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Dolphin Hotel

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Dolphin Hotel

Hi all,

I am looking for a last minute holiday to Kenya. The best deal I can find is £352 per person for 7 nights staying at the Dolphin Hotel, Shanzu Beach. Only problem is it's through the African Safari Club which I know has awful reviews!! We would only be booking the hotel and transfers with them not a safari. Do you think it's worth the gamble??

Has anyone stayed at the Dolphin in the last few weeks?

And what's the weather like over there at the moment?!? :)

Help please!


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South West England...
Destination Expert
for Mombasa, Diani Beach, Kenya
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27 reviews
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1. Re: Dolphin Hotel

£352 for a week's full board - on top of that you have to pay for drinks and if you don't like the food they serve up, the cost of eating out in restaurants. For a little extra I would have thought you could have found an all inc hotel. However, if its only a week and you intend spending a few days out of that on safari, then why not? As long as you go expecting the worst (do read a thread African Safari Club caveat empor) then you are at least prepared. Don't let the ASC experience put you off - book a trip for longer next time as a week definitely isn't long enough.

Euston (Not the...
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2. Re: Dolphin Hotel

Arrived back from Dolphin Hotel Yesterday - will write a full Good, Bad & Ugly report on Hotel and ASC in a few days...

We found Dolphin to be excellent hotel - very friendly, accommodation fine (but do not expect 4* luxury), staff excellent and we found food to be very good - and for only 7 nights it wont become too repetitve.........

Definately worth the gamble for that price.... Drinks are on top, but quite reasonable - large bottle of beer c£1.

Hotting up over there now, but breeze from sea makes it pleasant, but noticed higher humidity last week....

All I would say is its a long way to go for 7 days!

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38 posts
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3. Re: Dolphin Hotel

Hi Vix

For 352 go for it, have stayed at Dolphin last October and it was fine. Nice rooms staff ok food not 4* but ok mostley waiter service not a great variety. It is expensive to drink in the hotel but there are 3 nice bars just outside the main gate Go to the little bar on the end and ask for Florence she will look after you or if you want lively go to Pistachio's and Safari Inn out of gate and turn left.

Iff you want more info on that area send me a message on forum


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4. Re: Dolphin Hotel

Hi Vix

Go for it for that price...you'll get a good breakfast from Jothamsen the "egg man",who is a delight...he also does pasta type stuff at lunch which are not too bad...the rest of the food is school meals. There's a smashing restaurant in Mtwapa Creek called the Moorings,when you get twitchy and want to escape.It cost us about 4 euros there and back in a cab and we had some excellent meals there...very big portions,so some stuff you can share.

Everyone moans about the price of drinks,but a 2 litre bottle of water is only 80 cents and not worth the expense of a taxi to the supermarket.

Go with low expectations and you'll love it.It's in a great spot.


PS we were there in April...I have posted a review.

Auckland Central...
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5. Re: Dolphin Hotel

The food can be repetitive. It's the same old menu day after day. Nile Perch is the fish that is served up. It's bland and rubbery.

We were lucky though and did not get the stomach bug that was doing the rounds.

Staff were lovely really helpful and went out of their way to accomodate the quirky eating habits of our 7 year old. always smiling despite not being paid for months. Do remember to tip well.

Lots of our fellow guests complained about the food etc., but when you think you are paying 500 for a two week stay with flight and full board then you can afford to eat out.

I agree with one of the previous posters when he said support the local businesses. It shocked us to see how many believe the 'general information' brochure issued by the ASC warning guests not to shop outside or buy safaris change money etc. 'We do not wish to alarm you but'..read the blurb.

This is shameful of ASC. They are discriminating against poverty stricken African people by warning visitors not to deal with them, as though they are somehow dishonest.

We received a far better rate for our money, 128 to the pound as oppposed to 115 schillings at the hotel. Oour 2 night safari cost us half what the hotel was charging and we had the same hotel, and guide as everyone else.

Locals would be perfectly in their rights to take the ASC to court for misleading information and for steering businesses away from them by discriminating against them with their defamatory language.

We supported the local shops, bought souveniers, had a massage, changed money, booked our safari and ate out. We used Wildlife Sun Safaris who were excellent. It cost 50% less than the ASC price for exactly the same trip.

When you visit the villages like Shanzu and see the level of dire poverty the squalor the lakes of dirty water following a rainfall you wonder how they manage to turn up for work looking so good. It's also admirable of them to be so cheery when they have not been paid for months. Shocking really.

So do support the local people. We felt ashamed at the behaviour of some of our fellow guests who ignored local people avoided their bars and shops but were prepared to use them sleep with them. I am referring to the ugly paid or pensioners (one toothless) and unshaven pair from Essex who would harrass the young local barmaids all day trying to get them to spend the night at one of the local apartments.

Our next door neighbour - a peroxide Beth Lynch type - 67 year old pensioner from Ealing who disappeared into the night with a Massai boy younger than her grandson. following a dance display. We did not see her for the week!.

The following week she had moved on to one of the diving team. she was shocked when we spotted her one night in a bar in Mutwapa.

Staff told us she flys to Shanzu precisely for that. It was her 5th visit. She must be saving her pension weekly. This is the type of pathetic patronising of locals behaviour which we found to be distasteful. It is denegrading to locals and debases them. they need education work food not an old grannie who exploits them.

This old woman did nothing to alleviate the poeverty and hunger of locals. But she was prepared to use them for her own selfish needs. shame on her.

So go to Kenya with an open mind, support local businesses they need your help. Tip well and you will have a good holiday.

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6. Re: Dolphin Hotel

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