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“View from the room was outstanding”

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Voyager Beach Resort
Ranked #2 of 60 Hotels in Mombasa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 16, 2007

My husband and I arrived on 24th February and stayed at the Voyager Beach for 2 weeks.

We had a fabulous time - we had paid for a superior room with sea view booked with First Choice - the view was fabulous of the Infinity Pool and the sea. First Choice was fantatsic - lots of room - would definitely use them again

I won't repeat what others have said - only critiscms would be:
1. Bathroom is small and very dark
2. Towels were a bit smelly but whilst we were there the hotel took ownership of new washing machines so hopefully this will improve the situation.
3. Sometimes in the main restaurant we were put off by the strong smell of calor gas - however the food was very tasty and varied.
4. Check your money when cashing traveller's cheques, changing money etc at the hotel - we were given the wrong amounts on2 occasions.

We ate mostly at the Sports Bar and the Italian Restaurant (it is always nice to be waited on rather than buffet service). Thanks to Mercy, Stephen, George and Claire - we had lots of laughs.

Would we come back to the Voyager ?- Yes definitely. It was spotlessly clean, staff extremely helpful and pleasant, no problems with getting a sun bed, different themes every day.

During our stay we took a 3 day (6 game drive) trip to the Masi Mara staying at Main Governors Camp. We booked through the boys on the beach outside the hotel (Eastern Tours and Safaris). Look out for Bruno in his red baseball cap. The safari was absolutely brilliant. We saved $130 each on the trip (paying $950 each) on the First Choice price and again as others have said it was exactly the same trip.

We were taken by James (the owner of the company) to Mombassa airport at 06:30 and flew on Blue Sky (small plane) to the Masi Mara. This was a 2 hour trip passing by Mount Kilamjiro - excellent views!!. We were then transferred on another small plane to Governor's own airstrip (a 5 min journey). Another 5 mins and we arrived at Governors by LandRover. It was quite muddy when whilst we were there as there had been heavy rain overnight and for the 2nights were there it rained both evenings. The weather was hot during the day but less humid than in Mombassa but very cool in the mornings and evenings.

The highlight of the trip must be an elephant wandering by our "posh" tent in the early hours of the morning. We were however in no danger as the Masi Rangers were always in close proximity.

On our game drives, (06:30 - 09:30, 10:30 - 12:30 and 15:30 - 18:30) we saw lions and cheetahs (very close up) and loads of elephants, buffalo, giraffes, crocodiles, hippos etc. Those that went to Tsavo didn't see any cats and were disappointed.

Our tent was next to the river and we could see families of elephants, baboons, crocs and hippos from here.

Our tent was extremely spacious, with a loo, bidet, shower and washbasin. We had 2 large single beds and hot water bottles were out in our beds whilst we were having our evening meal.It was so cosy when we got back to our tent with the tilly lamp warming it inside and providing light. There is no electricity so we felt a bit daft having taken our travel iron with us and had to wear creased clothes instead!!!

Our guide Joseph was fantastic and his brother Tom's smile (the guard on the gate) was one we will always remember.

The food here also was fantastic.

We just didn't want to leave - we will be back.

Stayed: March 2007
19  Thank beckki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,743 - 2,749 of 3,010 reviews

Reviewed March 10, 2007

We stayed all-inclusive at the Voyager from 19 Feb to 5 March 2007 after booking with Thomsons. This was our first time to Kenya, but after the absolutely amazingly fantastic time we had it will certainly not be our last!

ACCOMMODATION
We stayed in a Superior Garden View room, which had 2 king-size beds, a/c, ceiling fan, tea-making facilities, tv (which we never had time to watch), fridge, hairdryer, shower (no bath), & mosquito nets (which we used every night, but really there was no need to). The room was kept immaculately clean by the chamberman, George.
The whole complex was always spotlessly clean and well-maintained. A team of gardeners and cleaners were always very busy. Public toilets were inspected on an hourly basis and were always really clean. All staff were extremely friendly and very hard-working.

MEALS
The food was very varied and never became boring in any way. We very much liked the idea that the hotel is based on a ship which docks in a different country each day, and the menu in the main buffet restaurant tries to reflect at least some dishes of the country. There are also basics (eg salads, rice, breads, pasta) every meal. Many of the dishes are cooked in front of you to your liking.

The restaurant staff are all very helpful and very well-presented - every day they wear a different uniform, again representing the country of the day. A lovely lady called Janet (who cooks omelettes and pancakes at breakfast) asked my name on the first day, and remembered it right til the end - always greeting me each morning with a very friendly "Jambo Sally".

ANIMATION TEAM - ENTERTAINMENT
There are many animation staff at the hotel, each dealing in different aspects. For example, most of the female staff are for the children's Adventurers Club. Though we don't have children, I did notice that they seem to do a very wide range of activities and the children are very well supervised.

The male animation staff were all extremely friendly (especially Bakari, Martin and Dominic). They don't force anybody to join in if they don't want to, but still take the time to chat with you, especially if they notice you're sitting alone. I normally never get involved in entertainment activities, but I found the boys to be so much fun that this time I did and really enjoyed it. Other activities
organised by them were Beach Walks (handy for walking along the beach without being hassled by the traders, and to gain useful local knowledge), quizzes, bingo, memory game, etc. I attended several basic Swahili lessons - this may sound boring, but if you try a few words on the staff they seem to love the fact that you're taking an interest in their language.

Evening entertainment consisted of a mixture of performances run entirely by the Animation Team, and of local acts such as African bands and acrobats, which were all very good. During the fortnight, the Animation Team put on 4 musical shows - Cats, Wizard of Oz, The Lion King & Joseph. I personally found these to be really good, though some people complained they were too amateurish. Generally the entertainment finished by about 10pm, then there was dancing til about 11pm. The all-inclusive bar was available until midnight.

SAFARI
We booked our safari with Mustafa on the beach. We did a 3 day,2 night safari to Tsavo East/West & Amboseli. The price should have been £250 each, though we got it for £240. This includes all meals. (With the Thompson rep, a 3 day, 2 night trip to just Tsavo East/West would have been £281 each - and the tour companies use the same accommodation). He sold a wide range of trips, including air trips to the Masai Mara, all much cheaper than the tour companies, and allegedly fully-insured.

Initially I was somewhat wary of handing over so much money to a man on the beach, but there's no need to be. The same beach boys are there everyday, and rely upon the tourists at the hotel for their living. They know that if ever they ripped somebody off, word would spread and none of them would do any business. We gave him £50 each deposit, then paid the rest the evening before we went. You can pay in either KSH, £ or US$. He even ensured he was at the hotel gates at 5.30 am to ensure we got on the transport ok, which I thought was very good service.

The transport was a 10 seater minibus, but the company accepts no more than 6 guests for each trip, ensuring everyone gets a window seat. Once in the parks, the roof lifts up and it's great fun standing up as you drive along with the wind whistling past you. You do get extremely dirty though, so take some old clothes. You don't really need a hat as the roof shades you, and it'd most probably blow off. Take some wrapped boiled sweets or lollies, and some cheap biros on the bus with you - when you pass through some of the villages or stop off at a "service station", the children will jump for joy if you hand some out. And as you pass through the Masai Villages near Amboseli, people will be trying to sell things and accepts pens, t-shirts, etc in part-exchange!

The whole safari experience was amazing. The only downside was that it was an awful long drive back from Amboseli on day 3, but if you go prepared for that and make the most of looking at the scenery and villages as you drive through, it won't be too bad.

BEACH SELLERS
The men and women selling goods on the beach can be quite intimidating to start with, but if you do take an interest in their goods they'll initially quote a very high price. Try bartering - it's actually really good fun once you get into it - and you can normally buy things for about a third of their starting price. And if you're willing to trade a pair of men's dark socks or some pencils
or pens, you'll get an even lower price. We ended up buying quite a few wood-carvings.

INSECTS
I'd been very worried about mosquitoes, but at the Voyager we hardly saw any insects at all. The lovely lizards must do a great job! However, the lodge in Tsavo West did have loads of flying bugs, so best to take a good repellent and long sleeves and trousers with you for the evenings.

TIPPING
Normally I'm really tight when it comes to tipping, but here all the hotel staff are so lovely that I wanted to treat everyone! Obviously that's not possible, but there's a box near reception where you can put tips that will get shared amongst all the staff. And on the last day I also gave a few shillings individually to the staff who'd been most friendly and helpful. And the nice thing is that none of them actually expect it.

However, the airport porters on arrival were a different matter and basically ask for a tip. If you haven't got any small KSH notes, they will accept £1 coins. Our porter accepted US$1 notes, but others were turning their noses up at them! (Strange really, as the airport duty free mainly trades in US$.)

A FEW BITS OF ADVICE
Entrance Visa - don't bother buying one in advance. We printed a form off the website [----] and filled it in on the plane. (Otherwise, you'll need to fill it in at the airport, and therefore have to wait longer). You then hand it over with your US$50. It's not much quicker if you've bought one in advance, and you'll only have to wait on the transfer coach for everyone else.

Customs on entry - I was alarmed when a customs official asked if I had a video camera, thinking I would have to pay. This wasn't the case, they just note it in your passport as evidence that you took it in with you. However, they were charging people who took in cigarettes.

Drinking water - at the hotel, drinking water by the glass is free at the bar, but you have to pay for bottles. However, there are drinking water dispensers around the pool during the day, so if you take a couple of empty bottles you can fill these up there.

Money - there's a cash office near reception where you can exchange currency or traveller's cheques. The rate is slightly lower than banks at home, but no commission fee is charged.

Safes - there's an electronic safe in each room. The fee for using this worked out at about £20 for the 2 weeks.

Beach towels - are provided.

Electricity - British style 3-pin plug sockets are used, so there's no need to take an adaptor. (And my 2-pin mossie burner went into the socket with no problem, but there was really no need to use it.)

**********************

That's all I can think of for now. In summary, this was a wonderful hotel (worthy of far higher that the 3+ stars in the brochure), with extremely friendly staff, delicious food, and high-class accommodation. I would certainly recommend it to anyone, and hope to return in the very near future.

Sally & Andy

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled as a couple
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23  Thank espy27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2007

i and 3 others went for a week trip to the voyager. i found the staff so friendly and would do virtually anything for you and they wasnt expecting you to tip every 2 minutes like some caribbean islands just to get served etc

most of the other good reviews i will agree on so read them and saves me repeating it.

i had no prob with the food, plentyful although as most reviews says it is a tad repetitive which i also agree on. no one had no tummy upsets in the group although one of us got an ear infection on safari.

the beach was nice but far from caribbean standards. i found the beach boys persistent in their selling although i did book with one for the safari ( s. kings tours look for mike) i can send his email to you... the vendors selling carvings were always on your case for you to give them socks,pencils so expect to be approached.

the rooms wasnt that big, and was cleaned/changed daily and would give them a 3 star rating. we boooked with first choice and as we had to leave the hotel at 4.30am we made our own way at 4am by taxi for 1500 shillings and is well worth it as the queues that form when all the coaches turn up can be hectic so i recommend making ya own way.

overall the hotel was good, definitley not a singles resort as its mainly all couples/honeymooners. lots of steps so the less mobile will have problems.

i would go back to this resort but there are plenty more places in the world to visit.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled with friends
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6  Thank ukguy416
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2007

We had a great 2 weeks.We paid extra for room upgrade,Fantistic view over infinity pool out to beach and sea,Well worth the extra.Look out bar is great,Fantastic views..Evening shows are o.k. a little boreing at times but your on holls so enjoy and relax.Met some great new friends.Go into Mombasa by taxi on your own it is safe but please keep you wits about you.Food good in hotel Very spicy but tasty..Finaly the hotel dose need remodernising but its still worth 4****P.S. As it cost you plenty toget their and the locals are VERY POOR dont be tight on tips,100 shiling note is nothing to you but a lot to them...

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank midges
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2007

Having read the reviews here, like many others we thought we were on a winner. Varied menu's that are changed to theme, excllent pools, friendly staff, lots to do .....

The Voyager Beach in Mombasa? I think we stayed in a diferent hotel!

My girlfriend and I booked this as a late booking after deciding to get some winter sun. Having done an All-In to Cuba last winter, we thought this is the style for us.


Food:
Plenty of it, the staff were always happy for you to keep going up for more and if you wanted more on your plate, asking for it was not a problem. Bad: Themed? The idea is that the hotel "docks" in a diferent port each day and serves food according to that port. They seem to have odd ideas of what food is served where. For example: South Africa had Chicken Tikka Masala and "Hot" Lamb curry .... a very diferent continent!? We would definetly recommend eating inside the restraunt and sitting under a fan. This helps keeps the bugs away from you - there aren't that many anyway though.


Night Life:
Night life you just can't turn off! As with someone else's post, like it or not the bands play to between 11 and 12. These can be heard in most rooms and will keep you awake. Normaly this is not a problem but when you have to get up at 4am to go on safari/excursion the next morning, suddenly it is.


Pools:
These are excellent - i think* (see last paragraph). The entertainment people do there best to encourage you to play games in the pool and its worth it. However, should you not wish to, saying no firmly is enough for them to wish you a good day. You will also get selfish people taking the cushions from the sunbeds so they can have two or even three stacked up! Just ask a pool attendant to get you one and they will.


Beach:
The beach is a bit rubbish in honesty, its full of beach boys/girls trying to sell you stuff. Saying "No" to some of these is not always enough. We went to the beach once and came back fairly quickly.


Excussions:
Book these with the guys on the beach. You will save some serious pounds. For example, the Safari my girlfriend and I wanted would of cost over £500 through the rep, the beach people got it for us for £410. It was EXACTLY the same as the Rep provided one and IS FULLY insured, despite what your Rep will say.


The Lookout Bar:
The best bar there, fantastic view but strangley, shuts at 10pm!? Why? They can't be worried about noise or they would close the "entertainment" earlier.


Staff:
As mentioned by others, some would bend over backwards, some "could do more for you" and they would basically tell you! For example, the "Italian" restaurant. We like to order our starters, eat this and then order our mains - we like to eat slowly and in our experience, if we don't do this, things come way to fast. We asked our initial waitress if we could do this and she said no. Very odd. This is a reservation restaurant where they only have the one reservation per table per night. We asked another waitress and she was happy with this.

At dinner in the buffet, we found it far easier and quicker to walk round to the bar next to the restaurant and get our own drinks than risk a rubbish waiter - there were good ones though!

Finaly:
*Gastroenteritis - I arrived at the hotel, went in the pools, ate the food, drunk bottled water/tap beer and within 3 days had Gastroenteritis. Possibly the most painfull thing I have ever had. 3 days stuck in the toilet doubled up in pain. Doctor out twice with some of the biggest needles known to mankind going where they really shouldn't be! Not sure what the incubation period is for this but I can only guess that I got this from the pools/restaurant/drinks at the hotel.

Won't go back.

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Stuza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2007

We booked the Voyager having read all the reviews on here, and thought it would be the perfect place to be following 7 nights on safari. All we really wanted was a week of peace and relaxation to finish our honeymoon.

We arrived in the evening, were led through the restaurant and were a bit concerned when we saw ballroom dancing as the entertainment, but stayed open minded. Taken to our room, and were pleased to have an upgrade with wine (so bad it made my husband sick after one glass) and fruit, a bit worried that we were just behind the restaurant.

In all the week was standard - the pools were beautiful, but got lots of hassle (even told that rich English people have so much money they could book trips straight away), food was random - some nights great some terrible, service was also very random - some staff were giving us Swahili lessons, others were incredibly rude.

The real problem started a few nights in, when we were woken at 8am by sawing and hammering noises - they were building a stage at the back of our room. Sound-checking started at midday, and turns out there was a gala dinner on. That night there were no staff, no drinks with dinner, and most of the food holders were empty. The bands and shows lasted til midnight - when we complained we were told just to watch their entertainment instead (sadly, there was only so much 'Masai' dancing to rave music we could cope with).

It was a disappointing ending to our honeymoon, a nice and clean hotel, but had the feel of a giant Butlins camp, not helped by the fact that we were about the youngest people there (both 27). A word of coution would be to be very careful about the food and drink, I contracted Shigella while at the Voyager (definately not on safari) and am still suffering 3 weeks on.

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank cnorris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2007

I was extremely fortunate to be taken on holiday with the parents at the end of January, and even more fortunate to be taken to the Voyager Beach Resort! We spent 7 nights there at the end of January and a fantastic time was had by all. We were all thoroughly depressed to come home and could happily have stayed there longer; I could happily have stayed forever!

The hotel is well maintained, set in beautiful grounds which they always tend to. Yes, they are in the process of refurbing rooms, something all hotels must do! But we stayed in a room that had not yet been refurbed and there was nothing wrong with it at all. The three pools are all of a good size and offer something for everyone. However you do have to get up early to reserve a spot, especially at the Infinity Pool! We gave up on that one and spent our days round the fun pool, which is great. There is an awning which provides much needed shade and overlooks the stunning Indian Ocean and of course, there is the Animation Team (those guys really earn their money and are deserving of much praise for their constant hard work and humour!) who are on hand to entertain you with activities including water aerobics and volleyball amongst others. They really like you to get involved, and you should as its good fun, but they will also leave you be if you really do not want to join in.

We stayed all inclusive and must be honest that we found the food in the main restaurant a tad repetitive at dinner. Such a shame that you do not get to experience more of the local cuisine. But the Italian and the seafood restaurant are both nice and the food is good. Evening entertainment is worth a go with all sorts of different nights including adaptations of West End shows, local acrobatics and singing. And there is music afterwards for those who like to dance.

We went on a day’s safari with Hits and had a bus to ourselves which was great. It was a long day but well worth it. Our guide Yusuf was informative and very friendly and with regards to payment, Freddy came by the hotel a couple of days later and we paid by card. It was great value and we will definitely do a safari again, this time longer though!

You should really try out the all inclusive water activities too –great fun. I also paid to have a windsurfing lesson and it was well worth it. Peter is a very patient and good natured instructor. It is well worth a go! The Beach Boys are persistent but you really must not let them deter you from the beach, it is actually best to acknowledge them as they are not threatening at all, just trying to earn a living.

All in all, the holiday was fantastic, too short but we will return again. This time with the brother in tow too! He can not wait to go scuba diving!

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled with family
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8  Thank GeorgieAnnie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Voyager Beach Resort

Address: Nyali Off Links Road, | Mount Kenya Road, Mombasa 80100, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Mombasa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Mombasa
#1 Family Hotel in Mombasa
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Mombasa
#2 Luxury Hotel in Mombasa
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Mombasa
Price Range: $118 - $296 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Voyager Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 232
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Moored seven kilometres north of Mombasa city centre, Voyager Beach Resort's convenient 'berth' gives guests easy access to a huge variety of historical, sporting and cultural attractions. The vibrant themed resort is famous for hosting some of Africa's finest family entertainments and animation programs, including unique themed journeys across the seven seas, culinary extravaganzas, with very supervised kids' activities and days out with Africa's best-known and most experienced childrens' safari club. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Voyager Beach Hotel Mombasa
Voyager Hotel Kenya
Voyager Beach Resort Mombasa
Voyager Beach Resort Kenya
Voyager Beach Mombasa
Voyager Hotel Mombasa

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