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“Friendly hotel in great location with excellent food” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Diani Sea Lodge

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Diani Sea Lodge
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Ranked #16 of 32 Hotels in Diani Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Bedforshire
Level Contributor
46 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Friendly hotel in great location with excellent food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2011

Had a fantastic holiday staying at this hotel and have no complaints at all and would highly recommend it . The hotel sits directly onto a stunning white beach surrounded by coconut palms. Plenty of sun beds available even over the half term week. Rooms are good, many with terraces /balconies. Air con was ok . Gardens are very nice and monkeys are everywhere.
The food was excellent – A huge variety and plenty of salads, soups, grilled meat and fish and masses of fresh fruit. Healthy, tasty and thoroughly enjoyable . Two nights per week (wed and Sat) there are special events and dinner is served outside around the pool. The staff genuinely want you to enjoy yourself and the standards of service are very good.... no problem getting drinks and local cocktails are all part of the “AI” deal .

The staff bend over backwards to please and seem genuinely pleased if you compliment the hotel or the food etc . The animation team are also very good and not pushy but if you want to be occupoied all week playing football, volleyball , bowls etc the option is there . I walked to the sister hotel the Diani Resort and whilst the pool was perhaps slightly better the rooms seemed to be in blocks whereas the Sea Lodge rooms are mostly bungalows. The sea Lodge is a 3 star but in my view a good one and the atmosphere, staff , location , and food could not be faulted .

A recent very negative review to my mind is unfair and inaccurate.... which labels the hotel as a health hazard . We spoke to many other guests and without exception everyone was very happy with the hotel and the food. Most reviews for this hotel are excellent but there will always be one which slates the hotel and because of this when I research a hotel I tend to discount the odd bad review. This particular reviewer didn’t seem to like anything including the hotel he was moved to or the safari. How anyone can criticise the safaris on offer is beyond me? Yes it’s a long drive but if you don’t like driving then surely you should book a hotel nearer to the safari locations ?
A note on safaris – We used an independent guy called Salim Senty who has his own well maintained safari vehicle, all insurance docs on display etc. He speaks perfect English has 30 years experience and he came highly recommended by two separate people who mentioned him on Trip Advisor. (one who has used him for over ten years) We emailed Salim and spoke to him from the UK and got everything booked . He will collect you and deliver a private safari – allow you to select your itinerary and Lodge and will do it for a reasonable price. He has an exceptional knowledge of animals, birds and an uncanny knack of spotting wildlife.
Email him on sasuse101@hotmail.com and he will reply or call you. He has plenty of patience to ensure that you get what you want. We made a verbal booking and paid no deposit as it is all done on trust and i had 100% confidence in him due to the recommendations and he did not let us down in any respect. There are many advantages of booking before you leave the UK and removing the stress of sorting out a safari on the beach when you are there. Also many of the lodges tend to get booked up at busy times.
Tips –
Entry Visa -we paid only $25 each and children under 16 are free . We did this on arrival at the airport. If you send off to the Kenya Embassy you pay $50 each . So I wouldn’t bother getting visas before you leave. You may queue for 20 minutes at the airport but it isn’t that much hassle. There were no exit fees. However I think it does tend to change day to day.
Glass bottom boat sea safari – If you book through the hotel or the rep you will pay three times over the odds. We paid $30 for four.... so less than £5 each . A great trip and well worth doing.
Money . Hotel doesn’t change traveller’s cheques. Take Shillings (M&S stock them) and / or American dollars – which seem good for the bigger transactions like safari payments. But if you take all shillings you won’t go far wrong.
Safari – Book ahead – the job is then done and you know what you are getting. In my view it is hassle negotiating something fairly expensive on a beach. I found that I could enjoy my time on the beach knowing the safari was all booked including a good choice of lodge . I believe some folk booking whilst on holiday were nota bale to select a lodge and got what they were given .

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank BedforshireAndrewJC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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396 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
London
Level Contributor
43 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2011

Stayed here for a week. Staff were friendly and efficient (we asked for a light to be fixed and it was done straightaway), the hotel was clean and tidy and generally all very pleasant. It was definitely a 3 star hotel - which is not an insult at all, just an indication of the level of quality. it was a good place to stay, good location to see things, excellent access to to the beach and Diani and excellent value. The other guests were a mix, but mainly slightly older and some appear to be staying for extended periods. There were children there and there was a kids club, but they were in a minority. Definitely haggle with the beach boys, the glass bottom boat trip was definitely worth doing, and a safari a must. We only had a chance for a one day - but if you get chance go for longer (you get to see more). We went through KT Safaris and they were good. Food at the hotel was fine, but definitely try going out for dinner - Ali Barbars was great (and has a pickup taxi service if you book), and Asha Cottage also had great food (boutique B&B a short while away). We had a great time and really enjoyed the whole stay.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sunshineliz
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 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2011

The staff were very friendly and welcoming. It was located on the beach which was lovely apart from you was unable to go for a walk without someone trying to sell you something and walking the whole distance with you, I dont think we succeded once to go for a walk just the two of us. We stayed there for 4 nights to relax after an eight day safari, I think any longer and we would of been bored, although they do activitiies throughout the day such as beach volley ball,, football etc if you wish to join in. The food was excellent, my partner was not impressed with the dress code for dinner though as you are required to wear long trousers and short sleeve top/ shirt and the evenings are still very warm. The room was adequate it had air con and was reasonably clean. There was lots of germans there when we was there. We also noticed what we thought were' odd couples' but were later told by another couple we met that prostitutes were available !!!
Overall it was an ok hotel for a short break but would not want to stay for two weeks.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank T0r63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2011

It was our first time to Kenya and so we really didn't know what to expect. We looked up trip advisor to help with our decision about hotels. There were a couple of hotels which were four star around the same price but didn't have such good reviews on food etc. We went to this hotel because after much consideration we thought that food and not getting sick were more of a priority than a room which we would spend less than two hours except for sleeping. Overall we were happy with our choice. Food was great. Breakfast was served fro 7.30-10 am. Lunch was 12.30-2 pm. Dinner was 7.30-9 pm. In the food hall there was loads of choice and I personally loved the salads. If you didn't want to be confined to these meal times there was a snack bar which was open from 10-4 pm. The hotel location was great, just on the sea front with a great breeze. I'm not one who can take a lot of sun so the coconut trees were a pleasant surprise and shade from the rays. The hotel is owned by a german. Previous holidays I have been on, Germans get up at the crack of dawn and nick all the sun beds, well this was no different but that was no complaint. We usually got up at 9am and always secured a bed in our preferred spot. There were more sunbeds than guests which worked out brill. Some guests preferred two mattresses on their sunbeds which was slightly annoying as that meant that you had to search for at least 5 mins for another lol! The bar and service in general was very slow but I think that's just a cultral thing. Anyway, your on hol so what's the rush. Personally, the hotel entertainment was not to my taste and I was a bit disappointed that there was no other places which you could go to which was outside of the resort but it was a really relaxing holiday overall. We met quite a few couples which spoke English and as holiday makers usually do, had the craic. Saying that, there were more Germans than English speakers, but what do you expect when it's german owned. As there was not a lot to do during the day other than drink, sunbathe or read your book the animation team were a welcome surprise. They offered many activities such as water aerobics, beach walk/ jogging, bowling, vollyball, table tennis for free. For a small fee you could also book cheap activities to fill the day up. We went on a two day one night safari which we booked prior to our trip. Jt safari was fantastic. Our tour guide was excellent and it was a real bonus that we had a private tour. Other safari buses seemed to be full but in the heat I don't think I could have coped with that. Also, for me it meant you were not stamping over other tourists trying to get your pic. We saw three of the big five, our guide made it clear that it is a game of chance. All drivers talk to each other through radio when they have found a rare animal. Lucky for us we saw the cheeta and got great shots, we were second on the scene after a radio message and a fast desert road rage lol. Jt safari asks for a deposit prior to your arrival. Initially we were dubious about this but after Reading other reviews we decided to send the money. I can assure you we did not get ripped off. When there jt safari arranged to meet with us so we could choose which lodge to stay at, we chose boy safari lodge. A warning , if you stay there keep your windows locked as the baboons know how to open your windows lol. Jt safari does not take the remaining balance until after the safari is over. For us it was the following day, he sent a driver to collect us, enquired about our safari personally and gifted us some wooden animals which I think is usual. Also, he offered his driver as a taxi for the rest of our stay if we fancied going to the local shops which I thought was a nice touch. Overall, I had a great holiday, my friend had a couple of stomach upsets but I had none. The only difference was that I didn't entertain the desserts and favoured the wine lol.

  • Stayed February 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lets_spot_them
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2011

this was our first time to the south beech,and the german owned diani sea lodge.
on our arrival we looked around us and wondered what we had let ourselfs in for the reception area was like a bar with no beer pumps, not very welcoming at all.
we were taken to our room another shock a standard room i,ve stayed in better youth hostels, a thermos flask for a fridge, air conditioning was very old and didn,t work very well thats when it did work, and we had cockroachers and ants in the room.
we found it very clicky with some of the guests who come here year in and out who had to have the same table in the restaurant and the same sunbed on the same blade of grass, and this was some of the brits too.
we found the food was ok but lacked any choice,most of the staff were very pleasant apart from the walking dead behind the bar thats when you could get to it, and don,t you dare push in.
the highlight of our two weeks there was seeing this young rent boy in his early twenties with a german lady pensioner, apparently organized by the hotel (£45 a day +expenses)
certainly would not recommend this german retirement home to the british.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rickandvicki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dorchester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2011

At first we were disappointed as we thought the hotel had 3 pools and a fitness room, but once we were settled we couldn't fault it. The grounds are set alongside the beautiful beach. Palm trees offered some much needed shade. Food was good - plenty of choice. Only one had a meat dish I didn't like, but was able to help myself to something else. Accommodation was cute - small quadrangles around pretty gardens.

The only complaint we have is about WT Safaris. We had other guests recommending them to us, so we thought they were safe to use them. We booked a safari with them, only to find that when we arrived at the safari lodge, they had lied about our accommodation. We had specifically asked for a lodge with a water hole & were told that was what we would get, but on arrival found that the lodge was on the top of a hill, miles away from any views of animals. What’s worse is that the driver very nearly killed us on the return journey with dangerous overtaking on blind corners and summits. When we returned to the hotel we began to hear similar stories from other guests & we realised that we were not alone in our poor experience. Please do not use WT Safaris if you want to be sure you enjoy your safari & live to tell the tale!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank warytravellor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth, Devon
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2011

I have never before written a negative review for Tripadvisor as I tend to think people generally moan over the slightest thing.

However, on our first night at Diani Sea Lodge after enduring a five hour flight delay and a further delay transferring from the airport we decided to watch the after Dinner entertainment. My mother-in-law, who had badly swollen ankles from the exhausting trip, rested one foot on a vacant outdoor and weather beaten chair. Within minutes an elderly German man approached us and told her to take her foot off the chair. I was completely gobsmacked and told him to push off and leave us alone. I managed to refrain from swearing at him. Just who did he think he was talking to us like that when we weren't harming anything or anyone? The next morning he was waiting for me in reception and told the staff to phone the police because I dared to answer him back the previous evening. The duty manager arrived and said she knew we hadn't done anything wrong but she found the situation difficult as the elderly man was the retired owner who lived at the hotel with his family. He clearly had a problem with me and so to avoid further ruining our holiday I offered to apologise to the man, which I did. This alleviated the problem but beware of this man and don't put your feet up on any chairs! I am not aggressive, I am a 67 year old pensioner on holiday with my wife and mother-in-law.
Anyway, the hotel is otherwise pretty good. The staff are amazing, the food is quite good (especially breakfast) and the rooms are very basic. I paid £100 per week extra for a superior room and the only extras we had were a double bed and a hairdryer!

One other important thing. The hotel appears to condone both male and female prostituition. We witnessed an elderly woman with a young Masaii man as her constant companion for the duration of her holiday. We were told by a member of staff that Masaii men and women were available for a daily rate. This gave the hotel a "seedy"atmosphere.

Unfortunately, because of our bad experience with the retired owner, I would not return to Diani Sea Lodge and wouldn't recommend it to others.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nicciandderek
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 80401, 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:
#12 Romantic Hotel in Diani Beach
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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 
Also Known As:
Diani Sea Hotel Diani

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