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“Great holiday, excellent value” 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
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great holiday, excellent value”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2014

We stayed her for 2 weeks end on March and had a fabulous holiday. The hotel is lovely, with nice bar, shop and restaurant, the pool is lovely and has swim up bars, jacuzzi and plenty of comfortable sun loungers. Food is good, the buffet can get a bit repetitive, the snack bar has a good menu to order from and food is served fresh and is good, there are 2 restaurants, Italian and grill bar, we did not go but other guests said they were worth a visit. The beach bar is a great place to sit in the shade and have a cool beer, the selection of bottled beers is also good, but if you like a shot of lime, or black currant take your own with you in your case!

The staff are all good, it is a poor country so they do rely on tips but they do not ask, just drop the odd hint! The beach is lovely, and the sea is as warm as the bath, there are market stalls on beach on both sides of hotel, as well as beach boys walking up and down waiting for guests, most guests did not venture to the beach as the sellers can be very persistent and will follow you for miles in the hope you will buy from them or give them money.

The monkeys in the hotel made my holiday they were lovely going In your bags stealing any food in sight they were great, we had a ground floor room which was good as we only dad to nip over the wall to get into the room, however we did have some little visitors ( cockroach, beetle and lizard), tip if there is a gap under your door block it up with a towel.

The rooms are clean and comfortable, the lovely hard working gardeners bought me flowers every morning whilst I was sat reading on our patio, don't forget them if you want to give a tip!

We went out of the complex and walked to the souvenir shop Moiz boutique ( out of front of hotel turn left you will find it, great value and no hassle shopping, we went to Ali baba restaurant and forty thieves bar both really worth a visit, reception will book for you and the restaurant will send a taxi ( no charge).

The highlight of our holiday was our safari, we went 2days, 1 night to Tsavo national parks, we stayed at salt lick lodge which was amazing. We looked at several companies to book with but found Go-Africa-Safari's, this company specialises in trips for people with disabilities but takes trips for people who do not need support. Our driver John was fantastic, I do not know how he found some of the animals but he went out of his way to find everything I wanted to see, the trip was priced the same as other local operators but the difference is that Go-Africa-Safari's are also linked to the Diani children's village, which provides a home for orphaned children, a school in shimba hills for children with disabilities and provides start up loans for children, We booked because we wanted to ensure during our stay we gave something back to vulnerable people in this country so for us it was an obvious choice knowing the money for our trip was supporting such fabulous work, and the trip was faultless!

All in all a fabulous holiday, tip do try to see more than just the Inside of the hotel, arrange to visit the local schools and villages, and go and see the work that is done in Diani Children's village.

  • Stayed March 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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953 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 (143)
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Nairobi, Kenya
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2014

Stunning hotel in enviable position right on Diani Beach, enormous free form pool winding its way around pagodas and bridges, lovely gardens, spacious rooms with generous balconies, well equipped bathrooms and beautiful traditional furniture, great first impressions and a warm welcome. But- yes, there's a but, and not just one unfortunately. It's a great shame what the British FCO warning and subsequent evacuation of British tourists has done to the tourist trade in this beautiful part of Kenya, and the result is a drastically reduced service at this particular hotel whilst others have had to close completely. Having said that, some of the penny-pinching issues we have encountered during our stay were probably already present even before. To list but a few, in no particular order: the cheapest terrible teabags (when Kenyan tea is so wonderful!), disgusting coffee, inedible cornflakes which had the consistency and taste of cardboard, tired fruit on all the buffet displays not protected against flies, charging for a box of matches and- a first in any hotel I've stayed in- reception charging for the cost of a local phone call to reserve us a table at a local restaurant, honestly! The beautiful beach is badly looked after- no cleaning of the massive daily invasion of seaweed, which prevents guests from walking on the beach for a good half of the day. All the staff were very friendly and helpful (with the exception perhaps of reception/reservations as previously commented on by reviewers), but somehow it seemed there was a lack of management, except perhaps from accountants. Half of the outlets were not open, including the enormous, stunning, beautifully furnished main dining room, because it wasn't very busy, so we had to have all our meals in the Boriti Snack Bar. When it got a bit busier for dinner on Friday night, quite a bit of the food ran out. The food on the whole is of average standard and quality, be it from the buffet or the limited menu.There is just one computer available in the reception area for internet use which is extremely slow. A small team of beauty therapists provide massages, treatments and haidressing in a small salon and there's a small gym. Having said all that, we did enjoy our stay and even extended it by 2 nights-our favourite bits were the pool and the comfortable room with that gorgeous view of the Indian Ocean from our terrace. I just wish this beautiful place could find a way to maximise its potential without sacrificing quality.

Room Tip: top (2nd) floor ocean view room hard to beat
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, June 12, 2014
Dear Cornelia,

Greetings to you both and thank you for your review of Southern Palms Beach Resort!

We’re delighted that you enjoyed your stay and described the hotel as “stunning hotel in enviable position” loved the pools, garden, the rooms and most specially the helpful and friendly staff you very highly recommend makes us all very proud.

We are sorry the tea, coffee and cornflakes provided were not to your taste. We wish this could have been brought forward to the management team, particularly Food and Beverage who could have changed the brand or offered different alternatives to your preference. Unfortunately, it has always been our standard to charge for the match boxes and personal calls made through the hotel to other areas or facilities, however, we are happy you loved our beach and have taken note of your comment on the seaweed at the beach but as we daily and often try to get rid of it, it keeps escalating.

All outlets were readily available on reservation, the Manyatta Restaurant specializes in grilled meats and fish, the La Via Romana Italian Restaurant provides waiter service from a limited menu selection all at no additional cost. We are glad that nothing stopped you from enjoying your holiday and had to even extend your stay to another extra 2 days.

Looking forward to welcoming you back again to Southern Palms for yet another visit.

Thank you and warm regards,
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1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2014

Your reservations team is so terrible, I had to review even before visiting the hotel. Really. I have had terrible customer service from day 1 of booking. The contact person is rude, takes long lunch breaks and takes ages to confirm a booking that is fully paid for. This is the face of your company - make it inviting. Otherwise, I am almost canceling this trip!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 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, June 5, 2014
Dear Joy,

Thank you for choosing Southern Palms Beach Resort as your destined holiday destination.

We read with great dismay and concern of your disappointment. First we would like to thank you for spending your holiday with us during the month of May 2014 and did not cancel your trip despite the unfortunate bad experience with our reservations team during the booking process. However, we wish this would have been made known to us during your stay.

We sincerely apologize for the experience but kindly rest assured this issue has been addressed and hopefully there will be no repeat of the same even to any other guest as we really do want everyone to have a great time when they stay with us and not the contrary.

I hope that you will accept our apologies once again for your dissatisfaction and it would be a pleasure to welcome you back to Southern Palms for what we trust would be a much more enjoyable stay.

Best Regards
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Mombasa, Kenya
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
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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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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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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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:
#4 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*
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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