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“South Coast Experience” 4 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 80400, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #19 of 32 Hotels in Diani Beach
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“South Coast Experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2014

Lovely experience, the hotel was of high standard and the beach was clean. The food was excellent and the service amazing. Bathrooms need a refurbishment but not too bad. The water sport section was abit overpriced for Kenya and was not manned so it took ages to find out the rates.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DRBRS, Management at Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 20, 2014
Dear 83Daniel,
We appreciate your feedback on the Lovely experience you had in our Resort and the comment on the excellent food and service offered.
We are working on scheduled light refurbishments on our Bathrooms and rooms in general.
We have taken note of your comment on our Water sports Centre and we will action on it.
We will be delighted to welcome you back in the Resort for another memorable experience and like to thank you for sharing your experience.

The Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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601 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (100)
Date | Rating
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English first
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2014

Stayed here early March 2014. First off, when we first arrived the treatment could be better. We were kept waiting with our bags, after a long drive, as the sole receptionist tended to other guests.
When we finally got our room, the AC was in a horrible state and the room had a damp odour. Clearly it had not been aired in a while, and the AC was not working well. When we complained, the receptionist sent over a can of air freshner! who does that?? we finally got another room, but it was marginally better. There is a limited selection of TV channels, which are mainly in German. The rooms are old and have not been updated for years. Towels are old. This was especially disappointing as we came from a place in Watamu where we were spoiled by the staff.
At the dining, the kitchen staff (namely the cooks) are rude, and showed a clear preference to the Caucasians. The buffet has lots to eat, but is repetitive. After 2 days it got boring.
We were on our honeymoon, something which the booking agent relayed to the hotel management before our arrival. This only got through to them on our last night, when they wanted to fill the tub with roses, and gave us a cake that was just filled with cream.
Only positive thing is the gym is quite well equipped. All their pools have salty water, so you will be disappointed if you wanted something different from the sea water.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
DRBRS, at Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 20, 2014
Dear Nathan W
First of all we like to thank you for taking the time to write this review. We appreciate your comments and hope you accept our apologies for the shortcomings you have experienced. Let us assure you that we will look into each and every point you mentioned and take appropriate action.
We are putting every effort to make sure our esteemed guests have the best services.
Allow us to serve you another time and experience the difference.

The Management
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Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
54 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2014

Beautiful location and very relaxing. It was very quiet when we visited - perhaps too quiet in the bar at night! - but that made it all the more relaxing. Our only complaint was the limited number of sun loungers on the beach and too many people 'reserving' them by leaving clothes/bags etc. even though they were nowhere to be seen for hours! I suggest the hotel either provides more or introduces a policy to stop people doing this. Apart from that, the room was excellent, service good by Kenyan standards and food choice also good.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DRBRS, at Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 20, 2014
Dear Pete H
We are glad to know that you had a relaxing stay us and we appreciate your comments on excellent rooms, good service and food choices.
We are in the process of acquiring more sun lounges and also wish to inform you that our policy is No reservation of Sun loungers any time as experience has shown us that this is creating enormous frictions between different guests.
Thank you for your feed back and we wish to welcome you and your family back in to the Resort.

The Management
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Herne Bay, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2014 via mobile

Good food, simple comfortable room, kept immaculate by the cleaners.
Everything worked with no shortage of teas and coffee.
The pool was amazing again kept in top condition, clean with no ear infections etc.
Generally the staff could not do enough to please, our 2 year old Granddaughter was made to feel at home everywhere including the Dinning Room (messing the table up was not a problem). If you cannot find something to eat here that you will like then you would not be satisfied anywhere!
The Diving was great with first class guide. Blue Seas, at Southern Palms, - NOT 'Dive the Crab', Some dives challenging but most enjoyable, if you enjoy drift and micro, coral, this is the place with Rays and larger species including turtle you will not be disappointed. The boat and equipment are all as new, I took only mask and snorkel, fins are slip on so do take socks to avoid blisters, recommended by Cecsi (spelt wrong I am sure) the main guide and leader - it works!!!
The Beach is great - work your way round the Beach sellers, recommend the Camels well worth 1000 Kenya Shillings nearly an hour along the beach, amazing!,
Will be returning without a doubt!!



Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Competa
Level Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2014

This February was our 5th & final stay. The distressing decline remarked in our review of 2 years ago has continued.
1. The absence of beach beds is now critical: I had to creep to the beach in the early dawn, at 06.00 to secure 2 beds, by placing shoes, books etc. I was not the first! By 07.15 all beds were taken. An attempt had been made to rectify the problem by buying a number of the cheapest, rigid plastic loungers: these remained unoccupied, thanks to their discomfort. (The newly appointed G.M who arrived 3 days before we left, had removed them all within 24 hours!)
2. The quality & choice of food had worsened. Dinner, in particular, used to be a meal to anticipate keenly. Now, it was more a case of "will we find a reasonable meal, without having to settle for pasta?" Breakfasts remain good, but a reduced bread selection & no smoked fishes nor ham. Fortunately there were 3 good Indian chefs, so our liking for Indian cooking saved the day.
3. 2 years ago we had problems with the air-con. Same thing this year - low output for 12 of the 14 days. Complaints unheeded."Problem with the water tower!"
4. General cleanliness & maintenance of gardens, terraces, corridors & staircases was poor, although our room was well cleaned.
5. On the plus side, the staff were as courteous, friendly & attentive as ever: we were welcomed back by many of them, as friends, & looked after at every turn. Thank goodness, it compensated for the overall decline.
6. A really sloppy dress-code or, rather, lack of it at meal-times seemed to stem from the noticeable shift to a clientele from Russia, Poland & the Balkan states. Apparently the previous G.M had actively pursued those cheaper, markets instead of addressing & resolving the problems at the hotel. It is axiomatic that the pursuit of cheaper markets is a downwards spiral - & it shows!!

Apart from cost-cutting by reducing staff, non-replacement of broken loungers, etc. & a marked decline in quality of the food, the overall impression was of a lack of "hands-on" supervision & management: for 11 days we hardly saw a managerial type - this changed when the new, German, G.M. took over . Suddenly managers appeared from the woodwork & all was activity.
The new G.M. told us that he had been G.M before, in 2006, & had been rehired by the Indian owners to "sort the place out". We wished him luck, but feel it's too late

Room Tip: As high as possible: Room 5008 is a good one!
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, at Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 20, 2014
Dear Hugh H,
Thank you for the review on your stay.
We are so much concerned and are moving with speed to ensure improvement on our quality of services.
It is great to see that you noticed efforts being done, for instant the Sun lounges which we are working on to ensure they are available to every guest.
We wish to assure you that the management is committed to ensure that every effort is put to achieve guest satisfaction.
Our courteous and friendly staff will always be here to welcome you if you decided in the hopefully not so distant future to give the resort another chance.

The Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2014

Not stayed here before but had heard it was one of the nicer hotels on the South Coast.

The rooms need a make over desperately, very old and out dated especially the bathrooms which had no hot water a lot of the time. Room keys also had to be constantly re-activated which involved a long walk to reception for this.

No safe or mosquito nets in the room and had to ask for these. Air conditioning was not working properly. The phone in the room wasn't working and the electric sockets were mostly faulty.

Towels both room and pool very thin and old. Bedding in the room smelt unwashed!

Lunch food orders took around 45 minutes but the food was of good quality. Buffet very tasty with a good variety.

The best thing about this resort is it's staff, very helpful and willing to go out of their way for any small request - thank you to them for this.

Over all, the hotels needs a face lift and updating!

Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Byfleet, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014

To grow tired of the Diani Reef Beach Resort is to grow tired of life. We stayed there once again for two weeks between 4th and 18th February, 2014. The great aspects of it are a) the wonderful grounds and beach front b) the eager to please, friendly service always with a smile c) the excellent cuisine, particularly the abundance of tropical fruit at breakfast d) Big choice of hot buffet dinner which is often arranged "Al Fresco" in different aspect of the grounds and pool areas at night under the palms and moonlight - just exotic e) a beach location which is unbeatable, clean and wide with pure white sand lined with tall swaying palm trees trees, turquoise sea that presents no shock value when you dive in f) Rooms with good facilities, mainly partial ocean view (always request this at least).

The not so good is that it has become a little tired, needs a bit of TLC, basically some redecoration and updating with some attention to renovating garden walk ways and bridges. However they have just appointed a new Manger, Detlef Meisslein, who ran the hotel 9 years ago when he created its award winning standards. This guy is sharp and hot on getting it right. Within a two days of his arrival there was a noticeable improvement in standards.

The acid test is "Would we go back next year" - with no hesitation "Definitely YES!!!!"

Room Tip: Always chose "partial sea view" which all have good aspect or full sea view rooms.
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  • Stayed February 2014, 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
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa

Address: Diani Beach Road, Diani Beach, Ukunda 80400, 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:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Diani Beach
#6 Spa 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
Reservation Options:
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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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