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“A Bit Of A Let Down!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa

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Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Diani Beach Road, Diani Beach, Ukunda, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #19 of 32 Hotels in Diani Beach
Dryanovo
Level Contributor
18 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“A Bit Of A Let Down!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

Nice location, pleasant rooms and pleasant staff.
The let down part was the food which offered not a lot of choice.
On top of this the entertainment was arranged right in the middle of the evening meal which meant you could either eat or watch the show as some nights the entertainment was away from the eating area. The price of drinks was very expensive(well over 3 times the cost of the local supermarket) There was also no wi fi available in the rooms..only in some of the bar areas.
These were minor issues but we feel that management need to take them on board.
The hotel was very quiet during our 11 night stay.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DRBRS, General Manager at Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 3, 2013
Dear Guest,

We thank your taking the time to make valuable comments regarding our services. At the hotel we take pride in offering a wide variety of excellent food choices which have been liked and well received by all to date. This include local African dishes as well as Asia and Western dishes to tempt anyone's pallet.

In an effort in add value to our services at dinner time we offer a beautiful garden dinner which includes a in house performance at the same time. We have received a lot of positive response about our garden dinners.

Once again thanks you for your comments.

Regards,
Hotel Management Team
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597 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 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (98)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

We were here for total relaxation after a safari and it is a beautiful hotel and the staff were all very helpful and friendly. The only really annoying thing is when you're on the beach and are constantly harassed by the beach boys. The reason we have recorded this hotel so lowly is due to how we were treated by the management, particularly the general manager. We had been given a welcome pack when we started telling us we were Half Board. Initially we were concerned about this as we had only paid for Bed & Breakfast so we went to the reception and explained and they said no everything was fine and this was all included. As the week went on we were told repeatedly yes this was all included in the cost. When we came to pay they suddenly added several hundreds of pounds of items that we had been told were included and we didn't need to pay additionally for. We questioned this as we were quite frustrated and were kept waiting for several people for 2.5hrs!!! By this stage were were very annoyed but instead of apologising for this mistake and keeping us waiting we were ignored by the managers until we were marched into the board room. The general manager then told us straight away that he would listen to us but he had already made up his mind and was not apologising to us. He then proceeded to intimidate and threaten us and basically told us we had no rights as customers. If we did not pay this additional amount he went straight to threatening us with calling the police and said he wouldn't accept a credit card from us and so we would have to walk out of the hotel to find a cash machine. He proceeded to be incredibly aggressive and told us that as we were British we were probably trying to cheat the hotel in some way, totally ignoring the hotel's mistake and treated us like criminals. We couldn't believe that we had paid to be treated like this. The main problem for us was not paying the additional charges but how badly we were treated once we questioned a mistake by the hotel. The whole experience totally ruined the trip and I would worry that if any bigger problems happen to you while you are here, the management here will just try to threaten you and treat you as though you have no rights. It is a really shame as the hotel and staff were lovely but I would never chance going back here or recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DRBRS, General Manager at Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 4, 2013
Dear Guest

Thank you for taking time to complete this review. We do take time to read all reviews. We do take all comments seriously and use these as a basis for improvements and training. When the comments are accurate.

As advised whilst at the resort the Beach is open public however we have deployed security personnel to guard the resort beach line. But, while on the public beach we have no jurisdiction or responsibilities with regard to this area.

In regards to the welcome letter given to you on arrival , while there was a typing error on the welcome letter, please note
1) You had a booking confirmation/ voucher on Bed & Breakfast basis
2) The welcome briefing given by our guest services staff was based on BB as well as BB was written on your key sleeve which indicates your status and should be used to identify your meal plan.
3) No clarification was sought by you at any time on the BB/HB package at the beginning of your stay. You intentionally waited to departure when you were informed that you paid for BB and will be charged accordingly.
4) Clarification sought at the front desk by you was regarding signing of hotel bills and to pay upon departure which we highly recommend to our guests. At no time did you ask the direct question, Am I on BB or HB please clarify.
5) No threats was issued, the typing error was apologized and compensation was offered by our General Manager which was highly appreciated by your husband.
6) We do not treat guest from different countries differently in fact a big percentage of our repeat guests are British.
7) You refused to pay for your extra charges after a two hour discussion and also commented that you would reverse any credit card charges if asked to pay by credit card. Management insisted on a cash payment.
8) During the two hour standoff you were reminded that you had signed all of the hotel checks that where given to you in the F&B outlets. Which you admitted that you had signed.
9) You were advised that failure to pay for extras is a criminal offense and the authorities would be called if you failed to pay for extras exceeding 500UK pounds.

This is to re-assure that we do take all feedback positively and look forward hearing from you & discuss the matter with you personally to understand the relating concerns and take necessary measures to ensure that you enjoy your holiday with us in your next visits.

Regards,
The General Manager
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Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

I had a terrible first days at the hotel after being picked and dropped at the hotel, I decided to go for a walk outside the hotel. on my way out I was rudely told by the security guard at the gate. "Stop and wait" there I complied as the guy let a car in (this took over 2 minutes) he then goes "who are you and what are you doing here?" I was shocked. Being African the guy properly thought there was no way I could afford to stay there I was so UPSET!!! the guy questioned me for 10 minutes, by the way I was not coming in the hotel I was going out for a walk!! my other bad experience was at the spa when the spa lady actually told me off for recharging my phone while waiting!!! the third issue was when I waited from 9pm till 12am because they had used dirty bed sheets. Apart from these issues I did meet some excellent staff a lady at the reception helped me arrange for my tours and the manager Andrew was good. My room apart from being without reception was ok. The dinner was excellent and I enjoyed the entertainment (wish they could have gone longer) It would really help if the staff are given customer service training because the rude ones that I encountered totally ruined my holiday and spoilt it for the good ones had I not paid I would have moved to Swahili beach. ( I asked Andrew if this rude behavior are only towards blacks and he said no but I can see another person of African decent had a similar problem with the staff) Also advise your staff not to assume that every visitor cant understand Swahili during the water aerobics I heard some of the guys say nasty stuff about the guest and some of the staff.

Room Tip: some rooms have got no receptions at all especially room 4033 room 2015 is much better with less mon...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gdansk, Poland
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

I can't understand why there are so many bad rewievs of this hotel. The hotel is build on a coral reef- it looks really amazing. The surrounding of the hotel is beautiful- it has the most beautiful garden from all the hotels I've ever visited. Hotel has its own sunbeds on the beach and there're guards, so beachboys can't come close to you. It's very important in Kenya-as I know in many hotels you can't lie on the beach because of beachboys.
Rooms are nice equipted in african style and they are really clean.
About food- for me it was great because of a pretty good choice of vegetarian and also vegan meals (at least 4 hot dishes, very often much more and also cold vegetables). I heard that nobody should go to Kenya for cuisine- their cuisine is a mixture of English and Mediterranean cuisine (especially English breakfasts), so they generally they don't have their typically kenyan food.
Swimming pool- there are 2 swimming pools. The first one- in the front of the hotel is rather small, with music and pol bar and I didn't like it, but there was also much bigger "silent pool"- really nice:)
The stuff was polite and helpfull.
There's a free wi-fi in the hotel- in Zebra Bar and in the hall next to the bar.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DRBRS, General Manager at Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Dear valued guest,

I and the service team would like to thank your for your review of our hotel. We do appreciate, you staying with us and we hope to have the pleasure of serving you again in the very near future.

Regards,
General Manager
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Coventry, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

We have just returned from two weeks at Diani Reef. The hotel is beautifully designed in an excellent location. The rooms could do with a bit of a refurb (particularly the bathrooms) but this didn't spoil the holiday in any way. The staff were very friendly and helpful, especially our room boy Elikana, who it was a pleasure to meet.
Many thanks for a fabulous holiday.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 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.
DRBRS, General Manager at Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 7, 2013
Dear guest,

Many thanks for your positive comments and valued advise. Our service team highly appreciates the time you have taken to review our property.

We look forward to having you stay with us. Do contact us when you plan to stay with us again.

Regards,
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mombasa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

As a resident I was urged many times to produce my local credentials. Which made me feel like a con man. Diani really looking for the USD prizes they bill the foreigners badly ? As for my experience....more than wanting. Doorkey not working, room phone not working, safe not working , power outage due to a faulty lamp, room service forgets the towels (and you cannot reach them), the grass is brown in the garden and the fish ponds are green like a vegetable soup...poor fish (algue not managed). When you arrive you get the welcome drink from a security guard and they are the ones also running up and down with tje roomkeys that do not work. Nothing against security staff, but are they not supposed to watch and take care of security ? NEVER AGAIN !

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DRBRS, General Manager at Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 6, 2013
Dear Guest,

I would like to address the above captioned review and the preceding review entitled, "Extremely disappointing" as they are written by the same person about the same stay.

Regarding the issue's with the safe and the door locks we would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused by this isolated occurrence.

Our service team rectified these issues while you where with us. It is not uncommon at times for electronic locks to fail. It was very unlucky that you also had to experience the safe failing at the same time.

The vetting by security:

As you are aware security is tightly controlled in Kenya at the moment. This is to ensure the safety of our staff and guests. Not unlike airport security the security department adheres to a strict protocol of questioning and screening. The same questions are ask of everyone and this is not particular to any one person or nationality.

When I visit the neighboring hotels I am asked exactly the same questions so I can assure you that all hotels have adopted the same screening process and is not unique to our hotel.

However, I do sympathize if this process made you feel uncomfortable but is necessary for your safety and the security of others during these times in Kenya.

Regards,
General Manager
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Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

We stayed at Diani reef this past weekend (Feb 2013) and I must say we were extremely disappointed. I have been a huge fan of Diani for quite a no. of years now but it was quite shocking to see how everything has become so bad, from the service to amenities.

We started to experience the poor service right from the gate, when we got at the gate instead of the gate-man checking our car and letting us in, he proceeded to ask us weird questions "what can I do for you?" probably because we are locals

When we got to our room the key didn't work, they replaced it 2 more times and it still didn't work, we finally opted to go swimming as we waited for the key to be sorted. When they got it sorted they didn't bother to bring it, we had to go get it after we were done at the pool and needed to change.

After finally getting in the room, the safe wasn't working. The maintenance told us it was batteries, they got it replaced just before our check out

After cleaning they forgot to put new towels which again took hours to replace

In the evening, power just went off at some point so we were left in dark, the maintenance had to open up the ceiling to repair. Turns out something was faulty with the wiring

The phone wasn't working, the TV screens are really old, No even an information booklet in the room

In the kids play room, it was so hot (no fan, no a/c) such that the kids couldn't even stay in there for longer than 1hr. Most of the toys are broken they can even hurt the kids and the animator was no where to be seen most of the time

Everything in the hotel is basically falling apart, some lights were just hanging loose. The lift is definitely to avoid, the grass outside is so dry and the lawns are poorly maintained. The only good thing left in the hotel is the food.

Whereas in the past there was always a Manager or a supervisor walking around and checking on the guests that's no longer the case. We didn't see any one from management and most of the staff were attachment students who had no clue what they were doing

All in all we had a horrible experience, the definition of poor service. The hotel badly needs a repair

Room Tip: If you are looking for quality service, you will be disappointed
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa

Address: Diani Beach Road, Diani Beach, Ukunda, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda > Diani Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Diani Beach
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Diani Beach
#13 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
#18 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 143
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Also Known As:
Diani Reef Beach Hotel Ukunda
Diani Reef Beach Resort And Spa
Diani Reef Grand Ukunda

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