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“Lovely resort with super friendly staff!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Royal Reserve Safari and Beach Club

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Royal Reserve Safari and Beach Club
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Kikambala
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Lovely resort with super friendly staff!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 3, 2012

My husband and I stayed at Royal Reserve at the start of September 2012. This was a delayed honeymoon for us and we couldn’t have picked a better place to stay at! Yes it is a bit far from Mombasa and the airport, but that’s part of its charm. It’s not the most modern place, but clean and safe. During our stay there the resort was very quiet. We were very surprised about this. Most days we had the pool to ourselves (and what a wonderful pool it is…). So if you are looking for a place to relax then Royal Reserve is definitely the place to stay!

The staff were fantastic! This was some of the best customer service I have ever experienced. One of the other guests told the kitchen staff that we were there on our honeymoon. One of the nights during the evening entertainment the kitchen staff came out singing and dancing with a cake for us where it said “Happy Marriage!”. It was such a nice gesture!

We booked the Tamarind Dhow cruise through Simon (the excursion co-ordinator) and have a sneaking suspicion that he might have told them that it was our honeymoon, as we received a cake during the cruise as well (and of course there was singing and dancing involved this time too).

I would highly recommend the Tamarind Dhow cruise – maybe a bit on the pricier side but the food was delicious and the atmosphere was great! The best part was probably when it all of a sudden started raining very hard and the staff had to put the covers up. Very entertaining! :) I would recommend that if going on the cruise you bring a rain coat or umbrella, just in case. :)
We didn’t book any other excursions through the resort as we had booked a safari through Julius Tact Safaris (www.julius-safaris.com) beforehand. I would highly recommend Julius! We were a bit worried before the safari as we weren’t 100% sure that we had booked with the “right” Julius. There are reviews on TripAdvisor for another safari company with a very similar name. The one we booked with though is excellent! Please see separate review under "Julius Safaris Day Trips" (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g317068-d318009-Reviews-Julius_Safaris_Day_Trips-Ukunda_Coast_Province.html) with more details about our safari.

I would also highly recommend having a massage at Royal Reserve. Very relaxing and also very affordable!

You should also go down to the beach and talk to the beach boys. If we’d had the time during our stay we would have booked excursions through them rather than the resort. The guys we talked to were very friendly. We did buy some souvenirs from one of the guys (I think he called himself 007). We had to pay a small deposit to him and he said we could pick up the souvenirs later that day. When handing over the money we weren’t sure that it was a good idea, but in the end it was all fine.

I would definitely go to Kenya again and stay at RR and also book a safari through Julius Tact Safaris. All I would say is when going to a country like Kenya please try to have an open mind and remember that it’s a different culture than the one you are probably used to. Hakuna matata definitely applies to pretty much every aspect of your stay, but by the end of your holiday you wish you could take this mentality back home with you in your suitcase. :)

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Scarlett_10_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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159 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Oxford, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 18, 2012

This is the second time that we have visited this hotel as a family from the UK (boy of 6 and girl of 4). We wanted some winter sun and a place that the kids could spend the day in the pool practicing their swimming - we were not dissapointed. The hotel is not on a crowded drag of coastline and that is its charm, you literally have the beach to yourself and the hotel has a great pool for the kids (and adults have a bar that you can drink cold beer from while in the pool!). If you want a place that you can chill at with great weather then this is it. For those that want to do a few tourist things there are also options. The hotel offers their own more expensive activities but I would recommed using the "Beach Boys" (see attached picture) for a much cheaper and more real experience. They are a kind of cooperative group who work together (rather than against each other) for tourist business. There are other locals on the beach that would try to offer "deals" but as the security guard confirmed to us - stick with the "Beach Boys"! They do both beach / water excursions as well as "safari type" excursions. For parents, the other real benefit is that they have a children's club. We left our kids at the kids club for an hour or two on a few days and that gave us some "me" time to sit and read which is difficult with small kids.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank RRandJR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2012

Yes the Royal Reserve is a bit far from town- but that has it's benefits- the peace and tranquility is almost unmatched- We loved it! The resort is a smaller type place, with really personal attention to each guest. Both of the pools were excellent and very clean. We booked only one snorkeling excursion through the local beach boys and it was great. We cooked for ourselves in the full kitchen within the unit- but you'll want to carry in most of your groceries- there is a small fairly priced mini-market in the compound, but their selection is limited. We never tried the RR restaurant- it seemed high priced for their offerings. The beach boys can also arrange great meals, cooked at the nearby Kilamanjaro Grill Joint- on the beach. They can also bring you fresh fish to cook yourself.
I recommend being a bit adventurous and riding the local transport to Mombasa and exploring the area around the spice market and Fort Jesus. The resort can arrange a day trip to these sights, but they will also charge you for them. The security guards are happy to call for a local motorcycle taxi that will get you back out to the main road where you can catch a matatu van.

Room Tip: The rooms on the beach side have been remodeled and have great A/C- and an awesome view of the beaut...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank therabbitman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 30, 2012

We booked our week at RR through RCI and as stated it is off the beaten track and a bit isolated and certain parts of the resort are a little tired. However, the smiles, help and assistance from the staff were wonderful. If you wanted to go elsewhere transport was happily arranged. As we had been on a safari booked from the UK, before we arrived, - make sure you book through JT Safaris who are outstanding and if you can get Patrick as your driver, the whole experience will be amazing - we just wanted to chill. The setting was great as our 2 bed apartment was just above the pool which looked out to sea. Lovely. The restaurant food was very good but we did notice that there was encouragement to have the set menu. We went off piste and often had a long wait to receive our food but it was delicious and nothing was too much trouble. I think the Chef who is amazing could probably use some extra help in the kitchen which would cut down on the delivery time. But the setting was great and we did the tour of Mombasa (with JT Safaris) which was very enlightening and reasonable. I know the resort would prefer you to book safaris and trips through them but they are more expensive (and at times a little pushy) so through JT is the answer - you won't regret it. As you can see through TripAdvisor, he is the only game in town!! Excellent service. We didn't use the beach boys but if time had permitted, we would have tried them. It was a chill out visit and with the help of the resort staff and of course JT Safaris, it was great.

Room Tip: Ask for a room around the pool overlooking the sea. The RCI rooms are around the other pool off the...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kathie500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
84 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2012

We booked RR through Club La Costa and had a great time. The important thing to know is that it's listed as being in Mombasa but it isn't. Kikambala is half an hour along the coast from Mombasa. This adds time to some of the excursions but also means you see more real Kenyan life as you travel through the villages to the resort. The journey from the airport shows you a really vibrant, but poor, Kenya which meant that we were more accepting that the apartment was a little "tired". It was very spacious though and comfortable. There was a local problem with the electricity while we were there which means that it kept tripping out. We had cold showers for two days when they were running off the generator. It all felt part of the authentic experience! The resort itself is lovely - palm trees, sea views at the front and two pools. It is very friendly - small enough that the staff and some other residents get to know you.
If you are an English football fan then Kenya will be like a second home! They love the English Premier League and you can watch games 24-7 including the live games. If you support Arsenal, Chelsea or Man U take some branded bits and pieces - old shirt, keyrings etc and you will get the biggest smile you have seen for a long time from the happy recipient! The Kenya smile is something that they talk about, and in our experience it was very true of the men and children and not very true of the women! Not sure why but it was noticeable in lots of different places. As for excursions - all the talk of the holiday is about the safaris. The RR organise all this for you. We did a two-night, three day safari which seemed a perfect length of time and was truly wonderful. As you are in the minibus for nearly all your waking hours on safari, any longer would have got a bit tiring. We also did the city tour, the snorkelling and the Tamarind Dhowe dinner cruise - all highly recommended. In short, this is not the most luxurious place you will ever stay in but it's comfortable, friendly and beautiful and we had a lovely holiday.

Room Tip: The resort is in two halves, either side of a quiet road. The front half has sea views, the rear ha...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jude064
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Faringdon, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 13, 2012

We stayed at the Royal Reserve Safari and Beach Club during the last week in Sept and the first week of Oct 12. What a fantastic time we had! The RR was booked through Club La Costa and so as usual making the arrangements was simple and hassle free. Our transfers to the hotel were provided by Kikambala Tours and Safari as part of their service to us - a separate review has been posted for them. We were greeted at the hotel by smiles, face towels and a cool drink. In no time at all we were checked in and in our room, overlooking the pool. The two bedroom apartment was perfect for us, it was immaculately clean and the maid service was excellent. The decor is not that of a 5 star hotel in London or LA but remember where you are and there is absolutely nothing to complain about. All the staff at the hotel are friendly and cannot do enough for you. The food in the restaurant was good and at incredibly reasonable prices and they will cater for your requirements; you just have to ask. If you feel the need for a change there are other excellent restaurants close by who will collect you from the resort and take you home again. The “beach boys” are eager to meet you when you first arrive, don’t be afraid to talk to them, you will find out so much about the local area and the culture. They are extremely interesting people and their knowledge of the local area is amazing. They are simply trying to make a living and for a reasonable cost they will take you on a reef walk, organise trips, walk you to the local ruins and even book you into a restaurant – practice your bartering skills but be fair. After you get to know the guys on the beach a walk along the shores is no problem, you will soon find that you can wander and swim uninterrupted. Visit the little shops along the beach from the hotel, the carvings are amazing and you can watch the guys at work. It was great to meet Wenslus, Lucky and Jackson 5, they helped make our holiday very special. Don’t be afraid to shop around for your safari, we got a much better deal from Kikambala Tours and Safari than you can at the hotel, they also arranged a number of excursions all at a cheaper rate and they looked after us like family. All in all an amazing holiday of a lifetime in a place that we will definitely return to. Mmm how I long for a Whitecap by the pool!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kath C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2012

we stayed for 2 weeks sept to oct 2012, with a group of 5 in one 2 bed and a 1 bed apartment. we booked thro club la costa, and the arrangements were made very simple. we arranged the transfers directly with the hotel before we left, which was promptly waiting for us at mombassa. the greeting at the hotel was lovely, and check in swift and efficient. we had also arranged diving before we arrived, and the paperwork for that was completed shortly after arrival, and a very reasonable rate.the accomodation is spacious, easch apartment with 2 bathrooms, even the 1 bed. good sized balcony. some problems with the plumbing but these were sorted quickly. good food in the restaurant and good local restaurants if a change is needed.the food and drinks bill at the end was a lot cheaper than we expected considering the amounts consumed and the quality. staff were very friendly and helpful, especially security and the pool, which was one of the cleanest i've ever been in. the beach boys-in our case carlos and moses-really made the holiday, and made arranging excursions at short notice very easy and perfectly safe. the" beach boys" are actually a proper company with 4 arms, namely land, water sports, sales and massage(the girls). lots are drawn when new tourists arrive and once"adopted" by a cohort there is absolutely no hassle on the beach. in fact they keep an eye on you so that i felt completely safe spending time on the beach shell collecting on my own. the bar on the beach-kilimanjaro-is well worth a visit or 6 for a sundowner and the bbqs are great and good value.
the rooms at the hotel are cleaned to a very high standard every day with new towels when required. plenty of beds and towels at the pool, and a very good pool bar-i recommend white cap over tusker!!
we will return to kenya and use this as our base in the future.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Michelle A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Reserve Safari and Beach Club

Property: Royal Reserve Safari and Beach Club
Address: kanamai rd, Kikambala, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Kikambala
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 4 Hotels in Kikambala
Number of rooms: 46
Also Known As:
Royal Reserve Safari And Beach Club Hotel Kikambala
Royal Reserve Safari And Beach Club Kenya/Kikambala

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