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“Amazing - 5*”

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Msambweni Beach House
Reviewed January 8, 2013

My husband & I stayed here on our Honeymoon in October 2012. I really cannot recommend this hotel highly enough - it was absolutely beautiful & the staff were amazing. When we arrived, we were booked into the Ocean suite, which was attached to the hotel, but we decided to upgrade to one of the private Villas because it was the last part of our honeymoon & it was defiantly worth it. We didn't leave the Villa for pretty much the whole 3 days we were there because it had its own private pool, & the staff bought us our meals & any drinks we wanted there too. It was so convenient to wake up in the morning & have our breakfast waiting for us at the poolside. I don't think I have ever been so relaxed, & I probably wont until we get back to Msambweni!
I really enjoyed the food, it was very tasty & great variety. Initially, We were worried about going to Kenya because we didn't think we would like the food, but we need not have worried. Even when we asked to have different food because we don't eat fish it was no problem at all. We even created our own pizza's one afternoon by the pool & watched the chef cook it. I especially enjoyed the pineapple chicken dish which was served in a pineapple.
The beach was beautiful, very clean & well kept. We also enjoyed a first class massage down on the beach while watching the tide come in. The villas were spotlessly clean, with fans & air conditioning to keep us cool.
If you are thinking about booking this hotel - do - you wont be dissapointed.
My only complaint about Msambweni is that we wont be able to return this year.
Special thanks to Terry & David who looked after us so well.

Room Tip: We stayed in Lamu 3, beautiful Villa.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Gillyd95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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60 - 66 of 157 reviews

Reviewed December 16, 2012

Once you have driven through the humble gate, you stumble from one pleasant surprise into another. Magnificent house style which is a mixture of the famous belgian flamant with swahili - they match lovely. It is luxury without the "faux"-glamour of le nouveau riche. No bling bling but quality wooden floors - a bed to sleep in for ten days in a row - white swimming pool all natural materials.
You have to love the staff : perfect service without the stiff upper lip. Shiny Sharon has an eye for every single detail and makes your day even brighter then it already was. Lovely Martin brought me my last Gin and Tonic with such a smile, I went happily to sleep.
The food is very tasty and even though I am not a very pattriot person, I think the Belgian touch has something to do with that.

Thanks for my two days of paradise!!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Charliebland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2012

Poor food and the exclusion of family who wanted to visit us meant we left and returned to a better hotel at half the price. The decor felt tired, there was no fish and the welcoming lunch considered of tough lobsters, limp salad and spaghetti bolognaise! The back room has no view of the sea.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Gillespie55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Msambweni, Manager at Msambweni Beach House, responded to this reviewResponded January 7, 2013

Dear Trip Advisor reader,

Thank you for taking the time to read my respond/view to the above review.
It is important for you to know the history of this review:

1. Three rooms were booked by the same party/group of friends

2. We realized that some other friends of this party (who had not booked and registered and therefore also not paid) were sneaked into the compound and pretended to be paying guests.
When we found out that more unregistered people were trying to get into our very small boutique private property, my assistant explained to the client who had initially booked the party that we cannot just let people use our facilities without the management being aware of this and being in agreement, as we want to guarantee the privacy and comfort of all our guests.

3. I tried to explain the same over the telephone, but couldn't as I just got insults instead.
That is when I decided to protect our normally so peaceful establishment by asking the guests to leave the property after refunding the guests.
We offered a full re-fund as we really preferred them to leave without any financial restrictions/obstacles.

4. My office staff were slightly threatened when the cheque was collected by insinuations like “I am well known and can spoil the name of the hotel”.

5. The staff and management were really relieved after they left.

We can of course prove all of the above.
I don’t think that this is normal behavior of the average traveller.

Our aim is to make people's holidays as perfect as possible, but we do have the right of admission, which we were in this case forced to use in order to guarantee our other guests the most perfect holiday possible, even though this resulted in an unwanted financial loss and a bad quote on Trip Advisor.

We are of course not surprised to see that this traveler quoted us 1/5, as we are also not surprised and proud to have reached our 70th 5/5 review recently.

Kind regards,
Frederik Vanderhoeven,
MD Msambweni Beach House & Private Villas.

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Reviewed November 30, 2012

Having slept in 100+ luxury hotels around the world I must say this hotel is amaaaaazing! Located in the middle of nowhere and adjacent to one of the most beautiful beaches ever it is incredible what these people realised building this unique hotel from scratch. We stayed in Villa 3 and had the best experience. The villa has all luxury, staff is very friendly and helpful and the food is A++ seen the limited availability of resources in this part of Kenia. The organised tours to the adjacent village and mangroves are the most authentic experiences my wife and I had ever. We will be back!!!

  • Stayed: November 2012
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Thank astuce123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2012

We ended our honeymoon at Msambweni house and it was the most anticipated location of a whirlwind 2-week Kenya safari-to-beach vacation. We struggled with the price of the villas and figured for the hefty sum charged for the rooms in the main house, they would be outstanding enough. We also read quite a few reviews that spoke of upgrades upon arrival so we thought that may also happen.
After a lengthy drive down a pot-hole-ridden road, through some villages, we finally arrived. We were greeted with a refreshing towel and drink and invited to sit in the lounge. After going over some details, we were invited to our room. Disappointingly, we hadn't been upgraded and the room fell SO far short of our hopes, I was in tears when we were left alone. There were guests in the adjacent room and we could hear their comings and goings, we were in plain view of people in the pool and of staff at the back of our room. The room was small and non-descript. It reminded me of place I stayed at in Thailand for $40/night. But we were definitely paying much more than that this time!!
We expressed our disappointment (or rather my husband did, since I was in no shape to do so), and were told we would find out after lunch if an upgrade was possible. We waited for a few hours to hear, not wanting to unpack if we were moving. Finally we were told that the villas were all full that night, but we would be upgraded for the following night. (their reservation site had shown availability that night)
We headed down to the beach, where we struggled to find a free chair (and faced a few angry glares from the people having lunch down at the beach). The tide was out, and for 500 meters, it was all rock and coral. We didn't last long at the beach, and retreated to the pool. The main pool is very nice but not private. We awkwardly shared the pool with another couple who obviously enjoying having it to themselves before we arrived.
The food was good but not outstanding. The meals lacked adequate seasoning and were 'simple' at times. There was little selection. The breakfast was by far the best meal, top-notch for sure - lots of variety and really well done. Then lunch and dinner went downhill from there.
Once we got in the villa the following day, we were blown away. It was like night and day from the room. The villa was elegant, roomy, breezy, and nicely appointed. The private pool was fantastic.
We once again braved the beach, this time with high tide, and still had to wade out incredibly far to get anything deeper than waist-high. We put on the free shoes provided and thank goodness- they are a necessity. If you like spending time at the beach and in the ocean - this is not really the place for you.
We slept fitfully in the villa, it stayed quite warm the whole night despite having the air conditioning on.
They advertised WIFI (which was important to me since I have an internet-based business I needed to monitor periodically) but it wasn't working. I had to sit at a laptop in the baking hot gift shop to connect to the internet.
We were never greeted by the owners (who were evidently at a tourism conference), nor by their family who was staying at time time. We did finally talk to them on the last day but I approached them. We were juggled back and forth by the owner's assistant Terry and someone else named David who all of a sudden appeared to be in charge when Terry was absent at the tail end of our stay.
In the end, we loved the villa but there are still some things to work out to bring this place up to the standard to justify the price (and it's a pain to get to & from). A few days is probably all you would want to spend here before getting a bit bored.
Read some of the other reviews that give the place an 'average' rating to hear the good and the bad before dishing out your hard-earned savings!

Room Tip: Room #1 in the main house faces the pool and has lots of windows. Since there are windows on both s...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank K-STARR_777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Msambweni, Manager at Msambweni Beach House, responded to this reviewResponded December 13, 2012

Thank you Trip Advisor for making it possible for the management to add/correct some facts mentioned in the above review.

- Upgrade: we have indeed always upgraded free of charge when possible. However, this is not always possible, even if the room is described as “not occupied” on our reservation sheet. The main reason is that we continuously maintain our rooms and villas when the are “not occupied”. It is a pity to see that we are penalised by this review due to the fact that we could “only” give an upgrade on the 2nd night which was the guests' last night. We are therefore re-considering our upgrade policy and have removed our online reservation sheet in order to avoid such expectations that we cannot always fulfil, but we also have never promised upgrades, it is always intended to be like a surprise gift.
- Rate main house: Our business is working very well, mainly thanks to the fact that we have rates which are great value for money given everything that is included in the price. All our rates have been carefully planned, together with professionals from the tourist industry and our operations costs department. This is one of the main reasons why we have many repeat bookings and a certificate of excellence for the year 2012 on TripAdvisor.
- Food: One of the main reasons, besides the service, rooms, pools etc., that our repeat guests return is the food. Thanks to a Belgian one Michelin Star chef, our menus are updated frequently and checked daily by the management and the directors. The feedback is excellent. We are currently creating (together with the one Michelin star chef) more top end vegetarian dishes to be introduced from 28th January 2013.
- Beach: The low tide goes out to a maximum of 200 meters and not 500 meters as mentioned in the review. Swimming is always possible, although you have to walk for about 200 meters when it is low tide. The uniqueness of our beach is the fact that it is remote, natural, quiet and there are no beach boys, which also means we are able to serve lunches daily on the beach under the shade of many palm trees and in beautiful quiet surroundings.
- Air conditioning: All our air conditioning units are working very well and are maintained as required. We don't believe this was mentioned during the stay which is disappointing as we always attend immediately to issues mentioned by our guests.
- Internet: We were indeed working on an upgrade (now complete), but always have the internet in our shop. On request, we also could have given a modem, but apparently the internet in the shop was fine for the guest. We have excellent internet services now, even on the beach.
- Asking for TripAdvisor readers to go and look for the average reports is fine, but I would like to add the following:
1. Our most recent average review (except for this one of course) was almost 3 years ago on 29th December 2009. All others have been higher.
2. Since the 29th December 2009 we have had three 4/5 for which we are very proud and thirty four 5/5.

Frederik Vanderhoeven,
MD Msambweni Beach House & Private Villas

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Reviewed November 21, 2012

This place is amazing every time and I hated to have to leave! Could not enjoy life more as when there - the service, the setting, the food, the private pool, the rooms are all so conducive to checking out of everyday life and just enjoying pure luxury. Thank you to Frederick and all the staff for a piece of paradise.

Room Tip: Stayed in Lamu II this time and have to say that prefer Lamu I but honestly no matter where you stay...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank anuka9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2012

There is a temptation to believe that the photos of Msambweni Beach House have been 'Photoshopped' - but they haven't!! The setting is completely beautiful - a stunning, quiet beach with white roller waves crashing on the reef. We walked on the beach and saw less than a handful of people - amazing.
We stayed in Villa 3 - a large and stylish villa with a stunning, private infinity pool. We would lie in bed listening to the waves, birds and monkeys - heaven!
Terry - one of the hotel managers - was incredibly helpful and would visit regularly (but not too often) to check we were happy and whether there was anything further that could be done to make our stay more enjoyable.
I had a massage at the purpose designed 'room' on the beach - what a fantastic location for a spa!
My husband has particular eating habits and, when there were a few minor problems, Terry would listen attentively and ensure they were remedied.
The last night was our wedding anniversary. We had a fantastic meal in our villa which was concluded with singing and dancing from the hotel team. A truly magical and memorable moment - I will treasure this forever.
Thank you everyone at Msambweni Beach House.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Harveyhound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Msambweni Beach House

Address: P.O Box 51 | Off Ukunda Ramisi Road, Msambweni 80404, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Msambweni
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Msambweni
Price Range: $475 - $1,287 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Msambweni Beach House 4*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Msambweni Beach House & Private Villas has been designed in the Lamu style with whitewashed intricate features and high beamed ceilings. The property’s balconies, terraces, pontoons and infinity pools overlook the Indian Ocean and are the perfect spot to relax, watch the sunrise and enjoy a sundowner. The many wining and dining options are extended to Msambweni Beach House’s private beach and new lounge beach bar as well as a hidden cave, and, when the tide is right, a sandbank a little wade away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Msambweni Beach House Hotel Msambweni

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