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“Paradise needing work (on hospitality)”
Review of Villa Kalista

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Villa Kalista
Reviewed March 4, 2013

Spent a week just after Christmas at the superbly built and remote villas in Diani with the family. Initial reaction on arrival was simply, WOW! as have not seen a property such as this on the Kenyan beach. Views were fantastic and each villa seemed remote with the way they were setup.
We had travelled with our family and had taken 3 villas, expecting a level of hospitality equal to pristine modern villas. The expectation quickly turned to disappointment over the week spent at the villas. The promised staff of 1 cook, 1 butler and 1 cleaner per villa, became 2 cooks, 1 butler and 1 cleaner across 3 villas. Even with the lack of staff provided, the butler was most attentive and worked extremely hard, catering to the needs of 11 adults and 6 children. There was a distinct lack of the Nepresso machine per villa again as highlighted on the website. The bar onsite was horrendously expensive and it was cheaper to go to the local supermarket and purchase the drinks from there. Understandably it was not easy to satisfy 17 family members with the lack of staff and even baring this, the holiday would still have been enjoyable had it not been for the owners (who were stayed on site for the duration of our stay) wanting to charge us for one glass being broken (by us) and one dish going missing (remember we were being waited hand on foot, and the food was cooked by their cook and cutlery cleaned by their cleaner) having spent a significant amount of money on the weeks stay across the 3 villas. I would not have expected to pay for breaking a glass if I had stayed in a hotel paying similar amount of money and would not have the need to steal one dish. So overall the place is simply amazing but it seems the owners have gone into hospitality business for the first time and do not understand how to do it. Maybe a few hotel management courses maybe useful if not for the owners then at least for their manager.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Parsmay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Villakalista, Owner at Villa Kalista, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2013

Dear Parsmay,
Thank you for taking the time to post a review on trip Advisor. We appreciate your feedback regarding your stay at Villa Kalista during the Christmas week.

Thank you for your kind words for the beauty of the villas and the property.

We would like to offer our sincerest apologies for any inconveniences that you were caused during your stay with us. However, we would like to take the opportunity to clarify a few points with you:

1. We believe that there has been some miscommunication between your group leader who booked with us on behalf of the rest of your group.
When your group leader made the booking we had discussed beforehand that as you are all one family and will be eating all meals together, it was agreed that we would be providing you with 2 Chefs, 2 Butlers and 2 Room stewards for your villas to provide the ideal client-staff ratio to avoid excess staff.

2. With regards to the Nespresso machine, again your group leader wanted to bring her own Nespresso capsules, which goes against our policy, and opted not to have Villa Kalista Nespresso and therefore it was decided that we would not provide your group with our machines. You were, however, provided with complimentary teas and coffees throughout the day during your stay at the villas.

3. Regarding our bar on the property, our prices are at par with other hotels and restaurants around the area. Once again please do understand that we cannot charge you supermarket prices at Villa Kalista.
You were, however, given the option to buy your own food and beverages from the nearest grocery stores as you were on B&B basis. The comment of bar prices actually comes as quite a surprise to us as all guests who come to stay with us feel comfortable with our bar prices.

4. Regarding the breakages of crockery; your group leader was fully aware that on checking into the villas, they were given an inventory form stating that if any item has gone missing or any breakages occur in the villas, it would be the responsibility of the client and would therefore have to be paid for. This was duly signed.
Our management followed company policy and carried out an inventory check before your check out and found missing items.
Many private Villas or apartments around the world have the same policy.

5. Villa Kalista was keen to make your stay hospitable and comfortable for your group and as a warm gesture we had also given a complementary one-night stay to the first group that had arrived a day earlier, for one of the villas, as it would have cost $1,200. This was discussed again with your group leader. As owner management we make a point to personally stay at Villa Kalista so as to cater to all our guest needs.
To sum up our points, we once again would like to apologise for any shortcomings that you may have felt on our part. We would however request you to communicate with your group leader regarding the stay as she had agreed to most of the staff arrangements, and she had signed the inventories on behalf of your entire group. We feel that maybe this could shed a bit more light on some of the issues that you have raised.

We feel that being a one of a kind establishment, our service has to match the aesthetic superiority of Villa Kalista. It is for this that we have employed a very capable and professional manager and other staff with magnitudes of experience under their belt. We feel comfortable with their ability to communicate with our guests and to ensure that their stay is comfortable.

Thank you once again for taking the time to spend your Christmas with us and we hope we can welcome you back to Villa Kalista in the very near future.

Best wishes

Faiza

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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86 - 92 of 92 reviews

Reviewed January 7, 2013

Situated south of Mombasa, you arrive at this pristine villas where every detail is thought of and provided for.
Beautiful Villas with excellent furniture ( better than a five star hotel) with beautiful ocean views from every room take your breath away. The kitchen is fully equipped and the staff takes care of your every need. Very courteous and very helpful.
If there is word to describe the place, it is peaceful.
The beds are magnificent with clean soft sheets. Had the best sleep there. Could hear the waves as I drifted off to sleep.
The villas are cleaned every day and so are the grounds.
It is a little bit of a drive to get there but definitely worth it.
The infinity pool is gorgeous.
Perhaps the best property on the South Coast.

Room Tip: Every villa has beautiful sea views.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Mahendi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2013

Spent Christmas at Villa Kailsta,just superb,serene,excellent food , service, comfort beyond any other,highly recommended only one regret time was extremely short . No hustles white sands clean beaches very quite .

Room Tip: All just too good to handle
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Rafique P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 17, 2012

Pristine white structures and immaculate gardens, seemed an oasis too good to be true after a stretch of bumpy road that eroded my patience.However all was worth the wait, as the villas have an a understated beauty with quality furnishings tailored to comfort in every minute detail.
Every room is air-conditioned with breath taking ocean views.The living room has a flat screen tv connected to satellite to keep children busy when they get tired, the bedrooms impressed probably more than the rest as these are better than most 5 star hotels that have stayed in with great baths, from the hot tub in the master bedroom one has unrestricted views of the beach and ocean, a really (in my opinion) fantastic idea one which have not seen duplicated in many occasions.
Outside one has total peace of mind as the property is well guarded with security personnel at the main gate and on the beach, the perimeter is walled in its entirety, except along the beach where a chain link fence ensures un-obstructed beach/sea views.
This ensured my peace of mind as far as my three children were concerned.
The infinity pool and the surrounding outside areas are furthermore a tribute the the good taste of the owner.
However all the above would have counted for nothing had it not been for the personal touch from Faiza who helped instructing her staff to help with even the most minor details, to the choice of menus from the chef and the the waiter supplying us with drinks by the pool.
Definitely a place to revisit.

Room Tip: All rooms are beautiful with the master bedroom offering an added bonus
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank David1465
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2012

Villa Kalista will take your breath away!! It's a little bit of a drive, but soo worth it! The villas are magnificent. 3 stories, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, a kitchen, living room and spacious patio and a nice rooftop! The villas are kept clean and the yard is kept nice and trim. It's nicely decorated in every room and the view is just spectacular! Faiza and the staff are welcoming and hospitable and will get you what you need at the drop of a hat. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a romantic getaway, a personal escape or a family outing. Great place for soul-searching and contemplating. It is very peaceful here. The only thing I'd complain about is that there just wasn't enough time spent there! Will return ASAP!

Room Tip: The fitness center IS the Indian Ocean.
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Priyal D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2012

Chic & exquisite, Villa Kalista is simply stunning. I've never written a review before but felt like I needed to because it is well deserved and you really can't help but fall in love. First, a very heartfelt thanks to Faiza and her incredible team for the unconditional kindness they bestowed upon us during our stay. From the moment you arrive, you just know you are about to be struck by something really breathtaking. Fiercely private, beautiful architecture, exceptionally kind staff, and divine food by a very accommodating personal chef.

Through word of mouth, we heard Villa Kalista was Diani's most exclusive & coveted place to stay on the coast and it was, in every way. Our villa was irresistibly beautiful- unlike any I have stayed in. Walking into it alone, is a breath of fresh air. It's light, airy, blissful- a perfect balance of streamlined sophistication with flawless attention to detail- spotless, lush- just exceptional.The views of the ocean from our own secluded balcony and bedrooms were by far the most stunning we've ever seen, as its beautifully & undoubtedly situated on the most exclusive stretch of shore in Diani. I once woke up for the sunrise as it's in view from every villa - spectacular across the Indian ocean.

What struck us the most was the unparalleled privacy which really allowed us to completely unwind, relax and just re-energize- just perfect and effortless. I think it's priceless to be able to have such privacy and tranquility at Villa Kalista. With just 6 intimate villas, our every need & request was tended to with personalized care and uncompromising service by the exceptionally considerate and smiling staff. Just the kind of private getaway that makes you realize you've found something special.

Villa Kalista, you have captured our hearts. Thank you for all the beautiful memories.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank NatAsaria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2012

Villa Kalista is a true home away from home. The property and beaches are breathtaking and the staff truly makes you feel relaxed. The villas are very spacious and the view from every balcony is perfect. This is without a doubt the place to stay if you are ever in the area!
Also, best shell collecting beach that I have ever visited!!

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Elizabeth2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa Kalista

Address: Diani Beach, Diani Beach, Ukunda 41171-80100, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda > Diani Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 71 Specialty Lodging in Diani Beach
Price Range: $409 - $420 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Away from the crowds of large resorts, Villa Kalista is an exclusive collection of 6 private Presidential Luxury Villas for the most discerning travellers who seek total privacy. Located in Diani Beach at Galu Kinondo, 40 kms South of Mombasa, Villa Kalista is nestled between the quiet shores of the Indian Ocean and the mythical Kaya Kinondo tropical forest. Each luxury villa embraces a contemporary style with African flavour and luxurious living. The villas are built to five star luxury standards and each villa offers a panoramic view of the inviting Indian Ocean, to provide the ultimate in private escapes. ... more   less 

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