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“Holiday Of A Lifetime......Despite A Bout of Illness!!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Diani Sea Lodge

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Diani Sea Lodge
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3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Diani Beach Road | Ukunda, Diani Beach, Ukunda 80400, Kenya   |  
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Ranked #18 of 32 Hotels in Diani Beach
Chester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Holiday Of A Lifetime......Despite A Bout of Illness!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2011

I have just returned from 2 weeks at this hotel it was my first time in Kenya. I have to say I really enjoyed my stay and loved every second of the trip! Being a solo traveller I was nervous about visting a country such as Africa. But I have to say I felt safe and secure the majority of the time, use your common sense and you cannot go wrong really!!! I was ill during the 2 weeks, but I am not going to blame the hotel as it could have been anything, I mean come on I was in a 3rd world country for christ sakes! The staff are lovely (Bernard & Titus!!) and they do not pester you to do anything you do not want to do, however I would personally reccommend playing beach bowles with the legend that is Safari! The activities that the animation team do are brilliant and help to pass the day along! Try water arobics, you will not regret it!!
I went on Safari while I was there, I booked it with the Beach Boys (Called Bob) he worked for WT. Safari which is just across the road. They where fab and we got a good deal as 5 of us went. I would advise if you are travelling alone try to make friends, as it is easier to get and book trips this way and alot safer! We saw alot of animals even though we went in May. I stayed at Saltlick lodge, which is lovely and the food was the nicest I had seen the whole trip despite not being able to eat it!! I also went to Shimba Hills, booked this with Joseph under the tree and went to the bar across the road to pay and book with him. I would say do this for a day trip you do not need anymore than that! I went on a glass bottom boat to snorkel, see coral. I booked this with Dr. Kiloe(Think that was his name) He walks around the hotel anyway so no doubt you will find him! It was great saw lots of fish and held some funky sea creatures I won't spoil the suprise!
The food in the hotel is pretty standard, I did not particular eat any with being ill, but it was all okay even though there where some weird mixes! But I put that down to being the Kenyan way of cooking! I did not really like the desserts, but I think it depends what you like! I will say that the soups where always nice and you can not go wrong with soup when you are ill, so stick with them if all else fails!! It is worth the all inclusive just for the drinks that you consume whilst you are there, as you do not want to be dehydrated! They will even fill you water bottles which is a great help! I enjoyed having my eyebrows done, and a few braids in my hair! Give the girls a tip they work extra hard! I gave all my sweets and bits and bobs to people at the hotel as they look after you so well, plus it is nice to see your stuff go to people that you have had an impact on for your stay and plus it makes you feel good to see it help them out also! It is all part of the experience! I would love to go again, I met some great people and had a great time and the sun shined despite it being rainy season! Basically get involved and you will fit right in!! Great start to my travelling journal I cannot ask for anything more wonderful than this great trip to Kenya!!

Room Tip: No Tip, I think they are all pretty much the same!
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled solo
    • 4 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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358 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (65)
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Sowerby Bridge
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2011

We stayed for two weeks at the start of May and had a really great holiday. We booked this hotel because the all inclusive package was so cheap. We were not expecting four star luxury so were not disappointed. The room was basic but clean. The towels were a bit stinky but were changed every day if requested. Bedding was clean and drinking water was provided each day in a flask. We took a travel kettle so we could have a brew every morning before going out. There were a few power cuts whilst we were there (very exciting - take a torch) and the air con only worked when the door key was in the switch inside the room so this meant that you could only cool the room down once you were inside - but this stops you wasting electricity.
The staff at the hotel were brilliant. Everyone was so friendly and lovely and they all worked hard to make our holiday great.
The evening entertainment, provided every night, was a bit basic so we took our i-pod down to the bar and had our own parties...Titus and Bernard loves the tunes!
Food - not much choice but we managed to find enough each night to enjoy it ('specially the soups) and often went back for seconds. Combinations of what are offered are a bit odd and would recommend you don't go near the offal stew.
No problem with beach boys - just say no and then they leave you alone. Massage lady was great - really cheap and worth having.
Overall, we had a fantastic holiday thanks to the wonderful people we met and the great staff. We would go back to this hotel. Hakuna matata!!!!

  • Stayed May 2011, 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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Newton Abbot, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2011

Diani Sea Lodge the staff are really helpful and friendly nothing too much bother for them. The room was basic,well positioned for the dining room and beach. Fresh water is topped up in your room each day in a thermos flask. Not too sure how hygienic that is, so I didn't trust it, not after the bout of sickness that I had experienced.
There is no fridge in the room which was disappointing especially in that heat,however you could have ordered one for a fee. You have to pay extra for the safe too.
For most of the holiday I ate fish but was disappointed that it was always coated in bread crumbs. On the whole the food was very disappointing it was very salty and often it was difficult to make a meal out of what was offered. Although the soup was ok.
Usually in an all inclusive you go and choose the food the want and eat it. However at Diani some times you had to wait for water service, some times help yourself and just to really confuse me sometimes you had part of the meal served to you and helped yourself to the main and desert. I found that tiresome and would have preferred to be allowed to just help my self. Just to put a lid on it the food was usually cold the offal stew was absolutely disgusting trust me don't even try it. Meat was served in very small quantities. This has to be the first All inclusive that I have come home from and actually lost weight. We felt in necessary to source other venues to ensure that occasionally we had a substantial enjoyable meal. I would definitely go to Kenya again but would choose another hotel next time.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
London
Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2011

The is a good hotel - great staff, nice food and amazing location.

We arrived and a few other guests had problems with their room (no A/C in the basic rooms) but we were fine, the room is clean with a nice all inclusive mini bar. The bed was big and comfy. We had sea views from our balcony which was nice.

The food is good a nice mix - a good amount of local food on offer, this always included meat, fish and veg dishes. The staff are also great - very helpful and friendly.

Locals - you are warned about the beach boys in other reviews. they are pleasant if you just say no, they will push you to buy souvenirs, trips and safaris.

The beach boys will try to get you to buy souvenirs on the first day - DON'T but first day you can use the hotel shop as a bench mark for the prices of the goods - which are the same quality.

Sea trips
We used Captain Hami for our glass boat snorkeling trip - this was great it didn't cost much approx £12 but we had almost 2 hours in the water trip itself was about 3 hours. This was a great experience. and Captain Hami was fantastic in both taking us to good places but he also really looked after us (including a week swimmer in the group who he took round by hand the whole way) We would highly recommend him if you choose to go out snorkeling or dolphin trip to the sea safari.

For Safari we went with Julius K. Nzumbi of J.T Safaris (JULIUS TACT SAFARIS) (www.julius-safaris.com) - there are other people claiming to be JT but these guys were fantastic.

We went on a one night (two day) trip to Tsavo East - our driver (Hamadi) was fantastic and very knowledgeable having been a drivers for over 8 yrs. We only booked to leave the night before (booked at 5pm left at 7am) so even if you decide to go last minute you can. The drive there was a bit hairy - but this is just the driving style. But once we got to Tsavo East we had a fantastic time - we got very lucky in the number of animals we saw, everywhere we looked there were animals of all descriptions (Lions, elephants, water buffalo, giraffes, cheetah and even a leopard)

The hotel on safari was nice - 5 star but not a European 5 star, but still very nice.

We also ate at Ali Babas which was good but not as good as we had hoped It would be. The service was great but we had the lobster - but it was only a half lobster and no claw which I was surprised at given the price. But the starters and desserts were good.

The forty thieves bar (Ali Babas beach bar) was nice will a good selection of meals and drinks -- a pleasant way to spend an evening watching the tide go out and the crabs start to play.

Room Tip: Book a sea view for A/C and mini bar
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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
    • 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.
bristol
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2011

right from the start this hotel failed to deliver a basically clean room, we were moved within an hour of arrival as our room was so dirty. the towels smell awful as they are washed in brackish water (which is what you shower in ) old, run down and shabby hotel. we only ended up here as we booked a last minute safari and this was the second part, wish we had gone home after the safari - which was fabulous.
the saltwater pool is large but thats the only good thing to say, its full of dead bugs and I cringe to think whats in the filters. we all came home with salmonella virus which was not due to our lack of hygiene ( I disinfected the whole room). the staff all smell of body odour which is not great at breakfast time. definitely wont be going anywhere near this place again. the transfer from/to the airport is tedious and harrowing.

Room Tip: moan and make a fuss about the poor standards.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Leicester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2011

This hotel is in need of a make over its quite run down. the food was not bad but we found that they served the same fried fish for three days which limited your choice because they only served fish, a meat dish and vegetarian. the breakfast was good nice bacon and the food and the beach bar very good. The staff were good infact they make this hotel. The rooms are adequate but they really need to sort out the aircon. The first morning we arrived we went to look at the beach you felt like you were fresh meat the beach boys were unbelievable. We booked our safari with WT safaris who i'm sure you will meet on the first day. We paid £250 per adult and £125 for teenagers this was for two night three day safari which was fantastic. We saved so much money by not going through the rep and you all end up at the same accomodation so theirs just no need to waste your money. Our driver was called richa and he was brilliant. the safaris are all inclusive except drinks and the food is excellent. we also booked the dolphin trip with wt brilliant trip you actually swim with the dolphins £30. anyway once youve booked the safari they sales rep on the beach leave you alone so you just have to tackle the beach boys just be firm its your holiday and knock them down most things their selling are only worh 100 shilling. They are all registered with the local police so dont ley them intimidate you. The beach is beautiful especially if you get up early to avoid the beach sellers you can walk for miles. the entertainment in the hotel is average like the drinks they really dont want you to get drunk ask if you want more spirit they will give it you. we went to local bars forty thieves and nomads for a decent alcoholic drink. The africans in the bars are ok and brilliant to watch when the footballs on they love it. Overall i loved kenya and the whole experience just wished i,d booked a better hotel and was a little more street wise when it came to the beach boys. A little tip take lots of sweets for the children especially when on safari they run to the road and its heart breaking when you got nothing and their shouts sweets and if the driver offers to stop a a masi village do

Room Tip: no
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Brighton
Level Contributor
39 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2011

We stayed for two weeks over the Easter holidays.
we have been to Kenya 3 times now, each time staying somewhere different. Out of the 3 hotels we have stayed in this was my least favourite, but this is a perfectly good hotel if you are on a budget. Basically I would say that the First Choice descriptions are pretty accurate. the rooms are very basic, but that's what you expect for the price. You can get upgrade to a BAHARI room, but we didn't spend any time in our rooms so we just had the basic family room. Family rooms are more like a bungalow style with two bedrooms and a larger and very nice bathroom. The main bedroom is air conditioned, but the other bedroom just has a fan. If you are taking children to this hotel and are having a family room you need to consider taking a fan. The ceiling fan did nothing for the temperature so my Son often ended up sleeping in with us because his room was unbearably hot. I really mean unbearable. I couldn't have slept in there some nights so I wouldn't have made my child. I just felt too guilty, no exaggeration.
Some of the staff are wonderful, some are quite surly and slow. the animation team are all great and will keep you busy if you wish or leave you alone if not.
The hotel organises trips out and glass bottom boat tours. Go to all of them, they are all pretty good for the price, although do expect to be 'sold to' by traders.
food was really good and the pizza and pasta in the snack bar were delicious and just the right size.
if you like a really firm massage the lady there is great. Very basic room and little conversation except to get you to turn over etc but she is very efficient and you will feel great after. It only cost £4.50! Bargain! Take her a mango juice before you go in and she will think you are fab!
The pool is really quite deep, but there is a paddling pool and a smaller shallow part.
I think that if it weren't for a few rude or lazy staff this hotel provides the base for an excellent holiday. I just know what to expect from a proper kenyan welcome and I think that bothered me more than anything.
We paid just over £2000 for all three of us to go for two weeks which I think is a fair price for this hotel. Some people had paid £4500 for the same period of time for the same as us and I would never part with that sort of money for here.

Room Tip: move the bed under the air con
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Diani Sea Lodge

Address: Diani Beach Road | Ukunda, Diani Beach, Ukunda 80400, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda > Diani Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Best Value Hotel in Diani Beach
#12 Romantic Hotel in Diani Beach
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Diani Sea Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 168
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated right on the white sand beach of the Indian Ocean, Diani Sea Lodge, an all-inclusive 3+ resort, is surrounded by lush tropical gardens. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Diani Sea Hotel Diani

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