My girlfriend and I stayed here for 2 weeks in November and can support much of what Jaks_10 reports in her review dated 20 Nov. We met them at the end of their holiday, gratefully taking on board their tips. Diani Sea Lodge is definitely value for money, with a good choice of food and drinks being served by friendly staff. The hotel grounds are visited by four types of monkey, which can keep you amused for hours :-) The entertainment is generally good with the acrobatic displays being the highlights. Alternatively you can grab a bar stool / table away from the show or pop down to the Forty Thieves bar. We found walking down the beach in groups at night fine, but if you are alone the cab ride is only a couple of minutes drive down the road. The public beach is lovely, and the beach boys do approach you to make a living, but a polite, firm 'no thanks' will suffice if you are not interested. Note that most of the hotel workers are from up North and not locals. It appears business it done along tribal lines over there. However, once you have made friends with the local beach boys by way of using them to book cheaper safaris, boat rides etc; they usually ensure you are not pestered. I agree with Jaks' reporting that Eddie (pictured) is a very good lad. Yes you barter with him over the trips etc, but he was good to his word and threw in lots of extras. We'd go for walks with him along the beach, surrounding woods (looking for monkeys), chatting with the locals / other beach boys, and Eddie always made sure we weren't bothered. He came in handy when bartering with the stall owners over goods too. He never asked for any payment on these little excursions, instead asking us to recommend him to the next bunch of tourists, which we gladly did. In turn we treated him to a Cola along our walks, tipped him after our trips he organised and gave him (and a couple of local girls) swimming lessons in the sea. We hope he still practices with the goggles we bought him :-)
Rather than do the school trip organised by the hotel we went to Eddie's local school as they do not receive foreign visitors as much (i.e. donations etc). We took pens and sweets with us and made a donation. The kids sang and were great fun. Eddie gave us a tour around his village and we meandered our way back to the hotel via the 'locals' route. This was an eye opener I am glad we did it. The diving was good, but please remind the guides to give clear briefings to the divers about protecting the coral as this was not always being done and I had to yank some divers off the bottom. Such a shame as if this continues they'll have ruined dive sites very soon :-(
We did the 2 day safari to Tsavo East , staying at the Voi safari lodge and saw lots of animals, thoroughly enjoying the trip. We also did a one day trip to the much smaller Shimba hills, which was also great animal viewing. If you want a splurge the Ali Barbour's cave restaurant has a great natural setting, but you will pay European prices. Lastly remember that the majority of people here are poor and whatever you can give/ leave behind will be greatly appreciated.
- 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