The service was excellent, the rooms so warm and cosy, my family and I didn't want to leave. One thing I can assure you is that you won't want to leave the pool. I am surely going back soon. Awesome experience.
The service was excellent, the rooms so warm and cosy, my family and I didn't want to leave. One thing I can assure you is that you won't want to leave the pool. I am surely going back soon. Awesome experience.
My wife and I have just got back after spending a week at the Amani Tiwi following on from a week long safari. All we wanted was a place to chill on the beach or by the pool following the previous weeks exertions and this resort certainly fitted the bill.
We consider ourselves fairly well travelled but I have to say that this is probably the best beach hotel that we have stayed at.
I can only repeat what has been said in many previous reviews. The standards of service from all of the staff and their enthusiasm are excellent and far exceed what you will find in many of the top hotels/restaurants in the UK. The main areas and grounds of the hotel are kept immaculately. The rooms are spacious, although our bathroom in a standard room was a bit dated.
The hotel has a very relaxed feel to it although that might change a bit during the school holidays. We particularly liked the fact that there is no sign of any of the worst aspects of British package holidays around the bars that you sometimes see in larger AI hotels. We didn't experience any real problems with the beach boys - they are there but they keep their distance unless you walk down to the shoreline and back off if you make it clear that your are not interested.
We found the food choice and standard to be very good and particularly enjoyed the themed nights. There are plenty of choices in terms of where to eat on all-inclusive - apart from the main Palms buffet, there is a more limited AI menu available at three other venues.
The only disappointment that we had was one night we decided to book for a romantic al-la-carte meal at extra cost at the shoreline Bella Vita restaurant. Unfortunately, the waiter there didn't know anything about our booking made at reception and didn't seem to understand why anyone on AI would want the al-la-carte menu. No wine list was offered so we ended up with our usual AI drinks and sadly some of the food wasn't even up to the standard of the main buffet. This is a real pity as with a few candles on the table and appropriate service, the management have a real opportunity to up-sell. Hopefully we were just unlucky that night and perhaps with the Sultan Dhow restaurant currently being refurbished that is what the owners are aiming for.
Don't let that small disappointment put you off however; this is a great place for a relaxing holiday and we are so glad that we chose the Amani Tiwi.
I was most delighted and appreciated the fact that Amani offered us resident rates based on the fact that I am working in Nairobi (despite the fact that I do not yet have my work permit). This played a large part in making our decision as to where to stay.
We opted to have the hotel collect us at Mombasa airport. Good move, as it proved reasonable compared to other private taxi operators (I checked). The driver was professional and friendly upon pick up at the airport. We were, however, approached by three different people not affiliated with the hotel demanding tips at the airport (I had actually thought that the one man who took our trolley with luggage was with the hotel’s driver, as he (the driver) did not make any attempt to get rid of the person who took our trolley... then upon reaching the car, the last-mentioned man was adamant for a tip. I refused. It was quite a bad start to the holiday and a worse introduction to Mombasa, I must say). Nevertheless, the situation resolved itself quickly, but I had to reassure my wife a few times that we were never in any danger. I would recommend that the hotel’s driver clearly indicate to guests that only he is authorised to carry / handle luggage and that he defends our luggage from anyone who may try to get anything out of the deal.
The hotel has a priority pass for the ferry (to get to the South Coast, you need to cross the ferry). This is GREAT – as we totally bypassed the (long) queue and boarded directly.
Upon arrival at Amani, we were greeted by friendly staff and the check-in process was quick. I must point out, however, that at no point did the staff explain to us what exactly full-board entailed (I understand the hotel has B&B, half board, full board and all-inclusive options). There was also no explanation as to which restaurants / facilities are available at the resort (other than the Palms, complimentary wi-fi and, when we asked, the gym). For example, I would have expected the staff to sit us down and inform us that we were on full-board, which means that all meals at the Palms restaurant are included (this the lady did), but ALL DRINKS ARE EXCLUDED (no mention was made of this). I am aware that the hotel has a fully-inclusive board basis as well, but was obviously wrongfully under the impression that full-board included local drinks, whereas all-inclusive meant ALL-INCLUSIVE (ie branded drinks as well). This resulted in us being very surprised when our waiter at lunch on our first afternoon asked for our wrist bands (we were not provided any) and slapped a bill of Ksh700 on our table for two glasses of juice!! In fact, we had no idea what wrist bands he was referring to. It was only later (after lunch) when I enquired with reception that they mentioned that the wrist bands are for all inclusive guests only (and that is when it was clarified what “full-board” meant). At this point, quite irritated, I just upgraded part of our stay to all-inclusive, but was still confused as to which drinks exactly were included in all-inclusive. Very confusing. I recommend to the hotel that this be disclosed to all guests upon arrival and also displayed on their website. The term “all-inclusive” is grossly misleading. Even if on “all-inclusive”, one can only select a few drinks from an “all-inclusive” menu. Coffee / tea, soft drinks and juice is fine and some types of alcohol, but no branded drinks or popular cocktails, these are charged for.
Again, I would have liked the staff to inform guests upon arrival of all hotel facilities. We had no idea that there were other restaurants on the premises / what was included (if anything?!) at such restaurants / which restaurants are not operational (like the Sultan Dhow?). Having to find these things out for yourself is a bit confusing.
We were informed upon check-in that the wi-fi password is in our welcome letter in our room. Unfortunately, when we got to our room, there was no welcome letter, so the busboy had to write the password on a napkin for us. Nice of him, but below expectation from the hotel. What astonished me (and links to the previous comment) was that there was no hotel directory file in the room. So we could not look up any information on the hotel at all. This is usually a very good source of information, but there was nothing in our room. For example, I still have no idea how the laundry facilities work, if at all? What was in our room, however, was what looked like room-service list (two loose laminated pages) and a TV channel listing. I always check whether the TV channel listing agrees to the actual channels on the TV, and they did not. M-net was missing from the channels, so I called reception and a technician sorted this without problem.
The room itself (904) appeared clean, but there was a slight mouldy smell in the cupboards. The space is appreciated, as well as the new bathroom and in-room safe. The room is definitely not modern (and a bit more outdated than what I expected from the website photos). For example, the light fittings are quite old and are in desperate need of a good clean. I also think the hotel should obtain new, softer mattresses. Our mattress was very hard. I wanted to have it changed, but we decided against it as we were not sure what alternatives were on offer. The mosquito net around the bed was also a bit torn in a few places and was stained at the bottom. This leaves one with the feeling that the room is only cleaned “on the surface” and not given a thorough clean every, say, two weeks.
On a related note, our bathroom did not have hot water for two of the four mornings and I called reception about this on both occasions. Even when we did have warm water (it was warm at best, not hot), the water pressure was so low that I had to manually hold the pin (located on top of the bath tap) out in order for the bit of water that there was to flow up the pipe to the shower head. Needless to say, showering was not pleasant nor easy. I wanted to ask to be moved, but assumed that the water pressure on the ground (where we were) should be better than those on the upper floors, so just left it. There should be no excuse for a four star establishment not to have hot water with adequate pressure.
The pool and bar facilities were wonderful. The staff members were very friendly, but I think there needs to be an overall quality supervisor in the Palms restaurant. Even a small restaurant should have a hostess / quality manager. The Palms has a hostess / host, but we didn’t see anyone actually walking around who was in charge of the waiters. At lunch on our first day the tablecloth was stained with what appeared to have been a rice dish of some sort (quite visible). When we came back for dinner that night, the tablecloth had not been changed. Luckily we were not seated at the same table.
The quality and variety of the Palms food is good, with exception for the desserts. I really do not understand how guests can enjoy the lime / orange / custard / strawberry “mousse” desserts, as these taste like instant / packet-made desserts which are quite grainy. I must say, however, that the presentation of all the food is impressive. However, I recommended to the hotel to look into the quality of the desserts urgently. If guests are sending half / barely-eaten dessert plates back, that should send a clear message.
The quality of the breakfasts was impressive. The gym was also great and the gym instructor was very friendly and attentive.
The security on the beach is appreciated, but it is not always pleasant being approached by very persistent beach boys even though one indicates that there is absolutely no interest in whatever is on offer. (I understand that this is not entirely within the hotel’s control, however, but it certainly was not “private”.)
Overall, a satisfactory stay with a few niggles.
My wife and I have just returned from 2 weeks at the Amani Tiwi Beach Resort (ATBR) including a 3 day safari provided by JT Safaris (more on the safari later).
When we arrived at the ATBR we were greeted so warmly and energetically by African dancers and a cool damp towel. We immediately felt welcome and at home.
After a painless booking in and introduction to the facilities we were taken to our room in block 7 on the third floor. The room was clean, tidy, cool and spacious. Our flight was delayed so we missed breakfast. A plate of fruit was delivered to our room.
The hotel and grounds are kept spotlessly clean by the ever attentive, friendly and enthusiastic staff. It would be fair to say that all the staff at the ATBR (cleaning, gardening, maintenance, reception, food & beverage, cooking, spa & fitness, animation team and management) is the main reason behind why this is such a wonderful hotel to visit and why most guests on our visit said they wanted to return.
The food is tasty and plentiful with a good choice for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Swahili nights were our personal favourites. We were attended to by Joseph a lot of the time; he was so attentive and friendly, as was Teddy in the café. Matata, Benny & James stood out in the bars.
June is still part of the rainy season and it did rain for a couple of days but even when it's cloudy it's lovely and warm and you still get a very good sun tan so it suited us. When the sun was out and the skies were clear you could feel the intensity of the sun's rays.
The animation team are a great bunch, they will encourage you to take part in activities but never felt pushy. We regularly took part in stretch, water aerobics, water polo, skittles, salsa & Swahili dancing and of course BEACH VOLLEYBALL... Peter, Nixon, Jackson, Vincent, Saleem, Ibrahim, Charlotte to name but a few, were always there to keep you entertained.
The animation team put on their own dance shows and evening entertainments. They are all entertaining dancers with some really capable movers however it is easy to get mesmerised by the energy, speed, enthusiasm and smiles when Saleem and Vincent are on the stage, they look like they will explode with happiness. Do not miss the introduction to the whole animation team at the end of the show when they dance their signature moves.
The Maasai dancers, Swahili dancers, the Professor and the superb Black Diamonds acrobatic team made for excellent evening entertainment.
The pool was never busy or overcrowded and we also squeezed in a game of tennis on the last day.
The beach had lovely soft sand. Turtles use this beach to lay their eggs and one nest was due to hatch shortly after we left. When the tide is out rock pools are revealed containing, fish, crabs, sea cucumbers and other fishy species.
The other inhabitants on the beach are the beach boys (bb); some didn't seem bothered by their attention. The first one we met tried to sell us trips and safaris and when we wouldn't commit it changed to a guilt trip to buy small curios. When we compared trip and safari prices with those we had already picked to do with other suppliers we found the prices to be 20-25% higher and for the safari also staying at lower * accommodation. A week later we were verbally abused by one of them who followed us on a beach walk. To start with they are on their own and introduce themselves and seem like they just want to chat, however eventually they will ask you about family and work before another bb turns up with stuff to sell and then they lay on the guilt trip guiding you in what you should buy because they haven't eaten for 2wks which will soon become 3wks. He and all the beach boys we met were healthy and energetic. After saying no numerous times, explaining why and saying with respect we just want to have a quiet walk together on the beach our unhappy episode occurred.
To the credit of the management and in particular Mustafa, within hours of them finding out what had happened a meeting occurred with the bb council. The rude bb was warned about his conduct and future behaviour and temporarily (1month) denied access to the ATBR beach area as a consequence of his actions. The other bb's were aware of his behaviour and distanced themselves from him when we spoke with them.
Mustafa is heading a programme to train the bb's in customer care and possibly provide stalls and uniforms for them so they can set up their goods/services and invite you to view them when it suits you so you can enjoy the beach and sea at your leisure. We were left completely satisfied with the action of Mustafa and all guests at the leaving party welcomed his plans for helping both the guests and the bb's in the future.
After the leaving party and dinner we were again entertained by the Maasai dancers, a fitting way to end our holiday. We had bought a picture from them the week before. The initial asking price was 3800Ksh, we settled for what we thought was a fair price and he threw in a friendship bracelet. At the airport similar pictures were for sale at 700Ksh. All the souvenirs we bought or saw were available at the airport.
A Kenyan holiday is not complete without a safari and a local trip. We did our homework and booked with JT Safaris. Mr Julius came to visit us at our hotel to give us a run down on our safari including both the good and not so good aspects of our safari so nothing would faze us. We paid a deposit as he will not accept full payment until your safari is over and you are totally satisfied. We opted for a 3 day 2 night safari to Tsavo East & West staying at Satao luxury tented camp and Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge (given a free upgrade to a suite). Both excellent places to stay but the water hole at Satao cannot be beaten for the amount of animals in constant attendance. Matthius 'Captain' was our excellent driver and guide who was committed to our satisfaction. Look up JT Safaris on TA for more info. Mr Julius came to see us again after our safari to check we were completely satisfied, we were so we paid the rest of our fee (all in GB£) and then he presented us with 2 lovely souvenirs.
We visited Wasini Island booking with J at Baracuda Scuba Safaris based within ATBR. It was good value compared with other providers and we had a lovely day out despite the rain and heavy seas which made us turn back from visiting the part of the island open to the bad weather. We saw a lot of nature, ate great sea food, gave gifts to the children and visited the Shimoni Slave Caves before returning to our hotel.
I am still thinking what I would be doing if I were still at the ATBR.
I genuinely hope to return.
A home away from home.
Paradise under African skies.
Thanks again to all the staff and apologies to those I have not mentioned individually.
Any questions? Please ask and I will try to reply promptly.
Me and my husband went to Amani Tiwi Beach in June 2013 for a week. We had the most fantastic time during our stay.
Thomson couldn't describe or give as much feedback on the resort, we was very unsure at first thinking it is going to be a risk. We booked this holiday for 7 nights and when we got there, we wanted to stay longer :(
Heres a information about the hotel:-
The staff are brilliant, always smiling, very helpful that they could not do much more for you! There is a entertainment team of at least 20 people who have set out fun activities throughout the day.
Examples of some of the activities they had on when we were there:-
- Water Polo - in the swimming
-VolleyBall- on the beach
-Canvas Painting - by the swimming pool
-Coconut Climbing - on the beach
- Water Aerobics - in the pool
-Beach Parties - on the beach
-Morning Stretches - on the beach
-Learn African Dance - on stage
-Evening Entertainment - by the pool on the stage- This is every night, which were fantastic with daring acrobats and African dances
The pool was very big 124m, music is played at pool. Don't worry if you want peace and quite at the top end of the pool, which is at the other side of the hotel is quiet for those who come to relax on holiday. Along with a nice pool side bar serving unique cocktails and bar snacks.
If you have kids, I wouldn't worry there were child minders and children play centre at the resort. We dont have kids, but whilst our stay at Amani Tiwi, we saw kids being looked after very well by the child minders staff. The staff were playing with them, keeping them entrainment, teaching them different fishes and turtles on the beach.
The beach, we saw mixed reviews of the beach in terms of rocky beach. But it is a pure golden sand, by the sea it was rocky with corals and fishes. Once the tides come in, these rocks are covered. The sea was clean blue as you can see in my profile pic.
There were some people selling carving products, dont be afraid of them they can speak English very well and they would like to sell you some excellent quality carving products.
Me and my husband at first thought oh they are so annoying, but to be honest we ended up chatting to 1 of them, who took us to where his main man was doing the main carving of names being put on a carved animal of your choice.
It was an experience to see them working under the hot sun and carving away to make incredible carvers products such as keyring, name plates, baby elephants etc. We bartered a lot to get the best price, the lower you go, throw in some shampoo or clothes you don't want and they will agree as these things are novelty to them, we did :)
The restaurant had variety of food such as African / Kenyan food, Asian food, grilled/bbq, popular on pasta, huge salad bar and cakes stand. We went all inclusive and still visited the Al Carte Resturants which were beautiful food and all inclusive guest get 20% off their bill.
We went on a 2 day, 1 night safari to Tasvo East and West. We saw all the big fives and very close up of the Lion! It was a beautiful safari for those who haven't been before and only wants to go for short days. We met some people on the resort who went the same 1 and they have enjoyed it to. We booked this through Tomsons however, we would have saved alot more money by booking it at the resort as this is a Tomson's resort and their reps were selling this cheaper.
We wanted to do the Masa Mara which is abit longer for a safari, but due to we could only get a week off work, we wanted to relax at the resort as well. But this Safari has high views, you can book this cheaper at the resort.
I would definitely will go back there for another holiday :) and do the Masa Mara Safari.
We went to the Amani Tiwi hotel in Mar 2013 for my mothers 90th...age range 21--90.The staff at the hotel were superb,always smiling and eager to help and treated Mum like the queen..nothing was too much trouble and they made our stay there wonderful.We went on a mini safari to Shimba hills and stayed one night..saw 1 giraffe and 2 elephants and other smaller animals,just loved staying in the rather quirky lodge and they carried mum up and down to it in her wheel chair,on the way stopped at a village school which was delightful and interesting.Sea swimming at Amani is not great but the pool is fabulous and so are Entertainment Team