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“great holiday”
Review of Diani Sea Lodge

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Diani Sea Lodge
Ranked #7 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 27, 2011

please read this as this is one of the best holidays we have ever had the staff were brill the food was great and the hotel was great too there shud not be any bad reviews we had a 12 hour delay and that was also great in the sun and not at the airport thanks again to the hotel and staff if you go and you think about going on safari go with j t safaries the best

Room Tip: have a up grade to barhin
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank chris w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 15, 2011

With my wife we visited this hotel in August for a 2 week all inclusive break and can only praise the hotel + staff for a glorious holiday. Everyday the entertainment staff took you out to visit local interests such as a local village or a Masai village for which a small entry token may be required but they fully ensured that everything went well and looked after us guests. The accommodation at this hotel is very good and from where we were we actually overlooked the swimming pool and had views of the beach, the rooms were really clean. The hotel food was eatable and you had a choice of many dishes, although once or twice a week they had a BBQ, and the food could be warm rather than hot. The waiters were always helpful and ready to bring you your all inclusive drinks, whilst not forgetting the ground staff who everyday were out and about in the gardens tidying up the areas or chasing away the monkeys in the afternoon. This is a hotel that I would truly recommend and am actually looking to re-book again for next year.

Whilst on Holiday we booked a private 3 day/2 night Safari for me + my wife with JT SAFARIS (JULIUS TACT SAFARIS) AND) not to be confused with some other local firms who may be using a similar name.

It was arranged with Julius that we would be picked up from outside the Diani Sea resort at a particular time a few days before the start of the Safari, and good to their word they met up to take us to the office which was 15 mins up the road where it was clearly explained where we would be staying (1 night at the Voi Safari Lodge in Tsavo East, and the 2nd night at the Serena Lodge in Tsavo West), and that our guide would collect us again from outside the hotel at 0630 hrs on the following Sunday, and again bang on time he was there waiting for us. On route to Tsavo East we stopped for a toilet break and arrived at the park mid morning, within 10 mins we stopped and saw 3 lions sitting up under a bush which to be really honest we you we would never have spotted them if it was not for the driver who had eyes in the back of his head - these lions were a maximum 10 yards from the road. For the rest of the morning we drove around spotting animals all over the place with the driver stopping to let us take as many pictures as we wanted. About 1pm we arrived in the Voi Safari lodge to dropping off our bags, and then lunch, leaving again just after 2pm spending the afternoon seeing more + more of the animals that we expected see. We got back to the lodge just after 6pm and waiting outside the lodge was a massive herd of buffalo and as if primed they were moving down to the water hole at the rear of the lodge where earlier in the day we saw elephants, zebras and Giraffes.
Our 2nd day started again around 0630 hrs, and after breakfast we went game spotting eventually leaving the park late morning, and then driving to Tsavo West, arriving mid/late morning where on route we stopped alongside a river bank where we saw crocodiles lazing in the sunshine. Tsavo West is a totally different park more bushy than Tsavo East which is more open, so a ood guide is needed and this is what we had, he spotted animals in the most amazing of places - we stopped and was told to look slightly right of a tree to see a herd of elephants walking past, at first we could not see them but then from out of nowhere appeared a herd of around 20 again without a knowledgeable pair of eyes we would not have seen them. Around lunch time we arrived at the lodge for lunch and a quick was up before going out again for the afternoon game drive where we saw more lions, elephants, zebras, giraffes etc. Before dinner we went to a lake where hippos were swimming, and arrived back around 7pm where we had dinner on the veranda overlooking the watering hole sum 100 yards from us where all the animals came at night. On our last day we again left around 0630 hrs doing another game drive before leaving the park late morning. On the way back to Mombasa we stopped at another lodge for lunch which had some outstanding views. After lunch we drove off hitting the main highway and at one point we had to stop as a herd of Zebra crossed the main road, Our driver suggested that to avoid the traffic we should go the back way towards our hotel, and this was an eye opener as we saw the real Kenya which is not in the travel brochures passing through villages were the locals were queuing up to collect water from communal wells, kids with no shoes playing football on dirt scrubland, people sitting on the roof of buses. We arrived back at our hotel in time for dinner. Whilst on safari Julius phoned us every afternoon asking us how things were, if we were pleased etc, and you could not find anything wrong as it was the holiday of a lifetime. On the following morning again at an agreed time we were collected from outside the hotel and went to Julius's shop where we settled our bill, collecting some wooden animals.
This was really our holiday of a lifetime, and it was all down to Juluis and his driver who made our safari what it was and I would highly recommend his company, and certainly when we go back in a couple of years we will not have any hesitation but booking our safari with him

Room Tip: For a tranquil time try to get a room close to the beach / swimming pool area
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank kelmci
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2011

We stayed at the Diani Sea Lodge for two weeks in October 2011.
We had been to the Diani Sea Resort back in April 2011, which is the Lodge's sister hotel along the beach. So we couldn't help but compare the two.
The Lodge is smaller, but this means the beach, bar and pool are all within easy reach.
The food is good, the snack bar does great burgers and the bar service is always efficient.
The room we stayed in was part of a grouping of bungalows, so you got no view at all and the room was quite dark.
However, it had a large safety deposit box and free air con that worked very well.
We would recommend the glass bottom boat trip, as you get to snorkel in safe waters with hundreds of fish surrounding you. Ignore the headline price of £18, you can get it easily for £10.
The Diana Sea Resort is a larger hotel with more facilities and the rooms all provide you with a view of something. It also has free Wifi of an evening which I really missed at the DSL.
If I was to chose a hotel to go back to, it would be the DSR.
Whilst in Kenya, you need to go on Safari. We did a 4 day trip with Tanke Tours, who were fantastic (seperate review to follow).

You need to think carefully about which airline you use to get to Mombassa. Remember it is a 8-10 hour flight. Thomson use long haul jets where the standard leg room is equivalent to trans-atlantic flights and they have a choice of movies with seat back screens. Monarch on the other hand have cramped seats as standard and shared movie screens in the aisle.

Some quick notes on trips to Kenya:-
- It is a fantastic country to visit.
- It is a 3rd world country, go with your eyes open.
- Expect to be politely bothered by beach boys and other sellers. They are just trying to survive.
- It is perfectly safe if you follow the advice given to you.
- By all means book safaris with local companies. However, check out their reputations on tripadvisor before you travel, contact them by email to establish an itinerary and cost, but don't pay until you arrive.
- The sex trade is alive and well in Kenya. You will find European men and women paying locals to keep them company during their stay. This happens in all hotels in the resort.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Boardyuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2011

If you're looking for a nice quiet chill out then this is just what the doctor ordered. There is a friendly, relaxed vibe throughout the hotel, the staff are mostly exceptionally friendly and helpful and not just hunting for tipsl and the guests seem to get on and mingle well. What's all the fuss about Germans for? Yes they do smoke a lot( which surprised me) and I wouldn't choose their choice of swimwear but they're just holidaymakers chilling out like everyone else so no problems there for me.
The hotel grounds/gardens are lovely and the location right on the beach is wonderful. Food is good and there is enough variety to please most( trust me on this I'm really fussy).Apart from the main dining room there is a good snack bar next to the beach bar which is good for lunch.
Nightlife is fairly quiet and the bar stops at midnight although most seem to be in bed before then anyway. Ministry of Sound won't be setting up here anytime soon but as I said rest and relaxation are what this place is about.
For some two weeks relaxation might be a bit too much and choose excursions to break things up a bit. We did a 4 day 3 night safari with the excellent Julius Thuvi(juliustsafaris) and a separate review covers this
So are there any downsides to the hotel? Yes a couple.The beach sellers can be a pain and spoil your enjoyment of the beach with their persistent hassle Yes they're trying to earn a meagre living but even when we bought things they didn't give up in fact the people we bought off got worse.At least they're not agressive like they can be in say Egypt. Also we found the hotel gift shop very reasonable and mostly cheaper than beach sellers and roadside"curio" shops. I guess it's up to the individual where you want to spend your money.Of course the sellers on the beach are outside hotel juristiction and security keeps them out of the hotel grounds.
The other area I think for improvement is the rooms which are lovely peaceful bungalows but are in need of a makeover as the fixtures and fitting do have"30 years old" written all over them. They are spacious however and kept nice and clean.An upgrade here could easily push this place up to 4* in my opinion.
The hotel also has a charge of 75 euros for a lost room key and 12,000 shillings(£80) for a lost safe key. This seems a rip off and they should be upgrading to swipe entry and digital safes.
Overall a great holiday and of course the 6 million dollar question, would I go back? Yes for sure as the good clearly outweighs the not so good.

Room Tip: I understand there are upgrade rooms with fridges and probably quieter air com.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank GaryK538
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2011

My husband and I just came back from Kenya and I have to say we had the best time of our lives. We stayed at Diani Sea Lodge from 4th to 18th October. DLS is 3 star hotel and if you are on the budget it is just perfect. It is located on the powder white sand Diani beach. The view of an Indian Ocean is breath taking and definitely the asset to the hotel. We have stayed in the cottage style rooms, they are basic but spacious and provide everything we needed to with waking through wardrobe leading to a very spacious bathroom. Rooms were clean and tidy.
Hotel staff was always very helpful and nothing seemed to be to much to them. These people tried their best to make our holiday a great experience.When we booked our holiday we were very anxious about the food as opinions varied. However we were pleasantly surprised, I am a huge fan of fish and there was plenty of it every day as well as other meats and vegetables. I cannot believe that anybody can say that food was bland and so on, to all of these food critics I would suggest to book a 5* hotel where they can get 5* food!!!
I must admit that we had a few rainy days but it did not spoil our holiday, besides the rain was very refreshing and something we needed after "roasting".
I would recommend this hotel definitely and would go back there now :)))

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Travaler1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2011

My husband and I just came back from Kenya and I have to say we had the best time of our lives. We stayed at Diani Sea Lodge from 4th to 18th October. DLS is 3 star hotel and if you are on the budget it is just perfect. It is located on the powder white sand Diani beach. The view of an Indian Ocean is breath taking and definitely the asset to the hotel. We have stayed in the cottage style rooms, they are basic but spacious and provide everything we needed to with waking through wardrobe leading to a very spacious bathroom. Rooms were clean and tidy.
Hotel staff was always very helpful and nothing seemed to be to much to them. These people tried their best to make our holiday a great experience.When we booked our holiday we were very anxious about the food as opinions varied. However we were pleasantly surprised, I am a huge fan of fish and there was plenty of it every day as well as other meats and vegetables. I cannot believe that anybody can say that food was bland and so on, to all of these food critics I would suggest to book a 5* hotel where they can get 5* food!!!
I must admit that we had a few rainy days but it did not spoil our holiday, besides the rain was very refreshing and something we needed after "roasting".
I would recommend this hotel definitely and would go back there now :)))

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank Travaler1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2011

I spent the last 2 weeks of september at Diani Sea Lodge, there mostly for the diving. 1st impressions are quite good, spacious, a nice breeze blowing through the area from the Indian Ocean fights off the worst of the humidity. Rooms are very basic, no fridge included ( you can rent or buy one ! ), Bedding is changed daily, and the bathroom is adequate. Furniture is uncomfortable, and I found myself needing to double up on the cushions on the chairs in the room to prevent my bum going to sleep when reading ! The location is superb, right on the blinding white sugar sand beach, which is mostly empty in either direction from horizon to horizon. Just a few people were there, these are the boys and girls who want to entice you into buying a safari, go diving, a trip on the glass bottomed boat, or just souvineres. sadly they home in on you like predators, and if you give your name to one of them, it travels by ' bush telegraph ' with such pace that within the hour you hear your name being called by people you never met before ! The upshot of this is that we tended to stay away from the beach, which is a big shame as it's glorious ! the location boasts very nice gardens, carefully manicured grounds, a swimming pool, which was mostly empty of swimmers ( excellent ! ), an outdoor eating area by the pool bar, and Germans ! After a few days, as the place is German owned, and sells itself mostly to German tourists and some from the U.K., it became evident that I'd slipped into a timewarp back to Spain in the 1970's ! Sun loungers have towels on them very early in the morning, with in some cases no occupant appearing for hours. Those that were occupied benefitted from elderly, creaking, overweight people, who were wearing swimwear that they shouldn't even contemplate wearing ! Beer o' clock starts after breakfast, as does the determined training to qualify for the German Olympic smoking team for the 2012 olympics ! In some cases it's impossible to gert away from the stink of cigarette smoke, other than by going to the less desireable areas of the resort. The food is awfull, I was treated to a choice of buffet meals each day, much of which was cooked in the kitchen by people who don't understand the simple cookery practices such as seasoning the food, and tasting it before it leaves the kitchen ! It's then stored in barely heated containers, and as with all meals, apart from soup for some unknown reason, you serve yourself. Time and time again I selected a meal, including soup, only to be disappointed at the first taste, and pushed plates away and went for the salad area, as this is difficult to ruin ! I met the assistant manager one evening after an ' African Buffet evening ' who asked me did I enjoy the food ? the food was awfull, and by the time we got to our table from the buffet area the meal was stone cold. I invited him to sit down and had a frank discussion with him. He advised he would tell the manager of my opinions, and a few days later I was invited to meet the manager and the head chef to select something from that evening's menu, which the head chef would cook personally for me. The meal was a big improvement, and over the next 3 days, I met the Sous Chef, and I think the Head of Kitchens to discuss the menu. What I hoped for was an overall improvement in all meals, not just mine, however it never happened, and I was left feeding myself up on salad for the rest of the holiday. Evening entertainment is low key, but can be entertaining, with gymnasts, local Masaii dancers / singers giving their best. The Bingo night is a definate ' no no ' ! Watching a load of people from a different time zone to the rest of us spending their hols staring intently at a bingo card, shifting beer, and smoking themselves to death is not my idea of entertainment ! So what's GOOD about the place ? The locals are great, friendly, chatty, with smiles which can melt the polar ice cap. The location is wonderfull, the rhesus monkeys who come into the grounds each afternoon as the Germans go to the terrace bar for afternoon tea, leaving the monkeys to search for scraps of food to eat, which can involve rummaging through a bag or two ! The restaurant staff are great, ' specially the girls who try so hard to make the best evening happen every day ! So, the burning question, would I go back, or recommend Diani Sea Lodge to anyone ? The answer is sadly " no " ! If I wanted to be surrounded by German folks, I would holiday in Bavaria, but not fly almost 10 hours to East Africa for the same effect. If this doesn't convince you, then at least pick the right time of year to go. I went in the last 2 weeks of September, that's the end of their winter, and some days we had a lot of rain and high winds. November / December is better. Diani Sea Lodge really needs to move forward a few decades into the 21st century, and shrug off it's retirement home image !

Room Tip: Having read other visitors reviews regarding upgrades and what you get for your money, I'd be se...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled solo
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4  Thank mikedicko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Diani Sea Lodge

Address: Diani Beach Road | Ukunda, Diani Beach, Ukunda 80400, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda > Diani Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
#12 Romantic Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range: $13 - $240 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Diani Sea Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 168
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated right on the white sand beach of the Indian Ocean, Diani Sea Lodge, an all-inclusive 3+ resort, is surrounded by lush tropical gardens. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Diani Sea Hotel Diani

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