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“Holiday was amazing but hotel was a disappointment”

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Southern Palms Beach Resort
Ranked #9 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Norfolk
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Holiday was amazing but hotel was a disappointment”
Reviewed October 8, 2013

We stayed at the Southern Palms from 2nd to 12th Sepetmber. However, we had to change our room 3 times because the safes did not work and their was no empathy by any of the staff including Hussein who talked a good story. The food was bland but plenty of choices. We found the Italian Restaurant was ok but not what I would call UK a la carte but the service was very good and the staff were friendly. The beach was painful and got pestered by the beach boys but security were on hand for any trouble. The beach boys took us away from the main complex and demanded money for showing us some of the beautiful things that can be found amongst the rocks, albeit I did not begrudge them anything as they were friendly and gave them £5 for showing it to us, it is something to be aware off. Furthermore, make sure you take beach shoes if you are venturing into the sea becuase of the vast sea urgents. The 4 day safari was amazing but make sure you take wet ones and tissues with you as the toilets are not great. We managed to get upgraded to Saltlick, which was another experience in itself.
The pool was very good and the pool staff tried to involve you in all activities, sometimes too much. The Spa ladies also constantly pestered you albeit they were very polite but you would get a different one come round every 5 minutes, which became annoying.
Overall we had a geat time but disappointed with the hotel and the amount of times we had to pack and unpack due to faulty safes. You would have thought they would have checked them first prior to letting the room.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Drou65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 13, 2013
Dear Drou 65

Greetings and thanks for your review. We would like to express our regret
over the problems you had with the safe not working in your room and assure
you that the matter is being looked into as a matter of urgency. We were
disappointed that you received little understanding from the staff, and the
person you named, over this issue but it was pleasing to see that the
service and staff was very good in the Italian Restaurant.

However, we were happy that you enjoyed your holiday overall despite the
misgivings and we would be delighted to welcome you back.

Warm regards,

Betty.

Guest Relations.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (209)
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English first
Minety, malmesbury, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed October 7, 2013

I'm Rebecca, 15 and I went on holiday here with my family during the summer of this year. The holiday was brilliant! Probably the best holiday I've been on, all the staff are very very friendly and welcoming and will help you however they can to make sure your holiday is the best it can be. We arrived and were given fresh coconuts and towels to cool us down, before having our bags carried for us as we were shown to our rooms. We also met the manager Hussian when we arrived, he checked up on us regularly throughout our stay to make sure that everything was going well -of which it was. He was probably the most friendly person I met on the holiday and was always making me and the family laugh and feel very welcome. The food was also amazing there, every night you could go to the main restaurant area to have a buffet-type meal with plenty to choose from, this included curry's, fish, meatballs, seasonal vegetables, soup, and the most wonderful selection of puddings. There was also a man who would carve brilliant images in to the fruit, such as moneys and guitars in to the melons, which just added to the atmosphere for the night making it a wonderful way to eat. There were different restaurants as well such as an Italian and a BBQ themed area which was right on the poolside. In the evenings you could sit out by the pool on the WIFI whilst enjoying a drink served to you by the waiters such as Felix who also made a massive effort to make us feel welcome. The entertainment every evening, the staff and the environment were all absolutely amazing and couldn't be praised enough, I would love to go back there if I ever get the chance. It really was the holiday of a lifetime.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BeccaL0we
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 13, 2013
Dear BeccaLowe,

Hi Becca, It was so good to learn that you rated your holiday at Southern
Palms as the best ever. Everyone is so happy to have contributed to the
experience and can assure you that in time to come, when you have completed
all your studies, we would be delighted to welcome you back for another
Holiday of a lifetime.

Kind regards,

Betty.

Guest Relations.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2013 via mobile

I have just the most amazing beach holiday at the southern palms hotel on Diani beach in Kenya. The facilities including the bedrooms, the pools, the restaurants and their food, the bars, the beautiful beach and most of all, all their wonderfully friendly and efficient staff made the holiday the best ever!!! Thanks for the beautiful melon sculptures Geoffrey!!! U r so gifted. I could have watched u do your art for hours!!! Thanks to all the teams who helped to make my time there so much fun. U all deserve a medal!!!!!

Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
Helpful?
2 Thank SandieScott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 13, 2013
Dear Sandie Scott,

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments Sandie ­ everyone here really
appreciates all your remarks.

The staff have had a meeting and decided that when the medals are delivered
they would like you to return to present them to us, hahahaha!!

Asane sana.

Best Regards,

Betty.

Guest Relations.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 6, 2013

Have just come back from Southern Palms and cannot recommend it enough. The staff there are absolutely brilliant and will do everything they can to make sure your stay is perfect. First there is Hussain whose mission is to memorize every guest's name and for whom nothing is too much trouble and is always checking that all is well. Then there are waiters Frank and Felix who are like the energiser bunnies.......always on the move, fetching and carrying like men possessed. I've got to give a special mention to Ronald the stir-fry king, who gave us his recipe along with a demo cooking lesson (we've made two since we've been back and they are just fabulous) and also Geoffrey the pastry artist who makes the most amazing sculptures from melons...they really have to be seen to be believed!! But all the staff work really hard from Victor in the grill restaurant down to the cleaners ( I haven't forgotten you Oliver and
Paillej)

The hotel itself has got beautiful grounds with a meandering swimming pool that runs right through it. You can always find a quiet spot if you want it and there are always enough sunbeds to go round. The beach is a real plus, golden sand that's raked every day and lovely walks in either direction and is one of the few hotels in Kenya that has a private stretch for guests to use. The beach boys can be a bit annoying at times, but they are only trying to earn a little bit of money to feed their families, and can be trusted despite the way they look! We befriended a couple of them and booked a trip to Wassini Island, identical to the one offered in the hotel, but at just over half the price. They all know each other, so if you want to buy anything direct from them, ask for our guy Lulu, he's not as pushy as some of the others so doesn't get many customers, and you can trust him to deliver what you've asked for. Tell him that Dave and Brenda recommended him.

If you want to go on safari it's worth going local and booking with JT Safaris......we have used Julius for years and he is always much cheaper than using tour operators and he has a very good reputation. We emailed him before we went and arranged a time for him to meet us at the hotel. He sent a car and driver to take us to his office where we arranged the safari, and then we were driven back. Personal service......what more could you want!

Have a great holiday, we did!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BrendaCrick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 13, 2013
Dear Brenda Crick,

After enjoying what you describe as a great holiday, your recommendation of
Southern Palms is music to our ears Brenda,.

Your words of praise for the staff have been passed on and they are all
delighted ­ particularly Frank and Felix, Ronald (who is thrilled that you
have tried out and enjoyed his stir-fry recipe) and Geoffrey (whose fruit
carving is admired by everyone). Victor in the grill restaurant and room
stewards Oliver and Paillej also say a big thank-you.

A great deal of effort goes into keeping the beautiful grounds and pool
complex in immaculate condition and it means a lot to those responsible when
their work is appreciated by guests like yourself and Dave.

We all look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

Warm regards,

Betty.

Guest Relations.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2013

JAMBO!!! We spent two fantastic weeks in Kenya at Southern Palms. We truly enjoyed and definitely will return in the future. What makes Southern Palms special is the superb location, paradise beach(minus beach boys) and amazing staff who were incredibly friendly and helpful. We would like to say a massive Asante Sana to: Hussain (fantastic manager,looking after all guests), Ali Kauli(amazing person, whom we truly enjoyed talking to every morning at the pool), Nancy( for scrumptious cocktails), Sidney Emakule(for great humour and fantastic time and help during yummy meals) and of course Uncle Sam( for full of fun and laughter aquarobic sessions in the pool). Asante Sana Southern Palms, you have an amazing team of people working there and hope to see you in the future :)

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Aga C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 13, 2013
Dear Aga C,

How pleased we were to learn that Southern Palms and its staff met all
your expectations. It makes everything worthwhile when our efforts are
appreciated and the staff you mentioned by name, including Ali, Nancy,
Sidney and the effervescent Uncle Sam really look forward to seeing you
again on your return.

Warm regards,

Betty.

Guest Relations.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hinckley, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2013

We stayed at Southern Palms for 6 nights following our safari trip, booked through 'The Big Journey Company'. Every singe member of staff we met had a smile and were helpful and friendly.
The resort leads directly to the wonderful beach (the only downside to the beach were the 'beach boys' who are persistent in trying to sell their goods) and each day a guided walk along the beach was available.
The food was high quality, plenty of choice (even for vegetarians!) well presented and the restaurant well laid out. We only used the main restaurant but there are 5 on site. Sitting eating while watching the weaver birds build their nests was lovely.

The pools are large and there are plenty of sun loungers, towels are provided.

Our room was on the ground floor overlooking the beautifully kept gardens and pool, and Duke (hope I've got his name correct), the young gardener, provided us with fresh flowers for the patio table. George, our room steward kept the room spotless and there were nice 'little touches' like a wrapped sweet on the pillow each day, and the mosquito nets put up and down each morning / evening ready for us.
You do need to keep the doors closed though as the monkeys around the site have learned that there can be sweet things in the room and we saw at least a couple with packets of biscuits or similar which had been stolen, we assumed, from the rooms (one giveaway was when a packet floated down from one of the rooms above us!). There is a sign saying it's illegal by law to feed the monkeys but we saw several people giving them bananas regardless.

Go the bar by reception about 7.15pm to see the bushbaby who drops by each evening too!

There are several trips that are available to book - I don't travel well on boats but a friend did the dolphin trip and had an amazing day, swimming with about 12 free dolphins and a turtle, and having lots of fish, a stingray and many other 'underwater safari' species pointed out to her.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Pat P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 13, 2013
Dear Pat P,

Thank you so much for your kind review ­ you put a smile on the faces of
everyone around.

Your praise for the quality and quantity of our food delighted to restaurant
staff ­ and our resident weaver birds seem to have been even more active
since their mention Trip Advisor!!

We were happy to know that your enjoyed your room with a view overlooking
the beautifully maintained gardens and that you found George your room
steward so obliging.

Your advice to guests about keeping the balcony doors closed is sound, as
the monkeys are quick to spot any opportunity to steal things. Thank you
again for your kind words.
You are welcome again in Southern Palms.

Best regards,

Betty.

Guest relations.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford
Level Contributor
33 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2013

Well we arrived st Southern Palms hotel 1st thing on a Sunday morn, 1 st impressions were WOW, & we were never disappointed throughout our 3 week stay. We were checked into our room very quickly our luggage was swiftly taken2 the room as well. After swiftly unpacking we set off 2 the pool 2 chill & catch up on some s keep as well. Plenty of Sun loungers to choose from so never had 2 worry about not having anywhere laze each day. Had a welcome meeting with Moses & he was brilliant throughout the holiday, we were off on Safari 2 days after arriving & spent 4 wonderful days travelling to Tsavo West, Tsavo East & then onto Saltlick a fabulous lodge on stilts & worth paying for the upgrade. We had morning game drive's, evening game drive's, walks & tours during the days. We followed a lioness & her 3 cubs on one of the night drive's & it was totally amazing & not 2 be missed. The 2nd week we booked an overnight trip to Shimba hills which was great except 4 the fact that the bathrooms were down the corridor!!! Not happy about that 1, but we were very fortunate as we were offered a suite 4 the night, which was lovely. Back to the hotel to chill at again & the staff couldn't do enough for us, Hussain one of the restaurant managers was brilliant, helpful at all times. Lillian was also wonderful, always polite & very good with everybody. Sidney 1 of the waiters always made sure we always had drinks at all times, Forces cleaned our room every day & did a fan job so thank u. We had a couple of great massages & they were great value & worth every penny we spent on them. Well we could find no fault at all with anything, the food was excellent, excellent, excellent, plenty of choice, very tasty, full of flavour & plenty of choice always, nothing was repetetive & 2 be able 2 say that after 3 weeks certainly says a lot. Well I could go on 4ever & it would still be good. This was a holiday of a lifetime & Southern Palms did not disappoint at all, so a great big thank u 2 everyone who works st the hotel.

Room Tip: Top floor 4 quietness.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DebsieOxford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 3, 2013
Dear Debsie,

Jambo!! it is good to hear from you again and the lovely review you wrote makes us all very proud to have made the holiday of your lifetime nothing short of Wow!!.
From the beautiful gardens and pools to the very tasty and high quality food with huge variety to choose from, to the friendly, helpful and efficient staff, especially those that you personally picked up for good mention was music to our ears.
We are happy that you also loved the wildlife in Tsavo East and West and the beautiful lodges you stayed while out on safari really make us proud to be country of choice for the perfect holiday destination.
We do look forward to welcoming you again, your friends and family here in Southern Palms Diani, the Gem of the south. Karibu Tena!!!

Best regards,

Betty.

Guest Relations.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Southern Palms Beach Resort

Property: 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 Romantic Hotel in Diani Beach
#7 Family Hotel in Diani Beach
#9 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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