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“Manda Bay, The Very Best Resort in Kenya !!!”
Review of Manda Bay

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Manda Bay
Reviewed December 30, 2012

We have just spent 10 of the very best days of our lives at Manda Bay on Manda Island near Lamu in Kenya. Four families (25 people) had the most incredible holiday in the most perfect place in all of Kenya. The owners, Fuzz & Bimbi Dyer and their staff are the most organized people you could wish for on such a holiday and everything works brilliantly. The food was exceptional, meal after meal, the service wherever we were was really impeccable, the rooms always very comfortable and very well serviced and the venue just simply unbeatable anywhere in the world. Our kids all learnt to kitesurf and were given excellent instruction by Fuzz & Bimbi's sons Harry and William, they also waterskied, went deep sea fishing and caught Sailfish and we were able to spend hot and balmy days on "Utamanduni", the Manda Bay dhow which is the most perfect "lagoon saloon". We all felt completely safe at the resort with it's very well planned and managed security system and what with the Kenyan military having occupied the south of Somalia up to Kismayu, Manda Bay is now probably the safest place to visit on the whole planet !!!! There is so much that kept us all occupied, what ever sport we wanted to do, or we were able to just relax around the pool and take a complete break. It is without doubt the very best holiday we have ever had and I personally can not recommend the resort strongly enough.mit is a "bucket list" place to visit !!! Thanks Fuzz & Bimbi for making it just so special for us all !!! Clive Grinaker.

Room Tip: Water front locations.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Clive G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarah H, Public Relations Manager at Manda Bay, responded to this reviewResponded March 1, 2013

Dear Clive,

On behalf of Fuzz, Bimbi and all of the team at Manda Bay thank you so much for taking the time to review Manda Bay. I am glad that you enjoyed all that was on offer and as you say, the amount of activities really are second to none on the Kenyan Coast.

In addition, thank you for raising the security in place at Manda Bay, we do hope that though objective reviews like this it will give people the confidence to return to this amazing area safe in the knowledge that they will have an amazing time.

From Fuzz, Bimbi and all the team at Manda Bay, we very much look forward to welcoming you back again.

Kind Regards,

Sarah

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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50 - 56 of 83 reviews

Reviewed October 24, 2012

Our visit was too short! We managed a long-distance swim, a drink at the bar, a fabulous lunch, a snooze in the shade, a game of backgammon, a swim in the pool, sunset cocktails, a lesson on mangroves, birdspotting, a geography quiz and a quick fly-fishing primer! It really is an astonishing place, not to be missed if you love wild, on-the-beach luxury with a touch of laughter and warmth. I'll be back.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank nhoxani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utamaduni, Owner at Manda Bay, responded to this reviewResponded October 26, 2012

Thank you for your positive response. We are so pleased that guests are returning to Lamu and to Manda island.

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Reviewed October 23, 2012

We took a boat from Lamu Old Town to Manda Bay and were welcomed by Fuzz and his staff. I had folks from South Africa and Portugal with me who are seasoned travelers. They were blown away by the location and fabulous setting. Beers were ice cold and the lunch was delicious. We were pleased to see so many tourists returning to Manda Bay as this is one of the most spectacular places on the earth. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Most have sea facing views. Definately worth it. Feels like your own piece of heaven
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank pete h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utamaduni, Owner at Manda Bay, responded to this reviewResponded October 26, 2012

It is wonderful to see familiar faces back in Lamu and Manda Bay and delighted that you enjoyed your visit.

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Reviewed March 6, 2012

I just spend a couple of days at Manda Bay, and certainly already know that I will return. The service, food, and arrangements for site seeing were impeccable. The Roberts and Dyer family members’ are wonderful hosts and inspiring conversation partners. Thank you Bimbi for making my first snorkeling experience a memorable one! I have a taste for more. If you like water sports...Manda Bay is the place to go. I felt safe at all times and did notice how well placed the security measures were. A Navy ship was on patrol, and I did see the usually hidden guard by accident. He seemed very well equipped to deal with a variety of emergency situations. While I only noticed him by chance, I was well aware that I would be there should I need him. Moreover the chances of something happening to me in any Western city are greater than on Manda Bay. When visiting the Lamu Archipelago, for me, there is no other place which compares. The Archipelago is a paradise one has to see.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank Ann_intoafricablog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2012

We first went to Manda in August 2010, loved it and wanted to come back at Christmas to repeat the experience and enjoy the season's clearer water. Needless to say, we had our concerns following the kidnappings in September/October, but were reassured by the security measures that the Dyers and Roberts had put in place. So we decided not to change our booking. After a week's safari we landed at the airstrip on January 2nd, to be met by Bimbi Dyer in one of the 35 year old open air Range Rovers. We were greeted like old friends, and took little time to slip into the slow pace of the pool, the bar and the excellent food. No check in, no keys, no signing of receipts, no windows.
If you want to keep to yourself with a book, no problem. Alternatively there was a strongly fought ping pong championship between our boys and the younger Dyers and Roberts. More novel was the kite surfing: in three days our eldest was coached by Harry Dyer to make a good show of himself in strong afternoon winds. The younger ones went snorkelling, wake boarding, screaming and 'bananaring', and disturbed the peace jumping off the aft deck of the dhow with a reluctant father. The sundowners on the water and on the beach were as enjoyable as ever, and along with dinner presented plenty of opportunities to get to know interesting and interested people.
We never once felt the slightest twinge of insecurity. Fuzz and Bimbi were quite open about what had happened and the measures taken: discrete to the guests but clearly comprehensive. Its hard to recommend enough the fun, the friendliness and the uniqueness of Manda. We will be back soon!

Anthony, Eléonore, Jos, Amélie, Edward and Hugo Pralle

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank AnthonyP662
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2012

Our family spent two weeks in December as part of a large group of friends at Manda Bay Lodge. We are all seasonal visitors to this magnificent area but had never before stayed at Manda. We already love the area and its people; we had visited Manda Bay before and knew its perfect setting; and in past visits we had met and immediately liked the owners and hosts. The grown-ups had also once before popped in at the lodge - en route to Lamu from Mike's Camp on Kiwayu island - for one quick shandy but the only things quick and popping about that visit were the barman's service and downing of our drinks and popping corks. So we staggered out, hours later, and knew we'd be back. The attacks on tourists in the area late last year jeopordised our plans to return to Kiwayu, or anywhere else on the north Kenya coast. But Andy Roberts and Fuzz Dyer of Manda Bay allayed our concerns - not by pretending all would be fine. They were completely frank about the risk and doubted they could do enough ensure our safety without ruining things. But our hosts came up with a pragmatic plan - with some external help. So we came, a little uneasy at first, but with eyes wide open. We also with high expectations - of the legendary Roberts-Dyer hospitality, Manda's good food and great setting, of at least matching Kiwayu's fishing (perhaps the finest on the planet), the latest and largest variety of sports kit and other big boy's toys and we were near desperate to rest and rest some more. The result? Manda Bay and its magnificent people under-promised and over-delivered. (See Clive Grinaker's accurate review). We cannot thank or praise our hosts and their staff enough. Nothing was ever too much trouble. Despite their bleak challenges the camp mood was never affected. Far from it. Andy Roberts' had us in stitches with his near bottomless repertoire of 'true stories'. We felt safer and, I have no doubt, actually were safer than almost anywhere else worth visiting. After two weeks of nonstop fun and action, we left rested, enriched, unscathed and ticked off all sorts of new experiences and skills. Best off all though were the fine new friends we made.
Martin Kriegler

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Martin K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2011

Four families (24 people) have just returned from spending the holiday of a lifetime at Manda Bay, on Manda Island near Lamu on the North Kenyan coast. We arrived on the 4th and departed on the 18th December 2011. Two weeks was just not enough time to fully enjoy all that there is on offer at Manda Bay.

The security matter was a big issue for us all to consider after the recent kidnapping events that happened on the other side of Manda Island and at Kiwayu two months ago, both in the very region we were attracted to.

However, none of us ever felt vulnerable or insecure at any time during our 2 week stay at Manda Bay, as Andy Roberts, the owner / General manager has set up a very tightly managed and very secure security operation in and around the Lodge which operates 24 hours a day with expertly trained guards and equipment. His operation was investigated for us by past leading members of the British Special Air Services (SAS) and given full clearance for us to book our trip. We never saw any security personnel during the day or night, but we knew they were there, and so did the entire Lamu and neighbouring "communities".

The staff were incredibly professional in every respect and such a pleasure to deal with at every level. The food was exceptional, meal after meal, with fresh tuna, dorado, wahoo caught daily and served grilled and as sushimi snacks, as well as fresh prawns, crayfish and crab. Also thoroughly enjoyed was the roast beef, pasta dishes and delicious salads. The fresh fruit at breakfast was the best and so fresh and tasty as were the pancakes and cooked eggs as you liked.

The water sport opportunities offered at Manda Bay are remarkable. All 16 children and 7 of the adults are now able to ski slalom (on one ski), 6 of them are now expert Kite-Boarders, (the beach and wind conditions for Kite-Boarding are the best in the whole of Kenya), and all 24 of us went deep-sea fishing. This holiday we spent few days out at sea because we were so spoilt by all the other beach activities, but we still caught 3 Marlin (1 x Black & 2 x Striped Marlin), 16 Sailfish and uncountable numbers of everything else. We all also went diving to some of the most beautiful coral reefs literally 10 minutes from the Lodge and saw an incredible diversity of reef and other tropical fish.

The accommodation is brilliantly designed and extremely comfortable, with huge beds and beautifully finished bathrooms. Big verandah's allow you to wake up in the morning to tea in comfortable lounger seats on your verandah while looking out over the water to the most beautiful seascapes. Each 'Banda' (room) is set away far enough from the others that you have complete privacy yet at the same time you feel comfortably close to the people next door to you.

Andy and his wife Caragh organised sundowner's every evening, to an island beach 5 minutes away with a fully stocked bar (with hot and cold running service) and a huge bonfire to welcome the warm and balmy night. On other occassions, we would sail in the Manda Bay Dhow, "Utamaduni", to a sandbank 30 minutes away and on our return at sunset, we would be taken to see thousands of Carmine Bee-Eaters flying into the mangrove trees to roost over-night on a small island 10 minutes from the Lodge.

Andy and Caragh have such a personable way about them that they become a part of the "family" and no-one tells better or funnier "true stories" than Andy. They are the most incredible host's and as the owners, they run a very well organised operation in everything that they do. Their 4 children are expert Kite-Board instructors, fishermen and waterski coaches - so there is always someone to look after your every sporting requirement.

So I can safely say that these past 2 weeks have undoubtably been the very best days of all our lives and we all carry the happiest memories that will last for a lifetime.

Manda Bay - you get 10 STARS for absolute "excellence" at everything that a person would look for in a beach, fishing and watersport holiday - including saftey and security !!!

Thanks for providing us with undoubtably the 14 most unsurpassable days of our lives !!!

CLIVE, TESSA, ANDY, JESS & MIKE GRINAKER.

Room Tip: All the beachfront rooms are exceptional and there are kids rooms set back from the beachfront which...
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank Clive G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Manda Bay

Address: Manda Island | Lamu, Lamu Island, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Lamu Island
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 28 Specialty Lodging in Lamu Island
Price Range: $289 - $330 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Manda Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Manda Bay is located on the North-western tip of Manda Island, one of the many unspoiled, idyllic islands of the Lamu archipelago. An exclusive resort, Manda Bay offers relaxation, water sports, dhow safaris and luxurious pampering throughout your stay. Surrounded by miles of soft white sand, Manda Bay is the perfect retreat for families and honeymooners. The cottages are in keeping with the local landscape and were constructed using local materials. All of the cottages have large ceiling fans, en-suite bathrooms, and their own private verandas overlooking the Indian Ocean. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Manda Bay Hotel Lamu Island

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