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“Superb, excellent food and the friendliest staff!” 5 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 | Ukunda, Diani Beach, Ukunda, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 30 hotels in Diani Beach
Swansea, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“Superb, excellent food and the friendliest staff!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2014

Much has already been said about how wonderful this resort is....and it truly lives up to the high expectations we had.
Arrived 14jan for two weeks and after a lovely welcome we were shown to the room type we had requested...high floor corner room.. Room 350. Simply furnished but with everything you need including a very decent hair dryer (ladies). We are always surprised when mini bars aren't included on All inc , and indeed the mini bar here was payable, though it was no bother to grab a couple of drinks from the many bars and take them up to your room. Air con worked well, though you need the key in the slot for it to work so avoiding guests leaving it on all day, however pm me for a tip on that subject!
Every member of staff we encountered bar none were happy friendly and appeared genuine and not looking for tips, which was very refreshing.
The food was some of the best we,ve had on All inc, and I generally don't care for buffets but there was such a wide, hot and tasty variety on offer that we ate in the main buffet most nights, the Indian corner in particular deserves high praise!
We tried the grill which was ok, not bad, the Italian, which is up on the roof of the bar was very good, serving pizzas and pasta and grilled chicken and steaks, we enjoyed our nights there with the only small criticism that the food comes out too quick between courses. Lunch by the pool was always wonderful and we had several very long wine fuelled lunches there!
We didn't venture down to the beach much due to the beach sellers has selling us, and you would need reef shoes to walk over the sea urchins. The sand was beautiful and wide and talcum powder white.
Lots of activities to keep you entertained during the day including escorted beach walks, should you chose to join in though we were never hassled by the animation team who were a great bunch.we chose to spend 5days then safari (WT&safaris) then back for another week.

We had the most wonderful, relaxing holiday and would return in a heartbeat, amazing !!

A quick note on safaris, we encountered many safari vans and jeeps crowded to the point of bursting.....and usually with Pollmans .. who Thomson and first choice use...and the cost was double the amount we paid to WT&SAFARIS for a private safari! Do your research.

Room Tip: We had corner room 350 on the top floor but it is windy up there.
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  • Stayed January 2014, 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 4
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, February 9, 2014
Dear TryandJim,

Your words are extremely gracious to our ears especially when you say "it was the most wonderful, relaxing holiday and would return in a heartbeat" and also that we lived up to your high expectation, the fab rooms, the excellent food that got you interested in buffets especially the awesome Indian cuisine, grill and Italian restaurant and the many happy staff that were always ready to serve you with a genuine smile.
Its sad that you didn't do much of the sea because of the beach traders, but believe me, they are harmless though you have to be firm with them if you do not need their services, this I believe isn't easy with some so we understand and glad that you loved your space in the magnificent pools.

Thank you so much and we hope to see you as soon as it can be.

Warm regards,

Betty.

Guest relations.
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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
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london
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2014 via mobile

Where do I start the best holiday I have ever been on
The southern palms cracking hotel.
Let's start with the rooms beautiful everything you could want and more.spotless and this was all down to the wonderful Stanley again thank you for my beautiful flowers on my bed for my birthday nothing was to much trouble you looked after us.
Now a special mention to Nancy who is so lovely she really looked after us at the fantastic pool bar everyday.
The pools are kept so clean and tidy and that's where my favourite comes in jimmy he is wonderful everyday clean towels all set up for us and that smile thank you jimmy.
The food at the restaurants is fantastic everyone from the buffet to the al a carte.
The wonderful Husain who arranged everything for me for my birthday and more
We went for a romantic dinner on the beach it was beautiful.
A big thank you to Betty she got my sandal fixed for me.
Nothing is to much trouble for any of the staff at the southern palms
The monkeys at the hotel are hilarious best not feed them they will not leave you alone but they are no bother.
We did a 3 day safari to salt lick booked before we went absaloutley fantastic our guide was amazing
Seeing all the wild animals was so emotional.
We are going back to Kenya next year and we will be staying with out a doubt at the southern palms.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 4, 2014
Dear LondoBettyhoop,

It is an absolute joy to hear you say, "this was your best holiday ever", especially as it fell on your birthday, what can I say! it is very rewarding to hear you remember everyone of us by name Nancy fantastic at the pool bar, Stanley your room attendant, Jimmy at your service with a smile you still remember, He shouts a big Jambo to you!, Hussein who arranged for your birthday and a wonderful Romantic dinner at the beach and finally me Miss Fix it!!,
We are glad that you enjoyed everything.

Thank you for the sound warning about feeding the monkeys. They are adorable creatures and irresistible to some but best left alone.

We look forward to seeing you this year again.

Warm regards,

Betty.

Guest relations.
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bridgend
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2014 via mobile

Myself and my partner stayed here in October time for two weeks and really enjoyed our stay. Husain was awesome and always made a point of checking that everything was ok etc. bar staff were great and always refilled drinks. Beach was nice although the beach sellers really are a pain, to a point where it makes going to the beach a hassle. But I know this can not be helped by the hotel staff. If it's your first time to Kenya this is a really great starting point. My only down side to this hotel was that the evening entertainment wasn't great and by the time you finally started getting in the mood it stopped. Apart from that everything was lush. And I will defiantly return at some point in the future. Thank you southern palms.. Kris and john

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 4, 2014
Dear Kristian 1989,

Greetings to you Kris and John, we are glad to hear from you, It is amazing to know that you enjoyed the services of the bar staff, and Hussein in particular, the nice beach, though the Beach traders can be a handful but of course the hotel has its vigilant security staff to ensure that our guests are comfortable within the hotel space.
We regret that evening entertainment did not meet your approval, allow me to point out that, we are a family hotel and after dinner the hotel has just 40 minutes for a show and another 40 minutes for inhouse music (disco) and as soon as it gets to 11:00pm we have to go silent for our guests to sleep. .We understand that you would have preferred that it takes abit longer, unfortunately we abide by the house license and sadly have to say goodnight.

We look forward to when you visit us again in future.

Thank you and Kind regards,

Betty.

Guest Relations
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redditch, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2014

Journey from airport is longer than you want it to be and even worse if you get caught in the traffic at Likoni Ferry which can add another 2.5 hours sat in queues.
Check in at the hotel was good and quick and we were all presented with a fresh coconut to drink from which was very nice. We were in our rooms within 20 minutes and have to say whilst first impressions were they were fairly basic, they really do serve a purpose and are more comfy than they look, the beds especially.

We were there over Christmas and the decorations were awesome. Huge Xmas trees everywhere, lights from tree to tree all over the gardens - it made the atmosphere feel even better than it was anyway and they all worked so hard to put these up.

Food
Wow, what can I say here; don't think we had a bad meal... Whichever restaurant you eat in I am sure you will be pleased. The downside to eating is that they try and push their wines (c£25+ per bottle) and also hold special events (parties) on the beach that you have to pay for and at £40 per person we refused to pay and didn't attend.

The Italian I would rate 5/10 and the grill 8/10. It's nice that you are served Ala-carte as opposed to buffet style, but have to say the 2nd meal at the Italian was our worst of the whole 2 weeks and definitely wouldn't have gone back again.
We much preferred the main restaurant where there is a wide range of foods (soups, salads, mains, meats, deserts, fresh fruit etc) and you simply help yourself. Another reason I preferred this place was they had an India corner which originally I was dubious of and though a gimmick to please the Brits, but wow was I wrong. T Indian influence on Kenya was massive and the food / curries are just to die for... Not necessarily scorching hot but so spicy and tasty I could have (and nearly did) just ate these for the whole 2 weeks.

Breakfast is buffet style again and the normal to expect; eggs stations, pancakes and waffles, sausages and bacon plus all accompaniments plus the fresh fruit. All very good.

If you sit in the main restaurant try sitting next to the pond they have and watching the fish bask in the sun, whilst the Weaver Birds will take bread from your hands and then go back to weaving their nests - a great way to do breakfast...

I need to make special mention of Geoffrey on the fruit section as he an absolute star. Not only does he prepare the fruit with care and a smile on his face, but he always has a smile on his face which is infectious and in addition, he is superb at carving the vegetable and fruits into some wonderful designs.

Lunch has the main buffet open again and also the outside grill area where you can sample homemade pizzas, the best fries ever, salads, burgers, stir fries- it really is all great. The outside grill area has to be one of the best places in the world to eat as you are virtually sat on the beach and the views are just stunning.

Pools & Sunbeds
What can I say about the Pools apart from SUPERB. They look great and are great. They are cleaned every day so if you are picky about clenliness then you have no worries here. You have swim up bars at both pools which I have to say are free form and absolutely massive with all different types of depths so caters for all.
The reviews before we left said there were not enough sun beds unless you were friendly and tipped the beach boys. Well the first bit is true as they do seem scarce although if you ask, as we did on the first day of arrival, then they will get you what you need.
I spoke with Henri (great lad) and all was sorted from the following day- towels and sun beds exactly where we wanted them and when Henri was not around his colleague Manda took over and ensured we got the same beds again. We had the same beds and same place by the pool for 2 weeks as did many others and no one seemed unhappy with where they were. It was wonderful service. Thanks guys- you really looked after us..

Kids club
Our daughter (8.5 years old) does not usually join these clubs, normally preferring the pool all day but we could not keep her away. Zubeda is the leader of the club and we cannot speak highly enough of her and her team (Bobo was our daughters favorite) how she looks after the kids and keeps them interested with different games and crafts etc. A real credit to the hotel plus helps them meet many holiday friends.
One of the highlights had to be the fashion show they produced,all of the kids borrowing clothes from the boutique shop and parading the catwalk in style. just great.

Entertainment Team
Just a great team and really something for everyone. I played water polo (or water fighting with the Germans) and beach volleyball every day, my Mum went and did water aqua aerobics twice daily with all ages and my wife looked after the beds, ensured the beer didn't go stale and caught the sun!!!

The evening entertainment on the whole was great with some stunning shows and acrobats / dancers. There were the occasional shows that mad you cringe as did some of the bands but it all made the ambiance of the place, after all its Africa so it can't be all samey.

Beach
We have been to the Caribbean and Hawaii and have to say this beach ranks with them all. Lovely pure white sand and although a little seaweed, its cleaned every day and is not a problem. The water is awesome and warmer than the average bath
Beach boys are a little pain but good sport for bartering with. We found Captain Nemo (out of complex onto beach and turn right- you will find him at end of complex (150 yards). If you want to go snorkelling to the reef he was brilliant for us swimming with you an pointing things out you would never know about and feeding the fish- wonderful sight to see Nemo fish, angel fish, zebra fish etc just brilliant.
With regards to snorkelling and the reef, we went to Kenya in 1996(just a mile or so further up the beach) and have to say remember the reef when it was virtually all alive and colourful so to see I with basically no colour and all dead was sad and disappointing but as I said earlier the fish we wanted to see are still there.

Bedrooms
As mentioned earlier, beds really comfortable and all other bits including hair dryer (quite powerful so the wife says!!) within the room you would expect.
One thing we noticed, if you have a kids single bed, they didn't have mosquito nets over them!! All main beds had 4 posters with built on nets although in fairness we only saw 1 mosi =in the room over 2 weeks.
We had George looking after our room and he was just great, immaculate clean rooms every day, fresh refills of water and coffee plus whatever you needed and he introduced us to his mates (dressed all in green) who basically supplied fresh coconuts on request - they climb while u wait and then prepare them so you can drink and then eat the flesh -it's a great sight and the milk is so sweet and refreshing it's just delightful. Nothing was ever too much for them
Our room numbers were 112/113 and we were very pleased. Ground floor, less than a minutes' walk anywhere and far enough from the entertainment area not to be too noisy at night (although it was never that bad)

General
Regards to the wifi, it's bloody useless so please don't waste your time and try to even make a connection as despite continually showing as four bars (i.e. full), the bandwidth must be minute as I only managed to connect half a dozen times in 2 weeks and even then it just continually frozen so don't waste your time...

The brochures state gentlemen need to wear trousers in the evening but there really is no dress code and 95% of all men wear shorts.

BIG TIP......The power socket they use are English. Take a 4 or 6 space extension lead as they only have 1 or 2 plugs in the rooms.

Overall
We would definitely go back again. It's a lovely hotel, great people excellent service and 3 generations satisfied adequately.

Room Tip: Have to say we had great room - 1 minute from everywhere 112 ground floor. Be aware that there are u...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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, February 4, 2014
Dear Lowey007,

Greetings Lowey, Thank you for taking your precious time to write this awesome review on Southern Palms Beach Resort. your full report is indeed helpful to all the future guests who would love to spend their holiday with us.
You couldn't have said it better than you already did. It is indeed a lovely hotel with great people, and excellent service for 3 generations all well catered for.
Christmas is very big to us and have our house traditions that see very many repeat guests visiting just to be part of the huge ceremony.
We are glad you acknowledged the effort put to make it a season to remember.
The good food, superb pools, kids entertainment club famous with Bobo and Zubeda , the great animation team, clean rooms especially with George your attendant has put a wide and radiant smile to our faces just to know it met with your approval.
We have noted the issue of the wifi and are looking for a solution.

Thank you once again and we look forward to your next visit as you promise.

Remember us to your lovely family and tell your daughter that Bobo says Jambo!!

Warm regards,

Betty.

Guest relations.
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Mombasa, Kenya
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2014

Been there for work purposes but I must say the rooms are ok and the food is lovely.. Not forgetting the jolly staff.. The place is truly elegant.. Though they need to train the staff more in being cordial.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 4, 2014
Dear Techamza,

Thank you for the wonderful review, short and precise . We are glad to know that we satisfy both holiday makers and those at work. your gracious words are very motivating especially when you mention the staff as jolly, nice rooms and lovely food. All adding up to a beautiful and elegant hotel.
We have taken note of the cordial training you suggested and will look into it, In the mean time thank you for visiting with us and we look forward to your next one soon.

Thank you and kind regards,

Betty .

Guest Relations.
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Ashford, United Kingdom
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2014 via mobile

What a wonderful place best holiday in 20years. Made some amazing friends and the service and attention was 5 star we can not wait to return. We both had appointments in the salon and shopped in the shop both top quality. The staff went out of their way to make us happy and the entertainment kept us amused all the time. Food excellent didn't want to go anywhere else. The sky divers just added to our amazing holiday and we were made to feel like the only people in this hotel well done especially Phil(porter who went beyond the call of duty) Stanley,( room attendant extradinair) Edward (good bar man)and Betty(a marvell). See you all soon

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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, January 24, 2014
Dear Phil P,

BEST HOLIDAY IN 20 YRS!!!! Wow, That could only happen here in Southern Palms and you absolutely discovered the secret!! THE STAFF, they crown your holiday experience with their warm sincere smiles and will stop at nothing to make sure all guests are completely satisfied and happy. The new fond friends you made all adds to the 5 star attention and services you personally received as is with all our loving guests.
The excellent food, amazing sky divers, as well as our staff Phil, Stanley, Edward and last but not least Me among others. Thank you so much for your kind words, we too are happy to add you as our beloved guest.

We all cannot wait to see you very soon. Karibu Tena!.

Warm regards,

Betty.

Guest relations.
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Birmingham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2014 via mobile

In short southern palms resort is absolutely out of this world. And the staff there are some of the most friendliest I have ever met in the world. Just to mention a few Frederick (the president ) Alfonso the room attendant. Stephen the beach bar waiter., noor, Hussein, frank, defense, Betty, all of who including all the other very special staff were just amazing in every way. Me and my girlfriend stayed at this resort and it has firmly embedded itself in our hearts. The people of Kenya are lovely in every way. And we will going back definately. The food was beautiful, the resort was immaculate and the beach was just perfect.

Stayed January 2014
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, January 24, 2014
Dear John S,

John in short, We are the World's Best. The best hotel, the staff, Crazy Mr President, Alfonso, Stephen, Noor, Hussein, Frank, Defense and Me of course. We are extremely enthralled to know that we all hold a special place in your hearts.
The good people of Kenya, beautiful food, clean resort and perfect beach, What more can we say!! other than we all wait in anticipation for your return.

Pass our love to your delightful girlfriend with a big Jambo!

Thank you and warm regards,

Betty.

Guest Relations.
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Additional Information about Southern Palms Beach Resort

Address: Diani Beach Road | Ukunda, 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:
#3 Family Hotel in Diani Beach
#7 Romantic Hotel in Diani Beach
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
#9 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Southern Palms Beach Resort 4*
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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