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“Reservation Staff Sucks But Hotel is Superb!” 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 | Ukunda, Diani Beach, Ukunda, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 31 Hotels in Diani Beach
Mombasa, Kenya
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Reservation Staff Sucks But Hotel is Superb!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

I have to start by complaining about the reservation staff at his hotel. I was in charge of booking this hotel for a team building weekend with my office and it took me more than a week to get this sorted. Reservation take forever to reply to emails and are on very long lunches when you call them. The reservation manager was also very rude and patronizing when we were checking in and if we had not already paid, we would have moved to another hotel.

However, that was the only unpleasant aspect of our stay. The hotel is quite nice and the rooms are adequate (we all stayed in standard rooms). The best thing about the hotel is the meals- I have never seen such a spread at any of the other hotels I have stayed at at the Coast. There is a wide variety of dishes at all meals such that you never get bored. And the fruit carver was very skilled.

All in all we had a great time and did not want to leave at the end.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this review, May 29, 2014
Dear Angelicdisgrace,

Thank you for your beautiful pictures, wonderful and open review of the Southern Palms Beach Resort. It made us feel very proud to hear that your visit to Southern Palms was what you described as “great time, good meals and did not want to leave at the end”. But there was one blot on an otherwise perfect review, your disappointment with your emails being not replied to on time as anticipated and your check in.

We have addressed the issue with the Managers on duty during your check in and apologize for the misunderstanding. As you can observe from previous reviews, there has been no complaints from any guests about late replies to emails or rudeness, on the contrary many compliments have been received from satisfied guests about our professional attitude and friendly nature of our staff.

We really do want everyone to have a great time when they stay with us and we are very disappointed when we fail. We hope that this will not hamper your idea to return back to Southern Palms and look forward to welcoming you back again.

Thank you once again for choosing Southern Palms for your stay and we look forward to your next visit with us.

Kind regards
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988 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 (151)
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Yorkshire
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2014

We stayed here in March/April it takes 1/1/2 hours to the ferry and then however long the queue is to cross if your lucky 20minutes wait or an hour then a 10 minute crossing then a further 30 minutes from the ferry to the Southern Palms we dropped off at 2 hotels on the way which is the norm apparently so you also have the same going back. The hotel is immaculate the food is good, entertainment like most hotels we paid for dinner on the beach if I'm honest its not worth the money we only did it because my husband wanted the Lobster and that was very small sorry Gallo!! Ice is a major problem here NO ice for drinks I have never stayed in a hotel were they do not put ice in cocktails/drinks or have ice machines the poor bar staff are run ragged going from pool/ beach/ bar to restaurant bar for ice then only able to bring back tiny amounts. They constantly ran out of the bottled beer my husband and his friend were drinking they have to go to another bar to exchange beer. The constant signing- 3 times you have to sign on one chitty!! at first it was annoying till we understood if the poor staff didn't get it signed correctly they are charged by the hotel for any under/over discrepancy it has to be exact or they don't earn any wages for that day because a bottle of beer is nearly a days wage to them and they don't find out till the following day if the stock is correct!! But they just smile and say but its ok!! We found all the staff to be very friendly some told some truly outlandish stories to get you to feel sorry for them so you would give them money so do be aware of this we did catch out 3 /4 of them, as we met a large group of people and of course we all talked and found we all got a different tale!! Naughty really because they were the ones that lost out all the ones who didn't lie to us got the tips. Our last visit to Kenya was 10 years ago we stayed at Sun & Sand this is a much nicer resort. I will say when we ventured out we did think the drug problem had got worse the children are still hungry and living in shacks but the parents are managing to find money for drugs so really any Aid we send is going up the nose or in the arms of the parents but then its the same everywhere. Ali Baba's is well worth a visit and cheap. Forty Thieves is good for a drink and great to get out of resort . Safaris are amazing an unforgettable experience. Overall we had a fab holiday the hotel is recommended but we wont return to Kenya again.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2014

Absolutely loved this hotel. We went all inclusive. Unlike some other all inclusive resorts this was the real deal. In other places they serve you a beer in a plastic cup. Small measures etc. Not so here - you get the full bottle, as often as you like. And the cocktails my wife in were full of alcohol!! The Kenyan and Ugandan beer was perfect. Ice cool at the beach bar!
The seafood restaurant was great but not on the all inclusive - we had fresh grilled lobster - awsome and well priced.
The staff were really lovely, very friendly and helpful. Good sense of humour too. Nice people, would love to see them again.
The all inclusive food was very good - full English breakfast even!
The beach was pristine and big, with a perfectly blue sea. Truly beautiful.
The rooms were great. They ceilings have oak beams which give it an old fashioned look - I think this is why some people say the bedrooms are dated. They are not dated at all, they're perfectly modern, it's just the design. Our balcony was great but we had to keep the doors shut incase monkeys came in.
Overall a great resort. The all in inclusive in the resort was superior to anything I've had before. No con, truly all inclusive. Food all day long and drinks too. Loved it. Would highly recommend it.
Faults? Only got one key for the room which meant my wife and I had to coordinate a bit. But really, no big deal. Perfect resort in lovely Diani

Room Tip: Book the sea food restaurant. Not on the all inclusive but really cheap and the 5 course with lobste...
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  • Stayed May 2014, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this review, May 20, 2014
Dear Nivekskevin,

Thank you so much for your absolutely wonderful review and very kind recommendation for
Southern Palms Beach Resort. Your full report is indeed helpful to all the future guests who would love to spend their holiday with us. We are happy that you loved everything about our beautiful hotel, more so the All Inclusive concept, all with the much preferred drinks in the bottles and not the draught make us outstanding from our competitors in the all inclusive market.

The beautiful beach, Superb food especially the seafood from our Samaki Restaurant proudly done by our own chef, not forgetting the always friendly staff who are warm and accommodating.

We are glad you enjoyed your entire holiday and wouldn't hesitate to pack and come back again.
We too will be looking forward to your next visit.

Thank you and warm regards,
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Kent, Washington
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2014

Stayed begging of May.Hotel great staff marvouless .Holiday cut short by trouble in Mombasa & Nirobi .Pappa Gallo still owes me and my 3 friends a lobster.Lunch &evenning meals not very interesting .Lillian very helpfull and understanding very good at sorting out problems.May go back next year if problems in country have settled down such a shame as Kenyan people are very friendly.

Room Tip: My room overlooked the garden which was very peaceful
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this review, May 21, 2014
Dear Paul,

Thank you for the wonderful review on Southern Palms Beach Resort, short and precise . We are happy to hear that you had a great marvelous time during your short time stay and is looking forward to return.

We will welcome you back anytime you are ready.

Thank you and kind regards
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Cardiff, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2014

Unfortunately I only had the pleasure of staying here a short time because we had to evacuate Kenya Thursday, although there was no sense of a threat at all at the time.

The hotel is immaculately kept, the grounds, gardens, the public areas and Diani beach are beautiful. My room was perfect and cleaned to a good standard each morning and evening.

The quality and the choice of food was great, I gained almost half a stone in 3days (lol)..
TIP - Don't leave you're food alone on the table for too long or you have it stolen by the cheeky monkeys (lol) (see my picture of them eating my pancakes ) The staff were apologetic towards this but honestly, it was fine, i laughed along with the other guests in the restaurant, it was a fun experience for us all.

The staff in this hotel are amazing, they take the time to acknowledge you everyday. I was kindly greeted with a smile and a "jumbo" (hello) so often.
Lillian who works in guest relations is wonderful, she so friendly and helpful. I'm not very good with remembering names but all the staff I had met from the waiters, receptionist, bar staff, security, entertainment, cleaners, gardeners were very friendly.
To the manager : you truly do have amazing staff, take care of them:)
With regards with the previous comment regarding prostitues, I honestly didn't see any during my stay here.
The only negative comment i could make is the availability of Wi-Fi, its only available in the reception area and the speed is painfully slow. I don't think it would cost much for the hotel to invest in wi-fi in more areas throughout the hotel & make a lot of guests happy.

Thanks southern palms, good luck with the situation in Kenya, hopefully I can visit southern palms soon

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled solo
    • 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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southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this review, May 22, 2014
Jambo Craiguko!!!! We are indeed sorry that you had to leave before the end of your holiday but happy to hear you enjoyed every bit of it during your short stay. That you found Southern Palms worth of your special holiday is an honor to us, the lovely hotel well kept, beautiful grounds, fantastic beach, good food and most specially the staff you very highly recommend makes us all very proud. To have such a wonderful and dedicated team is indeed not easy, it comes with a lot of hard work, trainings and incentives to keep up the motivation and when we have guests like you to evaluate and acknowledge giving us such high grades, we are most grateful.

Thank you once again for choosing Southern Palms Beach Resort for your stay. We look forward to welcoming you back in the very near future!

Thank you and kind regards.
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1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2014

My boyfriend and I had booked a week at Southern Palms but unfortunately due to impending terror attacks, the FCO advised all Brits to leave kenya immediately meaning that our holiday only lasted three days and two nights. During our time at the hotel though, the staff were extremely friendly and accommodating which was great, although they were a little slow when it came to drinks service and having to sign our name, room number, all inclusive wrist band number after every drink was a little tedious. The food at the hotel wasn't great - some hygiene issues here as food wasn't covered up properly and was often covered with flies! I've actually had a bit of an upset stomach since our stay with the resort and I think it could be due to this. I would have also appreciated some more evening entertainment - the main entertainment here seemed to just be a disco every night. The pool was really well kept and lovely, and the swim-up bar was great too. The rooms however weren't as well kept - bugs and midges everywhere. The beach locals were very friendly but hassled us a lot, forcing us to buy their stuff just so that we could get away - would have appreciated some more intervention from the hotel's security guard as the locals wouldn't take no for an answer. Overall good experience at the hotel but sad to have had to leave after such a short stay!

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
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Zwolle, The Netherlands
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2014

We visitied this resort fro the second time in a few years. Economic crisis and terrorism in Kenya can be felt here, as there were only a few quests, I guess less than 100. The hotel has a capacity of 600.
The rooms are very nice, and check in was smoothly. On our request - with our experience here - we got a ground floor room. Very convenient.
Room cleaning service and service in the restaurant was very good. The buffet offers a good range of food, in some cases prepared at the site.
The bar tender at the beach was a little slow, he seemed not too motivated.
THe worst thing here were at least 3 guests with young child prostitutes. Western men of over 60 walking around with a child of not even 18, observing them. We were confronted with them all over the day around the resort, and it was discusting to see. These kids should swim in the sea, in stead of... I really don't get it why the hotel allows this. They are in the position to block this sexual child trading, but they don't. In 2010 it was a fine family resort, with this, it isn't anymore.

Room Tip: Ground floor, not too closee to the bar area.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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, May 14, 2014
Dear Karl,

It was a great joy to welcome you the second time. We appreciate your comments on our very nice clean rooms, smooth check in, good range of food on our buffet as well as wonderful service which all went along to make your holiday enjoyable.

We however, acknowledge your other part of the review with a great deal of concern. As anyone who knows the far reaching reputation of Southern Palms and the high esteem in which the hotel is held by the thousands of guests who vacation with us each and every year will be aware, the situation of which you complain is an extremely regrettable, but isolated one. As per the Kenyan laws child prostitution is strictly prohibited. We are a family hotel and take pride in not entertaining any form of prostitution in particular child prostitution in which we have signed a child harassment policy in our resort. Its our daily procedure to take the passports or identity cards copies of all guests visiting with us (as we did with your passports) to ascertain their age as well as for security purposes, we therefore disagree with your statement.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future and thank you once again for choosing Southern Palms Beach Resort for your stay.

Kind regards
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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:
#5 Family Hotel in Diani Beach
#6 Romantic Hotel in Diani Beach
#8 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
#9 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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