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“This will be the last time!”

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Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #18 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Reviewed March 5, 2014

This February was our 5th & final stay. The distressing decline remarked in our review of 2 years ago has continued.
1. The absence of beach beds is now critical: I had to creep to the beach in the early dawn, at 06.00 to secure 2 beds, by placing shoes, books etc. I was not the first! By 07.15 all beds were taken. An attempt had been made to rectify the problem by buying a number of the cheapest, rigid plastic loungers: these remained unoccupied, thanks to their discomfort. (The newly appointed G.M who arrived 3 days before we left, had removed them all within 24 hours!)
2. The quality & choice of food had worsened. Dinner, in particular, used to be a meal to anticipate keenly. Now, it was more a case of "will we find a reasonable meal, without having to settle for pasta?" Breakfasts remain good, but a reduced bread selection & no smoked fishes nor ham. Fortunately there were 3 good Indian chefs, so our liking for Indian cooking saved the day.
3. 2 years ago we had problems with the air-con. Same thing this year - low output for 12 of the 14 days. Complaints unheeded."Problem with the water tower!"
4. General cleanliness & maintenance of gardens, terraces, corridors & staircases was poor, although our room was well cleaned.
5. On the plus side, the staff were as courteous, friendly & attentive as ever: we were welcomed back by many of them, as friends, & looked after at every turn. Thank goodness, it compensated for the overall decline.
6. A really sloppy dress-code or, rather, lack of it at meal-times seemed to stem from the noticeable shift to a clientele from Russia, Poland & the Balkan states. Apparently the previous G.M had actively pursued those cheaper, markets instead of addressing & resolving the problems at the hotel. It is axiomatic that the pursuit of cheaper markets is a downwards spiral - & it shows!!

Apart from cost-cutting by reducing staff, non-replacement of broken loungers, etc. & a marked decline in quality of the food, the overall impression was of a lack of "hands-on" supervision & management: for 11 days we hardly saw a managerial type - this changed when the new, German, G.M. took over . Suddenly managers appeared from the woodwork & all was activity.
The new G.M. told us that he had been G.M before, in 2006, & had been rehired by the Indian owners to "sort the place out". We wished him luck, but feel it's too late

Room Tip: As high as possible: Room 5008 is a good one!
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Hugh W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded March 20, 2014

Dear Hugh H,
Thank you for the review on your stay.
We are so much concerned and are moving with speed to ensure improvement on our quality of services.
It is great to see that you noticed efforts being done, for instant the Sun lounges which we are working on to ensure they are available to every guest.
We wish to assure you that the management is committed to ensure that every effort is put to achieve guest satisfaction.
Our courteous and friendly staff will always be here to welcome you if you decided in the hopefully not so distant future to give the resort another chance.

The Management

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156 - 162 of 731 reviews

Reviewed February 24, 2014 via mobile

Not stayed here before but had heard it was one of the nicer hotels on the South Coast.

The rooms need a make over desperately, very old and out dated especially the bathrooms which had no hot water a lot of the time. Room keys also had to be constantly re-activated which involved a long walk to reception for this.

No safe or mosquito nets in the room and had to ask for these. Air conditioning was not working properly. The phone in the room wasn't working and the electric sockets were mostly faulty.

Towels both room and pool very thin and old. Bedding in the room smelt unwashed!

Lunch food orders took around 45 minutes but the food was of good quality. Buffet very tasty with a good variety.

The best thing about this resort is it's staff, very helpful and willing to go out of their way for any small request - thank you to them for this.

Over all, the hotels needs a face lift and updating!

Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
Thank Kizal C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2014

To grow tired of the Diani Reef Beach Resort is to grow tired of life. We stayed there once again for two weeks between 4th and 18th February, 2014. The great aspects of it are a) the wonderful grounds and beach front b) the eager to please, friendly service always with a smile c) the excellent cuisine, particularly the abundance of tropical fruit at breakfast d) Big choice of hot buffet dinner which is often arranged "Al Fresco" in different aspect of the grounds and pool areas at night under the palms and moonlight - just exotic e) a beach location which is unbeatable, clean and wide with pure white sand lined with tall swaying palm trees trees, turquoise sea that presents no shock value when you dive in f) Rooms with good facilities, mainly partial ocean view (always request this at least).

The not so good is that it has become a little tired, needs a bit of TLC, basically some redecoration and updating with some attention to renovating garden walk ways and bridges. However they have just appointed a new Manger, Detlef Meisslein, who ran the hotel 9 years ago when he created its award winning standards. This guy is sharp and hot on getting it right. Within a two days of his arrival there was a noticeable improvement in standards.

The acid test is "Would we go back next year" - with no hesitation "Definitely YES!!!!"

Room Tip: Always chose "partial sea view" which all have good aspect or full sea view rooms.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank 3jem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2014

I stayed here in November for 3 days. I enjoyed the service alot, the staff all knew my name! I felt very welcome. I also had a relaxing time at the spa with a very professional staff team. I will be going back there.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Mukami M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2014

I would like to share my experience I had together with my wife at Diani Reef. We booked this hotel to celebrate our anniversary and it was All and even more than we imagined. Despite some negative comments I encountered on tripadvisor we had not one single complaint.
The food was made on a daily base with so love and much care.
All spaces/restaurants/rooms very clean.
Staff very friendly and helpful without having a second agenda or wanting to take advantage.
The room (for its standard) very spacious and nice with great vieuw.
The gardens clean and well maintained.
Big surprise when we received a big cake in our room for our anniversary with compliments from the management.
For the rest I wanted to tell you a comment David the chef made: when we thanked him for the food he said that we decided to come to Diani reef and want to enjoy the place without wanting to be busy cooking therefore he sees it his obligation to cook for us so we can do what we came
for and that is relaxing.

This comment fits exactly the philosophy I see which is applied in this resort.

Thank you again for these 4 wonderful days. WE WILL COME BACK!!!!!!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank michel v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2014

We stayed here for two weeks in early January 2014 and had an absolutely fabulous time. We usually do all-inclusive, and in fairness will opt for that option again, but we quickly learned that dropping the odd tip here and there got you first class service and attention at all times. A tip of 400 Kenya shillings (probably about £2.50 -£3.50 depending on exchange rate - but a day's wages for waiters, bar staff, pool staff etc) meant we always had the best beach/pool area, towels and drinks/food brought to us whenever needed. The holiday was wonderful, the sea breeze was so cooling (I needed it, Irish blood), food was excellent, superb quality and a really good choice. Drinks were on the expensive side, £10 a measured shot of brandy, cheaper for local fire water, but you are on holiday so what the heck. Poverty outside of the resort is significant, took us by surprise but, beach sellers can be persistent (you must not talk to them because, apparently, that locally is an open invitation saying you are interested in what they are selling - not saying "Jambo" is tough as we are a polite race) nevertheless would not hesitate to go back and can only thoroughly recommend it to anyone seeking relaxation and sunshine .

Room Tip: All the staff were friendly and very helpful but look out for John Midigo (restaurant and bars), Alo...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JohnSarah1066
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 reviewResponded February 4, 2014

Dear johnsarah1066,

It is great to know that during your stay with us you had an absolutely fabulous time 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 Cooling breeze, Excellent food with superb quality and good choice are well appreciated. We also have taken note of your comment on expensive drinks 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.

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Reviewed January 19, 2014

Held a family wedding at venue last week ago today, and I still cannot get over just how much of this experience was phenomenal. The staff, beginning with their GM through management, and wait staff were super supportive and availed to our wedding guests (200 plus) a dream like experience. There's no such thing as a perfect event, but the staff here went out of their way to ensure that we all had a superb experience. The entertainment (animation team), food (including traditional food items), props (gazebo made to order), kids menu, care for elderly on wheelchair, registration staff (prompt email/phone response), garden dinner and dance lighting and decor etc were exemplary. Future recommendations for venue include improve spa air conditioning, and public address system. Cannot wait to return!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Njoki M
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 reviewResponded February 4, 2014

Dear Njoki M,

It is great to know that your stay with us and the experience during your family's wedding event was a phenomenal one with an outstanding service 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 super supportive staff across the board, Great animation team, Excellent food including tradition food items, Gazebo made to your order, kids menu, care for the elderly, promptness of reservation staff in responding, Great garden dinner and dancing lighting are well appreciated.

We also have taken note of your comment for us to improve on the Spa Air conditioning and outdoor public address system 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.

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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

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
#9 Spa Hotel in Diani Beach
#14 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range: $112 - $424 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 143
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Also Known As:
Diani Reef Beach Hotel Ukunda
Diani Reef Beach Resort And Spa
Diani Reef Grand Ukunda

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