chicken.
Main restaurant, Most of the meat was overcooked some of it I gave up chewing, The stir frys and grilled meats where better but the beef was always tough. Other selections such as pasta, Indian the veggies ETC were always good and all will always eat well.
Breakfast was good, but I would have liked a bit of variety in the serial.
At all times the tea was awful take your own tea bags!
The fruit man makes fantastic fruit carvings but the variety of fruit was limited. Be aware the oranges are green but taste good.
The highlight was the cakes, they have employed a pastry chef from Cairo, who surprisingly given his job is the thinnest person in the hotel.
To my knowledge no one got ill from the hotel. Some who ate out did.
Bars.
Beer drinkers—good news, No beer on tap, all in 500ml bottles, all lager of course but apart from the 3 flat ones I had and one that was filled with water ( no doubt a thirsty security guard at the factory) It was good, my drinking buddy who I met there ‘J’ thought the same. The cocktails were okay with about 6 included on the AI menu and Mrs W and J’s girlfriend ‘N’ stuck to them and the acceptable AI wine.
Beach
It looked good but was spoilt by the beach boys. The sea was rough so we did not really use it.
Pool

Hotel take note! Every two beds should have one umbrella, not one between 10.

If you did not bag an umbrella early, then you had to sit under the trees to get any shade. Also the umbrellas are thin and you will tan through them at a guess they are SPF 10.
The pool staff are a credit to the hotel, Ali and Hussan worked like bees to keep everyone happy and nothing was too much trouble, both mature men they looked after my wife when I was not there and were meticulous about the chemical levels in the pool and the cleanliness. This was important to me as I use the pool and have seen some poor maintance in other counties including Europe.
Gym
OK standard , some of the weights were older than me but safe and in a good variety. Two running machines, I found the right one slipped and pointed it out to Rashid who was going to look at it. Two bikes, both about two years old one worked well the other I did not use as the pedal straps had gone. One stepper which worked.
Safari
See my review of JT, one couple got a safari of the beach vendor but mine was better value. JT was better than Thompsons. Food in the lodges is better than the hotel. Salt Lick is a must.
Rooms
Clean, but in need of some attention. For instance our bathroom bin did not work and looked about 10 years old. The tap and shower head had green lime scale, who knows when they were last removed and cleaned. Beds, clean and comfy.
Staff
Mostly excellent, some tried to sell us things for which they could be sacked and I did not bother with them again. Obviously those who spoke English the best where able to become better friends with us. Taking into account that you do not mix with all the staff the same amount and I can not recall all their names.
Thanks to Ali and Hussan at the pool. Paul (who was not there when I left to say goodbye to) and the pool bar staff. Frank the best waiter and great fun. Anne the clerk from the main bar who helped my wife when she had a problem with no fuss, Robert and Julius from the grill who gave us two great nights.
Be nice to the security guards they do 12 hour shifts it must be boring.
Enertainment
The staff sketch show is good enough for TV and the sunbed sketch says everything you need to know better than I can. Bingo was fantastic keep the unreadable Chinese balls it was comedy gold
Well done team

Note to hotel
We are AI we should not need to sign for everything especially having to write 4 things on the form. Other hotels do without it and neither should you. Trust your staff to just note it down on a log for stock purposes.
Also the mini bar items that are covered by AI should not be an extra cost

Room Tip: All seemed the same
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 20, 2013
Dear Wrant,

Greetings to you and your family. We love to receive positive reviews like
yours and we also appreciate your views on possible area of improvement!

It was good to know that you rated the grill restaurant so highly, but a
little disappointing that you had some reservations about the main
restaurant.

Your positive remarks about the cleanliness of the pool area and the
meticulous attention given by Ali and Hussan were appreciated and so were your
views of the gym. It was good to hear that you found the staff were
excellent and those you have named have been made aware of your kind words.

We have taken note on your comments about guests, including those on an AI
package, signing for everything but be assured that this really is standard
practice at both north and south coast hotels. However we're more than
happy that overall you really enjoyed your holiday with us.

Best regards,

Betty.

Guest relations.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,031 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (162)
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English first
Birmingham, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2013

We would like to start by saying we would gladly recommend this hotel and we would definitely stay here again if we return to Kenya. The positives - The staff were fabulous and constantly asked if we were ok/enjoying ourselves-particularly Hussain! The entertainment crew worked very hard. They were always upbeat and jovial and the entertainment itself was very good in the main. Particularly Charles and the 'magic man' who kept us entertained for hours!
The food was good. Geoffrey who worked on the fruit section was a star and so creative with his 'fruit art'! Monica was fabulous on the Omelette & pasta station too. I'm not too fussy so I always had options however my husband did struggle sometimes for variety but there is always the pasta station which is lovely! Amazingly we never got bitten by mossies even though there were plenty around but I think this is partly due to the hotel spraying everywhere & leaving candles out too. The negatives -To be fair, this was our most expensive holiday ever but sadly you don't get the same value for money here as you might elsewhere in the world (we went to Mauritius for less last year and stayed at a 5 star resort). If we're honest, the hotel feels more like a 3.5 star than a 4 star. The hotel room we stayed in was fairly basic but adequate however the shower was very dated, the water flow was slow to say the least and you had to leave it running for sometime before you could get any hot water! The hawkers on the beach were by far the worse aspect of our stay (which I guess cant be so bad!). You cant walk down to the water without being harassed however the security guards at the hotel do a good job of keeping them away when they can. The monkeys were entertaining but a little alarming but not too much of an issue! Overall we had a very pleasant stay at Southern Palms and it really was a holiday to remember. Even though we were travelling with First Choice, we booked our safari through JT who provided a magnificent experience for us which we will never forget - all in all, our holiday was amazing.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 20, 2013
Dear 188LIsaP,

Hello Lisa. We were so happy to learn that you and your husband had a
holiday to remember at Southern Palms and that you would recommend us to
other potential guests.

Every member of staff mentioned by name were thrilled to know that you
described them all as being fabulous!

We accept the points you raise and would point out that plans are in hand
for refurbishment of rooms. That apart, we are delighted that you still had
an amazing holiday.

Warm regards,

Betty.

Guest relations.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
united kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

Excellent 4 Star Hotel, great staff always smiling and could not do enough for us. We could not fault anything about this wonderful place, a big thank you to Hussain, Frank, Felix , Stephen,and of course Josphat who look after us on the beach. Thank guys will not forget your hospitality and kindness, will definitely be back next year all being well. The beach boys are a pain but have got to earn a living. It would have been nice to take a stroll along the beach without being hounded by them, don't let this put you off this great place.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 20, 2013
Dear Janetc 130,

Everyone here was delighted to learn that you plan to return to Southern
Palms next year. We are already counting the weeks until we see you again
and can't wait to provide you with the same high standard of service you
received during your recent vacation.
Asante sana

Best regards,

Betty.

Guest relation.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

My husband and I just returned following a two week honeymoon at this hotel and we had one of the best holidays we have ever had! I cannot praise the staff enough from the security staff, pool attendants through to the animation team and the waiters. Everyone we came into contact with could not do enough for us. The staff genuinely care about their guests and want them to have a great holiday. There are far to many to mention on here but some staff that really stood out to us were Hamisi Dzambo (chef), David & Tobias (thanks for the lovely omelettes & pizza), Josphat Nzuki, Lugwe Masumbuko, Geoffery Gachery (security), Linet mideva (trainee waitress), Frank Muturi, Felix Kivuva and geoffrey (fruit artist) who prepared us delicious fruit every morning. There were many more we could add to this list.
The animation team were brilliant! I miss the sound of uncle sam & charlie in the mornings. They tried to get you involved but were not too pushy if you didn't want to join in. The evening entertainment was good and varied. The beach walks with the animation team were a great idea as you got to walk the beach with no hassel from the beach boys.
The rooms were spotless as were the grounds and pool area. The staff work very hard and the pool attendants work effortlessly to keep the pools clean. The beach is lovely and the security staff work hard to keep the beach boys at bay.
The food was delicious and well varied. There was the main restaurant where there was buffet food with lots of choice at breakfast, lunch & dinner. There was the boritti snack restaurant which cooked great pizza along with lots of other choices of great snacks. There was a grill restaurant where the waiters serve the food at your table. I could not find any fault with the food. Truly exceptional!
We plan on returning to Southern palms again in the future and cannot wait to meet many members of the staff again. They helped shape our honeymoon into the best holiday ever.
Thank you everyone at Southern Palms, you all deserve to be very proud of yourselves for your hard work!! We can't wait to return. Michelle & Tony

  • Stayed September 2013, 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.
southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 20, 2013
Dear Missymop,

How proud you have made us feel by saying that we helped make your honeymoon
the best holiday ever!
You are so right, all the staff at Southern Palms do genuinely care about
all the guests and it is always their aim to ensure everyone has a great
vacation.

The chefs and waiters were delighted to learn that you found the food was
exceptional both in quality and quantity and were to pool and gardeners for
your kind remarks about their work. The individual members of staff have
been told of your praise for their efforts all say a big thank-you.

We were so happy to learn that you plan to return to Southern Palms again in
the future and we promise you a warm welcome when that day arrives.

Best regards,

Betty.

Guest relation.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ghent, Belgium
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

The staff was super friendly. The food was good. Enough variation. Nice activities. Great pool. The beach is fantastic, despite the beachboys. Very well maintained. Very clean. WATCH OUT: check out is at 10 AM everything after that is to be paid for. Even if you're all inclusive and your transfer to the airport is only hours after check out.

Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 13, 2013
Dear cj21989,

Thank you so much for your praise of the staff, the hotel and everything
that goes with it. We were sorry that the check-out time was a concern, but
this to enable to housekeeping staff to do their work thoroughly and in time for the next arriving guest as we strive to maintain our very high standards of comfort and cleanliness. We very much
appreciate your comments.

Warm regards,

Betty.

Guest Relations.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Basildon, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

Hi all, myself and my husband just returned from this hotel and are already looking to go again and we never return to the same place twice, so I will give you as much info as I can.
To start with the service and staff here are brilliant, nothing is too much trouble and they genuinely care about their guests.
The food is great, varied and of high quality. For breakfast there were things like pork, chicken and beef sausages (yes all 3 types), bacon, eggs, omelette, potatoes, tomatoes, fruit, cereal and toast and much more!! Lunch you could have at the main Buffett which was very good offering things like fresh pasta, soup, salad, ribs, fish, chicken and Indian food or you could go to the boritti bar with things on offer like burgers, hotdogs, chips, fresh made pizza, fish and again lots more....just soooo much choice!!
Then we go onto dinner where you could have the main Buffett which again there were many choices and amazing melon carvings and desserts or you can eat at the grill where you have the waiter come to your table and serve you meat from a skewer, we had chicken, beef, lamb and fish and they just keep walking around giving you more.
There was also the Italian restaurant which we didn't visit as the menu was not to our liking but many people we met enjoyed it, personnel preference I suppose!
The swimming pool area was gorgeous and kept very clean by the hard working pool attendants, one who stood out to us was called Hassan and he was so friendly and happy.
The rooms are a bit dated but very clean and comfortable, beds were a bit hard for my liking but the pillows were lovely, the staff put your mozzy nets down every evening and as well as a fiull clean in the morning they also emptied bins and remade beds if needed in the evening too.
The activities were great, the animation team are fantastic people and very well organised although not too pushy if you didn't want to join in they let you be, we did the beach walk twice which was good but a long walk of nearly an hour, water aerobics and pétanque and enjoyed them all.
Different entertainment every night from dancers, snake shows, quiz nights, live bands and much more, only complaint is it finishes too early at 11pm, you just start enjoying yourself and the music is finished and packed up.
The only bad thing about this hotel was being harassed by the guys on the beach, it was impossible to go alone on the beach but I will say if you stay on the sunbeds near the hotel the security staff were great and kept them away and if they saw you being harassed they were over to help you out in seconds.....first class service yet again!!
We loved this holiday and can't wait to return, I would recommend to anyone so don't hesitate just book your stay here and say hi from us!
Lastly I must give the names of the staff who made our holiday very special indeed, they will remain our friends forever so thank you to the animation team: Uncle Sam, bobo, Jenny, Peter, Charlie, Omar and all of the animators, also to linet (trainee waitress) Jeffery, hammisey, Felix,David, hussain and frank, but mostly to Maurice on the animation team who looked after us every night and made us feel very welcome indeed....all a true credit to the hotel, but every staff member was great here, 4*hotel but 5* service!

Thank you southern palms for some lovely memories, we will be back!

suzie and john golding

Room Tip: Sea view are beautiful but the sea is very rough at night so can be very noisy, but worth it for the...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 13, 2013
Dear suziegolding,

Greetings Suzie and John. When you tell us that you normally never visit the
same place twice and yet you are already looking to return to Southern
Palms, it fills us with so much pride.

Your kind words have delighted each and every member of staff you singled
out for praise. They appreciate your comments so very much and all remember
you both with affection.

We were delighted with your reaction to the hotel facilities and many activ
ities ­ and when you spoke about the quality and listed the great variety of
food on offer, it really began to make us feel hungry!

It gave us great pleasure in helping to create some wonderful holiday
memories and we look forward to welcoming you back next year.

Kind regards,

Betty.

Guest Relations.
Report response as inappropriate
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Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

Jambo everyone. We stayed at the Southern Palms for 2 weeks and it was one of the best holidays we have had. We arrived in the early morning on Sunday and were allocated our rooms after a short wait (Which allowed us time for breakfast). Unfortunately our first room had a few minor problems which meant we had to move. After a short sleep, we were allocated another room without much fuss. The reception Team handled this hiccup very efficiently.

The food in all of the restaurants we used was to a high quality. The fruit carvings created by 'Picasso' were brilliant. The barbecue restaurant is also worth a worthy mention.

The grounds of the hotel are very well manicured including the massive pool. During our stay we encountered monkeys every day. They would wonder past looking for anything eatable, which includes people sneaking bananas out of the restaurant.

We think the thing that made the holiday great (Aside from the Masi Mara Safari) was the friendly staff. Every body from the Waiters and Managers to the Grounds Men and Security Staff, would greet us with JAMBO. A special thank you is saved for the Animation Team, in particular Bobo, Jennifer, Peter and Omah. They kept us involved and entertained throughout the holiday with water polo, beach volley ball and water aerobics. (Omah needs a bit more practise on the Pool table). We enjoyed many an evening in their company, dancing and bantering. They really made the holiday special.

On a more practical front. Don't take any towels. (The hotel provides these for the room, pool and beach). There is a hair dryer in the room. Take a travel iron if your concerned about creases. The entertainment finishes at 23:00, so getting a good nights rest was not a problem. Don't worry about the beach sellers, go on the guided walks at 10:30 each morning, which are accompanied by a security guard until you get a feel for it. Any spare weight allowance in your outbound luggage, fill with pencils and drawing/writing books for the local schools and orphanages, they will love you for it. Have a very special meal at Ali Barba's Cave. You will be picked up and dropped back at the hotel for free.

Thank you Southern Palms for making our first trip to Kenya a very enjoyable and memorable one.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 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.
southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 13, 2013
Hi Kim.

It was so good to discover that your vacation was so good and everyone here
at Southern Palms is so happy to have made your first trip to our beautiful
country enjoyable and memorable. We are delighted that you enjoyed our high
quality food and also found our grounds and pool area so pleasing as they
are something in which we take great pride.

Despite the minor problem on your arrival, which you kindly said was
handled so well at reception, it was reassuring to know that from then on
everything went well. Asante sana.

Best regards,

Betty.

Guest Relations.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Southern Palms Beach Resort

Address: Diani Beach Road, Diani Beach, Ukunda, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda > Diani Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Family Hotel in Diani Beach
#7 Romantic Hotel in Diani Beach
#9 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Southern Palms Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 298
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This dramatic hotel with its fantastic pools and beautiful beach is the perfect spot to relax after a safari… or simply visit to relax! The warm and very African feel of the hotel with comfortable rooms, well appointed bathrooms and selection of restaurants offers guests plenty of places to lounge in the sun and almost as many shady spots to enjoy a bit of a breeze and a good book. All rooms have quiet, split unit air conditioners, televisions, mini fridges and coffee and tea making facilities. There is a safe (chargeable) in each room and a business center located in the main building with internet or wifi access in public areas. The drama of the huge, traditional makuti (thatched) roof in the main restaurant offers the Chef a terrific showcase for a varied selection of local and international dishes on the buffet or you could indulge at one of the a la carte restaurants (chargeable) for a special occasion or just a quiet evening for two. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Southern Palms Beach Hotel Diani
Southern Palms Beach Diani

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