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“Treat at The Retreat” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kinondo Poa

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Kinondo Poa
P.O.Box 5475, Diani Beach, Ukunda 80401, Kenya (Formerly Kokonut Cottage Resort)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 18 Diani Beach B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Edinburgh, Scotland
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Treat at The Retreat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2008

My partner and I have just spent an extremely laid back couple of weeks here and have to say that the team that are in place to look after you are nothing short of brilliant.
The suites are basic but not lacking, and are kept clean and tidy.
Food was fresh and well presented.
Service at all times was first class!

  • Liked — Spacious and clean.
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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93 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Boston
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2008

What an experience the Kinondo Retreat is!! This is really a place to chill out & relax with great service but before the review a couple of points I have noticed on Trip Advisor about and around this place; the first thing is insects - Kenya is a hot & humid place and the Kinondo Retreat is not a hotel as you have a suite which faces the pool so there is no reception or anything like that so you may get visitors from ants, millipedes etc which come underneath the door. If truth be told I thought this may be a problem as I've read some stories about this but it was certainly not the case - there were a few ants about and we had a visit from the odd millipede which were placed on books and shown the door. I've also read about the road to the resort and they're all true - the last three miles or so is like a cart track with rocks appearing in the road which the driver skirts round and you get thrown about a bit - hardly the resort's fault so just get your seat belt on and enjoy the ride!!

We stayed in one of the suites at the Kinondo Retreat which has a double bed with a mosquito net around it. You have what they call a "love bed" also in the room which is like a big lounger and great to relax on. There are no chests of drawers just somewhere to place your suitcases and clothes if you wish to unpack along with a few hangers to hang your clothes on. We did not unpack as you will probably be in your swimwear/beachwear during the day and we just used the hangers for our trousers/shirts for the night and we found that this worked absolutely fine. You have a bathroom with a shower and there is one small oddity in that the shower works by a small immersion heater at the rear of your suite which they switch off at some point in the late morning/early afternoon to save electricity so if you wish for a shower during this time either ask them to switch it on or nip round the back to turn it on - it only takes about 20 minutes or so to get a nice hot shower but if there is someone next door to you (two suites are attached together) the heater feeds both of them so someone next door may get the hot water first - again just wait a little while. We found the accommodation basic but it was perfectly suitable and clean as Jessita ( I think I've spelt it right) does a wonderful job of cleaning your room - there is no quick flick round with a duster as the room is properly cleaned every day and it takes her about 45 minutes or so and occasionally you will come back to see that she has decorated your bed with some flower petals on it!!

The service from your "butlers" is absolutely fantastic. You can choose to have your meals brought to you to enjoy on your patio area or eat by the pool (which we did). The food is freshly prepared by Joshua and Said (the chefs - apologies again for any misspellings) and is A1 - these guys would not be out of place in some London restaurants. The presentation of the food is great and is delicious. Breakfast is served when you get up in the morning and there is no set time so if you've overdone the wine/beer the night before and don't get up until 11 it is no problem. The chef comes to see you about 11or so to see what you would like to eat if you are on the all inclusive option from the extensive lunchtime menu and they will even visit you on the beach to take your order as Joshua "hunted" us out one day to see what we wanted for lunch. They will then see you again in the afternoon with the menu for the evening which is four courses plus tea/coffee and if there is anything you don't like they ask you what they can do for you instead.

While we were there we were served by William, Jonathan and Jallis (apologies again for spelling) and you get such wonderful, friendly, and courteous service. We were shown where the fridges were so if they were not around we could help ourselves to drinks. Doris (the reservations manager) came round every day or so to make sure everything was ok and we had some wonderful chats with her - a very pleasant lady. George is your man on the beach and if you want any of their day trips he will organise this for you but there is no pressure at all to go on these trips. The beach is accessed by a short walk through the forest and if you tell Geoge you want to go to the beach he will take sunbeds down for you. The whole place is kept in good nick by Wilbur who is the gardener/handyman and so you feel safe at night there is a guard who looks after the place and just for that bit extra security he has two dogs with him who roam the place but unfortunately I did not get his name. Mineh is the masseuer who will come to see you when you arrive to offer her services but again there is no pressure from her - Sally did have three massages from her and she came back feeling fully refreshed and the price was great (1,500 Kenyan schillings which worked out to about £13.00 - great value).

Do not come to the Kinondo Retreat if you want to be on the go all day - it is a place to relax, chill out and spend time with your loved one and we found it absolutely fantastic. What bliss it was to have no TV, radio or newspapers for our two weeks there and we were made to feel so welcome and at home by everybody there. They make you feel very special and nothing is too much trouble. To William, Jallis, Jonathan, George, Doris, Joshua, Said, Jessita, Wilbur, Mineh and the guard - thank you so much for a wonderful honeymoon and apologies again if I've spelt your names wrong. We may be richer in our pockets over here but I don't think we are in our souls; your attention to us and your customer service made our honeymoon so special and we will never forget your kindness.

  • Liked — No children under 18 allowed, the service & food, a place to chill out.
  • Disliked — No dislikes
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Hornchurch, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2008

I lovely & tranquil resort. Very peaceful & quiet. Staff very attentive & accomodating. Beach bit further than expected, but at the quiet end so untouched & quiet (like scene out of Lost). Away from the beach boys (beware as they can be very demanding in a nice way!!) don't take money or valuables down to th beach either. A very quiet period at the moment to be prepared maybe take pack of cards & travel gamed etc as can get bit too quiet if no other guests around. Also none of the activities available as low season & due to the poor tourism rate most places closed until July. Other than that well recommended esp. as a Honeymoon or tranquil end to your holiday. They can also book safari's from there, other people who did saw much more than us at the Masai Mara... Also be prepared for the insects & bugs if it weren't for the net around the bed not sure we could have put up with it, ants galore, flies, mozzies, beetles, bugs, centipedes (be careful wearing shoes at all times as some can bite or give off poison when squashed!! & check clothes & shoes before putting them on as they get inside, in fact we never unpacked our stuff because a few occasions of spiders &roaches getting into clothes, they do give you insect killer spray which we used endlessly & take mozzie spray) but this is typical thorughout Kenya not just here...

  • Liked — Tranquility & personal service
  • Disliked — The bugs & distance from the beach
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 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.
Broxbourne
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
111 helpful votes 111 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2008

Was on one of the last planes out of London to Kenya because of all the trouble and the only couple left in this resort for the last 4 days which for us was bliss., but alas a nightmare for the staff, who were laid off one by one over the four days. The staff transport was cut so the staff that were in had to walk for 1 hour on a dirt track to Neptune Village before they could get a bus!!!This place was refurbed in may/june 07 but fail to see where apart from old baths thrown behind the villa's, the sinks don't fit, the showers arn't finished properly and if you want hot water you have to hope your in the left hand villa of the pair, then you have the switch that supplies both villa's with hot water, but beware, should you leave the waters switch on your aircon wont work! we went for 3 days with no hot water becouse our neighbours didn't understand the set up.
The staff are all great, very hard working and nothing is to much trouble, unlike the management who are far to busy to visit when requested to do so. Thank you DORIS you did come in the end.
The guest book reveals that the resort runs out of anything from food to drinks because the management will not leave a decent stock, we ran out of soft drinks, beer and meat which was put down to the upheavel going on, but the hotel next door didn't seem to have any problems. Found we did not get value for money going AI due to supply problems. For those who like to walk along the beach you are limited to approx 1/2 mile to the right, but nothing to the left. The sea in this area is full of sea urchins, so take some shoes. A few beach boys but not to bad.
On the whole a bit of an expensive disappointment, been to Kenya 3 times before and have had much better value than at this place.

  • Liked — nothing
  • Disliked — all of it
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2007

My wife and I have just spent a great week (end of August, 7 nights) at the Kinondo Retreat in Keyna.We booked through the Travel Collection (Kuoni) and flew from Gatwick, with Monach, to Mombasa and then on by bus to the Kinondo resort.
We up-graded for more leg room at £30 each and were given two good seats.This is a 9-10 hour flight and Monarch are the meanest airline we have ever flown with. Everything is charged for apart from the in-flight meals, which were particularly poor, but to be fair the staff were generally helpful and we were mentally prepared for Monarch as we have had the misfortune to fly with them before (on 5 occasions to the Maldives ).I don't think the up-grade was necessary on this particular trip as leg room in all the seats was ok.
On arrival at Mombasa airport we queued for our visas for 30 mins. along side those folk who had pre-obtained their visas with the Travel Collection and paid inflated prices for no real gain .So get your visa at the airport for $50 or £30 but you need to pay in cash whichever currency you choose.
The bus trip from the airport to the resort is appox. 2 hours and an experience in itself .You will leave Mobassa and cross an estuary by ferry full of locals , passing lots of very poor housing on route with loads of kids everwhere smiling and waving at you on the road to the resort. Be prepared for a very bumpy ride as roads are awful and full of pot holes and the standard of driving is just shocking ( we had the misfortune to see a crashed tanker with the driver trapped in the cabin!) But the Kenyan people are so nice it was impossible not to just grin and bear it and accept that this is a developing country with high levels of overt poverty ,so don't expect the infastructure to be up to western standards. The resort is basic but the accommodation,a semi-detached thatched hut with its own patio overlooking the swimming pool, was fine. Whilst a bit run -down decoratively the huts are clean and comfortable and the room is cleaned daily with both bath and beach towels provided. It has an ok shower but the water following a power cut failed on our arrival for a few hours but was ok afterwards. It has a large comfy bed with adequate aircon and full mosquito netting. It is in a lovely peaceful setting ( lots of flowers and wildlife including visiting monkeys and exotic birds) within 2 mins. of a beautiful quiet sandy beach. Staff are just great and William,who served us on our patio most days, is a darling and can't do enough to make you comfortable. But all the Kenyan people we met were very hospitable but it's sobering to learn that the average wage is just £30 a month.
Down-side?Well the food isn't that great with small portions and they ran out fish and white wine but staff really try and look after you and as all the comments indicate this is a place to chill as there is really nothing to do but just relax and enjoy!

Dennis and Teresa: 5/9/07 Birmingham.

  • Liked — Very helpful staff
  • Disliked — Food quality and choice was a bit limited
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SCOTLAND
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2007

Just returned from a two week holiday at Kokonut - now called Kinondo Retreat. We cannot praise it enough. If what you are looking for is a place to relax and unwind then it can't be beaten1 If you are looking for loud music, clubbing internet access etc - then this isn't the place for you. The staff are fantastic - not at all intrusive but friendly and incredibly helpful. Steph - who owns it - goes out of her way to make your holiday everything you want it to be! For even more relaxation - have a massage with Mini! The cottages are not super luxurious but very clean and have everything you need - air conditioning, mosquito nets, showers etc. The cleaner has a deifferent method of decorating you bed every day! Eliud - the chef - is excellent and if you want anything special cooked - just ask! All the food is fresh and meals served on the terrace of your cottage. The road to Kokonut is an experience - although Diani Beach is very close it takes a while to get there so I would recommend all inclusive as that is where the nearest shops are. the beach is a three minute stroll - paradise and not plagued by beach boys! Only bad point of holiday was return journey - do NOT use Kenya Airways if you can possibly avoid it.

  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Birmingham
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2007

The journey from Mombassa to the hotel was long, hot and bumpy - however that was soon forgotton! From the moment we arrived, we were given personal attention and excellent service.

Our room was simply decorated but comfy (plus we were rarely inside!!). The hotel gardens were quite and relaxing with unusual wildlife around you, including monkeys and hornbills. the pool was small but perfect to cool off in.

A short walk brought you to the beautiful and virtually deserted beach. The only problem there was the beach boys trying to sell you there wares (although they aren't threatening and will George - the watersports guy will get rid of them).

Th estaff are incredibly friendly and helpful - attentive to your every need. Even in the rain they will carry your dinner (under an umbrella) to your private patio. The food was local and fresh, with incredible fish and something different every day. We particularly enjoyed the bar-be-que night.

The smallness of the hotel means that you get to know fellow guests and share travel experiences.

The only downside was that we found excurtions expensive. The only trip we did was organised by the hotel and we went snorkling off of a sand bank. The water was clear and warm and the fish incredible.

It was the prefect honeymoon destination and definatley somewhere we would go to again. If you want sun, relaxation and a retreat then this is the place for you!!!

  • Liked — Beautiful, peacful surroundings and helpful, friendly staff
  • Disliked — The journey to get there
  • Stayed October 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Kinondo Poa

Address: P.O.Box 5475, Diani Beach, Ukunda 80401, Kenya (Formerly Kokonut Cottage Resort)
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda > Diani Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 18 B&Bs / Inns in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kinondo Poa, named after the surrounding sacred forest, is located on Kenya's South Coast, away from mass tourism and its dynamics. Just 50 m off the white sandy Galu Beach, 4 traditionally makuti (palm leafes) thatched chalets provide 8 spacious airconditioned rooms with private terraces in an informal ambience of tranquility. Providing excellent food and service is our passion. ... more   less 
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