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“Lovely holiday but lacking some 21st century expectations.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Diani Sea Resort

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Diani Sea Resort
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Beach Road, Diani Beach, Ukunda 80400, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 32 Hotels in Diani Beach
Ashford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Lovely holiday but lacking some 21st century expectations.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2014

Had a very nice 2 week holiday here,
It's not the normal all inclusive holiday experience, but you do need to remember where you are, was beautiful and the safari with jt safaris, probably one of the best experiences in my life so far.and a must do, dont book before you go see julius at jt and save a lot of money and get a much more relaxing professional and exciting experience for half the cost ask for joseph he was a legend x cant wait to go to masia mara with him to see the migration next time see my seperate review wil be doing soon.
Hotel is clean pleasant and secure although feel a little imprisioned after a while but understand its to keep travelers as safe as possible, not the freedom to go where you like feeling safe like other holiday resorts, but still worth the visit and experience, im so glad i went, has been eye opening and life changing in many ways,
We have a few issues re thomsons and the hotel rep and blackouts that caused a few major problems but trying to just review the hotel and holiday experience as best as i can for you readers.
1st delays were horrific, 1st the plane was late as delayed coming back from yhe Maldives, so nearly an hour and a half late taking off, also need state somewhere clearly about entrance and exit visas, and that mosquito medication is not available from your doctors but an expensive extra if going for malerone.
On arrival the heat and queues to fill in entry visa forms was a nightmare thompson flight had explained this was the kenyan airports fault, fingerprints and many checks later finally got through, then a half mile trek to the coaches which with a large heavy case whose wheels been snapped off was not fun! Then the fun started a nine hour flight delays galore, then the coach transfer, OMG no 1 hr 30 here, it took over 4 hours to get to our hotel, not the hotels fault at all, but wss just awful. Welcomed by the colobus team doing african dancing and singing and a cold strange smelling flannel and juice, most of us erre just to physically exhausted to appreciate.
Next issue was room I emailed the week before expressing this was a special trip and I was diabetic and needed a room with a fridge, which we didnt realise wss only in some rooms when booked, we were shown room 117 omg the awful smell, musty, mouldy mildew, no fridge and a somewhat poor view of broken pipes on the ground below balcony and the pool, so poor other half in yhe sweltering heat, went back to reception and after some very heated discussions got shown some other rooms, we finally went in room 312 which was a huge improvement, had even a spare bedroom, lovely view of the pool and a side view of the sea being on the3rd floor ment stairs but wss well worth it and no mustysmells so suggest you request a higher floor unless have problems with stairs.
Next, a suggestion, some inroom info would be good on how you get towels and mattresses for sunbeds, drinks , times for meals bars ect, laundry procedures and dresscodes, and fall back dress codes in rainy days, there is a leaflet explaining a few of these I picked up in reception, but didnt read till I came home! Finally we started to enjoy the beautiful hotel gardens and surroundings, although feeling headachy grabbed a comfy sun bed and tried the very tempting pool, it was as hot as a bath but felt good, a pineapple juice and some pool bar food helped but was getting slightly worried, when tasted the burger which looked great but tasted awful, partner hsd a club sandwich, which consisted of bacon chicken and egg! The egg was like macdonalds flubber egg lol, and shouldnt be in these sandwiches, but chips were ok crunchy and filled a gap,
Attended the cocktail invitation for new quests, and laughed at the blckouts every time the poor
manager tried to speak, but finally got the info out bless him and we made our way up to a african themed evening meal we sat near the african singing group, and laughed alot even though exhausted, and hooray the food wss pretty good, my other half being a chef got chatting with the chefs and hit it off especially with Hesbon, who always had a huge smile.was a little intimidating wondering what yhe items were in the serving units when african named but the staff were vety helpful and would explain, and you really need try everything as a great oppotunity to sample foods not available easily back home. I adored the clear beef soup, just delicious and the gorgeous selection of fresh bread rolls, the steak/veal was beautiful and mashed potatos with seasonal veg in was delicious too, the puddings looked good but if have a sweet tooth a little shocking as not what were used to. Lovely fresh fruit salad, and a nice drink at the pool bar after with the sound of waves lapping on the white beautiful beach, sent us off for a much needed good nights sleep, breakfast was interseting, and needs a little tweaking, getting everything cooked as you ask is hard work as by time sausage or bacons cooked eggs and beans are cold so need get some things started before you want them, also pancakes nice once they left them to cook through a bit more, and nice chocolate sauce but really wanted lemon and sugar which seemed to surprise the chef.but after requesting one morning was readily available every morning after. Gerald and Amina need a big well done as waiting staff, always a smile and happy genuinly to hear your days events, gerald always made md laugh with his one for thd road extra cup of coffee or tea in the mornings, and Amina needs progressing to managment as has fantastic customer skills and lights up the room with her smile. Rodgers at the bar another great staff member and happy to help chat or listen.
Had hoped waiters would service the pool area more frequently as was often quicker to get from the bar yourself.
The beach is beautiful a view of paradise but needs a private section so dont get constant harassment to buy trips etc, the sales people allocated to the hotel however were lovely and understood to leave you alone till ready to buy bits all you needed to say is I will come and get bits but not now and they'd happily chat or leave you alone, a big well done to Cosmos, king David and Helen and all the other sellers attached to the hotel officially and based in the walkway next to the hotel, dont be scared to go look or visit them there lovely once you talk to them. Advice here take socks, nail varnish, toiletries, pens and anything football related to trade they love these bits. The hard sell people on the beach and out front of the hotel you need say Asante Sana means thank you very much and say it firmly to get them to leave you alone. Philip in the shop outside the gate needs another mention as no hassle and has lots of bits stamps postcards and souvenirs deffinatly worth a mooch.1
You must remember people here are very poor and are just trying to make a living!
Could tell you lots more re experiences but in the whole sun, great pool and nice food and visually a pretty location, my problem re the hotel its very by gone day run, colonial and not very modern in behaviour re staff to guests wanted them to relax be friendly and efficiant but not to seem forced to behave and act in a very outdated way felt very 1940's not 2014 sometimes nice and quaint but quickly felt a bit uncomfortable, especially if staff came to table asking if all ok have you had a nice day when knew they didnt really want to know was just forced to in there job description francis for 1. The genuine staff shined through. The old fashioned long trousers shirt and shoes is I apprecite respectful of a bygone era also, but smart shorts and top and footware for men should be ok. Its to hot, band women can ware whatever they liked shorts and top over bikinis etc w jot fare at all and need addressing and updating. Tuesday and Thursdays wrre shorts for men day as outside but often as rain had come was inside with no notice and some members of old school staff tried sending guests to change although told was ok for shorts this upset more than a few guests when climbing steps to main building in 90 percent humidity to be asked to go change. This needs reviewing and changing and any dress codes re weather notifing in view of all guests in advance.
The monkeys were great fun when the security were not slingshotying them to get rid of them, for travelers they were vety funny to watch snd even the vivet monkeys known as the drunken monkeys as would nick your drink in a flash and the rruit on glass edges, oftenly falling out of the trees drunk was a great holiday experience to see they often turned up at 4 - 5 for afternoon tea and cake. The glass bottom boat was another great experience at early morning in glorious sunshine, probly another great life expetience and highly recommended for just £18, 3 hours of fantastic fun, my 1st attempt at snorkling , great as could touch the bottom and the fish and sea creatures were fantastic.
Was dissapointed with the rep and have reported why to thomsons and a complaint is ongoing also one night the power went off many times and my inciline in the fridge became unsafe to use, again were dealing with a compensation claim here but the hotel needs a good generator as food fridges was a worry . Kenya and Kenyans in the whole were happy easy going wonderful people it's terribly sad about the bombings and the effect this will now have on the people working or trying to earn a living there, if see the massi warriors on the beach go say hello there beautiful people, Lankoi for 1 I intend to stay in touch with and learn the language, so say hello from me he would be so pleased x Oh and the amazing gardeners especially the deaf man i planted grass with and made me a bouquet of flowers and all the happy hello/jambo staff which you'll say a hundred times a day and miss so much there smiles and greetings when you get home.
Another hotel request rainy days, extra time wifi access in fact why not leave it on and increase it to cover the hotel would be handy to look up things in the area during the dayr have access in rooms, also an area for films even if for kids etc indoor quiz or games even art or make stuff to while away the rainy hours, which actually was quite cool and refreshing, after the intense heat.
we did walk to the forty thieves for football sunday I recommend the chicken and chips yummmy
to sum things up please go , be happy, relax and enjoy, but to the hotel you need update some of the out of style and times old fashioned ways.. its a holiday ,lets all enjoy it !

Room Tip: Top floor near the beach end we had 312 lovely family room.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2014

Iv read some reviews, I have read one essay that has been written, and im pretty sure weve met!what can I say...some can't be helped or pleased!! Some rooms were being renovated when we were there. The staff I found friendly,but then... we were friendly to them! My partner and I loved the bantering on the the beach..I mean whats the point of going to affrica & not be part of their culture?! Please!! We mentioned that some background music would be lovely as we ate, and by the pool, which they did attempt to do this!(not by the pool) Wifi was not brilliant,this is something for them to work on!I would deffo go back & recommend it! :))

  • Stayed April 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2014

We stayed here back in March and our experience was fantastic. The staff are so friendly, there was nothing that they couldn't or wouldn't do for you. Our room was always cleaned spotlessly, we had an issue with the shower when we first checked in but that was fixed quickly while we were at the pool.
The pool was lovely and clean, and plenty of sun loungers and towels available. The beach is beautiful but unfortunately you can't spend anytime on there because of the beach boys, as soon as you get rid of one there is another, however they're all very knowledgeable about the area and will certainly tell you the cheapest trips to go on.
There was a wide choice of food every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner all cooked and presented beautifully. The only complaint we have is that sometimes it took so long to be served a drink, some nights we gave up trying, a few more staff on the pool bar or serving drinks after dinner on the terrace would help the situation. Thank you all for a wonderful holiday and hope to return in the future.

Room Tip: Speak to the beach boys about trips on the beach by the hotel, (a snorkeling trip to the nearby reef...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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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Brighton, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2014

Ive recently arrived back from this holiday. Unfortunately we had to fly back early because threats of terrorist attack. However the resort is like a paradise, for the three days we were able to experience, I couldn't have wished for any better. Our initial impression travelling through mombassa was questionable after seeing the poverty and locals, however the resort does not portray this and staff do their best to help and donate necessities To the locals and they organise trips to the local orphanages to encourage your help. The staff are extremely lovely and tend to your every need. Your fully secluded from the outside world and the entertainment they offer and excursions are more than worth while. They work extremely hard to keep the Place Clean and from this unfortunately short yet wonderful stay, the staff and resort have completely changed my view on africa and travelling as a whole. In the future I won't go for anything less. Well worth a visit, you won't be unimpressed.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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St Helens
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2014

We have just returned from this lovely hotel, returning early due to the recent threats of terrorism and kidnap!! We were absolutely gutted when we found we had to come home early, both guests and staff were in tears!!
I stayed at this hotel last year and promised I would return. The staff are incredible and just can't do enough for you. The place is a little dated but they work so hard to keep it clean and tidy. From the cleaners to the gardeners to the waiters to the managers, they all do their bit. The Colobus crew are the best entertainment team we have come across. So to Dolphin, Benson, Joseph, Priscilla, and Victor from the sister hotel, thanks for a wonderful time!! Dolphin, I am still expecting a delivery of 5 camels!!.
the recent problems mean that most of the lovely staff will be out of work so I can only hope things are sorted quickly and the hotel and staff continue to impress. See you all soon!!.

  • Stayed May 2014, 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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Ashford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2014

Firstly JT safaris simply the best ,don't bother with Thomson or any other go see this man and ask for JOSEPH as a driver you will not be disappointed ! will do a separate report for this great service.

right let me explain my Marmite there is so much good and also some bad about this hotel hence you will either love it or hate it lol.

These are my options of my holiday only

Our holiday was booked through Thomson (never again !)from the 28th april - 13th may no one told us when booking about entry or exit visa's so if you do ever get to go find out first as this was an added expense.

ROOMS : Our first room was beyond poor it was ground floor 117 and it stank its was like a wet dog there was damp and black spots all over the room i immediately went to reception who moved us after a bit of too and fro and the insistence i was not going to be in the same block to 312 a family room which was a bit more spacious with a great view of the pool and the sea , the beds were far to hard for my liking but liveable it was clean and who goes on holiday to sit in your room lol the tv was spasmodic at best but again who goes on holiday to watch tv.

FOOD : the food was ..... nice , it reminded me of school dinners a bit some days were great other days there was nothing i liked ,there was a choice of food but i would not say a great choice ,the soups were very good the ones i had but in the second week it was much the same and i would have liked more traditional food from Kenya as when we did have it i really enjoyed it. NOW THIS IS MY WHINE the restaurant has two days in the week where food is meant to be served outside tues and thurs this is the only time you get to where shorts which is ridiculous we are in the year 2014 and with humility up 90 % its to hot for me as a English person to wear long trousers in such uncomfortable heat ,now im not talking i wanna go in Bermuda shorts and a heavy metal t-shirt but com on smart casual should suffice and when there was no rules on women and some had hot pants on i was angry at such an antiquated system , esp when due to rain the staff did not know there own rules ! the food at the snack bar was below par and that's being nice the burgers i would not recommend and the pizzas were a little undercooked for my liking ..... also if you wanted a drink at the pool food area you did not have to wear a top yet if you wanted food you had to wear a top if you ate outside the food area you can wear no top same with drinks ............. gotta love that policy

ENTERTAINMENT : i liked the acrobats the one night i saw them other than that the entertainment was reminiscent of butlins, the entertainment team tried there best during the day and we had a few great games of water polo and i saw beach volleyball going on but when it was raining ........ludo ! again come on........... ludo ! they were friendly enough chaps but some did try and sell you things like cds ect

POOL : the pool was a good size with plenty of space for everyone ...........but it affected clothes i now have 2 pairs of white and grey shorts and other half has white tops brown tops (they started off black) ruined by whatever they put in the water acts the same way as bleach .............. pool drinks service is bad if you can get siomeone to take an order it takes ages its better to go get it yourself and get a few at a time.

STAFF : now here really is a Marmite subject great staff AMENIA now i want to see this girl get star of the year staff of the year all rolled into one she was genuine great her smile could light up any room, other great staff were RODGERS behind the bar, the deaf gardener sorry i do not know his name but the flower he picked for us were beautiful, food staff of brian adams and others.
Bad staff that need to be replaced in all haste was a little fellow in the restaurant with a Disney tie he was rude obnoxious and annoyed me beyond belief also john behind the reception in brown clothes he was a useless lump at the best of times.

ANNOYANCES : Hassle from beach sellers this seriously needs attention from the hotel the security staff need to be more proactive and on the beach making sure people are not bombarded all the time also staff should not have sellers phone numbers and be coming to get customers from the bar or pool saying its urgent , there is no umbrellas around the pool would be nice for some shade and also some cover for if it rains, would be a good idea also some ware for the rains to run off so you don't get drenched or drowned.

the monkeys are great they are annoying and steal anything not nailed down and i loved every minute of it lol

Please do try the massages and the glass bottom boat trip they were two of my best experiences i had

after a few weeks here i did feel a little like i was in prison i felt uncomfortable walking out due to hustle but i loved it when we got out and about passed the hotel .

WI-FI 6-10 now this is spasmodic depending how many people are using it would it honestly kill the hotel to turn it on for a few hours in the morning also so customers could look up places to vist or even get news like bombs going off ???????

this hotel is very colonial and needs some touches all around the staff seemed fake as if they had to put on a fassard and the ones that were genuine shone though this we don't need drinks served with on hand behind the back we just need a good smile and a little interest in our day and a little local interest stories of what goes on beyond the walls of the hotel i wanted to know more about the area and the staffs family and the social aspects of the area.

by the way there is now way on Earth the airport transfer is 1.30 min add and hour at least to that

also a hotel that wants to be of this standard you would think would have a cut in generator or two in place as when the power did go out it ruined other half's insulin and the air-con but management seem to think this is ok

when wet the whole place can be treacherous so please be careful

ok i bet there is loads i have forgot and lots i remember when i post but i enjoyed most of it will i return .................. maybe one-day to the area as for the hotel ........ time will tell

Room Tip: Dont have a ground floor our first one "117" was smelly damp and mildew smelling ,bit like...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Bakewell, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2014

We have been to this hotel four times since 2004 Each time it is better with little improvements geared to make your stay more comfortable. We were there from the 15th April for 2 weeks the rooms are clean and tidy , the staff are friendly and couldn't be more helpful, the food is good with plenty of choice. swimming pool is clean and a great place to sit and chill out with a planters wonder. The beach is lovely and we just say no to the beach boys and they don't bother us, tip don't buy the day you arrive have a look in the shops and get a feel for the money. The sea is warm and very safe to swim in. We did a 3night 4 day safari with Pollmans booked direct and it was 5 star. Can't wait to go back

  • Stayed April 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
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Diani Sea Resort

Address: Beach Road, Diani Beach, Ukunda 80400, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda > Diani Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Diani Beach
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
#9 Romantic Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Diani Sea Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 170
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on the most beautiful unspoiled crystal white sandy beaches on the south coast of Kenya. The expansive compound is shaded by coconut palm and a myriad of exotic tropical trees & flowers; the resort offers the ultimate tropical paradise. Animal life abounds in the compound and various varieties of monkeys can be seen jumping around in the vicinity. Bright white against the blue sky, the hotel has 170 rooms. The rooms are of 3 main categories: Standard rooms with garden view, Family rooms & Bahari rooms with sea/pool view. All rooms have TVs, coffee/tea making facilities, mini bars are in the Bahari rooms ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Diani Sea Hotel Ukunda

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