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“Amazing 5 days”

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Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 14 Hotels in Bamburi
Certificate of Excellence
Nairobi, Kenya
1 review
“Amazing 5 days”
Reviewed March 9, 2010

great food, great service, 5 pools... just a great hotel =]

Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank 3Chalz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (402)
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New Jersey
Level Contributor
110 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2010

Pros
Amazing grounds, great pools (one with a slides and diviing,
good service, right on the beach, has water sports (cash only but affordable), camel rides on beach, good music at the bar, cocos beach bar is the best place to relax, swim up bar, Conference center was nice and they provided a pretty good lunch.


Cons
Rooms were small and a lill dirty. A queen is two twins pushed together. There were dead mosiqutos in my room (better than alive and the room has a net) and the water was brown for the first few moments (but they provide bottled water)
Buffet is average food at best.
Internet was spotty.

Notes:
Pants required for dinner at the buffet
Has a resturant (pizza and sandwhiches) open most of the day
You can sit on the hotel property and see the beach, but if you go to walk on the beach you will be bothered by people trying to sell you things.

Overall this place is fun and has amazing grounds, I would suggest going here.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank lookingglass101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FBMWhitesands, F&B Manager at Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 9, 2010
Thank you for your candid feedback regarding your stay at our resort. We value our guest feedback and are committed to ensure a refreshing experience on your next visit.
We look forward to welcoming you back and assure you of our best attention at all times.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ely,Cambs.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2010

A superb hotel right on the beach,ideal for relaxation and unwinding.The sea is lukewarm,,just like walking into a warm bath.Plenty of sun beds around the several swimming pools.We were aware of quite a few Russians,they seem to be the new Germans! Pool service was very good , if a little slow at times.DO take time to chat to the waiting staff,especially at the bars,we found them very friendly and helpful.The Spa is to be recommended,though not cheap Eg. massage at 5000/-.
Before booking All Inclusive,do the sums.Alcohol is restricted to the cheap local brands,in over 40 years of drinking,it is the first time a G&T has given me a headache!
The local Tusker beer is quite drinkable,but expensive,at 240/-, if you are not All Inc.( 90/- at the local supermarket).
The bedrooms are kept clean , but are very dated,this includes the bathroom fittings(see other reviews),however ,everything seems to work.The tap water is undrinkable,so heed the advice to use only bottled,this is only complimentary on AI.again,buy outside if possible.
The food in the restaurant was excellent, three buffets a day !Each evening was themed,there were always some Indian dishes at all three.The only complaint was the roast meat,Lamb, Goat and Beef (not on the same day!).Cooked far too quickly and as a result,tough as old boots! I mentioned this to the waiter,who promptly called the chef responsible.I calmly explained that the meat was tough and I felt that slower cooking was needed,he said not a word,just stood with an expression "How DARE you tell me how to do my job!" The roasts did not improve!
The beach is a very long stretch of golden sand,when the tide recedes,there is quite a lot of seaweed.The beach vendors and the odd beggar are an absolute pest,but it must be remembered that there is no Welfare State and they are trying to make a living.Never pay more than 30-40% of the asking price for anything (advice from bar staff).
If venturing into town,keep brain fully engaged.Do not wear any jewellery ,expensive watches or have cameras on view.It is not unknown for attempted grabs to be made through open car windows at traffic lights.
Settle your bill the night before your departure,so any discrepancies can be resolved,A stamped card indicating that the bill has been settled must be obtained before leaving the premises,Trying to settle a query at the last minute may result in a missed flight.It is not unknown for this fact to be exploited.
Mombassa ,once quite beautiful,has been wrecked by neglect and over development.
At the Airport.
An entry visa is needed.$25 ,£20 or 25 Euros PP.We had no problem obtaining them at the airport.On leaving Kenya there is a Departure tax of the same amount on Charter flights,but is included on Scheduled flights.Make sure you have a completed Yellow Departure card before approaching Passport Control.
Watch out for supercilious individuals ,usually in suits,who think it is beneath their dignity to queue,especially at the luggage scanning machine

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank AlanFrobisher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2010

Voyager Beach Hotel, just down the coast, set the standard last year on our first trip to Kenya. We were disappointed, therefore, when Whitesands fell so far short of our expectations, despite costing more money than Voyager, in the Virgin brochure. On the plus side the grounds are lovely, if a little lacking in open spaces. The pools are plentiful and well maintained. The sea view is fantastic and the beach is nice, but good luck fending off the beach boys (very common all along this coastline). The staff are friendly (we must have said "Jambo" 20 times a day) and do try to help. Our bedroom was reasonable (although the bed was too hard) and the TV had a good selection of (mainly) sport channels. The gym was quite good, but by no means the best we have seen (especially lacking in air-con). On the downside the food selection was inferior compared with Voyager. Breakfast was better than lunch and dinner, but there was a lack of fresh fruit and salads. The lack of people choosing to eat in the main restaurant at night meant some food stayed in the "warmers" too long. Service was slow - we started asking for two drinks at a time (at meal times and around the pool) because you could be waiting for anything up to 25 minutes (despite there being loads of staff). You then had the petty bureaucracy of having to sign a carbonised sheet for everything (water, wine, beer), despite having the "all-inclusive wrist band". Our bathroom was very dated and had been patched up with paint over a mould patch, chipped woodwork, and paint flaking from the back of the mirror. We complained to our Virgin rep on the first day, but he simply asked us to fill in a form, and said we should try to speak to the General Manager ourselves. When we pointed out that this might just be his job, he said that we would be more effective than him - perhaps the rep was simply a very busy man. In the event, despite two requests, the GM did not speak with us. Instead he asked the Head of Guest Relations to do so. She did, at our dining table one night. She listened politely and sympathetically as we tried to give a balanced view of the resort (this hotel could be fabulous with some careful planning) and even said she would take on board many of our suggestions. However, the fact that no compensation (e.g. an extra free massage, Jet ski package, etc) was not suggested lead us to believe that what we were saying was being recognised as legitimate. Finally, to cap off a disappointing week, my wife and I both had gastroenteritis. As to the cause, we can only speculate. In summary, we wish we'd gone to Voyager...

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Marinfullsuss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midwest
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed February 8, 2010

We've been to Kenya a number of times - visiting and safari trips. We always try to manage a stay at the Sarova Whitesands. Love the manicured grounds, the open and cool common areas and all the pools. Lots to do for water fun. Swaying palms with lots of shade and then the ribbon of clean white sand and the Indian Ocean. We love it! The service has been consistently excellent. As is the food, especially on specialties nights. My wife and I recommend this hotel most heartily. We'll be back.

One note: Be sure you know how the A/C works or you may have a warm night. It automatically turns off when the balcony doors open, and must be reset to continue.

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank drsoma24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 4, 2010

I was very pleased with all the services and recreational areas provided, it was a safe, quiet and beautiful environment to relax and swim and sun, evening drinks and entertainment, wide veriety of local and western foods and delicious deserts and a steak or pizza could always be an alternative if you could not find something to your taste on the always well stocked and cleanly kept buffet.

Stayed August 2009, traveled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank JonathanB3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coventry, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2010

Having visited Whitesands on many occassions i can let you know the very best info,
the rooms are very dated and in need of an upgrade, the aircon is inefficient and noisy,
there are conferences almost on a daily basis and the attendees are in the way of the paying public, walking around like they own the place and clogging up the dining rooms etc. there are also a large number of american servicemen and women at this hotel on a regular basis on r and r i expect but to a large extent are well behaved, unlike the FIRST CHOICE aircabin crew who arrive on Tuesdays and go on a complete bender, snogging the americans getting very drunk..and loud wrapping there legs around the
yanks at the bar, one american said "Wheres your boyfriend ?" to one of the aircrew
she said in a squeaky voice before giving him a full on tongue job "my boyfriends in England" say no more, she then proceeded to give Maria a fellow cabinstaff a full on
kiss of about 1 minute duration to loud cheers from the Yanks. after she came up for
air she repeated the whole exercise. interesting but not that good when you come here
to escape the yobs in the uk. and Europe where the main lager louts tend to go. They
tried to redeem themselves on the Saturday at karaoke singing come fly with me, but
werer too drunk to read the words and made a complete fool of themselves.

I wish i could say to them dont give up the day job but i wish they would.

COCOS beach bar is at the hotel and is very good normally although they serve cheap
house wine and cheap locally produced alcohol ie gin rum whisky vodka. not the normalbrands like smirnoff johnny walker etc that they serve at the Severin sea lodge
just along the beach. the pools are good, the grounds are lovely the pizzeria is worth
a visit and the pizzas are v good. also available to take away at no extra charge. all incl.

there is a lovely quiet pool near the spa which has massage and a jaccuzzi which is a bit special for an extra few shillings.

all said and done given the choice i would recommend this hotel to anyone and am returning again in June 2010 with my partner who is Kenyan and also loves it.

so if you can afford it go there it sets the standard.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank alan m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa

Property: Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa
Address: Malindi Road, Bamburi, Mombasa 80101, Kenya
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 On the Beach Hotel in Bamburi
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Bamburi
#1 Spa Hotel in Bamburi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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 Hotel Bamburi
Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort And Spa
Whitesands Hotel Mombasa
Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa Kenya/Bamburi

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