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“Good Resort, Poor Location”

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Ocean Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #8 of 28 Hotels in Malindi
Nairobi, Kenya
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Good Resort, Poor Location”
Reviewed January 2, 2014

We had booked for two nights at the Ocean Beach Resort and Spa, after reading the reviews on TripAdvisor – no negative comment and top rating by all reviewers. The resort is a nice one with good rooms and most facilities one would look for. Dinner at restaurant is pretty good as well (try the barbecued prawns).

However, our overall experiences have been very contrary to the expectations.

The Location:
The resort is located in the north of Malindi while almost everything - marine park, restaurants, are located in the south. Hence, one needs to shell out Ksh 1000-1500 every time one needs to move out. One might like to stay in the resort and relax on the beach – but the beach itself is the most muddy we have ever seen. The beach at the resort is very close to the mouth of Sabaki River that forms a delta. Hence, the sea here is very muddy and unfit for plunging into. The situation gets worse when it rains in the upper catchments of the river.

The Rooms:
• The resort has standard and superior rooms and suits. The difference between standard and superior room is Ksh 4,000. We booked standard but the hotel management was kind enough to upgrade us to a superior room. However, the room service lady explained that the only difference between the standard and superior room is the availability of a coffee maker in superior ($ 50, that’s an expensive coffee…!!).
• Contrary to reviews on tripadvisor, none of the rooms, except probably the Room 1 (apparently the suite) has an ocean view. There is a boundary wall running through the resort that blocks the view to ocean from any room.
• We were told at check-in that all rooms are booked and hence they are giving us Room 32. This room is at the end of the resort, and at least 300m from the reception and we ‘enjoyed’ our back-n-forth walks. The walk at night in the resort is pretty ‘adventurous’ as there are numerous crabs all over, and walking without torch would be fun!
• The most surprising thing was the crowd at the resort – we could hardly see anyone, which completely contradicted what we were told at check-in – that all rooms are booked. This was further surprising as it was the weekend between Christmas and New Year, and there was huge tourist crowd at all places in Malindi and flights were overbooked. Hence, we thought of checking with the hotel staff, and got three different responses from three different staff:
o People have left after Christmas and haven’t started arriving for the new year (which meant the rooms were actually empty when we checked-in).
o People don’t normally eat at the resort, all the guests are in the town for dinner…
o At breakfast (8:30am) – people are still sleeping!

The Service
• The phone in the room didn’t work on the first day and hence we had to call the reception from our mobiles every time.
• For two people we were given only one half-liter bottle a day and hence we had to use the mini-bar for water. We raised this at reception, and the lady said that they give two bottles every day and this must be a mistake. Nevertheless, we were still charged for water taken from mini-bar.
• We wanted to book an excursion and requested reception’s assistance. The lady told that she would call up in an hour. When not hearing for the next two hours, we again walked to the reception and found that the lady had already left for the day. We had to request the new staff at desk who arranged for the excursion.

Overall, we were not happy at the resort, and the USD 800+ that we spent for two nights was pinching (added to that I dropped my expensive sunglass in the resort and never found it , not to talk about the extra money we had to shell for having dinner or going anywhere in Malindi). The local tour managers hadn’t even heard of this resort, and were wondering even if it existed, why we were staying so far.

Lesson from the experience is the strength of advertisement. We went by very strong advertisement campaign on tripadvisor and felt a bit tricked. I have been reading the reviews again upon return and have been laughing at them (and on myself). This experience has also left a small question on credibility of tripadvisor, wondering how they could receive the ‘Travellers Choice’ of the year, when there was hardly any guest in the peak season!

Room Tip: None of the rooms, except perhaps the suite, has the ocean view. Prefer staying as close to the swi...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank TravellerFoody
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roberto M, Owner at Ocean Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 28, 2014
First of all I really want to thank Tripadvisor that gives the owner the possibility to reply to false allegations like the ones in this review.
To start I want to say that I was present at the check in and Mr. "Travelfoodie" introduced himself saying: "You only have positive reviews, let's see if they are true".
After he was given a free upgrade (we always do this when possible) he started to check the differences without asking the management, but probably on purpose he did ask a cleaner that does not know them, anyway these are the differences between a standard room and a superior:
10 square metre more for the room,
bigger bathroom,
bigger verandah
larger wardrobe
larger TV
Kettle
and more small amenities.
In any case all these details are available on our web site and he could have checked them easily.
Another false allegation is that all the rooms have no view on the sea. FALSE, out of 35 rooms 18 of them have a view on the sea, but not the standard and the superior rooms, these are the Junior suites, Suites and Deluxe Suites.
The beach: during his stay there were heavy storms upcountry and the sea in Malindi was dirty all over, we cannot control nature.
The fact that we are not were all the other hotels are is a choice that most of our clients do appreciate because of the peace and quite in this place, if he wanted noisy hotels with animation he should have gone somewhere else, not in a place that is made for relaxation, as written in most reviews.
The telephone had a problem, yes, and I do apologise for this, but this can happen everywhere and it was fixed as soon as we got hold of the technician.
The fact that he says that there were not enough clients around is his only problem, we only have 35 rooms on an area of 20 acres, with three swimming pools so the place is never overcrowded, also consider the fact that people on holiday usually go on excursions or they also go out for dinner since Malindi offers a great variety of restaurants.
Last but not least..... the crabs..... we are on the beach!!!! It's normal to have crabs! Nobody has ever complained about them, also, if we have them it means that there is no pollution and our sewage system works well and does not pollute the environment around so that the crabs and other sea life can live in peace!
To end all this, Mr. Travelfoodie wants to say that 106 reviews before his are only telling lies?
I leave the judgement to the readers...... and I suggest the gentleman that criticised the location so much to take better informations according to what he is looking for.
Thank you.

Roberto Marini
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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186 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2013

My family are reasonably experienced travellers: been there, done that. Nothing could have prepared them for our visit to Kenya and the Ocean Beach Resort in Malindi. They rate it as their best vacation, ever. First the resort itself: just beautiful. The food was superb, although we prefer authentic food so were happy to go to local restaurants on some evenings. The staff were, without question, some of the friendliest people we have ever met anywhere. And as a base for going on safari and other activities, it was just perfect. So family friendly, too. Can't recommend it highly enough.

Room Tip: Ask to stay in a Roundeval (may have the spelling wrong?), which is a circular villa, of which there...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Viktor D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
333 reviews
264 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2013

We stayed at the Ocean Beach Resort for 8 nights to relax between travelling through Africa and I could have stayed longer. One of the best things about the resort is the staff. They are friendly and attentive and their service is exceptional. The owner is also always around making sure you are comfortable and happy. The grounds are meticulously maintained. We stayed in just a standard room which was large, clean and very very comfortable. The wifi worked well (for Africa and power outages) no matter where we were located in the resort. And we enjoyed the food...... the Chef is Italian and he makes the best soups we have ever tasted. The pumpkin pasta was also to die for.....in fact all of the food was good. If we ever make our way to this part of the world again the resort will be on my must visit list.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CDNTRAVELLERS2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 20, 2013

From my initial inquiry to Harvey Ndege about the resort until my before dawn departure everything was first class. As a single woman my main concern is always safety. There is around the clock security on the grounds and beach. There were very few beach boys, and at times it seemed like the hotel guests had the very expansive beach to themselves. The resort staff went out of their way to make sure I was connected with the most reliable transportation and safari operators. The highlights were the spa, food, beautiful rooms, secluded beach (very little seaweed), and the delightful staff whom I now consider my friends. Thank you Ocean Beach for making my dreams come true!

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank TravelKap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mombasa
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed November 19, 2013

Me and my wife stayed for 3 days, just took a short holiday from our residence in Mombasa, and this hotel with their service minded and friendly staff was a very pleasant confirmation of what we read on trip advisor.

The 25 meter clean pool was excellent for morning swim and the sunbed with the fresh breeze was just what we needed.

The rooms was exelent and a couple only need the standar room wich was of a very high standar, the bed mattress was very good, and the room was very privat and had a nice view, looking out over the nice lawn and garden.

We will for sure come back !! :-)

Only minus I will give is the road down to the hotel, come on Manager, your hotel deserves better :-)

Thanks
Ronny and Cate

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank RoJoSo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2013

We have just returned from nine days in this faboulous hotel ,where do I start,the absolute jewel in the crown.ocean beach is situated in the small swaili town in malindi right onthe shores of the magical Indian Ocean, your first impression of this hotel is wow, there surly must be a mistake,
The five star treatment you receive from the moment you set foot inside is over whelming,
We were given a cool cocktail and brought to our room as we thought ,but when we arrived at our accomadion ,it was a cottage set in the most beautiful lush landscaped garden facing the ocean,our cottage was out standing the cleanliness was first class truly five star,
The air was silent ,no beach boys no animation ,absolutely heaven,we spent our days relaxing on the beach watching the most colourfull African birds dancing and singing all around us,
Breakfast was the highlight of the day, no queuing here ther is a continental breakfast but when you arrive you are seated and given a menu to chose any thing you want, real napkins ,
No fuss ,we sat every morning looking out over the ocean and listening to the sound of Michael
Bolton ,the ladies that serve breakfast are truly the best in customer service , at night sit out on the terrace ,in pure silence ,listening to the sounds of the animals l the sky surrounding you in a blanket of stars ,I have traveled to Kenya for over 16 years ,but this is the place every body dreams of .if you are planing a honey moon .or a life time holiday .please you must go here,
To the general manger, mr Harvey ndege, who makes this all possible a big cheers ,your training has paid off you made us feel we knew you for ever ,a special thanksto Michael the bar man,
I was feeling un well and made me a remedy to make me feel better thank you,
Please don't let the incidents of the past put you off visiting Kenya the people are warm and ready
For your arrival to all the staff at ocean beach we truly love you all and will return soon
This hotel can only go way now and that's up , good luck to you all. ,slainte
Marion and Ismail

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ismail c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kigali, Rwanda
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 14, 2013

Being a Tour Operator, i always have the knack to visit new hotels,resorts and lodges.The visit to Ocean Beach Resort is never to be downplayed.
The beach is well maintained and the towels,facilities are excellent.

Room Tip: All the rooms are sea-view however rooms from number 15 to 22 are much closer to the beach hence coo...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 325Tourist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ocean Beach Resort & Spa

Property: Ocean Beach Resort & Spa
Address: Golf & Country Club, Beach Road | P.O. Box 5296, Malindi 80200, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Malindi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Malindi
#3 Romantic Hotel in Malindi
#4 Luxury Hotel in Malindi
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Malindi
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Malindi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Ocean Beach Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
FIVE STARS EXPERIENCE. Ocean Beach Resort is a superior deluxe five star hotel that takes hospitality back to its essence with its unique style of tropical early 20th century style with wooden roofs and elegant wooden floors. It is situated in the sand dunes beach two kilometers north Malindi Township. Malindi, the pearl of Kenyan Coast. This is the favorite destination for those whom are looking for something special. The hotel is on the beach, adjacent to the Malindi Golf and Country Club and only two kilometers north of Malindi Town. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ocean Beach Resort & Spa Malindi, Kenya, Africa

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