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 !
- 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