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 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 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 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!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Booking.com, Priceline, Hotwire, TripOnline SA, Cheap Tickets and Cancelon so you can book your Ocean Beach Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Ocean Beach Resort & Spa Malindi, Kenya, Africa