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“Beautiful location - struggling buildings/maintenance”

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Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 14 Hotels in Bamburi
Reviewed October 27, 2013

The hotel has a fantastic location at the truly white beach just outside Mombasa. A large pool area gives ample opportunity for everybody to swim and relax. There is both a kids and "silent" pool area. Note that there are no life guards on duty. Going to the beach is also possible, but there are many hawkers constantly approaching you for boat rides or selling something.
The garden and pool area facing the fantastic beach is very well kept and offers beautiful evening strolls or a sundowner in the bar. The Dawa drinks fits well with this place after sundown.
The rooms are old and the whole area calls out for a substantial refurbishment. The pool area, rooms and in general the buildings cannot have been refurbished for the last decade or so.
Service is very good and in general helps you with whatever you might require. Note that the hotel doesn't provide any tours - all have to be booked separately if you want to venture outside. Its a half hour drive to the old Mombasa or the lovely golf courses that surround the area.
The buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner that is included in the price is the best Kenya can offer. I have not experienced such great buffets anywhere in Kenya. 5 stars for this one.
The seaside lunch was not very good - our sandwich had mouldy cheese and clearly wasn't being kept refridgerated, a common problem in Kenya.
Almost next door there is a good Italian restaurant if you want to try other dinner options.

Room Tip: Get a room high up, away from the pool area or bar facing the beach
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank bulgenes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 24, 2013

My Wife and I have just returned from Masai Mara/Mombasa....our first visit to Kenya....our best holiday ever! After 6 days of 06.00 starts and 7+ hrs on daily Game Drives we were looking forward to a relaxing week.....Sarova Whitesands Resort and Spa was just perfect!!
It is the biggest hotel in the area, on Bamburi Beach, North of Mombasa...approx 45 mins from the Airport....depending on the traffic!!
First thing to impress is high level of security on the gate, and in the hotel entrance. Guards are very visible within the hotel, in the gardens and along the beach-front. We felt very safe throughout our stay!
Reception was excellent....a welcome drink, then registration was quick and easy. The hotel was quiet during our stay, so my request for a 17.00 check-out was no problem. Porters then showed us to our room. When booking the holiday we had requested a "high/quiet room". Our room was on the top/3rd floor of the Terminalia 79 block.....sea-front rooms with Ocean view....next to the quiet pool and Tulia Spa area.....it was just perfect....at night the only sound was from the palm trees and the Indian Ocean!
Our room had been recently re-furbished and finished to a very high standard....Key-card entry, large comfortable bed, original art-work,very effective A/C, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities, flat-screen TV with internet/audio-visual sockets, room safe, plenty of wardrobe hanging/storage space, robes and slippers. Bathroom was lovely... N.B. shower only...with hair dryer lovely towels/toiletries etc...provided. Rooms are serviced daily. Evening "turn-down" service included closing mosquito nets and provision of complimentary bottled water. A fitted wall night-light was particularly useful in trying to find a way out of the mosi-nets in the middle of the night!
The hotel is currently undergoing major major re-furbishment....we were told due to complete early 2015?? "Flame Tree and Ashoka" blocks (Palm rooms) are currently boarded up and a bit of a building site......near the Main pool.
Pavilions 1 + 2 Restaurants serve buffet style breakfast, lunch and dinner.....a wide selection of good quality foods.... clearly labelled....is on offer....something for all tastes! Each evening there are themed "specials" i.e. Indian, Italian, Kenyan, Arabic etc. N.B. guests tend to "dress-up" for dinner.....Men must wear long trousers! Cocktails, beer, soft drinks are inexpensive and the Wine List ranged from 1800 - 18500 Ksh ( £14.50 - £149.00) a bottle. Service is excellent.....the waiters/waitresses are really lovely!!
There are 2 other restaurants...Lido Sea-food + Grill near the beach, and Minazi Trattoria + Pizzeria...open 24/7... useful if you arrive late or have very early start in the morning!
Complimentary tea/coffee, sandwiches, cookies, and pancakes are provided each day at 16.00, at Cocos Beach Bar.......just in case you're feeling a bit "peckish"in the afternoon!
Tulia Spa and Gym are excellent....My Wife had a sore back after being bounced around in a Land Rover for 6 days...a "stress-reliever" massage provided a miracle cure!!
Cocos Beach Bar is open 'til late and is where guests head to in the evenings. The excellent Animation Team work hard to entertain! Saturday night Karaoke was popular, and Salsa dancing was great fun!!
The Hotel has a small lobby shop and there are 2 Curio shops in the gardens for Kenyan handicraft souvenirs...prices reasonable.
It was lovely to walk for miles along the beach each day...the Ocean is so warm! Beach-sellers can be rather a nuisance....desperate to "earn a bob or two"....if you want to buy, always barter prices, but otherwise just say a polite but firm "No"! Another useful tip is say you've visited Kenya several times and have all the souvenirs......word soon spreads along the beach and they leave you alone!!
The gardens at the Resort are stunningly beautiful and absolutely immaculate....wonderful trees, plants, flowers and water-features! This is all down to the "all year round" climate in Mombasa...during our stay it was 30c max and 21c min!
Water-sports are available near the beach.....sailing, wind-surfing, jet skis, kayaking, snorkelling and there is a PADI 5-Star Diving School.
Staff throughout the Resort speak excellent English, however a few words of Swahili ..."Jambo" (Hello) and "Asante Sana" (Thank you very much) is always appreciated! Staff are extremely friendly and always smiling!
During our stay we did a Mombasa City tour to experience daily life. Fort Jesus, and the fruit/veg/spice Markets were fascinating. You can even feed a Giraffe at Haller Park, which is near the Resort! A Dhow Sunset cruise was excellent.....lovely Sunset followed by an excellent meal at La Marina Restaurant......again quite close to the Resort.
We loved our visit to Kenya and would certainly recommend it to anyone! Sarova Whitesands Resort will be stunning when the modernisation programme is complete!.....we would love to return!!!

Room Tip: Sea-front Rooms have fabulous view and have nearly all been re-furbished to a very high standard. Th...
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Location
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2  Thank Ian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2013

Our first holiday to Kenya and we stayed at Sarova White Sands hotel in Mombasa. It’s a beautiful hotel in a lovely location at the beach front and very friendly staff. We spent there 7 relaxing days…
Food choices were very wide, multicultural choices (traditional Kenyan’s, European, Asian…) had my brew of Jamaican style ginger tea specially made every day (sweet)
We had a sea view room with a balcony it was definitely worth choosing. We were able to see the stunning sunrises every morning. Never seen a room was cleaned so robustly every day up (thanks Nicholas). The staff were ever so friendly and always happy to help.
Fast internet Wi-Fi access everywhere which my other half wasn't too keen about :)
Thank you VERY much Sarova Mombasa!!!!!!!!

A & M London

Room Tip: Definitely get an ocean view room
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Maria C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RonnieKithinji, Manager at Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 23, 2013

Dear Maria C,

My team and I take this opportunity to thank you for your review but most of all for staying with us at the resort.
We note it was your first time and you enjoyed our services especially the Jamaican ginger tea which is one of our Baristas delight and our vast culinary experience.
Thank you for appreciating the staff who did what was expected to ensure you enjoyed your holiday. We trully value our staff and continously engage them in trainings to achieve the best in them.
We look forward to hostin you once again.

Kind regards

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Reviewed October 15, 2013

We travelled as a group to attend a Conference for one week. A number of us had stayed at this hotel before but time round I got the sense that the standards have gone down. The hotel has always defined "5 star" standards but this time I downgraded it to a "4 star".

My room (number 3086) was stale due to lack of air circulating and dust, perhaps a sign that no guest had stayed in that room for a long time. This activated my sinus allergies and ended up ill. The rooms need a serious upgrade. The bath tubs and sinks have brown stains. Generally not good at all.

In August, I stayed with my family at Leopard Beach Resort and Spa in Diani and that is what I define as true "5 star" experience.

On the brighter side, your staff are wonderful and always willing to assist.

For a long time, Whitesands Hotel has been renowned as the only "5 star" hotel in the North Coast. Management, do not let your hotel go down the tubes. Do something before its too late.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Wizzie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RonnieKithinji, Manager at Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 18, 2013

Dear Wizzie K,

I take this opportunity to thank you for staying with us and for your candid feedback.

We do value all reviews and take neccessary action to ensure the gaps are addressed. We are in a competitive market hence our ultimate goal is tomaintain and achieve,exceed standards set.
We note your concerns on the room and its unfortunate we did not meet your expectations.

The hotel has been under going room refurbishment and is still work in progress. This is in line with our Vision to make it a preferred resort and with the rooms already complete is more than an achievement.
As compared to some of the competition indicated, each resort has its unique qualities & to one's desire and taste.
Once again my team and I trust we shall host you again.

Kind regards

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Reviewed October 13, 2013

After spending a week on a busy safari schedule, I spent 4 days in Mombasa relaxing at the Whitesands. I chose it because there was a dive shop (Buccaneer Diving) on premises. The Whitesands had everything you could ask for in a beautiful coastal resort: impeccable service, clean and comfortable rooms. multiple pools and spectacular location on the Indian Ocean. Hannah at the desk was the most helpful person whenever I had a question or needed anything. The included meal plan was for breakfast and dinner in the buffet restaurant. There was a new "theme" for dinner every night and always there were more than enough choices even for choosy people or vegetarians. There were also 2 additional restaurants available -one outside by the pool and beach, one next to the lobby. Both served very good food for a reasonable amount. There were several beach bars on site as well. The pools were clean and beautiful with more than enough seating for everyone without feeling crowded. The rooms were spacious, clean and very comfortable with large screen tv, mini-bar, desk, great lighting, mosquito netting and a wonderful rain shower head. Wi-fi could be temperamental and iffy in the rooms tho. But the best thing in the rooms was lots of bottled water provided every day. I always felt safe at the resort and everyone working at the Whitesands was courteous, happy and very helpful. I would return to this little piece of heaven!

Stayed: October 2013, traveled solo
Thank Jungleyell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RonnieKithinji, Manager at Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 15, 2013

Dear Jungleyell,

Thank you for choosing to stay with us at the resort more so after a great safari in the wild.
Am happy to learn that my team did meet your expectations on your four day stay with us.

Am equally pleased to note that one of my team members -Hannah did exceptionally great to ensure all your needs were met all the time. We shall definetly acknowlege her as one of our shining stars.
My apologies for not ensuring you got the desired wifi signal but we have taken note of the same for our action.

Once again, we look forward to hosting you in the near future at our beautiful resort.

Kind regards

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2013

This was a truly wonderful hotel. The rooms were spacious and comfortable. The hotel is set in lovely gardens leading on to the silver sands of the beach. It was very pretty and well maintained. The three restaurants offered a wide choice of dishes, The Pavillions had an extensive buffet . The Fish restaurant (almost on the beach)had a range of fish and seafood dishes and at The Minazi bar I had a Kenyan chicken dish which was fabulous. The staff were all friendly and helpful. In fact everyoneof the staff we came into contact with seemed keen to make our stay enjoyable.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Thank Susan F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RonnieKithinji, Manager at Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 14, 2013

Dear Susan F,

Let me take this opportunity on behalf of the Management team to thank you so very much for having stayed at your preffered choice of stay at our resort.

We are humbled to note that you enjoyed your entire stay. Am happy to note that the staff were always eager to assist and readily available anytime anywhere across the resort.
Am glad you did enjoy the Kenyan Chicken dish which is a delight to many, more so the various wide foods on offer.

Its our hope that we shall have the pleasure of hosting you once again soon.

Warmest regards

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Reviewed October 13, 2013

My sisters and I stayed for a week after a safari. None of us was sure about "a week at the beach" as not being our thing, but the Hotel exceeded all our expectations. The reception was polite and friendly, and the all-inclusive package was well explained. After a little confusion at first, when we were given the wrong room (needed 3 beds and only had 2) we were moved into a wonderful room with a beach view, and a choice of swimming pools, one out front and one out back. The room was kept spotless. The sea-food restaurant, though pricey, (not on the a/i package) did wonderful food. The main "Pavilions" buffet restaurant did a wide selection of excellent food, and the smaller "Menazi" restaurant had excellent service too. All the staff were extremely friendly and helpful, and very attentive. It was a perfect place to stay for a relaxing end to the holiday. Once settled we had no complaints. There was maintenance work being carried out around the hotel, but this was screened off, and had no impact of the enjoyment of our stay.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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Thank John G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RonnieKithinji, Manager at Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 14, 2013

Dear John G,

Many thanks for your review on our resort.

My team and I greatly appreciate and glad we made a difference on your holiday and that you enjoyed every bit of the resort.
Am pleased with your feedback, many will be more than glad to come experience the same.

My entire Management team and staff look forward to hosting you once again in the so near future.

Kind regards.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa

Address: Malindi Road, Bamburi, Mombasa 80101, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Mombasa > Bamburi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Bamburi
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Bamburi
#1 Spa Hotel in Bamburi
Price Range: $186 - $510 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 335
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
East Africa's finest resort, Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa is conveniently located on one of the longest magnificent beach fronts on the Kenyan coast. We take pride in ensuring our guests enjoy the most relaxing and comfortable stay in tastefully furnished rooms and suites offering spectacular ocean, pool and garden views. For dining and entertainment, guests can choose from three themed superb restaurants, two great bars, and the exclusive Cocos Beach Bar, overlooking the beautiful Mombasa Ocean. There are four outdoor swimming pools with water slides, spring board, diving boards and four floodlit tennis courts that also serve as a landing ground for helicopters. A fully equipped wellness and fitness club with state-of-the-art fitness equipment, a PADI diving centre and a host of water sports, like snorkelling and jet skiing are also available. Be it a family holiday with children, beach wedding, honeymoon, business meetings with a difference or special interests like deep sea diving or fishing, Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa has something special for everyone. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort And Spa
Sarova Whitesands Beach Hotel Bamburi
Whitesands Hotel Mombasa
Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa Kenya/Bamburi

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