Journey from airport is longer than you want it to be and even worse if you get caught in the traffic at Likoni Ferry which can add another 2.5 hours sat in queues.
Check in at the hotel was good and quick and we were all presented with a fresh coconut to drink from which was very nice. We were in our rooms within 20 minutes and have to say whilst first impressions were they were fairly basic, they really do serve a purpose and are more comfy than they look, the beds especially.
We were there over Christmas and the decorations were awesome. Huge Xmas trees everywhere, lights from tree to tree all over the gardens - it made the atmosphere feel even better than it was anyway and they all worked so hard to put these up.
Wow, what can I say here; don't think we had a bad meal... Whichever restaurant you eat in I am sure you will be pleased. The downside to eating is that they try and push their wines (c£25+ per bottle) and also hold special events (parties) on the beach that you have to pay for and at £40 per person we refused to pay and didn't attend.
The Italian I would rate 5/10 and the grill 8/10. It's nice that you are served Ala-carte as opposed to buffet style, but have to say the 2nd meal at the Italian was our worst of the whole 2 weeks and definitely wouldn't have gone back again.
We much preferred the main restaurant where there is a wide range of foods (soups, salads, mains, meats, deserts, fresh fruit etc) and you simply help yourself. Another reason I preferred this place was they had an India corner which originally I was dubious of and though a gimmick to please the Brits, but wow was I wrong. T Indian influence on Kenya was massive and the food / curries are just to die for... Not necessarily scorching hot but so spicy and tasty I could have (and nearly did) just ate these for the whole 2 weeks.
Breakfast is buffet style again and the normal to expect; eggs stations, pancakes and waffles, sausages and bacon plus all accompaniments plus the fresh fruit. All very good.
If you sit in the main restaurant try sitting next to the pond they have and watching the fish bask in the sun, whilst the Weaver Birds will take bread from your hands and then go back to weaving their nests - a great way to do breakfast...
I need to make special mention of Geoffrey on the fruit section as he an absolute star. Not only does he prepare the fruit with care and a smile on his face, but he always has a smile on his face which is infectious and in addition, he is superb at carving the vegetable and fruits into some wonderful designs.
Lunch has the main buffet open again and also the outside grill area where you can sample homemade pizzas, the best fries ever, salads, burgers, stir fries- it really is all great. The outside grill area has to be one of the best places in the world to eat as you are virtually sat on the beach and the views are just stunning.
Pools & Sunbeds
What can I say about the Pools apart from SUPERB. They look great and are great. They are cleaned every day so if you are picky about clenliness then you have no worries here. You have swim up bars at both pools which I have to say are free form and absolutely massive with all different types of depths so caters for all.
The reviews before we left said there were not enough sun beds unless you were friendly and tipped the beach boys. Well the first bit is true as they do seem scarce although if you ask, as we did on the first day of arrival, then they will get you what you need.
I spoke with Henri (great lad) and all was sorted from the following day- towels and sun beds exactly where we wanted them and when Henri was not around his colleague Manda took over and ensured we got the same beds again. We had the same beds and same place by the pool for 2 weeks as did many others and no one seemed unhappy with where they were. It was wonderful service. Thanks guys- you really looked after us..
Our daughter (8.5 years old) does not usually join these clubs, normally preferring the pool all day but we could not keep her away. Zubeda is the leader of the club and we cannot speak highly enough of her and her team (Bobo was our daughters favorite) how she looks after the kids and keeps them interested with different games and crafts etc. A real credit to the hotel plus helps them meet many holiday friends.
One of the highlights had to be the fashion show they produced,all of the kids borrowing clothes from the boutique shop and parading the catwalk in style. just great.
Just a great team and really something for everyone. I played water polo (or water fighting with the Germans) and beach volleyball every day, my Mum went and did water aqua aerobics twice daily with all ages and my wife looked after the beds, ensured the beer didn't go stale and caught the sun!!!
The evening entertainment on the whole was great with some stunning shows and acrobats / dancers. There were the occasional shows that mad you cringe as did some of the bands but it all made the ambiance of the place, after all its Africa so it can't be all samey.
We have been to the Caribbean and Hawaii and have to say this beach ranks with them all. Lovely pure white sand and although a little seaweed, its cleaned every day and is not a problem. The water is awesome and warmer than the average bath
Beach boys are a little pain but good sport for bartering with. We found Captain Nemo (out of complex onto beach and turn right- you will find him at end of complex (150 yards). If you want to go snorkelling to the reef he was brilliant for us swimming with you an pointing things out you would never know about and feeding the fish- wonderful sight to see Nemo fish, angel fish, zebra fish etc just brilliant.
With regards to snorkelling and the reef, we went to Kenya in 1996(just a mile or so further up the beach) and have to say remember the reef when it was virtually all alive and colourful so to see I with basically no colour and all dead was sad and disappointing but as I said earlier the fish we wanted to see are still there.
As mentioned earlier, beds really comfortable and all other bits including hair dryer (quite powerful so the wife says!!) within the room you would expect.
One thing we noticed, if you have a kids single bed, they didn't have mosquito nets over them!! All main beds had 4 posters with built on nets although in fairness we only saw 1 mosi =in the room over 2 weeks.
We had George looking after our room and he was just great, immaculate clean rooms every day, fresh refills of water and coffee plus whatever you needed and he introduced us to his mates (dressed all in green) who basically supplied fresh coconuts on request - they climb while u wait and then prepare them so you can drink and then eat the flesh -it's a great sight and the milk is so sweet and refreshing it's just delightful. Nothing was ever too much for them
Our room numbers were 112/113 and we were very pleased. Ground floor, less than a minutes' walk anywhere and far enough from the entertainment area not to be too noisy at night (although it was never that bad)
Regards to the wifi, it's bloody useless so please don't waste your time and try to even make a connection as despite continually showing as four bars (i.e. full), the bandwidth must be minute as I only managed to connect half a dozen times in 2 weeks and even then it just continually frozen so don't waste your time...
The brochures state gentlemen need to wear trousers in the evening but there really is no dress code and 95% of all men wear shorts.
BIG TIP......The power socket they use are English. Take a 4 or 6 space extension lead as they only have 1 or 2 plugs in the rooms.
We would definitely go back again. It's a lovely hotel, great people excellent service and 3 generations satisfied adequately.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Expedia, Hotel.de, Hotwire, Booking.com, Priceline, Travelocity, Jovago.com, HostelWorld, Agoda, Cheap Tickets, Cancelon, TripOnline SA, HotelQuickly and HRS so you can book your Southern Palms Beach Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Southern Palms Beach Hotel Diani
- Southern Palms Beach Diani