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“Beautiful Hotel ... TERRIBLE Restaurant Service”

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Swahili Beach Resort
Ranked #10 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 20, 2013

We did not stay here, we only went for a lunch at the beach.

We were a table of 12 and the service was so lousy, we had to laugh.

It took ages to get the attention of the waiter and once we did, service of food and drinks was very slow. The wait staff were completely untrained and did not even know what was on offer.

We ordered a variety of starters of which only the crab claws were decent enough. The meat, veg and feta samosas were still frozen on the inside when served to us. So we sent it all back. The chicken salad was by far the worst we have ever had. A few leaves drowned in an overly tangy dressing with very few fried pices of dry chicken. These are such basic mistakes, the kitchen staff really need to pull their socks up.

Even after ordering with a female supervisor, our main courses came out wrong. We had ordered grilled piri piri prawns but they were served plain grilled with garlic butter sauce. To add insult to injury, the prawns were cold. I had ordered a grilled lobster and it was also cold, no joke, it was cold. We sent everything back and when it did come to us hot and as ordered, the food was very good.

As a hotelier, I simply do not understand how such mistakes occur. Is there no manager on duty? Who was supervising? I understand the hotel is still new but why open when you are not ready to offer proper food & service?

You can easily become the best hotel at the coast, management & owners simply need to pull their finger out.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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    • Service
2  Thank Smoke_Trees
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SwahiliBeach, General Manager at Swahili Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 25, 2013

We are a little taken back by the venom in this review considering the reviewer was not the host, who incidentally is a good supporter of the hotel, and given one of the diners insisted on being served by two of our service staff originally trained by him.

As a trained hotelier it is usual for experiences to be shared with their industry colleagues.

The experiences cannot have been that bad otherwise the service staff would not have been tipped!

Yes, the samosas were not good but were promptly replaced by the chef who was on his third day. We do not advertise prawns peri peri on our menu but they were insisted upon. We do not hold peri peri sauce but the beach bar kitchen did what it could and produced the prawns in terms of the menu.

As the reviewer said the food was good.

One problem with a beach bar kitchen and large tables is making sure all the food comes together at the same time, especially where seafood is concerned as we prepare these fresh. It's a question of juggling.

We hear all that is said and will use the comments received to ensure take appropriate remedial action.


Swahili Beach Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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447 - 453 of 631 reviews

Reviewed February 18, 2013

We walked in to Swahili Beach resort without prior booking and immediately loved the place! The askari at the gate named John was kind and detailed in his profiling. Josephine received us and immediately started preparing us a room on short notice, please note we were on our honeymoon. The room was a pleasant suprise! We even extended our stay. Had a wonderful time. The following day, we had a bottle of wine and creamy white forest in our room with a message congratulating us on our marriage! Wow! We were oh so speechless. Alfred at the beach look out was very good at his thing. Nivas was always there to welcome us find out how we were doing. So thankful to the staff who are too eager to help. Asini and Ali (for the best milkshake and stir fry) you guys are awesome! Thanks Phyllis for the really hot tea; We will definately be back. It is not only the place but its the people who make the place! Nothing is new under the sun. Everyday we live, we learn, we grow, we love!
Barakiweni na asanteni!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Aneri N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2013

Have stayed 2 weeks at this hotel in the beginning of January (7 to 21).
This was my first visit to Africa, in my past travel experiences, did visit Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, USA and stayed at AI resorts as Iberostar Grand and Secrets.

After arriving at Mombasa airport at Monday morning (10am), there was a pretty long line waiting to pass the customs area. After leaving the airport at noon there was a 2 hours ride to get to the hotel. If this is your first time to Kenia, be warned that traffic is a mess out there.

Once arrived at the hotel, check-in went very fast and was offered a welcome drink. My room was immediately ready and a lady from PR brought me to the room. Once in the room I got a brief introduction about all the facilities in the room. A few minutes later the bell boy brought my luggage to my room.

The hotel is only a year open and in your welcomes letter the hotel also mentions that they sometimes still experience this. However I did not really noticed this when staying there.

Rooms
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My room was on the ground floor in the first building left of the reception.
The room itself was fine nothing spectacular but everything you need is there. There is a large king size bed with mosquito nets, a small table with a chair that can act as a desk. A flat screen on the wall, another small closed that contained the fridge and the safe.

In the bathroom, there is his and her sinks and a large rain shower and a sinked-in batch. Opposite to the sinks there is the toilet.

The temperature of the shower is difficult to control, therefor its easier to only use the cold water which felt already a bit warm. There is already some liquid soap provided but I did not use this as it looked like scented water in stead of soap.

Outside the room, there was a terrace with 2 beach chairs and a small table.

Pool
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There are about 7 pools shaped in a waterfall architecture. One large pool at the top that then turns into smaller pools by cascading down towards the beach. The large pool has also a pool bar.

Towels are provided by pool guys that are walking around the pool. A nice thing I found was that if you arrived early at the pool (8am) and they were still cleaning the pool they would immediately come to you and bring you some towels without having to ask them anything. You will get 2 towels by person, there is no need for towel cards. In case you need an extra one, you can always ask an additional towel.

Around the main pool there are lots of beach chairs placed under an umbrella.
In the gardens around the pool, there are also chairs placed under the palm tree.

Food
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My package was booked in half board and included the breakfast and dinner buffet. Both buffets are served in the same area next to the lobby bar.

The breakfast is served between 7am and 10am. The dinner is between 7pm and 10pm.
Lunch is served between 11am and 5pm at the beach.

The breakfast buffet is serving the same options every days were the dinner buffet has different options every day of the week. If staying for 1 week you will get something else every day but if you are staying longer the dinner buffet will repeat itself.

Breakfast has the following options: fresh juices (orange, tropical, carrot), smoothies, fresh fruits (mango, pine apple, water melon), selection of pastries, egg station, yoghurts, American breakfast options, small selection of meats. There is no selection of small bread; only thick slices to make a toast. Another thing that was not at the breakfast is slices of cheese.

For lunch, you would need to order something from the cart selection. There are different kinds of pizzas, burgers, salads, meat options to choice from.

On Sunday evening, they changed the location from the indoor buffet to an outdoor buffet at the swimming pool. Not sure when they do this as they only did this for the first Sunday and not the second.

Beach
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The beach area consists of 2 areas a public and a private area. The private area has the sun loungers on them and the palm trees are providing shade in this area.
If you are planning for a walk on the beach or for a swim in the ocean be prepared to get immediately the company of the "beach boys".

Swimming in the ocean is difficult as the ocean is really sensitive for the tides and there are a lot of rocky places and seaweed. At some moments the ocean pulled itself back for more than 100m. Therefor I would not recommend this for a beach vacation.

Service
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During my 2 weeks I did not encounter any problems with the service, people were always very kind and never had to wait very long to get my order. One day the lunch took a bit longer as on other days and they brought out some fresh chips to apology for the delay.

The room was cleaned well every day in the morning and in the evening the mosquito net was put over the bed each day by the staff.

Evening
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In the evening there is no entertainment foreseen for the guests, the only alternative at the hotel is the beach bar or the lobby bar.

Overall it was a nice first experience in Kenia and the hotel is definitely a recommendation worth to others.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank MyHolidayTime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2013

We stayed at Swahili beach for four nights and as soon as you enter the hotels lobby you are taken back by the excellent views of the sea. The hotels and rooms design is spectacular and gives you a truly Swahili feel. We particularly found the varying depth of the cascading pools spot on, as the pool next to the sea was the right height for our little ones. If you however want to swim in the sea you may be a little disappointed due the sandy beach turning into coral. Overall we had a pleasant stay with only one issue being that the hot water in our room never managed to keep a constant temperature whilst being used. The hotel were aware of this problem and hopefully it is resolved now.

Room Tip: We stayed in a superior delux which had an awesome view of the sea.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Aman B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2013

Swahili Beach is an amazing place to stay on the South Coast, with beautiful rooms, great service, great food all set in an amazing Swahili ambiance. Stayed there for 4 nights in Jan 2013 and enjoyed every minute. The kids loved the 7 cascading pools. Only downside is the beach had too much coral, which made swimming in the ocean difficult and there was too much weed, which I believe is seasonal... it must be noted though the hotel management had people clearing the weed every morning. Meeting the owners of the hotel was a big bonus as they really looked after us during our stay.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Ravinder S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

This place is quite the scene. Lovely upscale swahili style chique rooms and the swimming pools are endless, with one pool flowing into another until you get to the beach. Lovely. Wish there was more beach though.

Room Tip: All the rooms are really nice. Choose one that is closest to where you want to be most though, becau...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank HealthRetreatsAfrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

I think this place did not disappoint us.... Good hospitality from the beginning....the pools are amazing with good service ....food was buffet style with variety.... Chef was friendly.... Overall excellent place for peace and quiet and would definitely recommend it... Keep up the good work!

  • Stayed: January 2013
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1  Thank Farush
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

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 #10 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Price Range: $199 - $274 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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