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“Beautiful Hotel on a large scale” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Swahili Beach Resort

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Swahili Beach Resort
Ranked #9 of 30 Hotels in Diani Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Diani Beach, Kenya
Level Contributor
168 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Beautiful Hotel on a large scale”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 23, 2012

This hotel is lovely and there are vast spectacular expanses of water and once it is fully developed (and it is clearly work in progress) it has the potential to be the best hotels in Diani. I would not however classify it as an Inn or B&B is it a fully fledged Hotel/Resort of considerable size. We enjoyed a snack by the pool and both the menu and service were good.

Room Tip: We did not stay overnight so cannot advise here
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CossyWombat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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546 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (129)
Date | Rating
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Glasgow UK
Level Contributor
28 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 23, 2012

Having visited Mombasa several times before and stayed in the well-known hotels including Southern Palms and Diani Reef, I was apprehensive to visit a brand new hotel in a country that can be so hit and miss with standards. However, Swahili Beach is a breath-taking addition to the coast, and I had a very special two weeks there, which I certainly plan to repeat.

The architecture and landscaping of the hotel are simply stunning. The pool has got to be up there with the best in the world, and the established gardens and cascading pools down to the private, raised beach area create a truly gorgeous environment. The buildings have a Morrocan/Eastern influence and are large, spacious and thoughtfully laid out. My only criticism here is that the hotel isn’t well set up for disabled or very elderly people – there are no handrails and the route down to the beach bar is steep. It’s slightly more accommodating for children, although it’s still not ideal. The lighting at night is beautiful but low key, and so again, best for people who are physically fit and on the ball.

The rooms are spacious, clean, and have an exotic layout that fits with the style of the rest of the hotel. The bathrooms in particular are very cool with an eco-wetroom vibe, solar heated water (always nice and hot), an LED-lit rainshower and unusual bath. Compared to other hotels in the area, the bathrooms at Swahili are truly up to standard and were kept immaculately clean and fresh. The rooms are turned down every night, the bedding is clean, soft, fresh and new, and the beds are comfortable. There’s a romantic feel to the room with mosquito nets and a fan above the bed, and there are double doors out to the patio or balcony. There’s a flat screen TV with some decent channels, although a BBC/Sky News type channel would be nice. The rooms still need some finishing touches, such as full length mirrors, some more towel hooks, and other minor things. Some 5 star elements that are missing include room service, slippers, a stocked minibar (although this is done on request) and perhaps an iPod dock or similar.

While we were there only the beach bar and main restaurant were open, but the Indian restaurant was set to open any day. At the beach bar the food is excellent, truly European standard, and reasonably priced. You must try a dawa cocktail, amazing, and the wood fired pizzas are delicious. The food in the main hall is also good at both breakfast and dinner with freshly cooked options at live stations – and again, it surpasses the competition in the area. There’s no evening entertainment in the way that other hotels in Diani do it, but there was some live music which provided a nice background. Once a week, a bit of local entertainment (Masai, acrobats, or similar) wouldn’t go amiss.

The spa is not open yet, but they have set up a makeshift spa in two of the rooms while the real spa is completed. The treatments are as good (and the facial was better than) treatments I have had in some of the leading spas of the world (Gleneagles, Marbella Club, Al Qasr) and once the actual spa facilities open they should really boost this hotel.
The staff on the whole were helpful and friendly (Albert at the beach bar, Fridah at the pool bar, Michael in the restaurant) and are trying their best to get to know the hotel while also providing a good service. Any requests made were attended to straight away, and there was a personal touch in that staff remembered us and did things such as pre-prepare our beds by the pool each day in our preferred spots. Reception staff were a bit slow and sometimes seemed a little overwhelmed, but we had no major problems. The clientele at Swahili is civilised and sophisticated. The hotel at the moment is quiet, but in a way that is a nice thing, and there’s a growing buzz around it with people visiting for the day or for short trips. The hotel’s owner and his family were there too and again made a point of making us feel welcome and checking that we were enjoying our stay.

Of course there are teething problems, and the hotel isn’t fully open, but I had as good a stay (and in some ways a better stay) as I’ve had in any other 5 star resort around the world.
This hotel has so much potential to be a true 5 star resort and a destination for those who want an amazing holiday that matches the leading resorts in Europe, Dubai etc. It’s early days and the hard work going into making it work is evident. It’s definitely the top choice already on the Diani strip and I hope that this might make the other hotels along there take notice and make improvements of their own. I will certainly be staying at Swahili Beach on my next trip to Kenya

Room Tip: Go for a sea view, although all rooms are nice
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank sj101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2012

I went to Swahili Beach Resort with my boyfriend and another couple. We do not usually go to 'resort' type hotels but this was perfect for what we wanted to do... totally relax in gorgeous surroundings ... with a spot of kite surfing thrown in!

The North Africa / Indian influences in the architecture and design are gorgeous and really lend themselves to a feeling of space with open views from the lobby to the incedible swimming pool and beyond to the private, glistening beach. The rooms are large, with their own private terraces (try to get one with a sea view!) and beautifully decorated, luxurious without being over the top. The real highlight is the pool which forms the centerpiece for the hotel ... I think i counted about 10 different little pools, all joined together by waterfalls and little bridges.

Feeling brave, I had a thai massage at the hotel which was one of the best I've ever had.

I would most definately reccommend the Swahili Beach to friends and family and anyone who wants a sea side relax in very comfortable surroundings but somewhere you feel able to wear flip flops and not feel too scruffy!

Room Tip: Try to get one with a sea view!
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Emily E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi
Level Contributor
28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2012

Swahili Beach offers a new kind of hotel along Diani - with great decor and style, and plenty to do within the resort, we had a great stay whilst there. The rooms are spacious and airy, and have big bathrooms with shower and bath, double sink and bidet. The air conditioning in the rooms is excellent though the bathrooms can get a little bit warm because the aircon doesn't extend to the bathrooms. The views of the beach and sea from our rooms were excellent, but mostly we enjoyed lounging around the enormous pool with amazing views of the sea. The pool also has a bar that you can swim up to and order a drink which is very cool. Breakfasts are good - tasty food from a buffet and eggs made to order. We had a couple of meals at Baharini, the beach bar restaurant, and the food there was good. Service was a little slow but they are trying hard to iron this out I think because it's a relatively new hotel. All in all a very nice coastal experience highly recommended.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ExperienceKenya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doha, Qatar
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2012

My husband and I have returned from a six night stay at swahili Beach hotel in February and considering we are frequent travellers, I think it is a statement to say we have never been so frustrated by a hotel stay, at this price level, ever. From arrival to departure, we were met with one annoyance after another, not what you want when paying top of the line five star prirces and looking forward to a luxurious, relaxing break. Aesthetically, I agree, Swahili has set a new standard along the Diani beach strip, where many of the hotels are dated and just not that pleasent. The building and landscaping at Swahili are certainly very nice and create a good impression throughout, our room was large and pleasing, however, the view was non-descript, the wifi did not work, there was no drinking water, no slippers, no minibar and no personal touches that would give this hotel a real edge. Also, the lighting along the passage from the rooms to the lobby left a lot to be desired. Of the four advertised restaurants, only two were operational during our stay and please be aware that if you book the full board package you will be expected to have all your meals in the buffet hall, which is right near the lobby area. The food hall is less than inspiring, unless you find the humm of the aircon an agreeable companion and unless you are satisfied with the largely mediocre food that is served. The second restaurant, Bahirini, is much more pleasing, located on the beach and serving good, reasonable fare such as seafood and pizzas. The staff are friendly and very pleasent, however, inefficient and largely untrained, so much so that you will wait thirty minutes to get your cheque at the end of your evening consistently. The spa was not operational either during our stay and is operating out of hotel rooms but full prices were being charged for treatments and if you are trying to keep in touch with the outside world during your stay, good luck, as the wifi not only did not work in our room but was largely tempermetal throughout the resort, working sporadically in some areas and not at all in others. On check in we were iformed that we were payed half board and despite having our confirmed itenary, the staff took a full day to believe otherwise, and trust me there was no attempt to cover their scepticism. Having voiced our dissatisafction at eating every night in the dining hall, we were granted permission to also eat in Bahirini, however, not to our surprise, all of the food we ate appeared on our bill at checkout, despite the reassurances we have received from our rep and hotel management. On check out our cheque was not prepared, despite having asked both our rep and the manager/proprietor the day before and of course, it was wrong when it arrived over half and hour later. Having called the GM, he did rectify the bill, however, no apology was even so much as muttered and we were rather late leaving for the airport. Indeed, any encounters we had with the GM had left us in no doubt beforehand that the incompetencies we experienced throughout our stay would be repeated on checkout, a point on which we were proven correct. Swahili has potential, however, service needs to be improved dramatically in order to reach any sort of justification for the prices being charged to stay here. The GM blamed the lack of service on the local staff and a lack of skills mix, a conversation which considering we work in developing countries, was not really what we wanted to be faced with on our holiday and a point which I think is unfair to the local staff, who are working at this hotel for a monthly wage which is no dout far less than the nightly rate to stay here and simply put is just an excuse for lack of organisation. Now, I know this hotel is newly opened, but there was nothing introductory about the price we paid. It has potential to be a much better, but we were so sadly disappointed by our experience that we will not be recommedning to our friends and family and are very unlikely to be repeat visitors, a real shame considering the wonderful experience we had whilst on safari in the Masai Mara, where, just to note, we stayed at Governer's main camp, a place, that Swahili could learn a lot from, if it is to achieve five star service.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Jillian H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mombasa
Level Contributor
25 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 7, 2012

We stayed at Swahili Beach Resort for the weekend, and i must say that finally a five star hotel really exists in Diani. There are a couple of hotels in Diani with Five Star status but many do not match upto the five star standards, and are more likely a 3 or a 4 star.
The location is brilliant i must say, in terms of distance to the Likoni Ferry which connects the main land to diani, and also the existence of a plaza consisting of a supermarket and other facilities right opposite the hotel.

The service was excellent, and the rooms are breathtaking. The architecture of the hotel itself and the rooms is simply outstanding.

The swimming pool of the hotel is amazing i must say! The lights in the evening at the resort make the property even more beautiful.

Internet facilities are well provided and with no extra charge.

Now we discuss the downsides!! It is an obvious fact that the main reason of visiting a resort in Diani is to enjoy the Diani beach itself, however the beach of the hotel is disappoining, the water at the shallow end of the beach is rocky and very uncomfortable to swim. Tourists usually walk quite a distance to a nearby beach where they can swim.

Formal wear is required for dinner wear which i personally find it unreasonable!

There is lack of entertainment during night or after dinner. Many other hotels nearby have some entertainment in terms of music or live performances every night. Guests usually at this hotel just go back to the room after dinner!..Bar area was empty after dinner.

We had a full course package, lunch was surprisingly not a buffet but on the basis of A La Carte menu at the beach bar, and we were informed we can choose anything from the menu apart from Sea Food!...

Dinner buffet was good, but could have been better with more variety.

I personally enjoyed the breakfast compared to the lunch and dinner.

To conclude the above review, despite some of the setbacks, i rate this hotel 4 stars as it truly deserves mainly because of its architecture, beautiful rooms, swimming pool and outstanding service. Most importantly, better than most of the resorts in Diani, as it is a modern hotel which opened just recently in December 2011.

I would highly recommend it!!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Imran N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dongen
Level Contributor
19 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2012

We've stayed one week in this beautiful resort. The architecture is stunning. The rooms are spacious and tasteful designed. Good bed and bath! Unfortunately the pressure in the shower was to little. The swimmingpool is great. Laying down under the palmtrees on the beach feels like heaven. The food in the beachbar (lunch) is very good. The dinerbuffet is rather moderate. The wifi connection needs improvement, and their music choice too! I would suggest some Ibiza lounge music for creating a good mood.
Hopefuly the hotel is finished in april 2012. Some minor improvements, and then they will be the best in Diani Beach.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank CvDDongen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Swahili Beach Resort

Property: Swahili Beach Resort
Address: Diani Beach Road | Diani-Mombasa, Diani Beach, Ukunda 80401, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda > Diani Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 30 Hotels in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Swahili Beach Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 140
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Swahili Beach is much more than meets the eye. Culture and history provide its very soul. From the architecture and the aromas to the music, it teases the senses. Drawing you in. ... more   less 
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