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“Excellent!” 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, Diani Beach, Ukunda, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #11 of 32 Hotels in Diani Beach
Kent, England
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Excellent!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2007

I am shocked at how someone who stayed the same week as us can complain about Southern Palms!!!!!!!! :-(

We arrived here on New Years Day, only stayed for a week but really REALLY wish we'd have booked for a longer break! I can honestly say we didn't meet a single person who had a bad word to say about this holiday.

It was the best holiday both my partner and I have ever had!!! The staff are the friendliest people I've ever experienced in a hotel (and I usualy travel a couple of times a year), they go out of their way to help you in every aspect of your holiday. The bar men, Ali and Robert, who work on the pool bars are the nicest people and told us lots about Kenya in general and we found it so interesting talking to them while sipping a rum and pineapple in the pool!

The rooms were fairly basic and very clean and there were always cleaners around. They left chocolates on our bed every night too which was nice! The restaurant food was excellent in terms of usual buffet style food, I am vegetarian and always found something to eat. The meals also include a wide variety of tropical fruits and cakes which again, were lovely! We were half board and it suited us perfectly as we were out and about and most trips include lunch etc. For a local beer "Tusker" it was 190 shillings which worked out to be around £1.70 which I didn't think was expensive really...and cocktails were around 300 to 500 shillings. They take all sorts of money though i.e. US$, euros, sterling.

We had monkeys and bush babies visit our balcony regularly and have got some fab photos! We also done excersions most days and would highly recommend trips to Shimba Hills and Wasini Island where you can spot dolphins and snorkel and see the most amazing reefs and fish!

I would recommend to ANYONE wishing to visit Kenya to stay at Southern Palms, we definitely hope to go back one day!

C & P, Kent

  • Liked — The great location near the beach, pool and fantastic views!
  • Disliked — Everything was perfect!
  • Tips/Secrets — Just go!
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
Bridgend, Wales
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2007

Arrived at SP on Christmas Day, to be greeted by the staff saying Welcome Home. It is Africa, not New York, so always try to bear this in mind. Staff are very friendly and helpful, let yourself fall into the pace of life and go with the flow. You may have to wait a little while for a drink, but some people have no patience.

Yes, the rooms are fairly basic, but they are spotless and well maintained. A comfortable bed is all that I require.

Food is fine with a good choice, as before remember you are in Africa. The hotel and staff surpassed themselves with the amount of time and effort they put into New Year's Eve. A night to remember.

Recommend Ali Barbour's, free taxi/ minibus from the hotel, if you fancy a change.

We had a three day safari booked through DM Safari's of Diani Beach. Would highly recommend this company, especially as they only use Toyota Land Cruisers for the safaris. This proved invaluable especially after the amount of unseasonal rain encountered in the Parks.

I would highly recommend Southern Palms for couples, families, just about anybody really.

  • Liked — Excellent staff and service
  • Disliked — No dislikes
  • Tips/Secrets — If you want a prime sunbed look after the right person
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scarborough,UK
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2007

Just got home from a fantastic holiday in Kenya staying at the Southern Palms hotel Diani Beach. Remember this is Africa , so its not all mod cons but the staff and the and their friendliness more than make up for that. The food is good with a very wide choice, I would point out though the Grill restaurant left a lot to be desired. Our room was kept spotless as where the hotel grounds and amenities. We stayed over the festive season and the hotel pulled out all the stops to entertain guests and New Years Eve was truly amazing. A great place highly recommend to couples and families alike.

  • Liked — staff
  • Disliked — rooms quite small
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 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.
london
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2007

We would not recommend this hotel just back from a two week stay. Reception staff are rude and have no time for complaints. Rooms are basic ,bedlinen and towels are musty 'and bathrooms not cleaned properly. Food is hit and miss, best to stick to African diet which is simalar to Indian but forget about meat if you want to avoid stomach problems. We were there for Christmas and New Year we had dinner in main restaurant due to weather conditions on christmas eve and it was choas too many people bumping and pushing into each other trying to get food buffet style ! our table was a long way from the food so after soup I give up too much hassle for something to eat especially when you don't enjoy the food , you have to be careful what you eat if you don't want to visit the local hospital! watch the BBQ chef lift raw food then use same tongs to put cooked food on your plate. Alex who is in charge of the sunbeds on the beachfront will make sure you will not get a bed at the front unless you tip him well,the first day I tipped him 100sh it was'nt enought and I did'nt get one the rest of my stay Alex is there from 6 in the mornings putting the sunbeds out with towels so you have no chance even if you get there at 6.30 he will say they are all reserved by guests when I made a compliant I was told to forget it as these men are friends or family of managament and that is how they got the jobs!! as they are so well tipped, there is a sign to say that the beds can't be reserved but Alex will tell you with a smile that they are all reserved even tho we had a seaview room and could see him putting the towels on with no guests around. We would walk to the next hotel Indian Ocean beach Club and for the price of lunch get a frontline sunbed there without any problem also the food is much superior and cleaner and about the same price. Ali Barbours is worth a visit they will send a car free of charge and its in a cave with the roof opened up food is good owned by a Scottish man. Book your safaris with Ferinand on the beach you will get exactly the same deal as the hotel but much cheaper and your boat trips from Ali Baba these people are honest and hard working I would rather my money go to the local people instead of hotel these people need to eat. Change money with Mama kiguo for best rate in Ugunda village. Staff are not so corrupt at Indian Ocean or Grand Diani reef and better hotels for everything rooms ,food and service and have more respect for their guests.

  • Disliked — Location
  • Tips/Secrets — don't forget to bring warm clothes for safari
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Sussex- England
2 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2006

"JAMBO"

If like me you have been reviewing Tripadvisor for a while and are anxious about staying at SP, honestly there is no need. The whole place is exceptional beyond our expectations and in my opinion it's 4 star rating.

Whilst there they put in a kettel and cups, A mini fridge which appears to be free for all inclusive guests and were stock piling up tv's to go in the rooms very shortly after we left.

The resort is immaculate in every way with ample room to do whatever you want to do, whether that be swim, sunbathe, eat/ drink, play sports or just relax in the bars. You are never tripping up over other people which really helps to give you a really realxing holiday.

If you go all inclusive and order a beer you will be given "Pilsner".
"Tusker" or "Tusker Malt" is a better beer and will only be given if asked for. The food is excellent if not a bit bland and boring after a 2 week stay as Kenya doesn't really have it's own cuisine...However this should not put anyone off as it's all fresh and you can try loads of seafood dishes you would not normally be able to without a hefty bill.

As you may be aware, The resort gets plenty of visitors in a furry sense. Monkeys are everywhere, Particularly if you are on a top floor. These are friendly, especially if you have fruit to give them from the restaurants...However still be wary of them as they are wild and will protect themselves if they need to. We had the pleasure of a bush baby on our balcony and out of 6 other people we travelled with were the only ones to see animals on our balcony. Remember to take a banana or two from the restaurants for a better photo opportunity!

I went out to SP for with my fiance to get married and was a little anxious about how it would work, Whether it would be as expected, whether we would be able to understand the registrar as his native tongue isn't English etc.
Well if you are considering a wedding at SP do not hestitate. It was as we dreamed. The only thing that came a concern was the tide as we were having a beach wedding. Due to the monsoons earlier in the year the tides are very changeable and random. We in the end had to change the time from 3pm to 11am. Due to this my wife got very little use out of her dress due to it then being the hottest time of the day. (surely well above 110F out of the shade) This also made it very difficult to look normal to the camera without squinting... but hey ho!
The help of the guest relations assistant Frida was invaluable so please if you see her say "Hi" from us.

The only thing that let this resort down a bit was the really annoying beach sellers. The hotels beach is very small in width and as the security guards only patrol the hotel's beach, it is impossible to have a romantic walk for 2. The best way we found to get rid of them was to say firmly and sternly " I'm not interested" or "leave us alone".
This is not the hotels fault but does slightly tarnish the whole experience.

Overall in my personal experience this is a great place to stay.

  • Liked — Exceptionally friendly staff that aren't lingering for tips.
  • Disliked — Beach sellers
  • Tips/Secrets — Take immodium etc and buy from moiz shop 10mins walk away, not hotel shop for bargains
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Livingston
1 review
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2006

To complete a fantastic Honeymoon in Kenya, my new wife and I booked four nights in the Southern Palms. I honestly don't think we could have visited a better resort. The room was clean with an awesome view of the ocean, the food was tremendous and the staff were out of this world. I would thoroughly recommend this hotel to anyone travelling to Kenya.

  • Liked — Staff and view
  • Disliked — Pushy sales people on the beach
  • Tips/Secrets — keep tips till the end
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2006

We stayed at Southern Palms and had a great time the staff are very friendly and the service was excellent. The resort is very clean you always see the staff cleaning the 2 pools are cleaned all the time. You have 3 restaurants and all 3 have good quality food. The only problem we had is every time we went to the beach we got hassled to visit the shops or buy a trinket. but that has nothing to do with the resort but the security is very strict with them and chased them away. My Son who is 14 came with us and he found plenty to do with football volley ball water polo etc. We went on a 4 night 3 day safari with Somak which was great we saw the big 5 and also much more.

I took out with me sweets and pens and paper for the schools which really do need them and very much appreciate it the little chilren love the sweets.

Tel

  • Liked — Clean and great views
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Tips/Secrets — take stationary it helps for the children also go
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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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