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Reviewed September 15, 2012

We spent 5 days here during the first part of our 10 day holiday in Kenya. Upon entering the gates my husband said "Welcome to Jurassic Park" had it exactly that sort of feel, especially with the security. However, inside was amazing, we were met with cool towels and a coconut to drink. A truly beautiful place where the staff are really helpful and friendly, everyone saying "Jambo" each time you see them. Our room was beautiful, with the room service coming in each day to make the bed and then again to turn it down at night and closing the mosquito nets. The choice of restaurants in which we could eat was really good, and there was plenty of choice of different foods. If I had to find one fault it would be that the entertainment (which was outdoors) was very loud, going on until 11pm, which wasn't very good if you wanted to go to bed early.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank auntykaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2012

In may 2012, I took a friend of mine from Erope to show him some kenyan hospitality and I choose Southern Palms because of its beuty and recomendations.

Well to begin with we were given a very poor reception on arrival, the bell boys were busy entertaining the white tuarist and we were left on our own and we were the last to be checked in.
Secondly they started speaking to my friend in Kiswahili because he is light skinned and they just assumed that he was from Mombasa...
For the next seven days, we were totally blocked off, we had to greet the waiters, while they rushed to welcome the white tuarist with a big grin on their faces and a big "JAMBO" coming out of their mouths.

Another sad thing is, there were two black elderly ladies staying at the hotel, I assume they were from up country, they were totally ignored especially by the waiters, the poor ladies had a little understanding of the western meals, no waiter bothered to assist them, and at one point we had to help them.

My advice to the management team is to promote local tuarism and also give good services for all..irrespective of their background, gender and race.

Finally I want to give thanks to the boy at the poolbar, the animation team , the light skinned gardener who brought me fresh flowers for my room and the student trainee waiters, they were lovely and they showered true kenyan spirit and hospitality.

Room Tip: The hotel is beutifully designed, almost all room are facing the indian ocean, during my stay the rooms were very clean.
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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4  Thank samwel n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2012 via mobile

Amazing hotel, the pools are huge and the swim up bar really comes in handy in the African sun. Plenty of choice on the all inclusive drinks menu and the food was amazing ( apart from the sausages) the staff could not do enough for us and we always felt like valued customers, especially the king and his prince at the beach bar. A couple negatives are the beach boys who basically ruined the beach experience for us which was a shame and the hotels location, although taxi's were cheap enough. All in all a great hotel and one I would definitely visit again.

  • Stayed: September 2012
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Thank Jamgtfc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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!
  • 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.
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.
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