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“Has good points and bad ones” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Diani Sea Lodge

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Diani Sea Lodge
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Ranked #19 of 32 Hotels in Diani Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Southend
Level Contributor
28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Has good points and bad ones”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

We come and stayed here before and after our safari trip. The rooms were nice as we were in a separate lodge, but we had a rat that lived outside the door in a drainage ditch. On your walk around there are monkeys all over being cheeky. But if your on the beach keep your stuff out of the site of monkeys as they would come down the trees and take stuff, it's funny when the stuff isn't yours. There was a lot of Germans so had to be quick in the morning to get a subbed as they "reserve" them with their towels before they went to bed, so sometimes you can't get a good spot. The food was lovely. The staff were nice. And if you go on to the beach you will be harassed by the locals that don't take no for an answer, its the same if you leave the resort unfortunately. On our drive there we was in a private mini bus and as we got on to the boat to cross the river we were told to shut the windows (in scorching heat) due to the locals taking stuff from tourists.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hannah G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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388 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (68)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Slovak first
  • Any
English first
kent
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

Just returned from Diani Sea Lodge we loved it,the staff were amazing and so friendly the food was really good the only down side were the beach sellers and the sellers on the road they are pests and do not understand no,we made some amazing friends and would go back

Room Tip: we did,nt upgrade to a superior room we were happy with our room and those in the upgraded rooms wer...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank juneymal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013

They took my mobile phone. It was found in my room and they said they were sending it back. I sent a courier and they didn't give it to the courier person. My phone was never seen again.

Disappointed.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Cheryl W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

This was our first holiday to Kenya and we stayed at the Diani Sea Lodge, the food was lovely, plenty to choose from and plenty available , the staff were always smiling, helpful, cheerful and professional too. The Room we had was in a new block and It was clean, spacious, and airy, the only negative comments would be that the pillows were very hard and we did have a few problems of no water available for our showers, but this did not spoil our holiday, the hotel is in a fantastic location, the grounds are very well laid out and looked after by a team who keep it looking immaculate, beware of the beach boys as they can be a pest when you venture on to the beach, and look our for the monkeys as they are funny to watch, we will definitely go back when we can save up for our next Kenya trip. We pre-booked our own 2 night 3 day safari with JT SAFARIS, the Tour Operator is a lovely guy called Julius. We e mailed him to arrange exactly what we wanted and paid a deposit to secure our safari, We were collected from our hotel the day before we were due to go and went over the details with him again, he told us we would be collected from our hotel at 6.30 am to start our safari. We were the only people in our own 4x4 purpose built jeep and our guide/driver was Ken, what a lovely man he was!, he was excellent at his job and extremely professional, we will ask for him next time we book our safari with JT SAFARIS. Our holiday was so much more than we were expecting because the hotel was so nice and relaxing and we saw so many animals including a whole pride of 9 lions and 2 cheetas, it was truly amazing.

Room Tip: The hotel has a generator for when there is a power cut, i would suggest you ask for one not too clo...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank alanj54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merville-Franceville-Plage, France
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

On arrival at the Diani Sea Lodge we were very disappointed. First of all I had stayed at the sister hotel Diani Sea Resort previously and thought that this was the one I had booked.We have been travelling to Kenya for some years now and have never been disapointed with the hotels we have stayed in. The room that we were allocated was 94 and was a long way from the main hotel, beach and bar. It was near the road by the entrance. Straight away we said that we wanted to upgrade to a room with a sea view and the staff were more than happy for us to change. The room we had upgraded to was very tired looking, the bathroom had a badly stained toilet bowl and black mold around the shower area. There was a huge gap under the door where mosquito's could find there way in. The terrace and furniture outside was covered in monkey poo. The bonus of the room was it had a fridge, tv and kettle. The food we thought was not as good as on our previous stays at different hotels on the diani beach. We stayed for one night and during that night I had severe diarrhoea and stomach cramps. The next day was our 40th wedding Anniversary and the rep Harry kindly brought me some red roses to the room and the cleaner of our room put a heart shape on the door with flowers. I would like to say that all the saff working at the Diani Sea Lodge are wonderful and can't do enough for you and Harry the Thompson rep was superb. The Hotel is very tired looking and is in need of refurbishment. In my opinion if guests arrive for their first time in Kenya then they will think that it is the normal satndard of most hotels but this is not the case. There are plenty of 3 star hotels that are much better. We payed a total of £250 to upgrade to the Diani Sea Resort in a room with sea view fridge tv and large bed. Well worth the extra.

Room Tip: Check out several rooms for a suitable one on check in. The hotel staff are very helpfull and will c...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank hall98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level Contributor
41 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

I booked a one week all-inclusive holiday through Firstchoice to stay at Diani Sea lodge (not to be confused with Diani Sea resort). It is a cheap/basic/budget option and if your needs/standards are more than average, you'd be better off paying a few hundred pounds more to stay elsewhere. That said, in hindsight I'd personally still have gone with this option.
Upon arrival at Mombassa airport, there was a tedious wait through customs, followed by a coach transfer (including a short ferry crossing) which took about 1 hour 40minutes in total.
Diani sea lodge was perhaps the least luxurious of the hotel stops. However check in was efficient (passports were retained to be photocopied) and my party of 2 were given 1 room key.
Our room was basic but clean. I believe all rooms have the same layout - 2 twin beds next to each other which form a double bed, with a 4 poster frame which holds a fully enclosed mosquito net. A wardrobe, drawers, and bathroom with shower, toilet and bidet. There was a balcony with table and 2 chairs which looked out onto the landscaped pathways with trees, flowers, monkeys, lizards and creepy crawlies galore. 

In the room there was no fridge, no minibar, no kettle, no telephone and no source of fresh water. The tap water is absolutely undrinkable (salty sea water) though an old flask is provided which is filled daily with fresh water, and which you can refill yourself at the main hotel. Glasses of fresh water are available on request at the bar, but bottles of water must be paid for.  There are frequent powercuts and the back up generators do not power the Air Con or plugs in the room. Water pressure often goes too so there may be hours with no running water. 
Food in the hotel is fine, I'm fairly fussy and there was enough variety for me. It was nice to have fresh fruits like watermelon, mango, papaya, little bananas and passion fruits available to eat at mealtimes. There were generally meat and fish options with variations of rice and potatoes. If one stayed more than a week, options might get a bit repetitive, but I had no problems with the choice. Food portions were naturally small (you are generally served at each station rather than being able to get your own food). However you can either ask for more or go back for more later. 
Drink choices were standard all-inclusive fare -cheap tasting red or white wine (red wine often chilled unless you specify), Tusk lager, a few cocktails. Juices, cola, diet cola, fanta, etc. A snack bar is available daily between midday to 4pm with sandwiches, pizza, burgers, chips, salad, etc.
It is worth noting that all-inclusive is not 24/7 and there are many times of the day when there is no food available at all (e.g, between 4pm and 7.30pm. Also like all hot countries there are flies about when you are eating/drinking though this is not hotel specific. 
It was low season when I was there (perhaps due to the looming threat of showers/rainy season) so there were enough loungers for all. There was a small pool, massages (cheap) and pretty and scenic beach available at the hotel, though as other reviewers have said, beach sellers can be irritating (however I generally kept my headphones on and ignored them entirely). The security guards will generally tell the beach sellers to bog off but it depends how close you are to the hotel. 
All the staff are constantly angling for tips, the lengths they will go to are pretty ridiculous, including one security guard who knocked our door at 11pm to collect his tip as he wasn't going to be working the next day. They will keep tabs of when you are leaving to ensure they don't miss a Big tip at the end and they will make sure you know their day off in case you miss the chance to give them their tip. There are lots and lots of staff there and if you were to tip every single time you get a drink, or meal or have someone pull out your chair or answer a question, you'll need to budget extra for the holiday. They think everyone from abroad is rich. I personally only tip when I feel like, not through obligation so I only tipped one person the entire holiday and instead chose to make a donation to the Diani children's village up the road which is a children's home I visited (they appreciate foodstuffs such as maize, sugar, oil, as well as stationary -less so sweets!). My biggest tip to some of the male staff is DEODORANT and SOAP. I know it's hot but at least 4 staff had severe Body Odour/B.O./sweat issues which is especially off putting if you are eating and they stop at your table to offer another drink.
Everyone including hotel staff is OBSESSED with getting you to do a safari (so they can get commission). You'll get asked a hundred times if you've booked your safari yet. Every single trip through Thomsons/firstchoice is extortionately priced, I have never before seen such ridiculous pricing, particularly considering the low low costs in the country so I refused to book a single trip with them. Instead I arranged a days excursion through JT Safaris. The hotel or most people know JT (Julius) and he will send a driver to collect you from the hotel gate at an appointed time and talk over tour options with you. His tour options are good too because you are not forced to do parts of the tour you might find boring and can specify what you want to see. His prices are far fairer than Thomson ones so certainly worth getting a quote. He is online too if you wish to email before you go. 
There are 3 hotel shops, one selling clothes which I rarely saw open. Another selling just wood carvings or wifi at 5 shillings a minute, and the other selling a tiny selection of overpriced food items, souvenir bits and wifi at 5 shillings a minute. The wifi was reliable and quick when I used it but only available right near the shops (in the reception area). It would not allow me to download ebooks, epapers, etc though. 
Everything aimed at tourists is overpriced so beware. They'll charge you 6 times what they charge locals.There is a supermarket (not cheap) if you leave the hotel, turn right and walk 10 minutes straight down the road. The hotel is located in a rural area though, primed for its beach, so there is little to do. 
Entertainment is provided each evening to varying standards. 
My travel companion (and others) had a belly ache by the end of the holiday, but I was fine. Would I stay there again? Only if it was really really bargainously cheap.

Room Tip: If you're not happy with your room, ask for a different one
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank donna11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

Just returned from two weeks in the diani sea lodge, South Mombassa.
Really enjoyed our stay. Staff are the best incluing bar, restaurant, animation, security, cleaners etc. They are such friendlly people and will always say hello or Jambo no matter what.

Rooms are basic but clean. We were landed with our room as when we booked it said partial sea view so i was expecting to see a tiny bit of sea in the distance. However, I wouldnt even call it partial sea view, i would say full sea view! It was amazing waking up to the Indian ocean every day. Not only this but the monkeys love this area and you get o experience them so closely in the comfort of your own room and balcony. BUT BE WARNED. DO NOT EAT ANYTHING ON THE BALCONY AS THE MONKEYS WILL STEAL IT. First day we arrived i opened my Dortitos that i was really looking foward to and i must had only one crisp before a little monkey came along, snatched the bag and sat on my balcony eating my crisps infront of me. They are amazing to watch!

The one negative i would say is that there is no free wi fi!

For the price we paid and what we had it was excellent value for money

Room Tip: c7 was the best view for sea and monkeys
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank kellyhardwick
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

Property: 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:
#3 Best Value Hotel in Diani Beach
#12 Romantic Hotel in Diani Beach
#18 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Diani Sea Lodge 3.5*
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 
Also Known As:
Diani Sea Hotel Diani

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