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“Amazing place, food and staff, perfect honeymoon location” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Baobab - Baobab Beach Resort & Spa

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The Baobab - Baobab Beach Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   P.O. Box 32, Diani Beach, Ukunda 80400, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 32 Hotels in Diani Beach
Ryde, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Amazing place, food and staff, perfect honeymoon location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2010

I contacted the resort to say we were visiting for our honeymoon and they couldn't have been more helpful, almost instant replies, was told what would be available to us and left it in their capable hands. Everyone was polite, helpful friendly and they couldn't do enough for us, making our trip extra special. On our first night as honeymooners we were invited to a romantic dinner, which was delicious, then a cocktail reception on the second night. Even on trips we had extra treats. The room was cleaned and sprayed with insect repellent, so no mosquito net needed, and an evening call round to see if we wanted extra towels every night. Lots of activites to do around the resort. Food amazing and so much choice all freshly cooked, most whilst you waited. I was a bit worried being a vegetarian that I don't always get much choice, but was well catered for, even when we had set menus (romantic meal). Do expect to say Jambo every couple of minutes, greetings are an important thing in Kenya. Could not fault the hotel, resort or spa, had a great stay, really relaxing. Just a shame we couldn't stay longer!

  • Stayed June 2010, 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
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Southampton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2010

I'll be up front - I don't do package holidays, or lying on a sunbed for hours on end, so if you do like this sort of thing, take the following review with a pinch of salt.

We stayed at the Baobab at the start of August for our honeymoon.
We chose the hotel following the ratings on the Thomson brochure and their website. We chose to go through Thomson as they were the only company to fly direct to Mombassa - the other airlines changed at Nairobi, not something that we really wanted to do. As you can imagine, Mombassa airport's not great, and security is particularly obtrusive on the way back. The hotel is a good 2 hour journey from Mombassa however, and while this does give you a good opportunity to see some of the real Kenya, it's not what you need after a long flight. The river crossing from Mombassa is particularly unpleasant, and this is a trip that needs to be made for virtually every trip that can be made. The hotel is right on the beach, however it's a fair way away from any other hotel or the shops in Diani, so not ideally situated.

During the honeymoon we completed a 3 day safari at Governor's camp in the Masaii Mara (I'll review that seperately, but it was amazing). We booked this through Julius Thuvi safaris, http://www.juliustsafaris.com. He was fantastic, much cheaper than booking through Thomson. See my review on him also (please note, there are other Julius safaris, however he's the real one).

Hotel Pros:-

Food - For an all-inclusive resort, food was fresh, there was a lot of choice and different dishes each night. Fresh meat was cooked in front of you each night, and it was generally of a good quality.
Staff - very pleasant, seemed genuinely happy to help, and kept the resort and rooms very clean. The bar staff were really good (we spent a lot of time with them...).
Pools - there were 3 pools, we used the maridadi as it was quieter, and they were all clean and tidy.

Cons:-

Price - it was far too much for what it was - we upgraded to a deluxe room in kole kole, which was fine, big enough and had a nice double shower. KIt just wasn't worth what we paid.
Atmosphere - there wasn't much. Everything died at about 11pm, when the all-inclusive bit ended and drinks were no longer free. However, I think the hotel suffered from being too big, split ino 3 other hotels, and trying to cater for everyone - it lacked personality and that killed the atmosphere. It was trying too hard to be a family hotel for kids, romantic honeymoon hotel (we had a 'honeymooner's meal', which was a nice gesture, but they were trying to be a gourmet restaurant, which they are not. The buffet was strangely better!), sports hotel (lots of Germans and Italians playing volleyball) and other things. The entertainment was pretty ropey, but I guess you didn't have to go and see it.
Location - once on the resort, you were a bit trapped. There wasn't much to do, and not much very close to the hotel. The beach boys are pretty annoying, and not many guests visited the beach, and this added to the feel of being trapped. We ventured out a few times - Ali Barbour's restaurant is lovely, and Forty Theives bar is well worth a look.

I guess if you're doing a safari and want somewhere to relax and do absolutely nothing, then it's fine (though you can probably do it cheaper somewhere else). However, the resort really could be anywhere in the world, so if it's just the sun and relaxation you're looking for, save some money and go somewhere else in the world a bit closer to home.
Staying in this hotel is no way to see Kenya.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2010

I've travelled a fair bit, so I'm not easily impressed, and for a first ever stay at an all-inclusive I can safely say the Baobab resort is superb. The staff are excellent, friendly, warm and good fun (with one or two exceptions but that's always the case). The food, for a buffet, is excellent though if you're aiming to eat healthy you may have a job unless you're on the Atkins (though for me it was heaven). The pools were lovely with an unforgettable view of the beach, and the rooms were comfortable and clean with all the necessary amenities. I don't put great stock in how big the rooms are as, let's face it, if you spend a lot of time there other than to sleep then you're not doing your holiday right :)
The entertainment team were good and kept our 12 year old busy, and we only went to one show but it was very good indeed.

As an aside we went for a 4 day safari with JT Safaris who were absolutely first class. Don't take the lazy option of booking through the travel agent or hotel as JT Safaris offer a private safari at a better price with top notch guides. Plus, you're putting money in the pockets of local people who need it rather than a big hotel or travel agent chain. It'll be the experience of a lifetime, guaranteed.

Do your homework on how much to tip and when (Rough Guide to Kenya highly recommended) as staff deserve to be as well looked after as we were. You will see some truly shocking poverty on the way from the airport so make sure you help those who are helping themselves.

The only negative was, as others have said, the beach boys. Such a beautiful beach should be a paradise, but unfortunately you will not be left alone at all. Their view of the world is that if you buy something they'll leave you alone, but after our experience we never went down there again. We were too soft and ended up paying well over the odds, almost having a nasty experience where we handed over too large a note and nearly didn't get it back. I should have felt like I was helping out but just ended up feeling hustled. Such a shame as it looks like paradise but you won't want to spend any time there. Personally, just saying a firm no isn't enough unless you do it constantly which is no fun at all. Avoid unless you're totally prepared. The beach is public, so therefore the Baobab has no responsibility for this. It would be so much better if it was private.

Overall, thoroughly recommended and would definitely go back.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Lisboa
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2010

Stayed were for 5 nights after a long journey through Kenya. This hotel was booked to stay some days in the beach relaxing after a one week safari.

Kenya is an amazing country. Nairobi is a great town with very interests places, if you can afford it, and not so insecure as we read in all the sites regarding travelling advices (just be carefull at night). After Nairobi we went to Masai Mara which is a magical place (you should visit a Masai village). Then to Lake Nakuru (lots of flamingos and rhino) followed by Amboseli which was by far the greatest surprise (lots of elefhantes and amazing lodge). To conclude teh safari Tsavo East and Tsavo West. During this long journey we met so many nice people (even in the villages where we stopped for gas) and so many magnificent places that when we arrived Mombasa we were very happy by having chosen Kenya for our Holidays.

The two first days in La Baobad were awful. Than we learned how to avoid some situations and the things got a litle bit better. But this is the problem, I was on holidays and should be relaxing not studying the place.

My opinion on the positives (+) and negatives (-) aspects is:
(+) The hotel: Very beautiful and clean. Lots of trees and gardens that mix with the beach sand. The bungalows rooms were big, confortable and nice.
(-) Standard rooms: Stay away for them. Looks like a prison with a view.
(+) Pools: Good pools but if you want relax go to the maridade pool
(-) SPA: That´s not a SPA, that a massage center. No sauna, no jacuzzi no place to relax. You get the massage and as soon as it´s over they put you out of the place. What about the relaxing after the massage? and they talk a lot during the massage.
(+) Staff: Efficient and nice but that´s all.
(-) Stange rules: This is a beach resort right??? Now the surprise, you can´t take the beach towels to the restaurant at breakfast/lunch. I´ve already went to Brazil, Cuba, dominican Republic, Cape Verde, Maiorca and even in 5* hotels this never happen before. And don´t try to ask them why.
(+) Scuba diving The Crab (separated from the Hotel): Incredible staff.
(-) Food: Breakfast was nice but the other meals are awful. Have to select very well waht to eat.
(-) Beach: I don´t know how to explain the felling but read all the reviews about the beach boys and imagine 10 times worst.

In the last days we knew the tides schedules so we used to go to the beach at 7.30 am because ther weren´t no beach boys. After 9 am we were in the hotel and almost run to the water when we wanted to swin in the ocean. Never stop, ignore the Jambos...

If you like staying in the beach simply stay away from this place. If the idea is stay in the pool to relax after a safari then this is a good place.

  • Stayed August 2010, 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
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Luton
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2010

There were 29 of us in the group ranging from 5 years to over 70 year olds.

Everyone had a fantastic time because of the beautiful hotel and the friendly staff. The food was excellent with a well stocked bar.

I recommend this resort.

Regards

Mohit Shah

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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Nottingham, United Kingdom
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2010

My wife and I stayed at Baobab for our honeymoon and had our dream holiday. The hotel is beautiful and offers something for pretty much everybody. We stayed in the Baobab bungalows and were given a free udgrade to the delux room because it was our honeymoon. The room was lovely and cleaned daily to a very high standard.

We really enjoyed the food at the restaurants and for an all inclusive found it had enough variation for our two week stay. There are cooking stations in each of three restaurants with chefs cooking fresh food these all had slight variations each night. The staff in all the restaurants and bars where very friendly and polite without being intrusive. We found the service round the whole hotel to be first class.

The three pools offer very different atmospheres our personal favourite was the pool at the Maridadi wing which was the quietist of the three. The Kole Kole seemed more of a party pool with games and activities and the Baobab's pool was aimed more for kids. It doesn't matter where you stay within the complex you can use any of the pools.

What we liked about this complex is there was as much or as little to do as you wanted. The facilities are great but it didn't take long to find a stop that allowed you to get away from it all.

The hotel entertainment is just that and cannot understand some of the complaints. Go and see a show and if you don't like it don't go back, we found the shows amusing for the most part but would definately recommend The Lion King and the Acrobats. It's not the West End but a good laugh if you are on holiday to enjoy yourself.

We visited Ali Barbour's Cave Restaurant during our stay and would recommend it to anyone staying in the Diani Beach resort. It was fantastic and a real highlight of the holiday. The restaurant have a bus to pick you up and drop you back to your hotel. The food and setting was outstanding and was a good break from the hotel's all inclusive restaurants.

We used JT Safaris(Julius Tact Safaris) www.julius-safaris.com for our three day two night Tsavo East and West trip. We can't highly enough about JT and the service he provided, it was outstanding. Do not book your Safari through Thompsons, JT offer you your own jeep with excellent accomodation for cheaper than Thompsons. We saw 4 of the big 5 on our trip and had an amazing 3 days.

Overall, we would recommend Baobab to pretty much anybody. Yes the beach boys are annoying but it is a third world country and they are just trying to make a living, but any other complaints we found on reviews before we visited just seem to be from whingers. You can't please everybody but we had a holiday of a lifetime and wouldn't hesitate to recommend this hotel and our safari trip to any of our friends.

  • Stayed August 2010, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greasby, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2010

Just returned from 2 weeks at the Baobab - FANTASTIC!
We travelled with Thomsons in Premium Class - worth the money & service was excellent.

We were upgraded on arrival as it was our Honeymoon. We stayed in Kole Kole wing of the hotel & the room did not disappoint - they had made a special effort because we were on Honeymoon.

FOOD - was excellent. There are a few negative reports about the food on here - but we didnt see anything to report & we ate at all three restaurants. Lots & lots of choice - raw meat was handled with different utensils and we had no stomach problems at all. Always BBQ / grilled meat & fish - rice - curries - vegs... the list could go on!!!

POOL - we stayed around the Kole Kole pool - but each of the pools had its pluses & minus depending on your preference. Maridadi very quiet with less room than the others, - Baobab pool livlier, Kole Kole is where the 'Sea Club is, but we didnt find it too bad at all.

BEACH - beautiful. the beach boys are a pain - but if you decline politely then they were ok - we just walked straight into the sea and didnt have any real problems at all.

STAFF - Just wonderful. Jambo Jambo all the time - they could not do enough for you, and for us the staff were one of the highlights fo staying at the hotel. Entertainment was variable - but the team worked really hard every night.

We kept our room when going on Safari for a price - but again this was worth it. We flew from the Ukunda Airstrip 5mins from the hotel to Governors Camp in Masai Mara - separate review on here - but it was just amazing!!

Hints:
Take a travel Iron as the hotel doesnt have any - there is a laundry service which is very reasonably priced

Visit Ali Barbours Cave for a meal - the setting is just one of the most amazing places we've ever eaten - in a cave with an open roof looking at the stars - the food was average, but worth going just for the experience!!

We'd defo recommend this hotel and would have no worries going back there!!!

  • Stayed August 2010, 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.
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Additional Information about The Baobab - Baobab Beach Resort & Spa

Address: P.O. Box 32, Diani Beach, Ukunda 80400, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda > Diani Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Diani Beach
#3 Business Hotel in Diani Beach
#4 Family Hotel in Diani Beach
#4 Romantic Hotel in Diani Beach
#6 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — The Baobab - Baobab Beach Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 321
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the world famous Diani Beach. The resort comprises three luxurious properties – The Baobab, The Maridadi and Kole Kole, offering a unique selection of exquisite accommodation and facilities spread across the resort grounds. Guestrooms have been specifically designed to provide paramount comfort and luxury for all our clients. Guests may utilise leisure facilities across the resort including 3 swimming pools, dining areas and much more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Baobab - Baobab Beach Hotel Ukunda
The Baobab - Baobab Beach Resort And Spa
Baobab Beach Hotel Diani

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