I spent a few nights at this hotel on two separate occasions in January 2013 and enjoyed it very much. The staff is excellent, the place is very clean and secure (guard at the front door 24/7), and the air conditioning works very well, as does the ceiling fan. If you are not accustomed to the heat of Mombasa, you will come to appreciate the AC and fan. The rooms are large, the bathrooms are clean, and the shower water is very hot. Ask for help understanding how to use the device that turns on the hot water; otherwise, the shower water will only run cold. They provide soap but not shampoo.
Be sure to tell the taxi driver that the hotel is on Jomo Kenyatta Avenue across from the AA Driving School in the Talab Building; taxi drivers seem to know that location. The cab should cost you 1,200-1,400 Kenyan shillings depending on the time of day and the time of year. It should take about 20-30 minutes from the airport.
Rophus Msagha and his staff will take care of you. The food is plentiful, excellent and very cheap. His cell phone number is 0726 362782. When you need a cab, just let him know and the cab will be there quickly. There is an ATM directly under the hotel, on the ground floor. The hotel does not accept credit or debit cards, so either bring cash or be prepared to use the ATM downstairs; be sure to tell your bank that you are going to Kenya, or your card will likely not work. There is a cyber cafe directly across the street from the hotel. It has broadband service. The cost is about 50 cents an hour, a great value. (The staff said I could use their computer but I didn't want to impose.) The hotel offers free wireless internet if you bring your own computer.
You will not be disappointed if you choose this hotel, and will, in fact, be delighted. I decided to stay there based on reviews on TripAdvisor and I am glad I did. The hotel always has sodas and cold water available for about a dollar. The meals can either be buffet style when there is a conference at the hotel or ordered off the menu. I had the spaghetti bolognese with minced meat for about four dollars, and I could never finish more than half of it. A single room is about $30, and includes breakfast. For another $8 or so a day you can also get lunch and dinner. After you are done with your meal, you might consider leaving a tip, even though you are on full board (which means all meals included). The tip can be 100-200 Kenyan shillings, about a buck or two. Doesn't hurt you, but very much helps the Kenyan staff. By the way, when you exchange American dollars for Kenyan shillings, this hotel gives a better rate (80 vs 74) than other hotels and local banks. Not sure why they are so generous, but I appreciated it, even if it did not amount to much. Also, be sure if you are giving them large dollar American bills ($50 or $100) that they are from the past few years; older bills are not accepted because they do not have the newer anti-counterfeiting features, and the staff will ask you to replace them with newer bills. Also, be careful to not speak very fast to Kenyans; we sometimes think our American English is easy to understand because many of us don't have heavy accents, but in fact our English sounds heavily accented to them.
Many locals eat at the hotel restaurant, which is always a good sign. Oh, the place has a large number of TV channels available (80+), including Indian, Kenyan, and channels that rebroadcast American programs, including HBO. The shows tend not to start on the hour or half-hour, though; just a quirk.
Some of the front rooms can be a bit noisy, but you get used to it. And there are a few mosques around the hotel, so be prepared to be awakened by a beautiful call to prayer.
I strongly endorse this hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Radiance is located right in the center of Mombasa Island, along Jomo Kenyatta Avenue approximately ten minutes drive from Moi International Airport.The strategic location provides easy access to the central business district and the major tourist attractions of Mombasa.Whether its for Business or Leisure, the elegant hotel rooms have been designed to suite all types of travellers. The Hotel offers free wireless internet facility to guests. Parking space available too. ... more less
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