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“Superb again - Booked for 2009 already !!!”

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Baobab Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #5 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 4, 2008

Just back and already booked for next November!!
This was the second November we have stayed at the Kole Kole wing within the Baobab and once again had a superb holiday.
My wife and I are fortunate to have travelled around the world staying at 5 star hotels which do offer more in way of facilities than the Kole Kole but do not get even close when it comes to the relaxed atmosphere or the friendliness of the staff.
The Kenyan tourist industry has been hit hard since the troubles last December and January and lots of hotels have been put in mothballs or even had to close completley and the Kole Kole also suffered due to British tourists not being able to book and travel from the UK but the staff although having gone through very difficult times are still the happiest and friendliest I have ever met. Nothing is too much trouble for any member of staff whether it be a manager or a gardener all who great you with a warm "jambo jambo".
Now down to the information that you all want to see on trip advisor -The rooms are very large and cleaned everyday with fresh towels supplied in the morning and at night if you wish. The infinity pool is immaculate as is the pool area , pool staff on hand at all times so fresh dry towels can be obtained as many times as you wish. The food quality is of a very high standard with plenty of choice for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The pineapple or banana crumble which is served at lunch does sit a little heavy during the afterrnoon so give it an hour before jumping back in the pool !
Breakfast is available all through the night for those who either have an early safari pick up or who are travelling home early. These are booked at the reception.
The ala carte restaurant is a must for anyone staying within the Kole Kole the service is of a very high standard. You will be served by either Diana or Nelson and be treated like a king and queen. My wife celebrated her birthday whilst there and six of us had a wonderful time within the ala carte where the staff came out singing "happy birthday" bashing the pots and pans. The price per couple for a three course meal as around 3300ksh which works out about £30, not bad for top quality food - of course this did include the 20% discount. Compare this to a local restaurant called Ali barbors cave where we took a couple of Kenyan friends where we paid 14,000 ksh where we had four courses and drinks - about £35 per head. Whilst I am on the subject of the area around the hotel, please do not feel afraid to venture out and about during the day, we visited friends in Ukunda village and in Diani but did use hotel taxis. I do not recommend using the local transport but do have a look around the local area as the people are really lovely and love to talk to tourists. We are sponsors of a local childrens home called Kebene which is situated about one mile from the hotel entrance down the road directly opposite the security barriers. The home is relocatting to newly built premises near the local airstrip within the next few weeks but if you are interested then more info can be found on www.kebene.com.
The evening entertainment now takes place within the newly built amplitheatre which is situtaed between the Kole Kole and the main Baobab buildings. There is now only one show per evening where as last year the entertainment staff had to perform the show within the Baobab and then in the Kole Kole. the shows are of a high standard and vary between the modern and the classic!!
For those of you like us who just like to sit and relax after dinner then go no further than the Suli Suli bar where all the staff are more than happy to wait on you hand and foot. Special mentions to Kenedy, Isaac and Alexandre...The biggest smiles within Kenya.
What I am about to mention is by no way a moan or groan but an observation - The entertainment staff although kenyan are managed by an Italian company who are a more excitable nation than the British or the Kenyans. At 10am everyday by the infinity pool the Italian entertainment manager (a girl of about 12) had hold of a microphone and introduced all the entertainment staff by name and what activities were on offer during the day. You can either get annoyed by her or laugh at her as her english is not great, either way it was all over in 5 minutes, needless to say we had a laugh we also had a laugh at the non british trying to dance along with the dance that accompanies the "jambo song" that is played about 12.30pm before lunch. Others have described the hotel as "Club med" this is not the case, if you want to take part in the sports or other activities then you can, no staff pressurise you and if you want peace and quiet then move away from the pool a matter of a few feet to the extensive grassed areas.
In summary the Kole Kole is superb, friendly staff, clean and safe pool, immacculate gardens and surroundings, top quality food in all restaurants, spacious rooms, top quality drinks - alcoholic and non alcoholic. Monkeys and baboons everywhere so watch out and be prepared to be mugged for fruit and cake if they see you with it.
The security at mombasa airport on departure is on a par with getting into the Bank of England safe but that is another story, just be prepared to be searched, searched and searched again. All for our safety though so can not moan. Depature tax of $20 each is now to be paid at check in on departure if not included within your holiday price, and entrance visa at $50 each on arrival. Visa can be applied for beforehand or the form downloaded from the net, completed and handed in on arrival with your boarding card and $50.
Just a little to add, my wife had reason to visit the local hospital for the last day of our holiday, the only cloudt day in two weeks, so not that bad. She was treated at Diani Beach Hospital where the standard of care was of a very high standard.
Whilst there we were visited by five members of the hotel staff who were genuinaly concerned for her health and well being, I can not think of anywhere else in the world where we have been that this would happen. Also do not forget to get good travel insurance cover. First time I have had to use it in over 25 years but thank goodness we had it.
Any questions about the Kole Kole then please ask

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank SuffolkAndy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,184 - 1,190 of 1,547 reviews

Reviewed December 1, 2008

just got back ftrom a 2 week stay at the baobab - best holiday ever - staff were friendly and really helpful - food was lovely (and so much of it - be prepared to put on a few pounds!)

there are resident baboons and monkeys at the hotel - its a bit daunting when you first arrive but after a couple of days you just get use to them being around and realise how intelligent and amazing they are.

lots of things to do - boules, water polo & suffleboard to name a few - the entertainment team are brilliant & i'm still singing the infectious "JAMBO" song

the hotel is very very clean and the grounds are gorgeous and well maintained the pool is lovely but seems to have a high content of chlorine in it which stains white swimwear a light green colour!!

a majority of guests are german and seem to go to the baobab year after year (and think they own the place!!) - we met one german lady who goes to the baobab every year from sept - dec & has done for the last 8 years the only down side is the beach boys who are quite persistant - the best time to go down to the beach for a swim is when the tide is in - as they don't like getting wet!!

can't wait to go back

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank doris43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2008

just got back from a very enjoyable stay , we read most of the reviews prior to visiting this resort, so we were quite aware of the pros and cons. The hotel was very good and the service faultless, staff are super friendly right down the line, and always greet you with a smile and off course "jambo" . The sticky points were the beach boys , that are in fact men,,,,, and a total pain . I dont want to sound bolshy , but they pleaded poverty yet had mobile phones and smoked . At first i thought yes its a poor country so i might just do my bit, but as we talked the message i got was , if you buy something they will leave you alone to walk on the beach. I spoke to a few people who had done this , and they were simply pestered by another group further down, and even out on the reef. so beware. They stand all day in the searing heat looking up at the complex trying to get you to go down . quite sad , but very annoying as it will put people off going back to what is a very good place. They kept saying that hotels were shutting down, so i said , if you keep pestering tourists they will not come back (which reading other reviews is certainly the case). the hotels will be quiet and all will be gone, This seemed to matter none as they still tried selling , and even offered to do a deal for my trainer socks!!!!. So all in all if you like the beach this is not the holiday for you. Our only other gripes were the 11 pm bar especially if it was the ampitheatre bar , as it didnt open till 9pm ... A few changes could make this a very special place, we are very well traveled and have had much better holidays than this one for the same cost. A 24hr bar and pests off the beach would put it on par. The last one is the smoking ban seems to have fragmented the old atmosphere and has killed off the barside conversations . But all in a very enjoyable holiday , but seriously doulbt we will return , which is a shame........ safari ,,,,yes beach holiday ,,,, deff no .

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank jon-n-gill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2008

we have just returned from 2 week holiday at this hotel . all in all everything was very good lots of different foods to choose from the monkeys roaming the hotel grounds were a novelty the beach boys were a pain as you could not have a stroll on your own and they would not leave you alone for a minute however they desperatly needed your buisness .our room was clean and ok all staff were polite we visited a local orphanage with goods from home but for me the highlight was our safari i cannot express how wonderful it was everything was perfect it truly touched my soul would come back in a heart beat for safari only we did a fly in one to the masi mara see seprate reviews

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank dotcarter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2008

Just got back from 2 weeks holiday and can't believe how fantastic the holiday was, the weather was great, the complex was beautiful, it felt like being in another world after driving through poverty stricken places in Kenya, the staff were great, but obviously some of them ask you to leave things for them before you leave, so be prepared to leave some bits and peices. We had a meal at Rock Lobster which is a restuarant within the complex but you have to pay for it, but well worth it, the lobster was something else!!
SAFARI - well we booked with J T Tours, JULIAS, after reading about him on trip advisor I decided he was the one i wanted to go with, but struggled to get hold of him by email from the UK, so when I got to the Baobab we got a taxi and went to find his office, (near the Neptune hotel), it was the best thing we could have done, so if you email him and he doesnt reply it is because he has problems trying to email back sometimes, just go and see him, he is lovely and he definately provided us with a fabulous service and gave us a safari vehicle to just the 2 of us, it seemed the other people on safari were in vehicles with 5/6 people in, which makes it difficult to see out when on a game drive. He is great and will send a car to collect you from any hotel if you ring him, he is also cheaper than the tour operators. Amberselli is a must !!
Overall one of best times i've ever had on holiday!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank abbo18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2008

we have just returned from 2 fabulous weeks at the baobab i travelled as a single parent with my 13 old son,the hotel is outstanding ,spotlessly clean and all the staff in my opinion were fantastic, very friendly and couldnt do enough to please you.as for the beach boys they were no problem at all it took us a few days to go to the beach after what we had been told but soon found that although they would love you to barter and buy from them they are more than happy to walk with you and just chat .the food in the hotel was always fresh and most things cooked to order in front of you .we are planning to return early next year as 2 weeks was not long enough and at my sons request we will be going back to the baobab.if you are planning a safari please book locally to support the local economy they really need it .

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank h0neyp0t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2008

Well what can we say our 2 weeks (mid september 2008) stay in Baobab Beach Resort was the best holiday we have experienced. Due to the layout of the gardens and trees monkeys roam wild throughout the resort, be careful since they will steal food and take bags, if you leave your doors/windows open they will enter your room and they make a real mess.. Take note of the ‘don’t feed the monkey’ you will only cause conflict between the locals and monkeys so just watch and admire the wild monkeys. The all-inclusive restaurant food is of the highest quality with lots of variation. The only problem is that the all inclusive finishes at 11pm and drinks need to be paid for after this time, bar closes at midnight, also you can only have the local Tusker draft keg beer which is okay but you are charge if you want bottle beers of Tusker. The animation team are outstanding and every evening the team puts on entertaining and quality shows which consist of dancing and acrobatics. The beach is overrun with beach boys trying to sell you things. This is a real pain and unfortunately this means the beach is out of bounds but I guess they need to make a living. There are plenty of sun beds around the complex so sunbathing is no problem, the friendliness of the staff who never stop smiling and helping you out made the holiday. They cannot do enough to make your holiday enjoyable nothing is too much trouble. For our safari we used mike (First African Dream Safaris) we emailed mike [--] and it does take time to get return emails due to the internet coverage in Kenya. We arranged to met at hotel in the evening on our arrival, mike was there and we discussed the different types of safari available and the costs, mike gave us time to think about our trip and came back the next evening. We decided on the 2 nights 3 days safari to Tsavo east and west. mike asked for only for a small deposit with payment on return from the Safari. Can you believe that? On the day of the trip start 5 am mike turned up with the driver to make sure all was well and introduced our driver Hafidhi, who turned out to be an eagle Could spot animals even from a far distance.Hafidhi went out of his way to make sure our safari was the best. Thank you Hafidhi and mike. Be warned there is a lot of driving and long spells in the vehicle.
If you are looking to do a safari I highly recommend First African Dream safaris the customer service is second to none, they deliver what they really promise, care about you having a great time and go out of their way to make sure it happens cares. We were so impressed with mike service that we booked a trip to Wasini Island it was a great price and we had a fabulous time and the lunch we had on the island was perfect.

* This TripAdvisor Member:
o Liked — The Staff
o Disliked — The beach sellers

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank goss11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Baobab Beach Resort & Spa

Address: Diani Beach Road, Diani Beach, Ukunda 80400, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda > Diani Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Diani Beach
#4 Family Hotel in Diani Beach
#4 Romantic Hotel in Diani Beach
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
#5 Business Hotel in Diani Beach
#5 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range: $160 - $392 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Baobab Beach Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 321
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the world famous Diani Beach. The resort comprises three luxurious properties – The Baobab, The Maridadi and Kole Kole, offering a unique selection of exquisite accommodation and facilities spread across the resort grounds. Guestrooms have been specifically designed to provide paramount comfort and luxury for all our clients. Guests may utilise leisure facilities across the resort including 3 swimming pools, dining areas and much more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Baobab - Baobab Beach Resort And Spa
The Baobab - Baobab Beach Hotel Ukunda
Baobab Beach Hotel Diani

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