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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 April 11, 2010

Arriving at the Diani Reef is impressive with a beautiful lobby and dancers to welcome you. Check in was efficient and we were given a room right next to the beach which, although on the small size, was kept immaculate during our stay.

The public areas - bars etc - are very nice and certainly of a 5 star standard. During our stay though they were deserted as the hotel seemed very quiet. There were not that many guests around although there were certainly plenty of hotel staff.

The grounds are nicely kept and the main pool is in a nice setting near the beach. However the second “quiet” pool was behind the Spa area surrounded by rooms that were being refurbished - some were even boarded up - so that pool was not being used by many (if any) guests.

We had read so many reviews about the quality of the food. However we were disappointed in that whilst the food was not poor it was not in any way “gourmet”. The main meals are taken in the Coral Rock Café and it had more of the feel of a cafe rather than a restaurant although the al fresco dining area high above the pool amongst the trees was a nice setting in which to eat at night. There was a fair choice of food with a heavy bias towards curries and all meals were self service for breakfast and dinner.

Lunch was served on decking above the beach at Fins - a stunning setting - and the food was either a la carte or table d’hote. The atmosphere was great there and, frankly, the food was better albeit a totally different menu to dinner.

The service was, generally, of a good standard. However there seemed to be many staff just doing nothing or taking advantage of the morning aerobics and afternoon volley ball in the pool (with the staff numbers clearly outnumbering the guests it made you question who these activities are actually for?). Some members of staff though were exceptional although we noticed half way through the holiday that the extra attentiveness was very noticeable, verging on the pestering, and an annoyance to us were the requests to sign the drinks bill whilst still eating.

We had a great stay at the Diani Reef. We had stayed at the “old” Diani Reef before it was refurbished and preferred that hotel due to the choice of restaurants. The new Diani Reef has huge potential which would be helped by changing the layout of the main restaurant and the food offered. The hotel is situated on a stunning beach and the weather during our stay was perfection. With what appeared to be an abundance of staff too this hotel could really up its game to become a true first class resort.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Gary0077
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2010

Have recently returned from Diani Reef and had a wonderful, relaxing holiday. Hotel absolutely fantastic --- staff could not do enough for us. Food was very good and many choices to cater to everyone's dietary requirments. Staff were very friendly and made an great effort to remember your name which made it very personable. Although in the low season, lots to do although the night club and casino were not being used,
Our room was lovely, very clean and in a quiet garden location - great to see the monkeys making their journey over the roof tops in the morning and late afternoon. Annie our Cosmos Rep was very informative/helpful although personally would not travel by this company again as their transport to and from the airport was very poor alongside Thomas Cook - not air-conditioned so make sure you have drinks with you at all times! The Resort itself did need a little redecoration in places although it was obvious that there were plans in place. The idea of dining at night in different locations i.e. by the pool, in the garden and on the beach made a very welcome change. The Exec Catering Manager is very good and takes on board suggestions from guests.
Only complaints we had was that there was very little information of what was going on especially evening entertainment. A lot of people obviously left for an early night not knowing of this. Also think that some of the entertainment (including the Masai Warriors/Missionary School Singers etc) would benefit performing at the Fins Club on the beach which has a bigger and more open stage. Saying that, they were all very good.
We did not have much problem from the beach boys as the security guards were ever present. We only encountered them when we went into the water to swim but after telling them we were not interested - left us alone.
Drinks very expensive in the resort --- £30 for a bottle of wine! Best bet is to go outside the resort and buy drinks to take back to your room (£2.95 for a reasonable bottle of wine!) --- but don't forget to buy a corkscrew as they immediately take the one away that is in your room for your complementary bottle of wine!
If you can avoid - don't fly with Monarch --- they are a nightmare--- staff very rude and our experience was they would not let us walk around the aeroplane, even though it was a 9 hour flight. Having flown long haul many times was quite disgusted eg DVT. Also staff were sitting in the extra leg room seats! We also experienced a 13 hour delay on return - although to be fair Monarch did allow us to keep our rooms free of charge.
With regards to souveniers - beware of the local markets. We got hemmed in by 8 people who would not let us leave until we had finished negotiating. When we told them we would think about it --- they chased us down the beach --- thereby paying over the odds. Mombasa Airport has some really good shops and they are half the price you would pay anywhere --- unless your negotiating skills are good.
Tsavo East & West memorable - it does not matter where you purchase this trip the price is relatively the same. We organised this trip through our Rep and I must admit we had better rooms and accomodation than most people. Recommend you stay in a tent at Tsavo East --- at night all the animals come close to the wire which is right outside! Don't worry -- the tents are sealed and cannot let anything in. We saw a couple of scorpions but there was no way they could get in the tent!
We had a great driver could Donald who knew everything and everybody and managed to get us places on the safari -- wonderful experience of seeing young lions sitting next to our truck!

Try and go to Ali Baba's Restauarant which is built in the coral caves. Fantastic food and atmosphere. They provide a free bus to and from resorts. If you have time --- go and visit the beach bar --- one of the staff will take you and again transport is available back to your resort --- it is an eye-opener of the other aspect of Mombasa!

All in all we loved our experience in Kenya and will definitely return although probably not for 2 weeks - probably 1 week Tanzania and 1 week Kenya.

But would highly recommend this resort to anyone.

Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
2  Thank pennynHampshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2010

After spending two wonderful weeks here with superb staff who could not do enough for you,excellent food and facilities i feel it only fair to let others know how good this hotel is. The only fault we had was that we had to come home but we will be back. We also had a excellent safari with Tanke tours which we booked online.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank brucy55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2010

We stayed here for a Winter break, having stayed on the same beach previously at the Baobab (see my Tripadvisor profile for report) at the other end of the strip.

Despite the tides, which push the sea out a long way, the beach is much nicer at this part of the strip, and the hotel has lounges positioned on the beach area, but far enough back to be away from the persistent nuisance of the beach vendors.

We had a full board arrangement as restaurants are rather basic in the locality (except Ali Baba’s cave). The hotel changed the restaurant location a few times during our stay, by moving tables out onto the beach and the front gardens, which was an excellent way to avoid the ground hog day monotony that always occurs if you eat in the same location too often. This is of particular importance as there is only one buffet restaurant in the hotel.

The pools are very disappointing, both filled via a fire hose laying across the ground they are a little small and ever so slightly grubby. Not somewhere you would really choose to lay out by. Additionally, a full wing of the hotel is closed off, with timber boarding to the windows, so from the ‘adults only’ pool the views are rather desperate. If you like a pool scene, don’t go, but the beach area made up for this.

The plastic coated white sun beds are engrained in dirt, not the best colour choice so the grime is very visible, so take 2 beach towels to cover it.

Wine is very expensive, as are all drinks and bills are confusing, for example despite having paid for Full Board, there were certain items (not obvious) that were excluded from the food menu, but nobody says so. You sign a bill and are advised it is credited back if you are on Full Board, however at departure all seven of the couples on our coach were victims of this over charging scam. Be wary of this, as it leaves a bad taste at departure, so check your bill as you go.

In contrast the food was excellent, despite the single restaurant. A small casino on site and lovely gardens with bridges across the water features are a nice touch, but they can attract insects.

Rooms had robes, slippers, a complimentary bottle of wine, basic TV, roomy balconies with furniture, full air-conditioning and a reasonable amount of space. Bathrooms were basic, but workable.

Avoid the flotation tank in the spa, sounds nice but it is little more than a kids paddling pool with lots of salt added, too shallow to actually float in it.

Wireless internet available at a crazy, crazy price.

In summary, apart from the poor pool areas and the manic over charging of all the guests on our coach at departure, it was a nice experience, but not a patch on the Baobab, sorry.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Nick_From_Manchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2010

We went to this hotel in February this year the hotel is really beautiful with a wonderful atrium and public areas, the hotel staff couldnt do more for you, especially Nellie the dessert lady (pancakes in the morning), three evenings a week dinner was served in the gardens or on the beach with all the tables done up just like for a wedding with fresh flowers etc. The beach is beautiful and because of the security guards the beach boys have to stay down by the sea which is great, as they are lovely but can be a pain after a while. A lovely country and everyone we met was helpful and you really felt that they wanted you there and to enjoy yourself would thoroughly recommend it as a great holiday destination.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sue31r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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