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“Kenya's best kept secret!”
Review of Mnarani Club & Spa

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Mnarani Club & Spa
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Kilifi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 16, 2009

Well where do I start! ... The flight to Mombasa via First Choice was on time and they provided excellent service. Mombassa airport was chaotic, filling out visa's was a nightmare, $50 entrance fee a cheek! After leaving the airport, it was just over an hours drive to the hotel. Those with a heart condition should take extra meds as we found the quality of driving a bit scary! You need to be prepared for the sights you will see on route as it is very poverty stricken. On arrival at Mnarani Club we were greeted by the staff and the manager, who is South African and very pleasent. We were offered breakfast and then shown to our accomodation, a garden view room. The rooms were clean,well maintained and the air conditioning had been switched on for our arrival. The beds (two singles) had fresh flowers on them as did our two childrens next door.
From then on we had the time of our lives, the food was excellent with a huge range of choice for everyone. Each night had a different theme, Indian, Spanish etc. My personal favourite was the beach barbecue (as Mnarani have there own beach, situated on the creek) we were greeted on arrival and had flowers placed round our neck. The tables were set and dotted between the beach and hardstanding area, it looked fantastic and the food was amazing, steak, pork, lamb chicken with an array of different vegetables pasta's and salads.
The staff at this hotel we found to be fantastic, they could not do enough for you, and the manager was very visible every day asking if you were ok, and joking with the guests. We found the bar snacks to be good value between £2 - £4 for toasties, pizza's etc. A bottle of coke,sprite fanta etc cost 50p Tusker beer £1.50, which we found to be half the price of other local hotels!
We did a two day safari to Tsavo East staying over night at the Voi Safari Lodge which we booked with Glorious Safari's before we arrived in Kenya. Safari was awesome, great guide (Patrick) Voi Safari Lodge has seen better days, poor food, poor rooms, the only redeeming factor being the fantasic views across the plains. We saw all the animals we were hoping for and even a lion kill. However, we are glad we done this at the begining of our holiday, as it is physically exhausting. Back at the hotel - the animation team were great, kept our 13yr old son amused for most of the time so thankyou Laurence and Kasiwa. As for the evening entertainment I concur with the other reviews... acrobats brilliant, magic man, not so magic more of just man, bingo going going gone! But then again we didn't go for the evening entertainment, it is so hot here you are done in by 10 o'clock pm. You really do need your air con on in your room, a little noisy but not enough to keep you awake. The hotel gardens are well kept with beautiful flowers,trees and plants. Green monkeys frequent the hotel but do not bother you, just amusing to watch. We took a Tuk Tuk (a three wheeled motor carriage) around to the Kilifi Bay hotel (6KM) which cost us 1000sch return, and spent the day on the most fabulous powder white beach and swimming in that lovely bath which is known as the Indian Ocean!
Am I going back to Mnarani Club...Wild horses wouldn't stop me, this hotel is just fantasic and the staff were great.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with family
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8  Thank loobylouWarwickshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 16, 2009

Where to start?!?!?!
We had a fantastic stay here. There were 4 of us (2 couples) who went together. I really cannot say enough good things about this hotel.
The last few reviews are accurate, so I won't go into all the details of the food etc. The prices were reasonable compared to the UK, lunch mostly was around 450khs, wlthough, as mentioned, you could spend more on some of the fresh seafood (lobster, crab etc) and it was all very worth it. As mentioned, the rooms were great, very comfy beds, super clean rooms, we stayed in garden suites and they were very new and nice. Bathrooms were new and very good quality, with good showers.
It was my birthday while we were there, and the room attendant Gideon decorated my bed with more fresh flowers and palm fronds that spelled out happy birthday to me, a very nice touch! They also decorated my chair for dinner and made a big production of bringing my cake out.
The staff were honestley the best any of us have ever encountered anywhere, so friendly, but not fawning over you, they enjoyed a good chat and joke, and we had a lot of fun just chatting with them. They were all just very nice people (especially Tom, John, Emmanuel, Dida, and Nimrod, but really everyone!)
A last note regarding the managers, Hein and Babsi...again, I can not say enough good things about either of them...2 of the best people I have ever met, and we will all always be forever grateful to them for everything they did for us.
All I can say about this hotel is GO THERE! I know that I will definately be returning.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with friends
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7  Thank SRP81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2009

Booked online with First Choice in September. Looked like a good deal, and it was!

The flight was a bit of a killer (2 hour outbound delay) Arrived in Kenya. Impressed with Mombasa airport, quickly got our luggage, then had to wait for those who didn't get their visa before hand! thanks guys.

The bus journey went in a flash becaue I fell asleep, the journey is only about an 1.5 hours on a good road.

Welcomed at the hotel with a drink, first impressions excellent. Very HOT!!!! The infinity pool is divine. You get a good view of the creek and the sea. lovely and tranquil, no screaming kids anywhere. perfect!

Showed to our room, we tipped but you have no obligation to do this. 100 Shillings is a good tip. A family in Kilifi can live on that for a week. In realtion to that guests were totally expoited (i got charged 200 shillings for 6 bananas) however it never feels like that as the prices are cheap compared to UK.

I travelled with a friend and we were put in a double room with a dodgy shower. we asked if we could be moved to twin beds and a better shower, straight away we were given another key and helped with our luggage. nothing is too much trouble.
The beds are fairly comfortable, 2 pillows each. fresh towels everyday, the room cleaned everyday. The air con is noisy but you tend to need it on for part of the night as it's very hot in the evenings and kills the mossiqtoes, You have nets that are put out for you in the afternoon. I took £50 malarone tablets, and i never got bit. If you get a good citronella repellant you should be ok.

The sun is very very hot. I took factor 25 and still got burnt to a crisp. I would recommend at least factor 30. If you are taking children you will need the all over body swim costumes.

The food is wonderful. Plenty of choice with a different theme everynight. Meals are 730pm till 9pm. The sun sets about 6.30pm. just enough time to go and get washed and changed.

The evening enteratinment is below average, but to be honest you have such a good company in the hotel that you don't really need the entertainment. A bit of background music was enough. We went to bed at 930pm every night so we could make the most of the day.

Booked a two night safari with First choice. £375 and well worth the money. You can get cheaper with sunsetsafari. We stayed at the Aruba lodge east tsarvo which was mindblowing. The views of the wateringhole were fantastic. Lovely meals and nice comfortable rooms. The 2nd night in west tsarvo at the luxury campsite. Nothing that keeps the wildlife from your tent door! fully recommended! We got to see the big 5 aprat from rhino and leopard.

You can walk into Kilifi from the hotel in ten mins. It is quite a culture shock, The people are selling second hand shoes and clothes in the market. There are lots of people walking around in rags with no shoes. You don't get any hasstle. maybel just the occasional tuk tuk trying to give you a lift somewhere. We walked to the orphanage to leave a donation. The children have been orphaned by AIDS, there is HIV in the community but I didn't see any visible signs of illness or disease of anykind. The children all look very happy. If you could take over pens, pensils, paper, chalk etc they would be so grateful.

Mnarani village is a shorter walk and twice as poor. They all live in mud huts/shanti huts. I bought the kids some sweets which cost me 50p and made their day! They have nothing but again all the children are well cared for and loved. All seem very happy.
The people all speak english, some better than others, all are freindly and polite. No one begged for anything.

The boat trip with Captain Issa is a must £25 for snorklling and lobster lunch. They make you feel very special and have great sense of humour. We tried the sticks that are supposed to make you hallucinate (legal) , it didn't work for us but was a giggle all the same. The beach they take you to is superb, white sand and hot sea. There is a shade area if you don't like the midday sun.

You need to keep $20 or 1700 shillings to leave Kenya (the cheek of it!) If only the money went to the right places, when obviously it does not! It is also $50 to get into each park for only 24 hours- you wonder where that money is going ???

The only way you can help local communities is by travelling to Kenya. The trouble last year has put people off but be assured it is very peaceful, friendly and very welcoming. You will not be dissapointed. I can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with friends
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5  Thank babydub77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2009

Having done the safari thing two years ago whilst staying at the Sun & Sands hotel in Kikambala we picked the Mnarani for its laid back reputation and we were not disappointed. We arrived at 3am having been delayed by 15 hours by technical troubles to a warm welcome and were upgraded to a creek view room. The rooms are a bit dated but spotless and the aircon was a bit noisy and sometimes struggled to compete against the severe heat but for what we paid I had no real complaints. The bath filled in less than a minute and the shower was awesome with plentiful hot water. The swimming pool is superb and the ever present pool boys cannot do enough for you, getting you food and drink if you ask and will put a towel on the your chosen bed for your duration if you ask . Our stay was on a half board basis, the breakfast was a wide selection of cereals and fruits, with cooked options of omlettes and fried eggs and bacon or sausages. Buying lunch is fairly cheap but a couple of times we were tempted by the more expensive fish dishes. The crab in garlic and ginger was superb and if you like scampi then you must try their home made stuff.

The entertainment is as described in previous reports so if you are looking for late night partying then the Mnarani is not for you.

As a keen scuba diver I had no knowledge of the dive school or it's facilities so for the divers amonst you here is a brief report. Having dived all around the world including Kenya I had a lot to compare it with. Barakuda divers situated on the beach, is run by Ewe, a likeable and knowledgeable German bloke. The dive boat is a small hardboat that can take up to eight divers for two dives each. As my wife is a non diver the biggest benefit here was that I went out diving at 8am, did two dives and was back at the pool with the missus by 1pm! You can also choose to do one dive only if you wish and you will be returned to the divecentre after that dive usually around 10.30am. I must mention the boat crew, Tony, Ali and Bonni who were excellent and very helpfull. The dives were as good as the Carribbean and the Maldives, the sites are based around three or four seperate corals although the number of sites are limited but even return visits to the same sites were worth it. The shallow corals are quite stunning but even the deeper dives were excellent. On my forth dive, there was three turtles, morays, guitar shark (tbc) large rays, scorpionfish and whilst on the surface at the end of the dive whilst awaiting the boat, a school of at least six dolphins swam past us within 15 meters, superb!
I had most of my own kit but a full range of hire kit is available. A six dive package with full kit is around 1550ks ($200US). For uncertified divers the usuall basic PADI Openwater course is available. Nitrox is unavailable.

The ultimate compliment I can give the Mnarani is to say that I am looking to return again in October or November as I seldom go back the same place twice.

Phil.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank creeavenue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2009

Hello The Fockers!!!!!!

We are one of the couples mentioned by 'The Fockers' in their review of this lovely hotel.

We booked the holiday through First Choice as it seemed a reasonable price and the reviews on here were great....once we got there we could see why. I'm going to break this down into sections and give any positives and negatives for each point as I go through.........

Flight - good flight, no delay going out from Gatwick. No free alcoholic drinks though!

Arrival - we had arranged our Visa in the uk in a last minute panic. The kenyan embassy told us it would save time on arrival but this was not true as we joined the same queue as everyone else...in any case the coach didn't leave til we were all on! It actually cost more for the Visa through the UK so take your 50 dollars and do it on arrival!

Transfer - as mentioned the roads are fine now but the poverty you drive through is dire if you're not expecting it.

Arrival - we were dealt with quickly and taken to our room straight away. From the moment we arrived the staff were smiling and helpful and this continued throughout the whole stay. Even the slightly miserabler female animations team member managed a smile by the end of the holiday...although it may have been wind! Fabulous, fabulous staff!

Room - we had upgraded to a creek view room with fridge. The room was fine, big and airy. The air con was very noisy and we complained after the first night. Within an hour it had been replaced by another unit....think The Fockers ended up with ours!! The safe needed 3 replacement doors before it worked but this was also sorted quickly.

The bed was decked with flowers on arrival, the rooms was kept spotlessly clean and the bed was prepared every evening with the mosquito nets closed and the room and bed area sprayed.
If you are a light sleeper take ear plugs as even the replacement air con was noisy.

First Choice customers get a ground floor creek view room, you cannot get this changed to an upstairs room. This meant the view was not that spectacular. If you are upgrading for the view alone don't bother as the garden rooms are really nice and a number of then have been refurbished with more modern fixtures and showers ( no bath ). The fridge is small but plenty of space for your contraband alcohol which can be bought in the local village ( 5 minutes by bike, 20 minutes walk )

Entertainment - we arrived saturday and for saturday and sunday there was nothing to do in the evening. Everyone disappeared to bed around 9.30pm and the hotel said this was because is was turn around days. However the animations team were very happy to accomodate us and we had a number of disco evenings in the end at our request, we even took CD's to leave there which they played. Ultimate Disco Collection seemed to go down rather well with our group!

Other entertainment was magicians ( not good ) Masai Warriors ( excellent ) Acrobats ( excellent ) Bingo ( please!!! ) Quiz night ( like watching paint dry )...but overall it was fine. Don't go for the night life....there isn't really any but I found I was ready for bed by 10pm most night anyway, as did most of the other guests.

The hotel has its own private beach where you get no hassle from Beach Boys touting their wares. In fact there is a secutiry guard on duty but he's very low key. There is a bar at the beach and you can order snacks which are brought from the main restaurant ( tasy but cold!! ) Watch out for sea urchins on the beach...they get in your feet and hurt!!


Food - really good overall. Massive choice. Speciality nights every night...Spanish, Italian, Indian etc etc and these nights changed over the whole 14 days rather than being repeated each week which I thought was great. Breakfast was good and you could get a wide selection of bar snack lunches for around £2 to £4....toasties, pizza etc. If you wanted to eat lunch in the restaurant you could for 600 shillings ( about £6 ). Restaurant ran out of silly things though, like Soy Sauce on chinese night but this was something and nothing. Freshly made naan breads and meat kebabs out of the tandoori oven, freshly made omelettes and scrambled eggs for breakfast, fish and meats cooked in front of you, crepes with hot chocolate sauce......yummy, I'm hungry now!

Drinks - very good prices for a hotel. Local lager is called Tusker and was 160 shillings ( £1.50 ) a Smirnoff and coke was about £1.60 but it was a bottle of coke and would last for 2 drinks. Litre bottles of cold water were around 70p

General hotel appearance and grounds. Lovely grounds although you tended to stay to the rear of the hotel where the pool was. In the front grounds there is a squash court, small golf course, crazy golf.
Money is being spent on the hotel, the whole of the approach drive was being block paved while we were there..very impressive.

Area - the village and Kilifi town are very poor, run down and quite dirty however the people are very friendly and you get next to no hassle. I've had much more trouble in the Caribbean than here. If anyone does approach you, which is rare, a polite no is all you need.

The hotel staff earn about £3 per day and so are very grateful for tips, t-shirts, toiletries etc ( there is a communal tip box but we left tips as we went along, although you will feel absolutely no pressure to do that ).

The exchange rate was better at Mombassa airport than we got at Thomas Cook the day before.

You are near the Equator....it is very hot, take LOTS of sun screen

Mosquitos....even if you've never been bitten before, take spray. There's always a first time and my partner was covered in bites after the first night with no spray on.

And finally, we had a full 24 hour delay on our return flight but we were left at the hotel for the whole time....it's a hard life!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank DevonbellePaignton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2009

we havent really mixed much on previous holidays,but not the case here,we met 6 other great couples and there was never a dull moment. Its the kind of hotel where u get chatting to people but still do your own thing.Firstly the roads from airport are smooth now it takes about an hour to get there and u do get a bit of a culture shock if u havent been before, but dont let it put u off. If u upgrade to creek rooms u get a bath as well as a shower, fridge,tea and coffee facilities and king size bed. u have your own room boy who changes bed everyday and gives u fresh towels.he keeps the room spotless. the pool is clean, warm and a lovely area. the food is an absolute credit to the hotel,we think its 4*plus(especially indian night). friday night BBQ on beach was quite touching, the atmosphere was wonderful. fillet steak ,languistines the lot+music and acrobats. The animation team takes a group of u on walks around the mnarani village and over the bridge to kilifi town. do take advantage of this as its a great way to chat to people and get to know where everything is. The hotel beach is fab. six of us chilled out down there one day and it was like havin your own private beach. the waiter brought us lunch and the waiter kept us topped up. FREE fishing,they give u a rod and bait u fish in a boat at end of jetty , they cook your catch for u at dinner.FREE catamaran sailng, have a quick lesson and off u go. my husband thought this was very relaxing.FREE lazer boat sailing and canoes. there is lots to do here, u wil not get bored. FREE BIKES, help yourself to the use of free push bikes. CAPTAIN issa day trip out to bofa beach for lobster lunch and snorkling was fab. £25 each, but feel free to negotiate if there is a few of u. we went on safari to tsavo east from mnarani 1 night at ashnil aruba £180 each with jt. We had two fab saturday afternoons at the boat club where white kenyans meet up. go down to mnarani beach and turn left, keep walkin along beach for amile. it is in sight. u can wade through water or cadge a lift off local fishermen, whatever the way its quite an adventure and better if u are in a group. once there the food is lovely ,samosas just delicious. for 100ksh each the boat club wil give u a lift home by boat. . JOY OVC CENTRE is a little school for under privalliged and orphaned children,some with HIV. this school is run by the church. we had taken pens sweets and balloons with us but wanted to give them out ourselves. a lovelly young couple had been there the day before and told us that the children had never seen coloured pens before, they had donated a little money and everything they had given had been logged and sighned for and done properly, so we knew this was the place for us, it was the highlight of our holiday, loved the kids and they were so happy to recieve our gifts. PHILLIP the barman wil give u directions if u want 2 go,please take some coloured crayons and chalk for the teachers. its in walkin distance in mnarani village. books rulers anything. SPARE FOOTI TOPS , kenyans are footi mad if u have any spare tops u can give them to your room boy ,we gave ours an old england and arsonal top,he said that he was so happy that he could fly. thank god we was on the ground floor. LASTLY we would like to thank the marvelous staff and the great new friends that we made for making our holiday special. NOT TO FORGET THE MONKEYS we so loved watchin them>

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank theFockers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2009

This is the first time I have ever left a review but we have just arrived home from Kenya and just had to tell everyone how wonderful the whole holiday was. The hotel rooms are clean, the staff are friendly, the food is good (New Year was amazing), the beach is small but ok, the pool is amazing and more than makes up for the small beach, entertainment is basic but again ok. The view and breeze from the creek view room we had was wonderful, yes the aircon was a little noisy but if it bothers you that much turn if off. I just found the whole experience wonderful and the safari was mind blowing (we did Tsavo East and stayed at Salt Lick game lodge - amazing) Anyone who does not enjoy this hotel/holiday should not have bothered going to Kenya in the first place. Please go to this hotel and see for yourselves we had a truly wonderful holiday. ENJOY.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
8  Thank gmjr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mnarani Club & Spa

Address: B 8, Kilifi, Kilifi 80108, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Kilifi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Kilifi
Price Range: $96 - $130 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Mnarani Club & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 80
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on the cliffs of Kilifi Creek, just where the creek meets and merges with the Indian Ocean, Mnarani provides perfectly for the beach and turquoise ocean under one foot and the activity and adventure of creek-life under the other. Kilifi lives and breathes the gentle sea breeze, at the edge of the ocean, between Malindi and Mombasa. Set in 40 acres of landscaped tropical garden, fragranced by Frangipani blossoms and balmy ocean breezes, Mnarani is an idyllic retreat and holiday destination. Mnarani offers you the true African experience with excellent service always offered with a smile. Explore the coast north of Mombasa and take advantage of the brilliant diving and sailing opportunities. Daily entertainment and fine cuisine complete your fun filled days and make for an excellent holiday for the whole family. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mnarani Hotel Kilifi

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