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“Great family holiday & made perfect by the staff” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sandies Tropical Village

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Sandies Tropical Village
Ranked #6 of 28 Hotels in Malindi
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
47 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Great family holiday & made perfect by the staff”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2011

Our stay was pleasant , the rooms are African style no TV , there is a very nice reception/lounge area where you can relax & watch TV there is also free WI-FI ,but the time we were there we were unable to log on. I traveled with 2 young kids and they loved the entertainment provided by the franco rosso team . The beach is not one of the best as the sea has many weeds , but there is a lovely BIG pool overlooking the beach .
I would go back again..

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank dolcevita_3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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381 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
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Ghent
Level Contributor
20 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2010

The hotel is well maintained,built in typical African rooftop style. The staff is generally friendly, especially the waiters and cleaning teams. The rooms are tidy, airy, no television. We stayed in one of the garden suites and our package had complimentary laundry service (great when travelling with teenagers) and a filled mini bar. Key for the safe and towels come with a deposit which is returned (or the credit card slip is torn) upon checking out. The private beach is shielded from the beach boys and is continuously cleaned and guarded. Nice but no so big swimming pool. When we were there (end July) the hotel was hardly filled (maybe 25%), which was for us great. Their high season is August so be prepared for some mass tourism...or avoid it all together. There was already the noisy disturbance of the bar and lobby since the garden rooms don't have any real windows. Around the lobby you can connect to the hotel's wifi (I just asked the reception the wepkey). The food is good although somewhat monotone Italian (80% of the visitors are Italian). We also had the feeling that some of the hotel staff (especially the animators) were more interested in selling their own little business than taking care of the well being of their guests. There is a small fitness in the adjoining spa (African Dream). You can go for a jog on the beach. After a while the beach boys know you and they leave you alone.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PeterSGhent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Syria
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2009

Just remembered I never wrote a comment after our experience at Tropical beach to warn others. We arrived late evening with a toddler of 2. We booked and reconfirmed room at ground floor. Apparently they over booked and wanted to put us in a room for one night and then we had to move. Or just stay on 1st floor all of our stay. The Italian manager, who only came to see us after one hour, was absolutely rude to us and very customer unfriendly, just told us it was overbooked , not his fault and we had to deal with it. It didn't help that I speak Italian but e didn't know I did. Then after making lots of fuzz, we were 'upgraded' to the hotel next door: Coconut Village. Indeed more stars but not our taste, certain crowd, entertainment and too noisy. This 'nice upgrade' also ment a room next to the parking, that had people passing the whole night. We specially requested and paid for sea view and were in a room at parking looking out at a piece of grass! Next day we moved back to Tropical Beach, finally the room we booked. Hotel was fine, pool nice, rooms less ' boutique design' and spacious as on photoos on Internet, and not really a sea to swim in (weed) or beach to walk barefeet. This shoudl be mentioned in hotelinfo. The food was fine, but had 2 times serious stomach problems the next day (and we live in Syria, so my stomach is used to quite some bugs) . Good thing was, the staff is very friendly and you can use facilities at hotel next door. Manager didn't do anything to make us feel a bit better after initial bad start.
After our trip I complained with Central Planhotel and never heard anything about it. We are expats and travel quite a lot. I will never go to a Planhotel anywhere again, and cannot advise you to do so too if you want to make sure you have a stressless holiday. Of courseI realise things in Kenya are different from Europe, but that;s why I chose an Italian Management hotel! It seems they are just out to make money and pleasing customers is not the managements priority. Pity.
Fam. Muli-van Akkeren, Damascus, Syria

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank hanvana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Africa
Level Contributor
122 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2009

We stayed with 3 children, two teenagers Girl 17,Boy 18, and a boy 11, a 2.5 Hr drive from Mombasa , the rooms were fine 3* style, safe 20Euro deposit, aircon, no TV or kettle, very clean, great large beds, no mozies which was great, big net over the beds, bathrooms old but clean, salt water in the showers, towels for the pool 20Euro each deposit, internet room use with vouchers from reception 5 Euro 30min, when you arrive in Kenya buy a Safricom Sim 500KS as the coverage is good and its 3G so full Internet and email on your cell phone for the week. Pool is nice and big, music is bad the DJ plays lots of rap with(--)and lots of(--) not nice to hear, good entertainment at night and the local beer is ok, you cannot walk on the beach as you get hassle from the locals, the local croc & snake park is good fun during feeding 1000KS, the scuba PADI diving is fantastic 85Euro plus 15USD to the Marine Park, the beach volleyball is fun in the late afternoon but sometimes it is taken over by the hotel staff and you cannot get a game, I wondered who was on holidays, food is great and the general staff is also good , they try to make good for everybody, the local village tour is good too.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SACLS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, CO
Level Contributor
127 reviews
90 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 216 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 27, 2008

We had a couple of extra days in Kenya after a week staying with friends and game viewing etc. Decided to do the beach. Had stayed at Hemingways a few years ago and found it expensive and not value for money. This property is not on Wamatu Beach, but on Malindi Beach, which is closer to the town.

Never stayed in an "all-inclusive" resort before and don't really agree with the concept. We booked a Junior Suite for 132 Euro/night and also had the hotel pick us up at Malindi Airport. More expensive than a taxi, but better than taking a chance without knowing a good driver.

Check-in started well, but then we had to go to "the cashier", who was the only surly and unpleasant member of staff we encountered. Tortuous discussions when we wanted to pay with my husband's credit card instead of the one I used to confirm the booking. Then there was a $80 deposit for the safe in the room, and when we were asked to fill out another form and pay another $20 deposit in order to get pool towels, we gave up and went to the room and a hot shower.

Room was spacious, with a very nice verandah with comfortable seating. Bed was very large and there was a sofa, coffee table, desk and chair, built in closet and place for storing luggage. Decor was African style, with stone floors and walls and a couple of rather intimidating wild animal murals. Reasonable lighting and a ceiling fan with the switch somewhat hidden behind the headboard. There was a phone and NO TV!

There was a little refrigerator next to the bathroom, with bottled water, soft drinks and beers. Nice thing was that this was included.

Bathroom a very good size and the fixtures had obviously been installed fairly recently. Two sinks, toilet, bidet and large walk-in shower with lots of hot water. Good lighting.

Tourism is down right now in Kenya and we were told that bookings for four hotels on the beach owned by the same company were being consolidated into the one property. Even so, the hotel was not full, with most of the guests being Italian.

Meals were buffet style and generally of a decent standard. Breakfast omelettes cooked to order and a good selection of foods to cater for various nationalities. Service in the restaurant area was attentive and friendly. We ended up having only one lunch and dinner at the hotel, and were quite pleased with what was on offer, although the pasta dishes were certainly not as good as in the home country. However, I don't think I would want to spend a week or more eating in the same place all the time.

The hotel has an entertainment staff on tap, who get going at 10:00 am with rousing choruses of "Jambo, Bwana". They are also very keen to get everyone involved in the various sporting, swimming, exercising, dancing etc. activities. Since we just wanted to veg out and relax, we were very glad that the hotel was not full, so the activities were not intrusive.

There was Internet access for a price in the reception area. I just used it for the minimum 15 minutes, but it was slow and I just did the basics. We needed a late check out and there was no problem, just a reasonable charge of 1,500 Kenya shillings per person to extend the time by 5 hours.

We found one of the best fish restaurants we have ever experienced in Malindi. The Old Man and The Sea was terrific and we had a wonderful dinner there. It was so good that we broke our journey to the airport next day to have lunch. Not to be missed.

We would return to this property again for a similar stay, but anything more than a couple of days would not suit us. If you want a lot of activity and action, this hotel is ideal, particularly if the hotel were full.

  • Liked — Very comfortable room
  • Disliked — Organised activities
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank marleydog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 17, 2008

I visited Tropical Village with my boyfriend from 15th-22nd July.
On arrival we were met by extremely accomodating hotel staff and a refreshing cocktail. The hotel immediately had the 'wow' factor as we were taken to our rooms.

ROOMS
On entering our room I was very surpised to see how spacious the rooms were - the bed was even 7 foot wide - a very inviting prospect after the long journey! The bathroom was also of a high standard - no, everything in there isn't brand new, but the shower was fantastic and was always kept clean. The thing I couldn't understand was how guests in this hotel were permanently supplied with hot and plenty of water when this is a third world country struggling to maintain a steady supply of water.

WATER
Something this hotel provided was plenty of FREE bottled water - I have been to many other All Inclusive hotels where I have always had to purchase these. You also have a mini fridge in the standard rooms in which the maids always replenish the bottled water.

We found out in a conversation with the Hotel Manager (Bruno) that we had arrived at the hotel on their first day of opening. So I guess we were spoiled by all staff as the first few days of our holiday were so quiet!. The manager also showed us some of the rooms at the front of the hotel that were being renovated as superior rooms - when these are ready I urge people to have a look because they are going to be fantastic! Everything is being decorated to his high quality Swiss expectations.

The food at the hotel was top quality. I am one of the world's fussiest eaters and always worry when booking AI. There was always plenty of extremely good fish (according to my boyfriend as I don't like fish....) and the meat was excellent (also according to my boyfriend as I don't eat much meat...). There was great variation in the meals provided - anything new that I tried I loved. I'm glad I only went for a week because I would have been charged for filling an extra seat on the plane......

In general, ALL staff at this hotel were fantastic. Although slightly wary at first about the constant need to tip the staff when helpful, it soon became evident that they genuinely wanted to make our stay as comfortable as possible. There is a note at the front desk that says any tips can be put in the tip box - I felt this helped eased my worries. At the end of the week, however, we did ensure the staff who had been extra helpful (not to mention Muli and Mtile!) were tipped well.

WEATHER
The only downside of our holiday was the weather. We were aware that July was the rainy season, though we weren't aware that it was one of the colder seasons of the year. In fact there was only one day where it didn't rain. Because there is a constant breeze i sometimes had to reluctantly retire from meagre beachware by adding a full layer of clothes! As a sun-worshipper, however, this did not cast a blemish on my Africa experience. When I return to Malindi I won't be put off by the July rains!

MALINDI
Something I loved about Malindi was being able to wander around the town. The guide who conducted our safari (she was British) said that because Malindi is prevalently an Italian tourist town, the locals don't always benefit from the tourism due to general reluctance to leave the hotel complexes and also lack of tipping. Yet the British have more of a desire to explore their destinations. So, in true Brit-style I decided to explore the town. You do need to be on your guard, but mostly because of the constant attention from the locals. Yes lots of them do try to sell you stuff, but with a polite "no thanks" the majority did not disappear, but were interested in learning about our lives. I grew to really love the Kenyan people in this town. The lack of racial tensions and general lack of awareness about racial tensions made many Malindi locals very inquisitive as to the colour of our skin. We were asked a few times why and how our skin was so white (to which my boyfriend responded that was actually his tan). You also get stared at because the locals were not used to seeing tourists in the town, but this did not make us uncomfortable.

KUONI+TRIPS
We felt very pleased with the service offered by Kuoni and would travel with them again. However the Hotel rep did not seem to be interested in any comfort of stay. In our first meeting he went straight into any trips offered and expected us to oblige in at least one. We subsequently researched different avenues and options for the things we wanted to do. Instead of going on the recommended Tsavo East safari we found a private cheaper alternative to Galana River Lodge. This was absolutely fantastic. We were disappointed not to see any cats, but the whole wilderness experience offered at this Game Reserve was brilliant. I think the guide said they do have an old website though it does need updating. If anyone did decide to go here there is a pool that would help cool you after a morning game drive (I did not go equipped so I baked). The lovely thing about our overnight stay at Galana was the family atmosphere and good standard of food/accomodation/friendliness. When I return to Kenya I will be returning to Galana for longer than a night.

The other trip we went on was to the Malindi Sea Park on a 'Glass-Bottomed Boat'. This wasn't how I imagined......Being July the beach wasn't beautiful combed white sands but strewn with lots of sea weed that had been dredged up by the rains. We managed to get this slightly cheaper through the hotel - not the rep. Whilst I had a fantastic time I'm not sure it was worth the 20 pounds Kuoni were charging....Speak to the animation guys at the hotel and they can organise getting a a group of you there. Remembering that I don't like eating fish, I also really really really don't like swimming in water where there is fish. We had been told that you can go on the boat just for the experience and look through the glass. However, the boat was very small with the glass being what looked like about a metre wide sheet of plastic in the floor that wasn't so easy to see through!!! So when at the reef everyone else except my partner and myself went snorkelling. By the end of our time I did manage to overcome my fears and go swimming with the fish and I'm so glad I did - the corals and sea life are absolutely stunning, though do watch the sharper corals because lots of people were getting cut - at which point I was ensured that this wouldn't encourage sharks to attack (oops).

MONARCH
For some reason myself and my partner were upgraded to Monarch Plus on the way and remained Economy on the way home. After reading many poor reports about the company I was pretty relieved to have the upgrade on the way out. The service was NO BETTER than any other long haul economy class, in fact it was slightly worse in the premium class section. The entertainment is limited and can only be watched at certain times. The food was good and drinks brought around frequently. Though none of this was worth the astronomical prices charged for premium class.

On our return flight we had been warned by some people that economy was awful on the way out. We weren't disappointed. On just about wedging my uk-average sized bottom into the seat we had to wait 2 1/2 hours for.......the snack cart. A plane full of hungry tired people - bring on the over-priced snacks. There was no free cold drinks according to the air hostesses (some of whom really enjoyed the customer care side of their job....note the sarcasm) and the only option was to pay the £1.60 for a small bottle of water. When the meals eventually arrived (after about 3 hrs) the food was inedible (according to my boyfriend who eats anything put in front of him, including me). I requested vegetarian but was told I couldn't have it cos I hadn't ordered it - when I was meant to order it I'm not sure. After dinner FREE coffee and tea were offered (to my surprise), so I asked if they were serving any cold drinks as true to form I don't drink hot drinks.....I was told NO. At which point I saw a friendly air hostess offering squash to people in the other aisle. There was also no enternainment unless you wanted to pay £3.00 for headphones and there was only one choice of film which was for young children. I have never been on a longhaul flight where there was no entertainment! On booking a holiday I will think twice ifthe flight is with Monarch.

If you're thinking of a longhaul destination Africa is phenomenal. I travelled on a budget and had the holiday of a lifetime. Once you have been to Africa I'm convinced it's like a drug where you keep wanting to learn more, see more and experience more.
Tropical Village will really help enhance your whole Africa experience.

  • Liked — Everything!
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank jeansjr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 26, 2007

What can I say about this hotel other than that it is perfect and a small taste of paradise…

Having arrived at the hotel for a 10 night stay having been on safari for 5 days we couldn't have asked for more. We arrived at the hotel at 11 o'clock after a long journey from the airport having had an internal flight from Nairobi to Mombassa. Being so late the evening meal service had finished, but the restaurant staff kindly stayed late and prepared a cold buffet for the two of us, alone in the restaurant with only the view of the ocean and the pool. It was the perfect way to start an amazing visit.

From start to finish the stay was amazing- the hotel staff catered to your every whim and were very friendly, the food was fantastic (especially the local cuisine) and the evenings were yours to do as you please, either joining in with the Entertainment or relaxing in the serene bar area.

We were lucky enough to have upgraded our room to a junior suite, and how glad were we that we had done so? There were two queen size beds, a mini bar, a large bathroom and a balcony complete with sofas and a view over the gardens.

The stay went by with little money being spent within the hotel, as everything you needed was included. You could, however, pay to go sailing, diving or kayaking as well as to experience the a la carte menu on an evening, which included a choice of both crocodile and lobster.

We chose to take a taxi from the hotel one day into Malindi town; it was only £7 return for 2 of using the taxis from the hotel. In the town, the driver saw us to a local who showed us round the town and took us to see everything we wanted and all for a tip at our discretion. It was well worth it, and within Malindi market, we managed to find loads of gifts and souvenirs from our trip, though people do haggle and the most you must pay is half the starting price.

Through the day, although there was an option to relax by the pool, entertainment staff do try to persuade you to join in activities, including Archery, water aerobics, darts and beach volleyball. It does take them a while to realise that you don’t always wish to join in, but once they do realise, they are very much polite about your choice and leave you to continue with your day.

It must be noted, though not a problem, the hotel does have very few British guests and the majority of the visitors are Italian. This, however, did not bother us at all and made it even easier to relax alone and all staff did still speak perfect English.

Overall, an amazing hotel!

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — There was honestly nothing we disliked
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Leanne89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandies Tropical Village

Property: Sandies Tropical Village
Address: Casuarina Road, Malindi 68, Kenya (Formerly Planhotel Tropical Beach Resort)
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Malindi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Malindi
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Malindi
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Malindi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Sandies Tropical Village 4*
Number of rooms: 108
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sandies Tropical Village Hotel Malindi
Planhotel Tropical Beach Hotel
Planhotel Tropical Beach Malindi
Sandies Tropical Village Malindi, Kenya, Africa

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