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Severin Sea Lodge
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$119
$79
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Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
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Reviews (607)
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Reviewed April 9, 2007

Myself, my husband, Ian, and our two friends, John & Leni, stayed at this hotel for 2 weeks from 9 - 24 March. Having been to Kenya on 4 occasions staying at different locations, we opted for this hotel because of it's African theme and convenience for Mombasa and other points of interest such as Halle Park and Mamba Village. On arrival at the hotel, we were not disappointed by the hotel's grounds and facilities, but were extremely disappointed on entering our rooms - definitely not 4 star standard. The rooms are basic, in need of upgrade to 4 star status (no fridge, no tea/coffee making facility) and the balconies are tiny. On enquiring about change of rooms, we were advised that nothing was available until the last 2 days of our holiday. Many of our fellow travellers were of the same opinion and upgraded - they advised us not to, saying that the upgrades were much the same as the standard rooms.

The hotel is situated right on Bamburi beach and has the usual beach sellers and beach boys. Do not be put off by the beach boys. Talk to them and you will learn a lot, it is surprising how much they know about the sea life and can give you a good education on the wonders within the sea. It is worth while letting one walk with you if you decide to take a walk in the sea. Do not let them pester you, be firm but nice with them - they will take a telling. The beach could be beautiful if the individual hotels along the stretch at Bamburi cleared the seaweed from the area - it spoils it greatly. In other locations we have stayed, the beaches are beautiful because they are well tended.

The Severin is well laid out within beautiful grounds and you are well entertained by the cheeky monkeys (vervets) that roam about usually early in the morning and then again at 5.00pm when they search the bins for 'leftovers'. The grounds are full of beautiful geckos also, the males are stunningly colourful with bright yellow heads and torquoise bodies.

Although disappointed in our rooms, the staff are very good and helpful and the food was excellent in the main dining room, although 'a la carte' was on too often for us (too many courses) - we enjoyed the buffet more. Always plenty to chose from and the breakfast was the best choice we'd had in Kenya. Beware, however, if you like to enjoy your days on holiday and, like us, eat after 8.30pm. The dining room only serves up until 9.00pm!!

The Swing Bar (with swing seats) was our favourite, right on the beach front with a lovely breeze from the sea and the perfect location for a 'sundowner'. The bar staff are super, Peter being the best bar man, followed by Simon and Masingo. We had good fun with the Animation Team also, especially Harre and Grace although everything is done 'Kenya' time, meaning when they appear that's when it happens.

We booked our holiday through First Choice and the rep on site is a very pleasant lady, Mercie. Although appearing to be very helpfuI. we were disappointed by our trip on the Tamarind Dhow to celebrate Leni's birthday. Mercie said it would be great fun with lots of lovely surprises. Expecting at least a birthday cake, there was nothing - not even a song of 'happy birthday' from the resident band. I won't dwell on the 'let downs' but there were a few. I suggest you book this and other trips independently. Much more value for money and you get what you pay for, including safaris.

In general, it was a pleasant holiday although the hotel grounds and staff make it. The hotel definitely needs to upgrade the rooms to equate to 4 star standard. We have stayed North and South of Mombasa (Southern Palms, Sun 'n Sands, Travellers Bamburi and Travellers Kiwi) and the rooms/balconies at each of the other hotels were far superior. Although disappointed in our rooms, we would recommend the hotel for a holiday in Mombasa.

Irene,
Barrhead
10 April 2007

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Craigard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2007

I Stayed In The Severin From The 23rd to The 31 I Can Say That it was a pleasnt stay we all enjoyed expecially my 1 yrold daughter who spent heer birthday out there! missin all the guys!!

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank OoORhiaydOoO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2007

My girlfriend and I decided to go somewhere different for our holiday and after weeks of deciding we chose Kenya for a holiday with a difference and were very happy with our choice.

The hotel is spacious and set in a lovely green surroundings with palm trees to lounge under it has a selection of bars the rooms themselves were fine - but, I would strongly recommend paying the extra (£100ish a week) for an upgrade into a Superior room as the standard apartment room we were first allocated was a bit out of the way and wasn’t anywhere near as comfortable as the superior and I think this is a little price to pay to ensure you have a relaxing stay.

The hotel food was good, there was a wide selection of different dishes each night and the service was great. However, I would remind you that trousers are compulsory for men in the evening, and the restaurant closes at 9:30 – Which was a shock to our usual Spanish way of dining… When we strolled down on the first evening in smart clothes (but shorts none-the-less) just after 9:30 looking for some dinner! But the staff handled us excellently, politely reminding me about the dress code whilst re-opening the kitchen just so we could eat something!!

Other restaurants in the hotel were again at a high standard and we found the flame bar a good place for an afternoon snack (pizza/toastie). Additionally we did visit the Dhow restaurant which is not included in the all-inclusive, it was a nice a meal, you could see that they had put alot of effort into the food and I admit we did make sure we made the most of it but the bill came to just over £100 and after to speaking to some locals on the beach I would of preferred to have put my money towards a better cause rather then a couple of bottles of wine and a lobster….!!

The bars in the restaurant are good with a constant friendly service, the beach bar appeared to be the busiest in the evenings with people socialsing, my girlfriend loved the cocktails made with fresh fruits and the staff were happy to make anything you wanted.

There are two pools in the hotel, they have an animation team who come round to try and get you involved in some sporting activities the morning game of water polo and afternoon volleyball always guaranteed a good laugh! We also went Scuba diving with the hotel scuba school which was excellent for a days fun dive they take you out to sea where you get to see all sorts of sealife and was well worth the money.

One of the most amusing parts of the holiday though had to be the monkeys that seemed to just appear from no where at 5pm every evening to steal any food they could find and cause chaos (in a good way) they were hilarious and they will happily take anyones bag if they smell food in there!!

Now to the main point of writing this review: Beach Boys

The majority of the review’s I read before leaving for my holiday said the Beach boys were hassle, I have to say after going - I strongly disagree with this view.

The majority of holiday makers sit on there lounges on the grass verge that is part of the hotel and the beach boys aren’t allowed up on to that, when they do dare to venture down to the beach as they haven’t been there before, a couple of boys may come up and sell something and that holiday maker will not like the attention return to the lounge and never go on the beach again thus setting their one track opinion in stone…

I personally cant stay away from the sea I love it, so although a bit nervous I had to venture on to the beach and yes I was approached by a guy called Patrick we had a chat and yes I admit (much to my girlfriends amusement as I said I wouldn’t on the first day!) I did buy a couple of hand carved key-rings (I knew I would at some point in the week anyway!), but after that I strolled into the sea and was left alone and I noticed we were also left alone by every other beach boy on the beach as ONCE YOU PURCHASE FROM ONE BEACH BOY THE OTHERS DON’T HASSLE YOU it appeared to be a rule they had. A few days in to the holiday we got to know Patrick and at 4pm when the sun started to shade the hotels lounges he made sure that we could go down onto the sunny beach and lay there whilst he made sure no one would come along and hassle us much to the envy of the other holiday makers :o)

Additionally through the week I came to realise the hotel are happy when your spending money in the hotel - but will happily bad-mouth the people selling outside their boundaries. The beach boys are not unorganised or just anyone strolling around the beaches I learnt that THEY ARE LICENSED and look closely you will notice that the majority are wearing different coloured shirts:

Blue Shirts = Licensed to sell sea related tours
White Shirts = Licensed to sell tours and Safaris Inland
Yellow Shirts = Licensed to run small woodcarving stalls on the beach

So we became quiet open to the beach boy’s and preferred to help Patrick out if possible, for example there is a rental Jet Ski shop 300 metres down the beach which we wanted to go on and would thoroughly recommend! Instead of just walking down there we asked Patrick if he could get us a good price he got me a price for a less then was quoted on the rental shop wall and the fat German Jet ski guy gave Patrick some commission for bringing us in – everyone’s a winner!

Also we asked if he could get us a trip on Safari we showed him the hotel broche from first choice and he got a guy called Sandy over from North Coast Safari who gave us a two day safari at a better price then the hotel. Now I admit getting a Safari off a guy on a beach and having to hand over 10,000 Kenyan rand as a deposit was a little worrying but I trusted them (well you have to they cant exactly set an office up on the beach!). The safari was fantastic we had an 8 seater minibus between us, and two other couples leaving two seats free to move around which was handy considering the roads are terrible out there (Pot-holes galore!) the night stop was also a lovely hotel. Looking at the more popular Hotel tours which were going exactly the same places with the same vehicles but crammed sharing with more people we felt we had chosen the better option.

Some people recommend giving things to people where possible and I’d fully recommend it as well I took a load of old football shirts with me donated by my friends and I know there nothing special to us but handing them out on the beach we had kids jumping up and down with joy at receiving one.

Overall I found Kenya to be a lovely country yes it’s a bit a daunting if you’ve never been to Africa before but if you keep an open mind and remember that your in a third world country your have a great time. By the end of the week I was really impressed and had such a relaxing stay but had learnt loads.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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15  Thank R0B_G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2007

On the plus side the hotel staff and all the Kenyans we met were great - really friendly and helpful. The hotel is very well designed and with a really authentic African feel. The weather was good every day - hot and humid but with a breeze.

On the minus side I had a tummy upset the whole holiday and my partner for the last 2 days. Several other hotel guests suffered the same fate. The food was good but left to stand unchilled and uncovered for hours on end. The bottled water was purified and treated - whatever that meant.

The rooms (we had a comfort room) were dark and depressing. The airconditioning was noisy and kept breaking down and the beds were the most uncomfortable ever - we hardly slept at nights.

The beach was full of seaweed. There were lots of sea urchins amongst the seaweed so not very relaxing in the sea. The sea looked dirty. The beach boys were in general a real nuisance. No tourist can walk on the beach without being pestered to buy something relentlessly.

The airport was a nightmare on arrival - endless forms to complete, queues and £30 per person airport tax to pay. This was nothing compared to the experience at the airport on leaving Mombasa. It took four hours of queues, more and more forms, security checks and passports checks to make our way to the plane. The queues were not managed at all which meant people were unsure where they had to go. This led to angry exchanges from hot and frustrated passengers who eventually just surged forward and it was each man to himself as everyone pushed forward to reach a desk with one person checking passports yet again. At one point people were reaching the top on the elevator to join the queue and not able to get off. There could easily have been a nasty accident.

We won't be returning

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled with family
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2  Thank princessdiana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2007

JAMBO,
My wife & i have just returned from a two week stay @ the Severin Sea Lodge (14th - 28th March 2007),It was without doubt the best experience of our lives.
I must be honest & say that we did have a few reservations after reading some of the reviews before we left, but these were dispelled as soon as we arrived @ the Severin. The hotel is set in lovely grounds with some fantastic views, we stayed in a superior bungalow which had everything you could ever want on a holiday including a view to die for.
This is the first time that we have gone for the all-inclusive option but it was perfect, the food in all of the restaurants was of a very high standard (you must try the Tomato soup in the Flame Tree)& the menu in the main restaurant for dinner was not repeated once during our stay.
All the staff at Severin are lovely friendly people who can not do enough for you.
We did a 4 day Safari to Savo East & West and it was an experience that will remain with us for the rest of our lives.
We also got to swim with wild Dolphins in the Indian Ocean which is an experience that needs no explination.
BEACH BOYS!
Everyone warns you to steer clear of the beach boys,but i sat on the beach & talked to them every day - most of them are just ordinary people trying to earn an honest living.If you book your trips with them (as i did) it will cost you less & the money is going into the economy of the people who need it & not the pockets of the reps.
Three people to ask for on the beach are Rama,August & Alexander,i have attached their photo so you can recognise them.
They will sit and talk to you all day about England & what its like, please remember they are just ordinary people who are a lot less fortunate than we are so if you have any old or soiled clothes to leave them when you come home they will really appreciate it.
ps we were the only people on our plane that came home with presents given to us by the beach boys!

If you do manage to talk to the boys in front of the Severin please tell them Mr Paul & Christine say JAMBO.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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5  Thank MrPSheff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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