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“fabulous ,beautiful grounds wonderful staff fantastic views.” 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
Manchester
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“fabulous ,beautiful grounds wonderful staff fantastic views.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2010

we stayed here from 20th of july untill we had to return home 4 august 2010 the staff are all exceptionally friendly from grounds men to kitchen cleaners and the staff in reception they are all exceptional. our room the fist week over looked the pool area and the second week we looked out over the beach it was fantastic , there was a very wide variety of food as we stayed all inclusive, you could not go hungry. The only thing we paid for was icecream and a massage worth every shilling.

Be aware there are colobus monkey in he grounds and they are not adverse to mugging guests for sugar,wet teabags and biscuits on the balconies in a morning, they ar very cheeky and will come into rooms uninvited if doors left open.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 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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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
London
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2010

we came to kenya after not having a real holiday in years! and it was a wonderful choice!

the hotel is great the pool was amazing! we split our time between doing very little by the pool side and visitng places in kenya for a bit of culture - safari etc.

we choice the 'east and west' safari, i cant remember the full name, but its sort of slap bang int he middle in terms of price range - we booked it whilst there, figuring we would get a better idea once there, and it worked fine for us. lasted 3 days, and to be fair after that we had seen as much as we wanted to and were keen to return to the resort! a great break in the middle of our stay!

ive read some reviews here that complain of the towels or smell, but thats not true, its all very clean, the room was always made up when we returned and the staff were very attentive! and very friendly!

one thing you have to watch out for is some of the local boys passing themselves off as hotel staff, if you leave the hotel they often run up to you with a line like ' hey remember me from the hotel my friend? ' they are always friendly but will often follow you around until you return to the resort! dont be afriad to be stern with them, we foudn good old fashioned english poiteness only got us so far!

we found bartering a bit tricky, but after two weeks got much better at it! you do get a bit jaded about buying stuff when teh prices changes so radically, so my advice would be if you like something, who cares what you paid for it?

.... over all it was a very very relaxing stay! loved the hotel!

  • Stayed November 2009, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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EDINBURGH
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2010

Had a really good holiday but feel the hotel needs to improve in some areas as it is not a 4 star in some aspects.
The food in the main restaurant was fine but as we were there on an all inclusive for 2 weeks could have done with a bit more variety.Wine by the glass is awful,so stick to spirits...
The Italian restaurant has a set menu and this is really an area that could be so much better,Nothing Italian on the menu the night we were there and as the food was poor we never went back.
The grill was good but again set menu and far too much food. They would have been better to concentrate on 3 or 4 things and do them well rather than try to grill every kind of meat known to man.
You do need to go all inclusive as there is no where else to eat or drink nearby.
Staff were excellent and the daily programme of events organisers really worked hard.
Be prepared to be pestered by boys on the beach and be sensible about buying from them.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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York
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2010

Hotel in general - rooms are in need of modernisation and decorating but were cleaned daily and the bins were emptied twice a day. Clean towels everyday. Due to the outside sound system, we did not get to sleep till after 11.30pm. All staff that we came in contact with were fantastic, very helpful, polite and bilingual.
Breakfasts and lunch in the main restaurant were very nice although the selection of food on an evening was a bit hit and miss in the main restaurant. However we cannot rate the grill and italian enough - the food was very nice and the menu choice was very impressive at both.
Note for men - remember to pack trousers as you are required to wear trousers on an evening in the main restaurant!!
The grounds around the hotel and the pools are highly maintained on a daily basis. There are Vervet monkeys around the hotel and pool areas and we also saw 3 Colubus monkeys which are quite rare. Please remember that monkeys as cute as they may be, are a wild animal and should not be fed by humans as they will remember where they were fed and will return as some guests found out while we were there! If they are left and not bothered, they happily go about their own thing and do not bother you.
All in all, it was a very enjoyable stay and we would recommend JT Safaris (Julius Nzumbi) to anyone - the office for JT Safaris is about a 10 min drive away from the hotel. We had contact with Julius Nzumbi before we got to Kenya, whilst we were there and on safari, it was very clear that there sole interest was in us the client, not in them making money.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2010

This was a late honeymoon for my wife and I, after our previous holiday plans were cancelled due to the Icelandic volcanos. We were presented with coconut drinks upon arrival. Breakfast and Dinner was all included in the price, we only had to pay for drinks, which I didn't mind. And I have to say the food was delicious, and there was so much choice. I over-ate on the first two days and had to force myself not to be greedy for the rest of the holiday. The only meal I would not recommend is the bolognese. You can see the chefs cook which is a delight.

The staff were all incredibly friendly, even the gardeners, and the nicer you are too them, the nicer they will be to you.

The beach outside is bright white sand, very fine. And it is excellent for snorkelling. I saw so many types of fish, in their natural environment, just outside the hotel, I'm surprised they don't advertise this.

On the down side there are a lot of traders on either exit of the resort, if you leave the hotel's designated beach area or the front gates you do get loads of traders following you for a bit, trying to persuade you to buy their services, but generally there is no trouble, and you have to haggle quite hard to get good prices. I had someone get me fresh coconuts and mangos for real cheap.

If you are thinking of doing excursions, I would highly recommend you DON'T book in your home country. At the front gates of the Southern Palms hotel is a freelance tour guide named Joe Cool, if you can't find him, just ask someone. I am highly recommending him because, apart from giving us great prices, he also went out of his way to make sure we were well looked after by the guides. We were so pleased with him we booked three excursions with him. At first we were scared of booking with local guides, we were scared for our safety, so we took a chance to tour of Mombassa City and told him, if we enjoyed it we would book all our trips with him. He delivered to great satisfaction and at much better prices then the tour operators or the other local tour guides. His email is [--]. Bear in mind people there don't generally have access to computers, let alone the net. We went on to book the dolphin trip and two day safari to Tsavi East with him. Both are worth doing, especially the Safari.

The country itself is very poor, so tipping is expected for good service, and the waiters especially go out of their way to please you in the hope of a good tip. I don't know what standard tipping rate is, but we generally gave 100 shillings which is about £1, more for great services and 50 shillings for less happy services, though this was rare.

The hotel also has entertainers come in every night. Which is a plus. We saw acrobats, singers, dancers, etc.

  • Stayed July 2010, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2010

Although having been to Kenya on several occasions, usually on the north coast, we ended up at this hotel, first thoughts on arrival !WOW!, The reception area was lovely to see, and did not have any hassle when booking in. Received a nice cool drink on arrival, which was very welcome after such a long journey. The grounds in the hotel are immaculate, and attended every day. The rooms were very clean, in fact spotless, and everything worked as it should. Service: Unbeatable***** The food throughout the day was just great, even for the picky ones. Although the hotel was not full, but it was June, Not once did I hear a single complaint. The entertainment, swimming pools and waiter service was excellent. The only problem I experienced was the price for drinks after bar closing time, A beer was 240Ksh, dare not mention the spirits, and the beer in the local bush bar was 80Ksh, (all inclusive is most certainly recommended). My wife and I always go AI,even though we rarely stay in the hotel during the day, we do find it much more fun visiting local villages, schools and the orphanages, not everones cup of tea I know.. A very useful tip for those who want to go on a Safari, before booking, just compare the price between the hotel reps, and a wonderful character on the beach whose name is Ferdinand (if you do talk to him, please mention Papa John), I can assure you, that you will be pleasantly surprised by the difference in price and there is no need to have any hangups about safety and security. I myself used him on recommendation from a review, and we both had a wonderful Safari, tiring, but great experience. I can only hop that this review will help you to make up your mind if you wish to visit Kenya. PS: If you do not like any hassle from the beach boys, then just say to them HAKUNA PESA (no money), they wont stay around you for very long

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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Scotland
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2010

Just returned from 2 weeks at Southern Palms. Whilst the bedrooms could maybe do with freshening up, they are really clean and comfortable and the room staff do a fantastic job. The restaurants and lounge areas are lovely and the swimming pool beats anywhere else we have stayed by a long way. What really makes this hotel though is the staff. They are so attentive and genuinely friendly. Nothing is too much trouble and we feel we have left behind many friends who we hope will still be there when we return next year. This was our first trip to Kenya but definitley won't be our last!
The hotel had just re-opened and the entertainment seemed to be just getting up and running when we arrived. We saw a fantastic team of acrobats who would have given some of the Britain's Got Talent contestants a run for their money. It seems to be pretty low key in the evening but that suited us fine.
We ate in all but the Lebanese restaurants and generally enjoyed the food. Buffet Breakfasts were lovely with everything you would expect and you could get tea and toast from 3.00a.m if you had an early start. We enjoyed lunch in both the buffet restaurant and the snack bar(special mention to Gideon who looked after us so well in the snack bar!) There was usually a good selection in the buffet restaurant at night although we don't eat fish or seafood and there were a couple of nights where the menu was heavily weighted to seafood. The freshly cooked pasta and the nan breads were particularly delicious.
We spent 3 days on safari and did a couple of other trips so were happy to lounge by the pool the rest of the time, watching the antics of the monkeys. The pool staff worked so hard to make sure everyone managed to find a lounger in a spot to suit and to keep the pool area spotless. Hassan in particular went out of his way and even managed to find some aloe vera for me when I got a couple of insect bites.
The beach is beautiful and there are plenty of loungers and cabanas. The animation team organise daily beach walks if you don't fancy walking on your own. There are security guards at all the main points and they do intervene if people seem to be getting hassled. I've seen a few posts about the beach boys and the sellers outside the hotel. I never found this a problem at all. I bought a small necklace for a 100Ksch from one seller and asked him to make sure I got peace on the beach. He obliged but to be honest when I chatted to him each day I gradually got to know the rest and they have some interesting stories to tell. They are actually nice lads just trying to survive. Same goes for the sellers outside the hotel. Ask for Joe Fraser, he's a great bloke - he even took me for a tour of the village and kept me right on all the places to go and how much to pay for things.
We had a fantastic safari with F King safaris (see separate review-can't recommend highly enough). Another highlight was a trip to the carving village (offered free by Farid at F king safaris). Watching the skills of the guys who make the carvings and chatting to them about their lives was really interesting. Remember to ask them for the reference number though as they are listed next to the price when you go to the shop so you can buy something and know who has actually made it.
We also visited Shikamana School which was a truly moving experience. We sponsor two boys there and were priviliged to meet their families as well and be invited into their homes.
All in all the hotel is wonderful and we highly recommend it as a base. From the airport to the hotel took us about an hour and a half. As it is South of Likoni you do have to travel on the ferry but the new ones are now operational and we never had to wait too long. You also see so much of life there and we even purchased a souvenir in the queue for the ferry one day.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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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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