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Baobab Beach Resort & Spa
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Reviewed November 20, 2012

We returned for a week and were delighted to be greeted like members of the family by the staff - who remembered us by name. They again made our stay perfect. This year the archery was up and running twice a day with tuition. The step/aerobics/stretching classes were also even better led than last year. Our glass bottom boat and snorkelling trip was exceptional. There's something surreal swimming in water that's as warm as a cup of tea.

Through the onsite snorkelling people we also went out for 90 minutes on one of the local traditional catamarans and took the helm for most of the time under the watchful eye of the captain from one of the local villages. Both the snorkelling trip and the sailing were exceptional value.

The monkeys were up to their usual playful antics and the fabulous iguana was to be found everyday sunbathing on the wall around its pond. Lots of birds, including a couple of toucans.

We went all inclusive with Thomsons and all worked to time with no fuss. Service onboard was excellent - we had the same crew both ways. The inflight films were a bit disappointing though, but I could catch up on reading.

We were invited to a cocktail party with the management team to chat about the hotel and ideas we had for improvements. And as returners we were also invited to a gala outdoor dinner with other returners. There were over 100 attending - so around a third of the guests had come back for more. That says something about the enduring quality of the place.

A great week, hot and dry. Next year beckons.

Room Tip: Take the opportunity to eat in all three restaurants. Each has their particular ambiance. Maridadi is lovely for brekky with the sun streaming in. Kole Kole is great outdoors in the evening as it catches a breeze.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank IvanTriman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2012

We stayed at the resort for 10 days at the beginning of November. The airport in Mombasa is not air conditioned so bear this in mind, and wear really light clothing. We purchased our visa's in the UK, but this saved no time in the airport, we still had to wait ages to clear customs.The coach trip to the resort is a real eye opener, but an excellent experience. The first 5 days were spent in the Baobab wing prior to our safari. The room was quite small and basic, however adequate. We did the Ndogo Safari through our tour operator for 4 days, we had to pack all luggage away and check out of this room, this was not a problem as the hotel does have a secure storage room, we also stored travel documents and valuable items in the hotel safe.
On return from safari we were upgraded to the Kole Kole section of the hotel for 5 days,our room was of a much better standard, very spacious and comfortable - would recommend these rooms!.
The buffet restaurants in the resort are excellent, the staff are so helpful and everyone smiles and says "Jambo". We ate in the seafood restaurant one night, the prices were reasonable and the food was amazing. The entertainment team are fantastic, really enthusisatic.
The hotel grounds are well maintained and the pool areas are really clean, there are loads of areas to chill out and relax. The wildlife makes this hotel so amazing, the monkeys and baboons are hilarious, however have a very sweet tooth, they love cake, popcorn and sugar, so be careful as they will try to steal it!
We ventured on to the beach a couple of times, the beach sellers are a nuisance, however there are a few who just want to walk with you and find out information about England, they are also very informative about the local area. For those trying to sell, iof you are polite and firm they will leave you alone. I would recommend walking to the left side of the hotel (Kole Kole end) as there are less beach sellers.
The only major gripe we had is that gentlemen are required to wear long trousers on an evening when eating in the restaurants. My husband found this uncomfortable as the weather was really hot, however we knew this was expected - just feel it's unfair as we did spot a few ladies with really short skirts and shorts on.
Overall, this was an amzing holiday - anyone thinking of booking should do it!

Room Tip: Kole Kole rooms were lovely, spacious and much cooler than those in Baobab wing.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank bubblengellor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2012

Baobab, oh how I love thee, let me count the ways. I'm a miserable traveler. I travel for a living and don't particularly enjoy it. So when I go on holiday with my family (active boys, 2 and 4 years old) I want it to be stress free. And by a good holiday, i mean- good food, good bed, good sand, good drinks and a good night sleep- for everyone. Baobab met or exceeded all of these with one or two small exception. The food is good, somenights even fantastic. I was never disappointed except I found breakfast to be horribly greasy. A few good quality pans for the pancakes and omelettes would easily solve that problem. There was always something available to eat. With children, you know this is important. Breakfast merged into morning tea, which merged into lunch, which turned into afternoon tea, to dinner.

the pools were lovely and there was a choice. I found kolekole pool horribly noisy with its thumping ibiza music at full volume a bit much with the kids plugging their ears... The Baobab pool was nice, with a lovely pool, but the animation teams jacked up the volume to obscene proportions every half hour or so. for the 5 people in the pool. so we spent most of our time in the Quiet pool. Kind of Ironic, since we have 2 noisy children, but it was the only place with out thumping music. We loved it, and the kids did too. the swim up bar was a fascination for them. The one complaint here was that the drinks take FOREVER to arrive. my husband theorizes that they do this on purpose at AI resorts so guests don't drink too much. makes sense but frustrating to a tired, thirsty 4 year old. and mom.

Even though the pictures seem that the resort is on a cliff, there is very easy beach access. there are very few stairs, mostly paths that gradually slope. The beach boys were no hassle
at all. i'm not terribly polite, but i told them i would find them if i needed anything, and I did. they left us alone so we had some really wonderful family time on the sand building castles, digging for crabs, hunting for shells, etc. We used the services of one of the gentlemen with a glass bottom boat and it was absolutely wonderful. Plenty of sunscreen, snacks for the kids, and water and we spent 2 hours on the sand bank. The kids had a great time living and learning about the wonderful ocean. My husband and i are divers, so this was really the first time for the kids to experiance what we see. The tidal pools were like little micro-coral gardens. they even got to see a moray eel, hermit crabs, schools of fish, urchins, it was fantasitc, one couple even saw an octopus on one tidal pool. it was one of the best things we did.

The nightly shows were amazing, the kids disco was a huge huge hit and my son still talks about it.

The room was a decent size, with a king size bed, a single bed and a crib it was full, but not crammed. We had not one single mosquito, and amazingly enough, it was very quiet even with neighbors and people above us. We didn't hear any of the bars or the disco or the shows. I was amazed. absolutely amazed. the only complaint was that the bed is horrifically hard. murderously hard. pillows were nice, bedding nice, bed- awful. it felt just like sleeping on a box spring.

in spite of these very few things, it was such a wonderful time. One of the best holidays i've been on in a very very very long time. and with out a doubt, the best we have had since the kids were born.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank Mbvanwees
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

Having read reviews here, we booked this hotel with an upgrade to a superior room in the Maridadi wing. So we were looking forward to seeing in flesh how good it was.

Upon arrival, after a long flight followed by a near 2 hour transfer, we were welcomed with cold towels and a cool drink which was very welcome. A short form to fill and we were ready to be escorted to our room. As we walked following the porter, we were chuckling to ourselves at how good the place looked.

A superior room in Maridadi is exactly what it says. Big, spacious and clean. Towels changed daily, room cleaned twice and beds made up and mosquito cover drawn for you when you went for dinner. The view however was not as advertised by Thomson - they described it as a room with a sea view. However, it was more like a glimpse if you went onto the balcony. Anyway, this did not distract from anything.

We spend all our time at the Maridadi pool which was quite and therefore perfect to chill out, which is what holidays are all about, apart from the odd occassion when some unruly kids popped up whose idea of fun was screaming their lungs off. We ventured to the other pools but were not impressed. The one in Kole Kole was where all the activities took place so was noisy and the Baobab one had music on - not for us. But you pay your money and take your choice!

The hotel grounds are nicely maintained and the resort has a nice look and feel about it. You know you are somewhere special. The monkeys and baboons make the place interesting. Signs warn guests not to feed them but guests ignore these signs and feed these wild animals to amuse themselves. Why on earth would you want to feed a doughnut to a monkey is beyond me. Yes you have to be on your guard or they will rummage through any bags you leave unattended. We found this amusing but not a problem.

Food! Where do you start? From breakfast through lunch and on to dinner, the selection, variety and quality were amazing. In addition snacks were available mid morning and afternoon.

You can’t write about the Baobab and not mention the staff. They are really an amazing bunch. They serve with a constant smile and nothing is too much for them. A real credit to the resort. The shows at nights were also worth a visit.

The beach is definitely worth a stroll or two. Yes there are the beach boys and as written by others before they are there to make a living and not to cause grief to guests. A polite but firm indication that you are not interested and they leave you alone. You can then enjoy the pleasures of walking on a clear sandy beach and seeing the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean in all its beauty.

In summary, the Baobab more than lived up to our expectations. It was a holiday we thoroughly enjoyed and will definitely go there again.

We also had a 2 day 1 night safari booked with F Kings Safaris which turned out to be the best decision. Reasonable price and a private van. Could not ask for anymore. See separate review.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank SalimM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2012

Stayed at the Baobab for 12 days at the end of October 2012. We were in the Maridadi wing and had a ground floor room 2002.Little disappointed that the "sea view" we had paid for,was a distant glimpse thru the trees and over the Maridadi pools and restaurants, but the room itself was extremely comfortable with a huge bathroom. It was kept very clean and tidy and there was always plenty of hot water plus the air conditioning worked extremely well.Also 4 sports channels on the TV,which was great to watch whilst waiting for the OH to dry her hair!!!
The Maridadi pool was always quiet and we never had a problem getting well positioned sunbeds as long as we were out and about by 10am. The other pools in the complex looked very nice ,the original Baobab pool is a little small when busy but OK,but the day we tried out the Kole Kole pool,it was extremely crowded,VERY noisy and a lot of the (Italian??) clients seemed to be chain smokers!
The beach was absolutely beautiful and great for a morning walk when the tide was out -also great for a swim at high tide - but as many others have said, you need to be very thick skinned to stay on the beach sunbathing as you are targetted by innumerable beach boys trying to sell excursions,safaris watches(!!) and attract you to the trinket stores.
Food was generally very good in both buffet restaurants,altho' we preferred the Maridadi buffet as it was much quieter than the main Karibu buffet. In my opinion, the a la carte restaurant, Marhaba, is overpriced - it would be more worthwhile with a bigger discount offered to the hotel AI guests.
The most disappointing aspect was the hard sell of the "romantic" beach barbeque;some people we got friendly with during the holiday were persuaded to take up the offer - but reported that the food was OK but not worth an extra £80+ -and it was definitely not romantic as tickets had been sold to family groups with young kids who ran around the tables all evening!!!
Service was exceptional everywhere - porters,waiting staff,bar staff,reception - absolutely no complaints on that front.
Paid for a few hours internet access - very good signal in the main block but a bit flakey down in the Maridadi bar area - 7 euros for 4 hours to be used within 72 hours.
Overall, a hotel I would definitely consider favourably if we visit Kenya again and one that I would recommend.

Room Tip: If you want a genuine sea view ask for rooms 2204 to 2207 - seemed to have about the best views. Also the standard rooms seemed rather small to us.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank brewerdave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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