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“wonderful friendly hotel, recomended”

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Southern Palms Beach Resort
Ranked #9 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Reviewed June 30, 2010

My son was married at Southern Palms. They were in contact with the hotel prior to our arrival as the wedding had to be planned in advance, and the staff were wonderful. There was over 20 in our weddingparty, and half of them lived in Africa and spoke the local language. we had a wonderful stay, and everything was lovely.I upgraded to all inclusivefor the 2nd week and found it easier to manage my cash that wya. no sudden extras! take pens and socks and leave anyting you can afford to replace with the staff. we were friends with with the girls in the beauty parlour, and left them with an assortment of clothes, shoes and cosmetics. Everyone will ask you for a pen so go to the pound shop beforeyou leave and buy what you can. the children especially will be pleased. Only problems we had was with the men on the beach who try and sell you things. You need to use the man who runs the co-op, and you will find it ok.An amazing holiday, and would go back any time even though we had torrential downpours for 5 days and couldnt leave hotel. Try to be open minded, and not judge the people for their way of life. The local Swahilli are amazing, and the men can marry lots of times so family is somewhat disjointed in some villages you may visit. \remember, tourism is the most important thing to them, and they will do anything to make sure their children go to school and learn English.Please try and take things for the children to use in school, they need them so badly. Enjoy the wonderful country and the lovely friendly people at Southern Palms. We had the holiday of a lifetime.make sure to go snorkelling on the reef, best ever!

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank EssexLulu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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769 - 775 of 1,372 reviews

Reviewed June 26, 2010

We were moved to the Southern Palms as their sister hotel was closed for renovation and we feel we had a really good deal. We were the first guests in after their refit and on first arriving the place looked wonderful. Checking in was easy and quick and we were shown to our room which was lovely. It had both a pool and beach view off the balcony.. The food was excellent the first week and you couldn't fault the service. Peter, Defence and Elizabeth at the snack bar were some of the nicest people I've met, always a smile and a chat. We went off on safari with JT Safaris for 2 days and by the time we came back there were about 250 guests and we feel that from then on things were not quite as good. Food seemed to run out in the main restraunt and the quality had gone down. We just put it down to teething troubles, Even so we didn't starve and always managed to find something to eat. Down side is the beach boys who even follow you into the sea trying to sell you overpriced stuff and can be very annoying. You do get hassle when you leave the hotel but we found that stopping to have a chat with some of the local traders was great. Joe Cool and Tony at the carving shack were really nice guys and we spent quite a bit of time sitting chatting with them. We gave them some football tops and baseball caps and stuff before we came home and they gave us some keyrings they carved for us which were really nice. Joe's brother owns a little pub down the road from the hotel and we went there a couple of times which was a nice change.. All in all it was a good holiday which we enjoyed.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank nelliethered
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2010

Great hotel with lovely staff, amazing food and beautiful setting. Special thanks to Salim Esther and Judith in the restaurants, and Susan and Rispah in the salon. The Kenyan people are the friendliest, most genuine people we have ever met!
Although some would say the rooms were a little "tired", they were charming and very clean. In fact the whole hotel was immaculate. The staff all work very hard, and nothing is too much trouble.
Don't be scared to go outside the gates - and meet Joe Cool and Tony. Joe cool is the best animal carver in Mombasa, and we have a superb rosewood elephant. When we picked it out it was carved but unfinishd, and Joe had it sanded and polished by the end of the day. Friends of ours walked to the supermarket too and found everyone helpful and friendly.
If you're thinking of a safari use Julius Tact Safaris (http://www.julius-safaris.com/) He was fantastic - we had a great 2 day 1 night safari to Tsavo East. (Read our other revew for details)

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank commerland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2010

A lovely place.... Stayed all inclusive on an upgrade from another hotel so great value for us.... Greenwell the pool waiter was a top guy!! Clean, polite relaxing!! Nothing bad to say about the place.... Go there if you can get a deal!!

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Whosyadaddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2010

we choose southern palms in kenya to spend our silver wedding anniversary - it's a wonderful hotel, the staff were very friendly the beach superb, pools large and we always found a quite area and empty sunbed.
we had an amazing safari with steve and richard safari http://www.steveandrichardsafaris.com/
our guide was mike he was very knowledgeable about tsavo and all its wildlife we had a wonderful nights stay in lion hill lodge .
the volcano had an effect on our holiday ...... but thomson holidays (big thank you to livingstone, our rep) took it in their stride. for us it was stress free,they moved us to another hotel ,kept us informed with 24 hr up dates and put on an rescue flight to get us and 60 others passengers form different tour operaters home ...............you can't ask for more than that .
for these reasons alone we will always look to book with thomson in the future.
the things i was disapointed with.....................hiring the fishing boat/crew very expensive
beauty treatments over priced we had two treatments all holiday but if they were resonable we would of had a lot more.
the staff really looked after us the gardeners were working on the gardens continuesley they were pristine. on returning to our room at night the room stewart had turned down the bed..and it was always clean and tidy.
we would love to go back to kenya and we would go back to southern palms

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank p-and-m-on-holiday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2010

After a fantastic 5 day Kili safari by Somak, (Nelson our driver was a true Gent and great guide BTW so I have to mention him..), we then transferred to the beach half of our holiday thinking this as possibly being one of the best holidays ever!! Unfortunately Southern Palms was a let down.. It has the longest "not included" "all inclusive policy" I have ever seen! they even have a small booklet for you to get to know so be careful before you order on the first day!! This is Africa not the Caribbean so maybe that is how it is here but what I did find very annoying is you have to sign an all inclusive bill each time you get a drink, but not just sign...you have to write your room number, serial number of your wrist band, print name and then sign.. I would'n mind but when you go to dinner and have a few drinks in the process you would think you would get one bill no? Nooo! you get 3 or 4 bills to fill out for every separate thing you order. This got very tedious.. Another surprise was that the entertainment finished at 11.30pm but the "all inclusive" drinks finished at 11pm, nice touch hey!!!?? The only other negative was that everyone with high lights or pale skin was going green from the pool, and the silly Portuguese F&B manager tried to palm me off by saying it was "seasonal" or "we think it could be a reaction with sun screen"!? Honestly...Not being an expert I would put it down to bad treatment control of the water wouldn't you? ...In fact the F&B manager is not very bright at all in my opinion and didn't seem to have a good reputation with the other guests we spoke to either. I think arrogant was the word I heard a lot...On the plus side, as I said in the title we made some great friends here that made the stay so much fun, we already keep in touch and due to that, overall we had a really nice holiday. Sorry I just can't recommend this hotel...

If you have already booked I don't want to ruin your holiday so don't worry too much it's not a "bad, bad" place and you may not be as bothered as we were with these issues.. Food was OK and the entertainment was good (but we were there over Easter)!!

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank cip_clark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2010

Just returned from 2 weeks at this delightful hotel which I spent with my Husband where we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary along with my 40th birthday,
The ROOMS do need a little upgrade however they are spacious in size and the location of them along with the added benefit of free air conditioning (a must) made for a comfortable stay, all have safes which you can hire. Your room boy will make sure you have clean towels and beds made everyday as well as stocking up the mini bar, the balconys are spacious however moving on as we spent very little time in the rooms. The POOLS are suberb, never a problem with beds even when it was full over the easter weekend and clean towels on hand everyday. However the chemicals in the pool can make your swim wear go green and it did also effect my hair, having blonde highlights it also went green, take chlorine products with you and please do not let this put you off as it is a minor, my hair is back to normal and after steeping our swim wear in Vanish, they are back to normal too. The pool offered water irobics every day along with the usual water polo and volley ball, you can join in or sit back and relax or enjoy a bottle of cold Tusker at the swim up bars.
The BEACH is wonderful and equipped with beds and shade, yes the beach boys are there to entice you with their goods, however they are not allowed to approach you whilst on your beds and the comings and goings of the day are a delight to watch, a polite no to them will suffice and remember they are human too, they just happen to be poor ones,
FOOD - in all, restraunts were good, We liked the formality of the Italian one and as the menus are available for the week you can choose when and where you want to eat. However the grill and the buffet were good too.
We spent the night of our anniversary at Ali Barbours, wonderful experience, they pick you up from the hotel and drop you off, the restraunt is in a cave and the menu lovely - very special night.
DIVING: whilst most people like us come to Kenya to do Safari, do not over look the diving, Dive the Crab is at the hotel and they cater for all levels, we upgraded and done our Padi Scuba when we were there, the coral reefs are amazing with an abundance of sea creatures and fish, the turtles are massive!! The wreck dive was awesome. Try it,
SAFARI: We prebooked in the UK sending a deposit over first with JT SAFARIS www.julius-safaris.com and can not speak highly of this company , on our transfer coach our rep was very negative about all the local safari companies and I was feeling very apprehensive (book with yr tour operator and it will mean you have to pack and check out of your room whilst on safari, something they dont tell you about until after you have booked!!) however we met a lovely couple at the pool bar the first afternoon who had used JT and quickly my excitement returned as they too raved about Julius. The morning of our safari I was unable to go as I had been ill thru the night (too much sun me thinks) however a quick call to Julius to advise & we arranged to meet him the following morning, I managed to make my way to reception however still poorly I was unable to comit to the safari and again this was not a problem for Julius, We did the safari a day or so later and boy was it worth waiting for!! Our driver Timothy was excellent as was our accomodation at the Aruba Lodge, The wildlife was spectacular and we managed to see 4 of the big 5 with the rhino being the only thing missing as we had opted for a 1 night = 2 day to Tsavo East = Try It. Julius takes no payment until the day after you finish your safari,, he met my husband out side our hotel to enable him to settle the bill, my husband came back with a handful of carved animals as a present from Julius, and during the trips we did with him, he rang the driver several times, speaking to us to make sure we were happy, we also met him a couple of times.
HALLER PARK: having read about this on trip advisor we were keen to feed the giraffes, so a quick call to JT and we had our own driver in air conditioned car to take us, the journey meant a trip back over the river by ferry and a drive thru Mombassa, this in itself is a real eye opener, we soaked it all up like a sponge, the park itself is worth a half day afternoon venture out, On return we asked our driver to take us to a bar in Mombassa for a drink and some food, he did so and waited for us no problem.
TIPPING: we took lots of old football strips over with us and after a few days of settling in, handed them out to a couple of the staff, a little something goes a long way but so does a simple please and thankyou, I felt quite humbled being served by these people knowing they often work for either very little or nothing however they always have a smile and will always greet you with a hello (Jambo) learn the swahili for please and thankyou - it goes along way!!! we tipped at the end of our holiday however others were tipping from the beginning which allowed sun beds etc to be saved, Either way they will appreciate it.
OUTSIDE THE HOTEL: there is a super market about 300 yards along the way where you pass the local villagers shops, they will be quick to approch you, however you are safe at all times. We befriended one of the villagers and on the last day met up with him and gave him a couple of carrier bags of old clothes, shoes and toiletries however our highlight was when he invited us to his village a 5 minute walk away where we were able to hand out sweets, crayons, pencils and writing pads to all the children which we had brought out with us. A few tears were shed that night however a very worth while excersice as seeing kiddies so excited at the prospect of a sweet or a pencil, was overwhelming but very satisfying,
WEATHER: wow - hot, take suncreams and wear hats - being on the equator you can burn very easily, take medicines with you incase of illness however there are chemists which offer all kinds of treatments relatively cheap.
LASTLY - go with your gut instinct, trust in people as the world is not all bad, giving a little will make your holiday all the more worthwhile. Never once did we feel un easy or un safe and the hotel in the two weeks we were there had no one report any thefts etc, the staff have to have a form filled in to accompany anything gifts they receive of you, so they have no incentive in taking anything as they simply lose a job they so badly need, Remember your holiday is what you make it - no one else. HaKUNAH MATATA. x

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank angelatodduk
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 Family Hotel in Diani Beach
#7 Romantic Hotel in Diani Beach
#8 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range: $104 - $341 (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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