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All reviewsfins restaurantthe general managerbeach boysbreakfast and dinnerbeach restauranthalf boardquiet poolfresh towelsanimation teamprivate beachkids clubbeach bedsindian oceantwo weekswhite sandbuffet styleevening entertainment
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Reviewed January 3, 2010

my first visit but with others who go there twice a year every year. They said this last visit was the worst ever. Even our welcome was a nightmare as we were given a dirty room. But next day after complaining the GM made major positive changes. But when you pay a price and you are a regular why do you have to go through the GM only to get the service and product you deserve//??

Service is extremely slow in particular in the Food and beverage departments.

The quality of food and variety was excellent

rooms are nice

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank Rayzahara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2009

We stayed at the hotel for 7 night just before Christmas and loved it. Having travelled in Central Africa for both work and leisure we were very pleased with the standard of the hotel, cost and most of all the service. We found the staff welcoming and helpful, efficient and with personality!!

We had a standard garden facing room which was looking a bit tired but the hotel was lovely in the communal areas and not over crowded.

We made use of the facilities of the hotel - played tennis one day with an audience of monkeys (!) and then found an air conditioned squash court which we used twice.There was a spa but we spent so much time lying by the pool and by the sea that we ran out of time to use it.

Here a few of the things we especially liked (and one that we did not):
- Fredrick (bar tender at the main bar in the hotel) mixed fantastic cocktails
- the hotel's taxi driver Janet Wangwe was brilliant, she organised a day tour of Mombasa with a local guide and booked us a table at Tamarind, a lovely restaurant overlooking the sea in Mombasa, Janet is well informed of the area and is a fantastic guide herself. I would recommend booking her for airport transfers to make the most of the 1hr trip from the hotel as well as shorter journeys
- Ali Baba - local restaurant outside the hotel but recommended by the hotel staff, its in a cave and is just fantastic - a real treat!
- Africa Pot - another local restaurant recommended to us, the outdoor setting is great and food is interesting and tasty
-One thing I wouldn't do is the Chinese restaurant across the road from the hotel, although it was recommended the food was shocking, service was without a smile, and the sighting of rats in the wooden roofing almost made me sick.

Overall I would recommend this hotel - a little slice of paradise!

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Daffy12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2009

Stayed here with my girlfriend for 8 days at the end of November and found it superb. Upon arrival (after getting the night train from Nairobi) we were greeted by smiling staff who showered us with flower petals, took our bags, sat us down and gave us a glass of sparkly. Felt really special then, and that feeling did not really leave us for our stay.

We booked the hotel ourselves via their website and paid KShs12,000 / £100 / $165 for a double room, which included breakfast and dinner but not lunch or drinks. The prices for the latter two were in my mind a little to the expensive side, with a 1 litre of bottled water (a necessity across Kenya) costing KShs 200. However, I was not complaining as the quality of dining more than made up for it. There was a wide choice of dishes every night, with my favourite being the amazing curries and naans, there was good rotation (dishes on a one week cycle), well trained chefs who would do requests, but most of all just really tasty food. Possibly the expertise of the chefs, or the quality local ingredients, but it just all tasted so good. I have stayed in similar hotels and the set up has been near identical except that it didn't taste half as good. The dining area was moved around a bit too, on one night they even relocated to the beach!

Hats off especially to the staff, who were all really friendly and helpful, and didn't just feel like they were angling for tips.

Pools both nice, one with a sunken bar, but we spent more time on the beach. White sand, warm sea, and ample loungers (though when we went the place was inexplicably quite empty), with a guard to ward off the beach boys and protect your belongings. Food and drinks could be ordered from your lounger (watch out for the monkeys though!), and wet towels were handed out often to refresh yourself. If you wandered down to the sea the beach boys would always hassle you, wanting to be your friend and then wondering if you wanted to buy something (the snorkelling trips are not very impressive, mostly dead coral I'm afraid unless you get down to Wasani). My advice is to ignore the hustlers, they are a real pain after a while.

One point worth making is that we had a very bad experience with "Pitia Africa Tours and Safaris" which left us out of pocket by many thousands of shillings. The company are located just across the road from the hotel in a small shopping arcade, and should definitely be avoided. We had booked a 4WD from them to go on a safari to go to Shimba Hills, a nearby safari park. We (naively) paid up front, but when we went to collect the vehicle the evening before they said they had accidently double booked it, but could offer us a bog standard saloon instead for the same price (despite the fact it should be much less). After much protesting they said they had found a 4WD and would drop it off at the hotel at 9pm. I rushed dinner to be there at that time, but they did not show. The hotel staff were very helpful and found the number and eventually Pitia turned up at 10.30pm, but with no car. They promised it would be there at 5am the next day, when we needed to leave to get to Shimba Hills. The next morning it had still not arrived by 5.30am, so we had to fork out and hire a taxi for the day. The safari was great, but upon our return I went to claim our money back, and they would only offer a partial refund (because we had turned down the saloon car). I argued with them till I was blue in the face, but they kept hold of Kshs 3,000, the criminals. The hotel suggested calling the Tourism Police but as only had one day left of holiday wanted to spend it on the beach not giving official statements. Please stay away from them, they are just not worth the stress!

The taxi driver by the way was called Martin, and despite showing up with 5 minutes notice at the crack of dawn charged a very reasonable rate and is nice and friendly. His number is [--] (not sure what the codes are).

Anyway, rant aside, we had a really nice stay at a wonderful hotel in a great place. Would recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone!

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank DesktopDaydreamer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 30, 2009

I only visited here a short time so I will just make a short review offering my comparison of the beach options.

I have stayed in 3 Mombasa-area beach resorts and in order of greatness they are.

1. (most great) Diani Reef
2. Serena Beach Hotel
3. Indian Ocean Beach Club

Diani Reef is unbelievable. The beach is beautiful and perfect. There are nice lounger chairs on the beach and around the pools. There is good guards on the beach to keep you from being bothered. There is an enormous aquarium in the floor of the checkin area and it is beautiful. There are sparkly lights that make the evenings magical. There is water everywhere through the hotel and lots of fish in the water giving a very serene feeling. The food and drinks are top notch. There are multiple pools including one for adults only. There is a really nice top-quality spa. There is a good shop and a fitness centre. Diani Reef has everything (in my opinion). But... in my experience it is so expensive.

Serena also has a fitness centre, and a pool, and a nice beach, and a beautiful hotel, with good food and the ice cream and coffee bar is really good, and a very nice giftshop, well outfitted rooms and good service. And Serena has the best spa I've been to in Africa - it is FANTASTIC! So Serena has really good facilities which are comparable (though not the amazing wow factor) to the Diani Reef (with the exception of the spa which is the best).

Indian Ocean Beach Club has no fitness centre, the shop is junky, no spa, one boring pool, and limited bar and restaurant facilities. But the beach at Indian Ocean is as good as the other 3 and the rooms are very nice and I got the best deal at this hotel. So if the beach is your only focus - head for the Indian Ocean Beach Club and negotiate a good price.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled with friends
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2  Thank itzakadoozie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2009

I made a booking which I had to cancel before the travel date and I was informed that I could either change the date of travel of cancel completely with a 50% cancellation fee, I opted to change dates and when checking on payment was told that 50% fee had been applied. On trying to reach the GM who was he ultimate authority did not get response to my calls nor emails. I do not believe that is good customer service and all and it erodes all the good ratings that I would otherwise have given, as it means I am not a valued customer.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank Akello
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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