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“HEART STOLEN” 5 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 #15 of 30 hotels in Diani Beach
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“HEART STOLEN”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2013

I lost my heart to this week to the resort ; each day I was seduced by the sheer natural beauty of the resort and I fell in love all over again!

Diani / Ukunda is an hour away from Mombasa mainland. Stay away from Mombasa completely and preferably FLY into Ukunda directly.

The resort is spread out on lots of acres giving you enough space and the feeling of isolation, if you desire. THE BEACHFRONT is the main attraction. Flat beach , no rocks, no corals and pure white sand keeps you mesmerised. Enough pool beds and there is lots of space between other tourists on the beach. The rooms are comfortable considering one would only spend the night in there. However, they are old, need new quiet air conditioning - but in no way dirty. Linen and manchester is fresh and cleaned each day. The rooms I am told are undergoing renovation soon, hence it will enhance the experience.
The LOCAL KENYAN staff is what makes this Resort an experience to treasure. Their KENYAN spirit and warm KENYAN reception at all times is touching. It is the LOCAL KENYAN staff in particular, that make you feel like you are at a home away from home.

The quality of food is what this resort boasts about - and truly I could not find a fault. One could get INTERNATIONAL FLAVOURS of food each day and nothing was repeated in a week. The South Indian Chef and the several Kenyan chefs, each had a talent that could be seen in the taste of the food. The salads are fantastic, the soups are mouth watering and the main courses offer something for everyone. The Cheese section requires attention - cheese but no crackers? The desserts are good. The quality of the bread is fine but lacks of different breads and styles were noticeable. The section with the sauces, chutneys and condiments look very messy and needs urgent attention. It looks like a messy display advertising the brand names. The presentation of the food display can do with more creativity. The breakfast buffet had everything one could want but lacked an artistic presentation that one would usually find in five star resorts or cruises. Nevertheless, my taste buds had the best time too! It is about quality and not quantity in certain sections- I feel the hotel needs someone to look into these minor but important details ; that carry long term impressions.

The security and 24 hr patrolled beach guards gave us a sense of safety. The Beach Boys are a nuisance and should be ignored for idle chats; the guards usually ask them to keep a distance from the hotel grounds and public beach. Avoid taking valuables and avoid walking on the beach at night. The security guards and general security within the hotel is very good and one does not feel insecure.

One other attraction of this resort is that no one cares how well you dress for dinner as long as you comfortable. There is no strict dress code but remember nudity is forbidden by law.

The pools - one mixed and one for adults are lovely and very tempting to swim. The pool bars and beach bars are well equipped and keep one tempted with different drinks and cocktails.
The Spa offers some amazing treatments but is in need of an upgrade with fixtures and fittings; It lacks that cosy charm that a spa should offer. However the therapists are professional and their technique and hygiene are not compromised.

The Resort overall when compared to the BEACH EXPERIENCE of neighbouring hotels, was a winner as it is the beach that is the major attraction. A beach that is cleaned each day, the sand soft and nice and sparkling white! Thankfully no coral and rock to hinder a stroll along during low tide. Some hotels in the same range, have great decor and modern effects but terrible rocky beach and high up on a cliff. This resort was definitely a winner with the seductive beach and the hundreds of Coconut Trees.

Once renovations are complete as we were told, I can definitely say it will be worth the five star it boasts about. All in all, a winner in a nut shell. A great time and memorable experience.

I stress once again, fly direclty into Ukunda and avoid if possible, Mombasa Mainland which includes the ferry crossing ; the mainland dampens that fun filled isolated holiday experience.

I will definitely return to the resort and I will most definitely recommend it for conferences and that special honeymoon, by the way - a fantastic spot for a "location location" wedding !

We were there in low season, but high or low, it should not affect the guest experience in my opinion of the basics.

In my opinion the weather was perfect - cool at times but sunny and temperatures bearable!

As they say in Kenya - "NICE TIME"

Room Tip: All rooms are good, sea facing rooms are always nice and a bonus to the experience. However one is a...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 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 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, June 8, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for your beautiful review of our property. I enjoyed our time together and the meals we shared. I have taken all your comments to heart.

I have shared all your positive comments as well as the areas required for improvement. With our service team. I have spoken to our executive chef and I have shared your sentiments.

Since you left us we have added crackers, improved the presentation and have improved the condiment displays.

I will send you pictures of the changes.

You are missed by all and we really hope to see you again soon.

Best regards,

The General Manager
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563 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (87)
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

The hotel is around an hour and a half from the airport (Mombasa ) and there is a ferry crossing on the way. The hotel has happy friendly staff. Our room was pretty basic for a 5 star resort but was spotlessly clean and had a fantastic view of the sea. The food provided by the hotel is excellent and of a very high standard. The beach is beautiful but if you venture nearer the sea , and away from the security guards , you are immediately hassled by the beach sellers, which really spoils the experience and makes it very difficult to use the beach or even to enter the sea. The casino is ok but the evening we went it seemed to be full of very serious faced gamblers, and we did not stay for very long. The staff are attentive and helpful at this hotel and we enjoyed our holiday but it is worth noting that it is not an area that can be explored on foot, and we did not leave the resort other than to go on a pre booked safari

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 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, May 29, 2013
Dear guest,

I and my service team are so delighted to of read your review of our hotel. We value and appreciate deeply your positive comments. It is comments like yours that, makes our job so rewarding.

I and the service team sincerely hope we will have the absolute pleasure to welcome you back to our resort very soon.

Regards,
The General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gauteng
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

Awesome location, friendly staff, lots of activity and we got upgraded to a suite since the hotel was not busy. View from the suite was just beautiful. The staff were very accommodating and went the extra mile to ensure our stay was more than pleasant. the only advice i would suggest to anyone booking this place, is don't opt for full board if you staying long, the variety/choices is a tad limited. They offer evening entertainment , which is great! , this started around 9pm most evenings,hence dinner can sometimes be rushed if you want to watch the show. we took our dessert to the show area every evening. All in all we thought it was great value for money, and the ever pleasant staff made our stay unforgettable. I will definitely return to this hotel if i have the opportunity to.

Room Tip: Higher floors have awesome views of the ocean,
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  • Stayed May 2013, 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
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, May 9, 2013
Dear valued guest,

Many thanks for your positive review. I and my service team highly appreciate your comments and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

Regards,
The General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

Had a comfortable and wonderful stay at diani reef beach resort & spa. The hotel is amazing and the staff are so welcoming and friendly. Also he themed dinner and entertainment is just breath taking, i just absolutely love my stay there and i highly recommend this place to everyone that is traveling to Kenya.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 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, May 2, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

First I and my service team would like to extend our thanks for your positive review of our hotel. It is guests like you that make our work truly rewarding.

I hope we have the pleasure of serving you again soon.

Regards,
The General Manager
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Harare
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

Beautiful hotel , everything was just right ,Me and my wife got a sea-room with great view of the Indian ocean from our bed!!The service was just amazing right from checking in , the hotel taxi gentlemen that took us into town for a bit of shopping to the world class theme dinners !!! We thoroughly loved the hotel . I`m totally against staying at big hotels but i really enjoyed this place so much .
The white sand crystal clear waters and the spar. No wonder why the hotel keeps winning awards after another . Great place keep it up Diani reef resort , next trip i`m bringing the kids .

Room Tip: Sea facing rooms on the second floor level.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 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 27, 2013
Dear Guest,

I and my service team would like to thank you for your positive review of our hotel. It was a pure delight to have, had you stayed with us.

I personally look forward to welcoming you again when you come with your children next time. Please send me an email before you come so I can personally arrange a little something extra for you. <gm@dianireef.com>

Best Regards,
The General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dryanovo
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
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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London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 helpful votes 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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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
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Diani Beach
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
#13 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa 4*
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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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