I heard and read about the fire that occured late last week and I feel truly awful for the hotel. The significant other and I spent four wonderful days there in the middle of May. They were in the middle of renovations at the time so most of the guests were in the sea rooms. We stayed in room 144, which was bang on the property front and was in good condition.
The food was good though breakfast was fairly standard. There are about three different restaurants around and one main dining room that served the buffet meals. The restaurants were Grill, Lebanese and Italian in themes and you had to book a table a full 24 hours before. This is for those who order items like lobster, crab etc. which unfortunately carry that exorbitant global price tag. Drink choices were good and beer was ice-cold, a pleasant surprise considering that most places in Kenya pass off cool beer as cold.
Beach front was pleasant and clean. The current tidal season means a higher sea weed content but they did their best to rake the beach infront of the hotel every morning. The beach boys however are a menace and quite annoying as they parade back and forth trying to sell you everything. They have become quite the nuisance and do pursue you while you are trying to take a walk. Solo females, beware. Some blame in the beach boys brazeness also lies with the "sex" tourists. One day, we observed a German girl sit at the edge of the property smile and flirt for about half an hour before she got up and walked away arm in arm with a one of the beach touts. He was even kind enough to carry her bag. The next morning at breakfast, we watched her come through the dining hall in tears with one of the waiters we had befriended so we asked him afterward what had happened. The story she gave was that she and her companion had been mugged at his place that afternoon and her camera and some money were stolen. Yet when they went looking for her companion to take a report, he was nowhere to be found on the beach that day.
All in all, it was a nice 3 star hotel. We're sorry for what happened, especially in light of what they did for us. My boyfriend had two heavy winter jackets and a sweater (he'd just flown in from a colder climate) and had put them in the closet on the first day we arrived. Naturally, they were forgotten as the weather was incredibly warm and perfect. It wasn't until a week after we had left Southern Palms did he realize why his bags were so light. I called them up and they had the items intact and had been waiting to hear from us because they didn't have a number. I booked directly with them instead of an agent and paid upon check out so they didn't have my number or anything. I received the items within 24 hours of the first call.
Honorable mention for staff, Beatrice the front receiption officer who took answered all our queries and welcome us with a warm smile, and to Bilha who quickly expedited the clothing return. The stall made our stay extremely pleasant.
I hope they recover soon. It's terrible what happened and I am equally sorry for the guests who were in harm's way.
- 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