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“A great holiday”

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Southern Palms Beach Resort
Ranked #8 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Reviewed October 17, 2013

A great place to base your self if you are on holiday in Kenya. The rooms are clean, beds comfortable and the Mosquito nets work!
the hotel has a great pool with lots of activities such as water polo, water aerobics, and general fun and games run by the pool manager, Little excursions to the local village a great tour,Scuba diving on the reef good and safe, sailing you name it they offer it.
the restaurants are good as well, the buffet restaurant is great and the grill restaurant was the best. Beer good Tusker! and the Bar in the pool the service if fantastic.
I would stay here again, purely because the staff were so nice and helpful

Room Tip: try to get a sea view room on the east side.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Jamie 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 reviewResponded October 20, 2013

Dear Jamie C,

Greetings to you Jamie, we are pleased to hear from you that you would come back to Southern Palms again without hesitation, more so by the perfect services the resort offers of the animation program to keep our guests occupied at will all day , scuba diving, trips to see the local village, the best beer Tusker at the pool bar as well as the great food in our various restaurants, the grill being the best for you, all these provided by our helpful and friendly staff makes us all proud.
Thank you ones again for staying with us, and we all look forward to the time when we see you again. Karibu Tena.

Thank you and best regards,

Betty.

Guest relations.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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403 - 409 of 1,364 reviews

Reviewed October 14, 2013

The hotel itself, with its large swimming pools, range of restaurants, and overly-eager and overly-friendly staff, it is indeed the ultimate in package holidays. Guests rarely venture outside of the hotel and/or the strip of beach directly outside. It often feels like people are on a prison-style vacation. Whilst staff were friendly, it galls me that they're forced to greet people with 'Jambo', a greeting that is almost as likely as an Englishman greeting you with "Salutations". The hotel, and many along the strip, are making planeloads of tourists think this is what Kenyans say to greet eachother - a load of rubbish. Having spoke to a number of waiters, chefs, etc. they were in hysterics that they had to say it and would rather say other greetings like 'mambo, sema, vipi, sasa, etc." - Oh well, rant over! As for the food, if you want to avoid Kenyan food come here. You'll be blessed with European style food. The only thing I remember seeing that was Kenyan was sukuma wiki, and even that was crap. The annoying thing is that Kenya has so much to offer, but I was repeatedly told by beach boys and staff in local bars and clubs that tourists rarely come out of their resort as they're told not to, that it's a dangerous place, etc. Why come all this way when tourists from Germany, UK, etc. could quite easily do the same in the Mediterranean.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank Hongky_S
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 reviewResponded October 20, 2013

Dear Hongky,

It was so good to get your assessment of Southern Palms and to read that you
describe it as the ultimate in package holidays. For although you probably
didn't mean it as a compliment, that is exactly what it was, for you only
have to read the many, many reviews singing the praises of the hotel and
staff on trip advisor and all hotel review sites to see that we are getting it right. And talking of
the staff, we would like to stress that they are not forced to greet people
with Jambo. In fact very often clients use that form of greeting and members
of staff reply in the same vein.

Your remarks about the food were also disappointing. Perhaps if you had
stayed at the hotel for a couple of weeks or so your opinion might be
different we have 14days theme nights and nothing is the same as another We cater to meet our guests demands and tastes, and this we do
most successfully. It was quite uncalled for to describe the Kenyan dish
which was available in the insulting term that you did ­ we were quite
surprised and would have expected your vocabulary to extend beyond that kind
of word.

We absolutely agree that Kenya has much to offer and many of our guests take
advantage of this by making safaris and visits to places of interest, often
before arriving at Southern Palms. However, there is no denying that, like
so many tourists destinations around the world, danger abounds and it would
be remiss not to remind our clients of the inherent risks.

Thank you for your comments.

Best regards,

Betty.

Guest relations.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2013

Hotel General,
Well laid out, only half full when we were there so plenty of space. The grounds are well kept and attractive the hotel is not huge so it does not take long to get to your room/meal/sun bed. Music stops at 11pm prompt so no rooms are better than the others as far as noise is concerned.
Food
At first I was disappointed, it was not awful just that I have had better (and much worse) By week two I had the following view. The grill restaurant is fantastic and although you need to book, it is in the AI package. Italian is OK but they managed remove all the taste from my chicken.
Main restaurant, Most of the meat was overcooked some of it I gave up chewing, The stir frys and grilled meats where better but the beef was always tough. Other selections such as pasta, Indian the veggies ETC were always good and all will always eat well.
Breakfast was good, but I would have liked a bit of variety in the serial.
At all times the tea was awful take your own tea bags!
The fruit man makes fantastic fruit carvings but the variety of fruit was limited. Be aware the oranges are green but taste good.
The highlight was the cakes, they have employed a pastry chef from Cairo, who surprisingly given his job is the thinnest person in the hotel.
To my knowledge no one got ill from the hotel. Some who ate out did.
Bars.
Beer drinkers—good news, No beer on tap, all in 500ml bottles, all lager of course but apart from the 3 flat ones I had and one that was filled with water ( no doubt a thirsty security guard at the factory) It was good, my drinking buddy who I met there ‘J’ thought the same. The cocktails were okay with about 6 included on the AI menu and Mrs W and J’s girlfriend ‘N’ stuck to them and the acceptable AI wine.
Beach
It looked good but was spoilt by the beach boys. The sea was rough so we did not really use it.
Pool

Hotel take note! Every two beds should have one umbrella, not one between 10.

If you did not bag an umbrella early, then you had to sit under the trees to get any shade. Also the umbrellas are thin and you will tan through them at a guess they are SPF 10.
The pool staff are a credit to the hotel, Ali and Hussan worked like bees to keep everyone happy and nothing was too much trouble, both mature men they looked after my wife when I was not there and were meticulous about the chemical levels in the pool and the cleanliness. This was important to me as I use the pool and have seen some poor maintance in other counties including Europe.
Gym
OK standard , some of the weights were older than me but safe and in a good variety. Two running machines, I found the right one slipped and pointed it out to Rashid who was going to look at it. Two bikes, both about two years old one worked well the other I did not use as the pedal straps had gone. One stepper which worked.
Safari
See my review of JT, one couple got a safari of the beach vendor but mine was better value. JT was better than Thompsons. Food in the lodges is better than the hotel. Salt Lick is a must.
Rooms
Clean, but in need of some attention. For instance our bathroom bin did not work and looked about 10 years old. The tap and shower head had green lime scale, who knows when they were last removed and cleaned. Beds, clean and comfy.
Staff
Mostly excellent, some tried to sell us things for which they could be sacked and I did not bother with them again. Obviously those who spoke English the best where able to become better friends with us. Taking into account that you do not mix with all the staff the same amount and I can not recall all their names.
Thanks to Ali and Hussan at the pool. Paul (who was not there when I left to say goodbye to) and the pool bar staff. Frank the best waiter and great fun. Anne the clerk from the main bar who helped my wife when she had a problem with no fuss, Robert and Julius from the grill who gave us two great nights.
Be nice to the security guards they do 12 hour shifts it must be boring.
Enertainment
The staff sketch show is good enough for TV and the sunbed sketch says everything you need to know better than I can. Bingo was fantastic keep the unreadable Chinese balls it was comedy gold
Well done team

Note to hotel
We are AI we should not need to sign for everything especially having to write 4 things on the form. Other hotels do without it and neither should you. Trust your staff to just note it down on a log for stock purposes.
Also the mini bar items that are covered by AI should not be an extra cost

Room Tip: All seemed the same
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Wrant
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 reviewResponded October 20, 2013

Dear Wrant,

Greetings to you and your family. We love to receive positive reviews like
yours and we also appreciate your views on possible area of improvement!

It was good to know that you rated the grill restaurant so highly, but a
little disappointing that you had some reservations about the main
restaurant.

Your positive remarks about the cleanliness of the pool area and the
meticulous attention given by Ali and Hussan were appreciated and so were your
views of the gym. It was good to hear that you found the staff were
excellent and those you have named have been made aware of your kind words.

We have taken note on your comments about guests, including those on an AI
package, signing for everything but be assured that this really is standard
practice at both north and south coast hotels. However we're more than
happy that overall you really enjoyed your holiday with us.

Best regards,

Betty.

Guest relations.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2013

We would like to start by saying we would gladly recommend this hotel and we would definitely stay here again if we return to Kenya. The positives - The staff were fabulous and constantly asked if we were ok/enjoying ourselves-particularly Hussain! The entertainment crew worked very hard. They were always upbeat and jovial and the entertainment itself was very good in the main. Particularly Charles and the 'magic man' who kept us entertained for hours!
The food was good. Geoffrey who worked on the fruit section was a star and so creative with his 'fruit art'! Monica was fabulous on the Omelette & pasta station too. I'm not too fussy so I always had options however my husband did struggle sometimes for variety but there is always the pasta station which is lovely! Amazingly we never got bitten by mossies even though there were plenty around but I think this is partly due to the hotel spraying everywhere & leaving candles out too. The negatives -To be fair, this was our most expensive holiday ever but sadly you don't get the same value for money here as you might elsewhere in the world (we went to Mauritius for less last year and stayed at a 5 star resort). If we're honest, the hotel feels more like a 3.5 star than a 4 star. The hotel room we stayed in was fairly basic but adequate however the shower was very dated, the water flow was slow to say the least and you had to leave it running for sometime before you could get any hot water! The hawkers on the beach were by far the worse aspect of our stay (which I guess cant be so bad!). You cant walk down to the water without being harassed however the security guards at the hotel do a good job of keeping them away when they can. The monkeys were entertaining but a little alarming but not too much of an issue! Overall we had a very pleasant stay at Southern Palms and it really was a holiday to remember. Even though we were travelling with First Choice, we booked our safari through JT who provided a magnificent experience for us which we will never forget - all in all, our holiday was amazing.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank 188LisaP
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 reviewResponded October 20, 2013

Dear 188LIsaP,

Hello Lisa. We were so happy to learn that you and your husband had a
holiday to remember at Southern Palms and that you would recommend us to
other potential guests.

Every member of staff mentioned by name were thrilled to know that you
described them all as being fabulous!

We accept the points you raise and would point out that plans are in hand
for refurbishment of rooms. That apart, we are delighted that you still had
an amazing holiday.

Warm regards,

Betty.

Guest relations.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2013

Excellent 4 Star Hotel, great staff always smiling and could not do enough for us. We could not fault anything about this wonderful place, a big thank you to Hussain, Frank, Felix , Stephen,and of course Josphat who look after us on the beach. Thank guys will not forget your hospitality and kindness, will definitely be back next year all being well. The beach boys are a pain but have got to earn a living. It would have been nice to take a stroll along the beach without being hounded by them, don't let this put you off this great place.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank janetc130
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 reviewResponded October 20, 2013

Dear Janetc 130,

Everyone here was delighted to learn that you plan to return to Southern
Palms next year. We are already counting the weeks until we see you again
and can't wait to provide you with the same high standard of service you
received during your recent vacation.
Asante sana

Best regards,

Betty.

Guest relation.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2013

My husband and I just returned following a two week honeymoon at this hotel and we had one of the best holidays we have ever had! I cannot praise the staff enough from the security staff, pool attendants through to the animation team and the waiters. Everyone we came into contact with could not do enough for us. The staff genuinely care about their guests and want them to have a great holiday. There are far to many to mention on here but some staff that really stood out to us were Hamisi Dzambo (chef), David & Tobias (thanks for the lovely omelettes & pizza), Josphat Nzuki, Lugwe Masumbuko, Geoffery Gachery (security), Linet mideva (trainee waitress), Frank Muturi, Felix Kivuva and geoffrey (fruit artist) who prepared us delicious fruit every morning. There were many more we could add to this list.
The animation team were brilliant! I miss the sound of uncle sam & charlie in the mornings. They tried to get you involved but were not too pushy if you didn't want to join in. The evening entertainment was good and varied. The beach walks with the animation team were a great idea as you got to walk the beach with no hassel from the beach boys.
The rooms were spotless as were the grounds and pool area. The staff work very hard and the pool attendants work effortlessly to keep the pools clean. The beach is lovely and the security staff work hard to keep the beach boys at bay.
The food was delicious and well varied. There was the main restaurant where there was buffet food with lots of choice at breakfast, lunch & dinner. There was the boritti snack restaurant which cooked great pizza along with lots of other choices of great snacks. There was a grill restaurant where the waiters serve the food at your table. I could not find any fault with the food. Truly exceptional!
We plan on returning to Southern palms again in the future and cannot wait to meet many members of the staff again. They helped shape our honeymoon into the best holiday ever.
Thank you everyone at Southern Palms, you all deserve to be very proud of yourselves for your hard work!! We can't wait to return. Michelle & Tony

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank missymop52
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 reviewResponded October 20, 2013

Dear Missymop,

How proud you have made us feel by saying that we helped make your honeymoon
the best holiday ever!
You are so right, all the staff at Southern Palms do genuinely care about
all the guests and it is always their aim to ensure everyone has a great
vacation.

The chefs and waiters were delighted to learn that you found the food was
exceptional both in quality and quantity and were to pool and gardeners for
your kind remarks about their work. The individual members of staff have
been told of your praise for their efforts all say a big thank-you.

We were so happy to learn that you plan to return to Southern Palms again in
the future and we promise you a warm welcome when that day arrives.

Best regards,

Betty.

Guest relation.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2013 via mobile

The staff was super friendly. The food was good. Enough variation. Nice activities. Great pool. The beach is fantastic, despite the beachboys. Very well maintained. Very clean. WATCH OUT: check out is at 10 AM everything after that is to be paid for. Even if you're all inclusive and your transfer to the airport is only hours after check out.

Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
Thank cj21989
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 reviewResponded October 13, 2013

Dear cj21989,

Thank you so much for your praise of the staff, the hotel and everything
that goes with it. We were sorry that the check-out time was a concern, but
this to enable to housekeeping staff to do their work thoroughly and in time for the next arriving guest as we strive to maintain our very high standards of comfort and cleanliness. We very much
appreciate your comments.

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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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 Romantic Hotel in Diani Beach
#7 Family Hotel in Diani Beach
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
#8 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range: $103 - $285 (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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