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"
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- Also Known As:
- Diani Reef Beach Hotel Ukunda
- Diani Reef Beach Resort And Spa
- Diani Reef Grand Ukunda