I travelled here with my Husband and Parents, as we were doing a safari trip. We booked through Thomson and they also arranged the 3 day safari, which was reasonably priced. It was a 2 night stay at the hotel followed by 2 nights in Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks, then back to the hotel for the remaining 10 nights. The hotel was all inclusive and the safari was full board.
Hotel ... When we arrived at the hotel after a long flight from Gatwick, we were given a glass of fruit juice and a wet towel. The hotel's entertainment team put on a dance show, which was nice. We were then shown to our room by one of the staff. We upgraded to the deluxe room with a king size bed, which had views of the sea. The room was very spacious and the bed was a four poster with the mosquito nets around it. We were a bit disappointed with the room, in particular the bathroom, as it was in real need of upgrading. The bath and mirror was all chipped and the sink was stained. However, when we returned to the hotel after our safari we were put into a different room, just 2 doors along from our first room. This room was much better, the bathroom was of the standard you would expect in a 4 star hotel.
The food at the hotel was excellent. We had never been to a hotel with a buffet restaurant and we'd heard bad reviews of buffet restaurants in general so weren't sure what to expect. There was plenty of dishes to choose from at breakfast, lunch and dinner. The theme changed every day, although there was a lot of indian influence, which wasn't a problem for us, as we like indian food. They did a Kenyan night once a week, which was the best theme. There was also an Italian, Swahili and Middle Eastern restaurant. They did an all inclusive menu at the Italian and you had to choose your courses in the morning at the reception desk. I didn't really like this, as I prefer to choose from a menu when I sit down to dinner, plus the all inclusive menu was the same at the other a la carte restaurants. We did a la carte one night at the Italian and we felt the food was quite basic. The food at the buffet restaurant was much tastier. We also did a la carte at the Swahili restaurant, which was good. Unfortunately the Middle Eastern restaurant was closed for refurbishment, which was a pity. All in all, you could go to the buffet every night and you would not be disappointed or find it boring.
The pools were kept clean and there was a choice of the busy pool near the beach, the quieter lazy pool in the middle or another large pool at the opposite end. We stuck to the middle, as there wasn't really anybody using it much or kids splashing about. The pool boys were excellent, in particular Bahatisha (not sure of spelling). He was very friendly and took your towels and mattresses to wherever you wanted and then prepared the sun lounger for you.
The beach wasn't up to much. Full of coral and the tide was out a lot of the time. But we knew this before we booked the hotel, as I'd read it on reviews. Even if the beach had been soft white sand all the way into the water, I would have still avoided going in, as the beach boys were extremely annoying. You couldn't walk along the side of the water without being hounded by them and they wouldn't leave you alone. In fact, you couldn't even look out towards the water from your sun lounger without them waving and trying to get your attention. They weren't allowed up onto the part of the beach where the loungers were, as that was the hotel grounds, but on the coast, there are no private beaches as such, as the beach boys are allowed to walk right along the coast past the hotels.
All the staff were excellent and couldn't do enough for you. Every one of them said 'Jambo' as they walked past, even the gardeners.
I think this hotel has the potential to be 5 star but the rooms would have to be upgraded. There would also have to be a bit more variety in the entertainment, as this was a bit repetative over 2 weeks. The a la carte restaurants would need to have more than 1 chef, as you could wait quite a while for a meal if there were more than 3 tables in.
I would definitely recommend this hotel and would probably stay here again.
Safari ... Thomson arranged this for us through Pollman's tours. We were picked up from the hotel and changed into a safari vehicle in Mombasa. The vehicle only carried 7 people, which was better for viewing out the roof. The guide (Aziz) was very knowledgeable and knew all the routes to take in the parks. We seen a live kill in Tsavo West just at the side of the dirt track, a leopard killing an ostrich. This is something you don't normally see and in fact the guide had never seen in all the years he'd been in the job. We were very lucky. We stayed at Voi Safari Lodge in Tsavo East and Ngulia Lodge in Tsavo West. Both lodges were basic but the food was very good. Again, buffet style with plenty to choose from. Voi was of slightly higher standard and had the Elephant water hole, which you could view from an underground cave. On our way back to the hotel we stopped off at a Masai village and were shown inside their houses, how to make a fire etc. Excellent experience and would highly recommend. I think if we go back we would do the Masai Mara. September is the best time to go in terms of weather and what you will see in the parks, especially if you go to the Masai Mara, as this is when you will see the Migration. The weather was hot but not too hot with occasional rain.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Recently up graded with an addition of another specialty restaurant-Sultan Dhow & Aqua wine bar overlooking the Indian Ocean with a wide choice of wine served by glass. Refurbished Floodlit Tennis Court. A dedicated 3D 84 inch screen facility, Ultra modern conferences in a separate hotel wing.New hotel boutiques, air conditioned rooms, Hi- speed WIFI Internet & 32'' LCD TV with Satellite feed in the rooms, Complimentary mini fridges, electronic safes, Tea & Coffee making facility, Hair dryers, Mosquito nets and superior guest toiletries Dedicated 24 hours in room dining menu. Upmarket Hair Salon Beauty & Wellness Center.Superior guest amenities. Weekly Complimentary traditional renewal of Wedding vows.3 Specialty restaurants and 4 bars including swim-up sunken bar in the a 167 Meter length free form swimming pool... ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Amani Tiwi Beach Hotel Ukunda
- Tiwi Beach Hotel
- Amani Tiwi Beach Resort Kenya/Ukunda