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Southern Palms Beach Resort
Ranked #7 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Reviewed September 1, 2012

We have just returned from spending 20 nights and must say how disappointed we were with the drop in standards, my wife, 2 children (12 & 15) and me spent two weeks here last October, the food and service then was excellent but will not be returning again after this experience, too often the food was cold, uncooked or just inedible, the chefs didn't stir or check the temperature of the food in the containers which were kept warm by burners, one curry was stone cold on top but really hot at the bottom, the pasta bar which my girls visited served up uncooked pasta, the lamb which was freshly carved wasn't fit for my dog to eat! full of fat and gristle the baked-beans were warm at best. The restaurant staff continually ask if the food is ok to which we said yes because we didn't want to complain but after several nights of poor food we mentioned about the uncooked pasta, the head chef was sorry and offered to cook a special meal we declined as we just wanted what we had paid for. The chef and catering manager seemed to be more concerned about the contents of any review even begging me to rate them high! Several other guests had similar complaints and a few didn't bother going to dinner. The majority of the staff were excellent but some need to consider their personal hygiene, my daughter nearly threw up when one waiter(George) walked passed our table as his BO was so bad. Our rooms were kept clean but we had to spray body spray around to mask the smell of the room boy, no towels for 2 days running with little response from reception which was manned by trainees who seemed to know and do little, you would ask a question and they would look at each other and not have a clue, our room phones kept ringing at all hours of the night, nothing was done when i reported the fault so after the second night of ringing pulled the leads out.
The hotel has had a change of management which has resulted in a change in attitude, the hotel is targeting conference bookings at the expense of the normal paying guests. During our stay a UN delegation of 165 doctors arrived for a conference, they were treated like royalty, more staff, more food and better quality, the entertainment suddenly changed to cater for the influx of African doctors, once the conference was over the food reverted to the former reduced selection and poorer quality. One member of the staff actually told us that the hotel was more interested in making a good impression for the delegates and didn't seem too bothered that it was at the expense of the other guests. Drinks have increased in price, soft drinks have gone up 42% and Tusker beer up 28% since last October, the management claimed the local brewery had put up prices, i told the manager that the prices at the Kiliguni safari lodge which is 5 star and 200KM into the heart of kenya had come down and that drinks outside were less than half the price, he just shrugged his shoulder and smiled!! Last but not least the exchange rates are a rip off, i checked and photoed the rates poster when i arrived on 07/08/12 the sheet said July rates, when i paid my bill on the 27/08/12 the rates were the same even though they had increased outside just more evidence of the management and owners ripping off the average holiday maker. One good point was the animation team who work really hard to keep the punters happy, although their hands are tied when it's raining as they are only allowed to do the planned events, a query about arranging a table tennis comp when it rained for a whole day was met with sorry not allowed, it seems the management prefer people to sit and buy food and drink when it's raining, one last thing, don't bother with all inclusive it's not worth it, we were half board and paid for lunch in the Barito bar which was excellent and drinks all day, the most we spent in one day was about £70.00 the hotel quoted us £140.00 per day to upgrade, all inclusive doesn't include ice creams or milk shakes and limited drinks. The one high light was our 5 night Safari which was simply amazing, 31 big cats, 28 were road side, 21 lions including 6 cubs, 6 Leopards and 4 Cheetahs, i big thanks to Bonface who is an amazing guide, we booked on line at home with Julius Tact Safari' who are based in Diani beach, remarkable service from all his staff, the Kiliguni Serena is a little bit of heaven the staff, accommodation the food all get 10/10 thanks to all and special thanks to Julius.

Room Tip: choose another hotel! unless your on a diet!
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank bob v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 29, 2012

After 15 days of game drive through Kenya and Tanzania we needed some rest. The Southern Palms gave us the opportunity to reload our batteries for 4 days before returning home.
Great swimming pools and large enough to forget that it is after all a large resort. We never had the feeling that the hotel was full, though you sometimes needed to queue at the buffet for dinner in the main restaurant.
A typical "beach" hotel with all classical activities: miniclub, aquagym, beach volley, disco ...

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Thierry V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2012

First of all I have to begin with the quality of the food. THe food was simply spectacular. Unfortunatelly most likely you are going to gain weight over there.
The service was impressive also. One big minus , I have to say it is about the price of the drinks. My package was half board, so free drinks were only for <all inclussive>. In these conditions, one cocktail cost around 12 euros.
My advices for future travelers:
- change money at the airport you get better deal then the hotel exchange rate
- book the safari tour with the beach boys. You can negociate and you can save a lot of money.
- when you go to Kenya, if you have clothes and shoes that you are not wearing anymore take them with you. People from there will be extremely hapy even if they get some left-over shanpoo

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank radu186
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2012

We spent 4 nights in Aug, 2012. This is really a 5 star experience at a cost of a 3 star establishment. Superb location,..........the pool, probably the largest in this part of the world. .wow ! With a new F & B Manager, who is on top of everything, superb food and service. Very friendly staff. We went all inclusive, worth every cent........if not all inclusive, then a bit on the expensive side for drinks and snacks.Thoroughly recommended.

Room Tip: Go for 143 or 144.....................right on the sea front. But in ANY of the rooms, you will not...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank sukhy_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2012

early season,June, few guests (maybe 30-40, resort takes 500 + ) ,super food, quality and suffiicency to choose from
.Gateau cakes to die for; cheese platter for breakfast......not dinner ?odd.

keep within your plan, half-board or fully inclusive ? the on-site up-charge , a staggering euros 45 /pp/pn.

a bottle of mediocre Chile chardonnay was 4 x the local bottle store price.

if you want to use the in-room safe, be prepared to have to rent it by the day.

and steer clear of the business centre , where e-mail access costs + 500/- per/hr.


take a tuk-tuk to Diani centre, haggle.... sh 50/- for 2,one-way.

In town ; an italian pizzeria, almost opposite Barclays, very good - run by an expat Italian, an
d very good. further down the 'strip', ali baba & forty thieves, good for lunches.

and.... the beach boys ..can make , or break your holiday- they are numerous, uncontrolled, and downright unpleasant, at times.

at the resort, excellent , well-trained , local staff. Just as well, visible Management non-existent !

on resort ,a very good holiday, off resort patchy. Extras overpriced.

Room Tip: 130, ground floor,near to all the action. when the main lights go down about 11 or 12 watch th...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank strandloper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2012

We had a wonderful holliday. The food was good and lots of choice. The staff very helpful and obliging. The rooms are a bit old and in need of updating, but the beds are very comfortable and a nice little balcony to sit on, someone always bringing fresh flowers.

The pools are huge and really clean. The beach is a bit disappointing as there is so much seaweed, years ago when we went to Diani Beach, the seaweed used to be removed every day. (It could be used for fertiliser) and the "beach boys" never stop pestering, we did buy some things from them, but it is never enough. Overall, we enjoyed being there and the ambience of the Hotel is great, with plants and waterfall and birds and fishes all over the lounges and dining area. I would recommend it.

Room Tip: rooms away from the entertainment area (nearer to the reception) are quieter.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Joyce D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2012

A fantastic retreat for families. The food is equally good with a wide variety of dishes being served. The only part of the trip that was not worth it were the beauty treatments being offered. The products used were supermarket stuff and not what was offered on their list. Apart from that one experience, we had a great time. The other restaurants at the hotel were a real treat especially the choma restaurant.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank RKM466
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Southern Palms Beach Resort

Address: Diani Beach Road, Diani Beach, Ukunda 80400, Kenya
Phone Number:
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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in Diani Beach
#7 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
#7 Family Hotel in Diani Beach
#7 Romantic Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range: $95 - $288 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Southern Palms Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 298
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This dramatic hotel with its fantastic pools and beautiful beach is the perfect spot to relax after a safari… or simply visit to relax! The warm and very African feel of the hotel with comfortable rooms, well appointed bathrooms and selection of restaurants offers guests plenty of places to lounge in the sun and almost as many shady spots to enjoy a bit of a breeze and a good book. All rooms have quiet, split unit air conditioners, televisions, mini fridges and coffee and tea making facilities. There is a safe (chargeable) in each room and a business center located in the main building with internet or wifi access in public areas. The drama of the huge, traditional makuti (thatched) roof in the main restaurant offers the Chef a terrific showcase for a varied selection of local and international dishes on the buffet or you could indulge at one of the a la carte restaurants (chargeable) for a special occasion or just a quiet evening for two. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Southern Palms Beach Hotel Diani
Southern Palms Beach Diani

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