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“Peaceful retreat on the Indian Ocean”

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Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #20 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Vernon, Connecticut
Level Contributor
62 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“Peaceful retreat on the Indian Ocean”
Reviewed January 4, 2014

We visited this resort in November 2013. My husband and I were actually not staying at this resort, but had rented a house a 10 minute walk away. Everyday we went to the beach, we had the luxury of using this beautiful resort. If you eat lunch or buy a drink here, you are more than welcome to use the entire resort! First and foremost, we visited during low season and felt as resort if we had the resort to ourselves (I was told that it is quite busy during high season). The main pool is a lovely salt water pool with a swim up bar and cave surroundings. We spent most of the time beach. The beach is an an incredible white sand beach with crystal clear waters that fade into a rainbow of blues and greens. The beach chairs and huts are very nice and comfortable. If you are staying in, Diani Beach you will know how obnoxious the "beach boys" are that try and sell you anything and everything. It was nice to have the resort security there, so not once you would get bothered. There is a great beach bar with a magnificent view of the beach and ocean. Everyday we would enjoy freshly made tropical drinks with a view. At first we were frustrated that it took us 10-15 minutes to get our our tropical drinks (we are americans and used to fast service), but once we got the drinks we realized that all of the juice that was used in our cocktails was fresh squeezed. I would rather wait an extra few minutes for a fresh drink! I can not say anything about the food because we only used the restaurant/beach bar for drinks. I

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mccannon24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DRBRS, General Manager at Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 9, 2014
Dear Mccannon24,

It is great to know that your visit to our Resort during your vacation in Diani was a peaceful retreat and my team and I really appreciate your feedback which will go along way in encouraging us to serve our guests better. Your comments on the lovely pool with bar in it, Incredible whit sandy beach, Nice & comfortable Beach furniture & huts & well secured beach environment are well appreciated.

We will be happy to have you back with us and make Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa your home away from home during your next visit.

Rgds,
General Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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686 reviews from our community

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  • Sleep Quality
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Marbella, Spain
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2013

We spent a week in the Resort and the overall experience was very pleasant. It is an ideal Hotel for famillies travelling with children, but anyone looking to stay awake past 10pm may find it a little boring. The Hotel promotes its various nightspots and nightclub however during our stay all these were closed. We opted for this Resort on the basis that there would be plenty to do during the evening and were very let down to find the restaurants and all bars are shut before 11pm, even on Christmas Eve. Luckily we were able to take a taxi to other local venues where we could have a few drinks after dinner,

The Hotel grounds are very well maintained and the staff are very attentive and friendly. The rooms themselves are a little dated but very comfortable and we enjoyed a splendid view from our balcony. The food served was very good, and the buffet hosted in the gardens on the evening of Christmas Day was fantastic and clearly a great effort had been made. Overall a very good Hotel if you dont mind going out and about in the evening to find your own entertainment.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LaurenH117
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DRBRS, General Manager at Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 9, 2014
Dear LaurenH117,

It is great to know that your stay with us and the experience was overall very pleasant and my team and I really appreciate your feedback which will go along way in encouraging us to serve our guests better. Your comments on the Well maintained grounds, Friendly and attentive staff, Comfortable Rooms with splendid view, Very good food and fantastic x-mass day garden dinner are well appreciated. We have also taken note of our nightspots activities falling short of your expectation and already started operating our Sins Night Club for some days of the week (Wednesday, Friday & Saturday)

We will be happy to have you back with us and make Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa your home away from home during your next visit and thank you for your willingness to be our ambassador.

Rgds,
General Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 16, 2013

I had been hearing about Diani Reef Beach Resort for years, and having seen their recent adverts in 'The Asian Weekly' newspaper and with two nights to spare for a brief holiday, I booked Diani reef for one night and another top hotel nearby for another night.
Diani reef exceeded by expectations. The beach itself is a real stunner, something that I last saw in Zanzibar. So clean, so beautiful. The hotel itself is of a very high standard, with all facilities top class. The service could have been slightly better, because the lady checking us in did not explain the facilities of the hotel exhaustively, and had to be prompted to speak out. Had lots of fun in the games room and did not even try the gym, tennis courts, but am sure they were of class standards, considering the rest of the place. Lunch is expensive, but that is to be expected in such a hotel. They should improve on the dessert selection, otherwise food is great.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SanjeevNairobi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DRBRS, General Manager at Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 9, 2014
Dear SanjeevNairobi,

It is great to know that your stay with us and the experience did exceed your expectations and my team and I really appreciate your feedback which will go along way in encouraging us to serve our guests better. Your comments on the Stunning, Clean & Beautiful Beach, High Standards of service, lots of fun in the games room, Great Food are well appreciated. We also have taken note of your comment that the Giving of Hotel Information at the reception, cost for lunch & Dessert section need to be looked at has been taken into consideration and work is in progress.

We will be happy to have you back with us and make Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa your home away from home during your next visit.

Rgds,
General Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed November 26, 2013 via mobile

There is nothing positive to say about this hotel. Airport transfer failed to arrive, rooms are old/dirty with towels so thin it's a struggle to get dry, air conditioning doesn't work and food is poor and unimaginative. Reception staff are the worst. They fail to appreciate that guests talk to each other. So get caught out Lying. Example - they get asked about aircon not working by multiple guests and say it's been reported and will be fixed in 2 hours. They say the same thing 2 hours later and again the next day....and on each day after that. My feeling is that they apply their own low local standards of behaviour to non locals and think it's OK. But it's not. Diana Reef is a failing hotel. Do not stay here.

Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
Helpful?
7 Thank Johnmjm133
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DRBRS, General Manager at Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, December 8, 2013
Dear Johnmjm133,

Thanks for taking your time to give a very constructive review on our resort/property . The entire team had taken the raised issues into consideration especially on the airport pick up mishap due to multiple hotels handling the conference taking place at a nearby partner hotel and the mechanical hitch on the AC which took longer to be sorted by our maintenance team which is highly regretted. You were booked in our hotel on Bed & Breakfast basis since the conference and all meals were taking place in a different hotel but still your comment on food offered are noted. We will be happy to have you staying with us during your next visit, this particular experience not withstanding and assuring you of best service.

Rgds,
General Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Neuchâtel, Neuchatel, Switzerland
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 25, 2013

Okay my story's sad but true. First off: Diani Reef Hotel is the place to stay if you're looking for a great place at a great value. Because of the so-called terrorism in Nairobi, I think all the High Alerts made tourism to Kenya tank and lots of people to cancel their vacations. It was really sad because the staff was so nice and working hard to make nice food and yet there were only like 20 guests in the entire resort. It did make it peaceful. They were giving ocean view standard rooms (when I booked a garden view) for no extra charge just because they were so empty.

The south coast is a safe area and people who complain that its a far drive from the Mombasa airport are just saying that because they don't really know Kenya or the area. Maybe they are a little apprehensive and when you dont know a place and the drive just keeps going and you don't know when the end point is, you might get nervous or something.

But no need to worry! First the little bit longer drive to south coast instead of up to Nyali or Mtwapa (which take about as long because of traffic) is SO worth it. Can we say STRIKINGLY BEAUTIFUL WHITE SAND Beach at Diani Reef??? Yes Weeee Can Can!

and the Mystic Spa at the hotel was wonderful. It was beautiful, clean, professional, and the people were nice and skilled and gave great massages and pedicures. Great little places to sit and lounge and relax...So calming. You can expect to spend about 5000-10000 KSH for the basic massages and facials with things like manicures and pedicures being less. My spa bill was about 1100, and my wife got a facial, and i got a back and neck massage, and we both got pedicures. (don't ask...my wife said she wanted my toes to look nice)

The back of the hotel has a nice pool with a Tiki bar. and a few more paces past the pool and you are on that White Sand!

I will make a note here about the beach. This hotel has a great beach that has good sand and clean water. Some don't. They have great sand but the water is so shallow that there is a ton of seaweed always washed up on the sand. I even saw some expensive resorts which had this problem. Voyager up in Nyali is a nice, fairly inexpensive all-inclusive (and worth going to) but its beach is like that too, as opposed to White Sands resort in Nyali which is better, but more expensive. Even more expensive than Diani Reef was with the specials it was running.

Several double beach lounges with umbrellas for couples like me and my wonderful wife.

Only get half-board (breakfast and dinner) You dont really need lunch cuz there is so much food at the other times and you should be relaxing at the beach or pool Not at a buffet. I ordered a Tuscan Pizza by the pool and it was surprisingly decent considering I usually am disappointed in Kenya if I try to order something like that.

I know some people on here complained about the linens. I think they are just snobs. Yes the first day I noted that the towels were normal mid-range hotel towels. Then the next day they were much more fluffy...obviously new. I think the hotel is trying to respond to this nitpicky snobby complaint. If you want 6-star go spend $400 a night at a bungalow or something. Geesuz - at this resort you should spend as little time in your room as possible anyway. AND THE ROOMS WERE BEAUTIFUL ANYWAY. You get rose petals on your bed and bath the first night. the furniture is nice and bright. It was great.

Believe me, I was getting concerned as the date arrived and I was reading a bad review here and there that was even given within a couple weeks of my planned sojourn. But its all good. I think some people just can't be pleased. Even someone complaining about having a ton of charges when they checked out.

...Hogwash

Every thing extra you order, you sign a receipt for and get a copy. Keep your copies and they give you time to compare when you're checking out if you want. I think some people just dont keep track of their spending and then want someone to gripe at. And then people complain about monkeys.. YOUR IN AFRICA! REMEMBER??? I saw a lot of monkeys (they were cute), and I appreciate the complainers mentioning to close your room when you leave...but really, you thought you should leave your room open in Africa anyway???? I even had the pleasure of seeing a Komodo Dragon run across the pool area, jump in the pool, climb out, and then run across the yard, and jump in a stream. No one working at the hotel had EVER seen such a thing. I can't promise you that you'll get such a sight, but what an amazing thing to have been there fore.

The sad part for me was my wife was pregnant and got really sick after we were there (unrelated to Kenya. She's Kenyan. It was just the pregnancy) only 1 day of our 4-day trip.

But luckily, right across the streat is Diani Beach Hospital, the nicest most western hospital I have seen in Kenya. I could walk there in 10 minutes from the lobby. And I had to, because me and my wife spent the entire rest of our trip in the hospital room. I only got a massage and 1 hr by the beach and 2 hrs by the pool the first day, on our whole trip. But I'm glad my wife had good care. The hotel was great. They made me Masala Chai in a thermos to take to her and I even was able to come back and bring her back some food and fruit from the buffets.

I so would go back to Diani Reef, and probably will next time we are in Kenya.

Diani Reef Resort has some great things going for it. Its beautiful, cozy, close to the beach, the beach is gorgeous, and it's actually at the north end of the South Coast so it's one of the closest resorts from Mombasa Airport, anyway.

Also, one day I was standing in the lobby and a guy had walked over from the Leopard Resort down the road. He was complaining that it was a lot more expensive but he wished he had come back to Diani Reef Resort. He said the staff wasn't as nice at Leopard, and it cost a lot more. Next time he was coming back to Diani Reef like he had before.

And one last comment about bad reviewers...concerning the Beach Boys trying to sell rides and safaris and such. They are on ANY beach in the 3rd world. And there weren't too many anyway. And remember, they are people too. If you knew how little money they probably make you'd probably treat them nicer. Just sincerley tell them you appreciate the offer but you are here to relax and be alone with your family and wish them a nice day. Be sincere. They aren't evil. They are wonderful Kenyans! who are just trying to make a living and they dont get to stay at some amazing resort.

The resort also had some water sports avaialable. I wanted to do some of that, but wasn't able to since my wife got sick. So it leaves something for next time. I wish I could tell you a nearby safari package to buy that you'll be happy with, but didn't have a chance to try any yet. Stay tuned. Maybe next year!

So that's all. Dont hesitate. Don't worry. Just book it. June through mid November rates are lower and the weather is a bit less scorching hot and humid like December starts too get. You can always get unlucky with rain, but that can happen with any vacation.

Our four days were perfect weather and we spent three of them in a hospital room. Then after we left, there was 3-4 days of cloudier and sometimes rainy weather, surely bumming out tourist that had just arrived.

But that isnt the resorts fault or Kenya's fault. It just is.

Roll the dice on some dates and def book your vacation at this hotel. Be nice and ask for them to give you a clean nice room with good linens because you were a little afraid of a couple reviews and I am sure they will be accommodating. Tell them it was my review that won you over, and I'm sure they'll try even harder to make your stay nice.

Enjoy your trip to Kenya and stop worrying.

For Mtwapa and Nyali resorts, they always close the brideges from Mombasa and protect the tourists, and there is rarely any problems anyway, and the South Coast is fine.

Also visit (make reservations) at Ali Barbours Cave Restaurant on South Coast if you have some time. I went last year and it was wonderful and romantic and great food and atmosphere. Its literally 5 Km down the road!

Room Tip: If your booking site allows you to put in a special request, do the following there, but then ask in...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank williamkpro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DRBRS, General Manager at Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, December 8, 2013
Dear Williamkpro,

It is great to know that your stay with us and the experience was that of a great place at great value and my team and I really appreciate your feedback which will go along way in encouraging us to serve our guests better. Your comments on Nice Staff & Food, Strikingly Beautiful White Sandy Beach, Wonderful Spa and Beautiful Rooms are well appreciated. We also hope your wife is now well and awaiting the arrival of the baby and pass our greetings to her.

We will be happy to have you back with us and make Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa your home away from home during your next visit and thank you for your willingness to be our ambassador.

Rgds,
General Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed November 25, 2013

Had a great stay in this resort, although you could noticed that things still had to pick up (some bars were still closed etc.) the service and the food were excellent. The staff is really friendly and helpful and always in for a small chat (especially Fredrick has great stories to tell).

Would most definitely recommend this hotel to everyone.

On a more critical note, you can sometimes spot things (sunbeds) that could do with some TLC.

Room Tip: Choose the sea facing rooms (although the view is partial or slightly obstructed by the trees), the...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Kjell_Haas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DRBRS, General Manager at Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, December 8, 2013
Dear Kjell_Hass,

It is great to know that your stay with us and the experience was that of a great stay in a great Resort and my team and I really appreciate your feedback which will go along way in encouraging us to serve our guests better. Your comments on the Friendly and helpful staff in particular Frederick, Excellent food and service are well appreciated. We also have taken note of your comment that the Sunbeds require some TLC and the same has been taken into consideration and work is in progress.

We will be happy to have you back with us and make Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa your home away from home during your next visit and thank you for your willingness to be our ambassador.

Rgds,
General Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 25, 2013

I loved everything, the friendliness of the staff, personalised service, excellent food and having gone with my baby I got everything I needed in one place. The different restaurants serving different cuisine is a wonderful idea as it gives guests different dining options.The Jacuzzi at the spa area was not all that inviting,the room should be done in search a way, when you enter the Jaccuzi you feel peaceful.
All in all the overall stay was fantastic.
Will most definitely go
back.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rthiongo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DRBRS, General Manager at Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 26, 2013
Dear Rthiongo,

It is great to know that your stay with us and the experience was an awesome one and my team and I really appreciate your feedback which will go along way in encouraging us to serve our guests better. Your comments on the Friendliness of staff, personalized service, Excellent food including your baby's requirement & Great range of resturants are well appreciated. We also have taken note of your comment that the Jacuzzi in the spa is not all that inviting and the same has been taken into consideration.

We will be happy to have you back with us and make Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa your home away from home during your next visit.

Rgds,
General Manager.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa

Property: Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa
Address: Diani Beach Road, Diani Beach, Ukunda 80400, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda > Diani Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Diani Beach
#8 Spa Hotel in Diani Beach
#15 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
#18 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 143
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Diani Reef Beach Resort And Spa
Diani Reef Beach Hotel Ukunda
Diani Reef Grand Ukunda

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