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Swahili Beach Resort
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Reviews (706)
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Reviewed June 19, 2013

I stayed here for a couple of days and I must say that the grounds of the hotel, the rooms, the showers, the architecture, etc is all very beautiful.

The few things they still need to work on are:

1) Improving the quality of the food at the buffet (for such a beautiful hotel, the food at the buffet was below par) - I'd recommend avoiding it all together if you stay there.

2) Training the staff better (not sure if language was an issue, but the service tended to be slow and found myself having to call the front desk to inform them that the old towels hadn't been picked up (were told to drop them on the floor if we wanted them picked up. Strange);

we needed an iron in the room, which came 8 hours later; First they brought the ironing board then had to call back and ask them to bring the actual iron; everything just takes a long time to get done - checking in, getting your drinks, getting towels, etc, etc;

also, some personal hygiene issues - mainly lack of deodorant use by the wait staff, which was noticable when they'd lean over you to grab your plates or clear your table)

3) They need better lighting on the pathways to the hotel rooms from the dining area. You have to walk over this mini-bridge to get to your room, but they're no hand rails and you could easily slip and fall especially in the dark.

4) The beach is not particularly pretty and forget about taking a walk there because you'll soon be accosted by the hawkers who won't leave you alone (the hotel saids it's a public beach so they can't kick them out but they are a real nuisance)

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank KE K
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 June 25, 2013

An interesting review with a number of objective comments which we will be working on in the coming weeks. We will follow up on some of the immediate issues, such as soap replenishment. Meanwhile we would like to clarify the following.

As far as the check in was concerned we can hold our hands up and say, not guilty. In looking into this I see the Thomsons Supplier Information System - all bookings are now received via websites - has the reviewer's booking for three days from 15 June, yet they arrived on 13th June. As an unexpected arrival we had to ensure room availability and to ensure the room was ready to accept guests. In order to speed up the process the front office manager took a pre-authorised credit card impression which was utilised on check out for the extras.

The booking was resolved next day. We have contacted the local Thomsons representatives to ascertain what went wrong.

Dinner is usually held for late arrivals, but in this case we were not aware of the arrival. Why the reviewer was hurried is still under investigation. It is normal for the buffet cleaerance to take place once all diners have finished.

Bar snacks are available at the cocktail hour, usually around 6.30pm and not a standard bar issue during the day.

We have to be careful with health and safety issues. The gym instructor is there to make sure gym users use the equipment correctly as well as ensure they do not overdo any of the exercises. She maybe a little protective but as a professional she was concerned of potential damage to the reviewer's back. A similar situation exists with the nine swimming pools which are shallow, the deepest part being 1.5m. Jumping in to a shallow pool can cause injury. As a hotel we undergo strict H&S audits every year, commissioned by the tour operators we work with.

Arriving late for a spa appointment can, and often does, create issues for those following as any overruns eat into someone else's time. This is not fair on those who keep time. It is for this reasion the reviewer was told as she was late the treatment would have to be reduced by 15 minutes. In future we will be asking late comers to rebook.


The Swahili Beach Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2013

BY FAR THE WORST HOTEL EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE

Myself and my wife were staying in a cottage in Diani Beach last week on an exploratory business trip for eight days.

On our third last day we decided to visit the Swahili Beach Resort for lunch. On arrival we were awe struck by the beauty of the development. It has an Arabic influence, with broad use of Si-yo-se-pol type archways in beautiful Sandstone. There is a stunning Infinity Pool which flows seamlessly into the Indian Ocean and below to a vibrant beach bar built on sand.

On our first day we enjoyed a couple of drinks in the Baharini Beach Bar. This was truly enjoyable. We had a slight problem with connecting to their Wi Fi network, which was quickly dealt with by their helpful I.T manager.

After our experience of the first day we decided to spend our final day relaxing and eating in the Baharini. For lunch my wife had a Club Sandwich and Chips (french fries) and, I, had a Hawaiian Pizza. Both of which were very tasty for a beach bar.

Having had such an idillic day we decided to have dinner in their buffet dining room. We enquired on three occasions as to whether, as non-residents, we were entitled to have dinner in the dining room. The very friendly hostess informed us that we were very welcome and had one of her waiting staff show us to our table.

Here is where the Sandstone dream began to crumble. The area we were placed in, as non-residents, was unair-conditioned.

For starters we both had chicken and coconut soup, which unfortunately did not contain any chicken (this maybe due to earlier guests taking the chicken), next we had our salad course.... Sadly we never got to finish out salad.

I was told that management did not allow shorts in the dining room (I was wearing a Polo Shirt and a pair of navy Chino Shorts). After being informed of this I was asked to wear a Sarong to cover my legs. I let our know hostess that I would find this embarrassing and would prefer to pay our bill and re-order dinner in the Baharini beach front restaurant.

The humiliated hostess referred to the (three quarter length combat short and football jersey wearing) man who she had been speaking to (before informing me of their "No shorts policy") to inform him that we would prefer to leave. After a brief conference she returned and informed me that she would really like us to stay, to ignore her previous requests and finish our dinner. We politely opted to leave the restaurant and finish our dinner at the beach bar. We settled our 4400 shilling bill (4000 buffet 400 wine), additionally tipping 600 shillings as our hostess and waiter were both extremely helpful albeit a little red faced.

A very helpful Rashid followed us down to the Baharini Beach Bar with our wine. Tsama, the Supervisor, followed suit. He apologised profusely and offered us a (we felt) less than generous 20% discount on our, now, SECOND meal. We had two fillet steaks and a chocolate brownie desert and a bottle of wine. All were extremely tasty. We were served by a very helpful staff member, who had informed us that the combat short wearing male complainant in the main dining room was the OWNER(!) of the hotel.

The first receipt we received had our discount subtracted and then further down the bill it had been added again. We were also informed that the wine we bought could not be put on our bill and that we needed to pay cash for it. After our complaint about the subtraction and addition of our discount we were presented with a receipt that now included our wine but no discount. We then asked to see the supervisor again and by the time Tsama (the supervisor) arrived back down the receipt had been completely changed!

Following all of this embarrassment I confronted Tsama regarding the fact that, originally, our discount was ignored and also we had been charged for our Buffet. I was subsequently frog marched back to the Dining Room. Here I was once again shown an altered bill. Our edited bill now showed 3000 shillings for a forgotten bottle of wine and 1400 shillings for two glasses of wine (our original receipt read 4000 shillings for food and 400 shillings for wine).

Completely worn out and bewildered, at this stage, we paid and left #swahilibeachresort @swahilibeachresort.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled on business
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5  Thank tabtrader81
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 June 28, 2013

I would appreciate if the reviewer would e-mail me. I cannot read the e-mail address provided - gm@swahilibeach.com.

Many thanks

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2013

We enjoyed our time at the Swahili Beach Hotel. Rooms spacious and comfortable and the 2 guys from house keeping kept the room clean. Both were extremely pleasant and helpful. Staff were great, helpful, friendly and attentive from Mike (General Manager), Esther, Faith and Julie in the restaurants, Clifford by the pool (a real star) with Abdullah and also Rubin who sorted us out with a very early breakfast at 0530 (great chat and attitude) when going on Safari. Thanks to Rodgers for the morning walk along the beach. He was informative and friendly, always had a smile and never passed throughout our stay without stopping to say hello. The buffet breakfast and dinner offered fresh food and plenty of selection and the pizza at the beach bar was yummy! Griffen, a new member to the management team, as with the rest of the management, was friendly and attentive. One thing that stood out for us was that the management were always visible, always stopped to see how things were going and addressed any queries or questions efficiently and effectively.

Thanks to everyone, we had a great time!
Barry & Joanne

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Barry M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2013

The best way I can put this is a 2 star service trapped in the body of a 5 star resort.

The hotel itself is beautiful, majestic, relaxing - it has so many well thought through architectural elements, such as the cascading water pools down to the beach front, the multiple spots for relaxing on big cushions and wonderful big sofas.

Most of the staff are really friendly - the guys around the pool and in the bars really attentive, everyone seems to be really well meaning. I think it's just that the training hasn't been so great here. It feels odd to be in such fine surrounds with such bad service.

Good stuff includes - the divine building itself and the pool and pools down to the beach - they are heavenly and lots of fun!

The breakfast is pretty cool - loads of choice, a smoothie bar, a pancake bar, an eggs bar!

The massage I had was brilliant, so very very good - if not quite long enough (more on that below).

Some of the food has been great (some average) - the best of which has been the seafood platter that we had down on the beach one evening.


Here's the not so hot stuff:

- On arrival they couldn't find our booking. Despite showing them the confirmation email from Thomson's Holidays (we had paid upfront already) they made us pay for that night until they worked out what the issue was. 2 days later there is no solution still. I'm not sure they have tried very hard to sort it out, they seem to be depending on us bizarrely?

- Staff telling us what to do - we had been caught on a broken down train for 17 hours so arrived late at 10.30pm, unshowered and very hungry. We were instructed to eat before we showered, and we had to put up a fight to be shown to our room so we could wash first - I think we had to protest about 6 times. The restaurant is supposed to shut at 11pm but we were told 10pm, same for room service.

- A massage at the spa: I was told off for being late to my appointment (!) And then instead of the 45 minutes I paid for they only gave me a 30 minute session. That's service!

- At 4.30pm we went for a refreshing G&T, on asking for nuts or a bar snack we were told we should go and ask at another bar. The barman then came back to inform us the peanuts would be ready at 6.30pm (!?) No idea.

- At the gym, we went to lift some weights: The lady managing the gym kept interfering (we didn't ask for her help) with our weights and lowering the weight stack so much it was pointless us being there.

- This is a small irritation but the soap in the bathroom wasn't filled for two days, and then when it was it was mostly filled with water (you know how you do with an almost empty washing up bottle!?) And the shampoo provided smells truly terrible. I'm not sure if all the rooms have this stuff but it is bad. Really bad.

So here's the final conclusion - for all the bad stuff the price is still very good as well as the ambience of the place. And so if you can be chilled out about the management not being great and the occasional blips on the service then you really should come visit. It's an awesome place to catch your breath and to unwind in.

And you must break the no jumping rule and drop through all nine pools from hotel to beach - as this is surely what the architect had in mind.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Sammyps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2013

We visited this hotel which is not far from Southern Palms where we stay as one of the receptionists had moved there to work and wished to see us.

On entering, the hotel seemed very impressive and our friend showed us around two superior suites which looked marvelous with sunken bath and candles which are lit in the evening for one to have a bath.

There was a huge flat screen TV and the usual hairdryer, special smellies in silver caskets etc for the ladies, a desk for writing and huge bed with dressing room off, the usual tea and coffee making facilities and mini bar and safe.

My only complaint that these rooms did not have a sea view.

That is what I love at my second bedroom and home.

The pool was large and nearly reached reception and my husband liked the gym.

The spa seemed ok but I prefer the beauty salon at my own hotel.

There is still a lot of work going on.

One thing I did like was that there was plenty space around to hide away in the baking sun.

We sat for a drink at the pool bar next to the pool with the waterfall which looked good.

Drink prices were reasonable for a five star hotel.

On balance and not being biased I prefer my second home Southern Palms Beach Resort which we love and will always remain there.

However it was good to compare.

I do know however that one person remains un named pulled out of the running of the hotel when it was being built as things were just not quite right and I believe that there seems to be a few teething problems going on.

Asante sana for showing us around!!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank malaikascotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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