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“This place is incredible”
Review of Flamboyant

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Flamboyant
Ranked #6 of 20 Diani Beach B&B and Inns
Kenya
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“This place is incredible”
Reviewed March 19, 2010

The place itself is an estate on the ocean. You feel like you are at a rich friend's house. There are restaurants that are fantastic. There is no pressure shopping at stores of all types.....jewellery, Kenyan/African souvenirs that people back home expect you to bring back ( masks, carvings, you name it, and CHEAP!!! ) The beach is IN-CRED-IBLE ! It is VAST, WHITE and empty! I kept taking pictures of the huge empty beach, just because I was so amazed. The water is turquoise and calm. You can snorkel in front of your room. We rented kayaks every day for hours, whipped up and down the shore. The hotel has a bar beside it's property right on the beach. Great sea food, sitting around at night, watching the ocean, sipping a Tusker. The food at the hotel is absolutely 5 star, and inexpensive. For about $80, you can have a special, once in a life time "romantic" dinner in your own tookel on the beach. The starter alone is lobster and the biggest shrimp I have ever seen. I earned enough points that night for many years to come. Beside the property is the Ali Barbour's Cave restaurant. ( google this to get the hotel web site, easiest way to look at it ) You dine inside an open cave while looking up at the stars, as there is a natural opening at the top.

We safaried, elephants, giraffes, the whole works for a half day trip, total $100 for priceless memories and photos. We are in Africa, so you might as well. Camel rides on the beach, glass bottom boats, market shopping, everything. People who have lived in Kenya go here as opposed to the bigger spots. They all know where Diani Beach is. There is a lady there named Nancy, who will really take care of you...make sure the cab price is fair, make sure you are seeing what you should, absolutely fantastic person. Your wives will really like her, great person. She is definetly part of your time there, and you will be spoiled by her and the staff.

I have been around a bit, as some of you have. I have been back about 10 days now, so the CTO honeymoon is over. This was an incredible experience for a great price. I know we all have some cool adventures, and I have a few more lined up, ( diving in the Red Sea ) but I thought I'd let you all know about this place. Very Canadian friendly. It was an amazing experience that we won't likely ever be able to experience again.

If you want a quiet, private place, and a gentle taste of Africa's wildlife and climate, as well as absolutely no worries, as it has been recc'ed by myself and many other Canadians before me, this place is a great unique trip. Lots have also gone solo, infact that's what most the other contingent did, awesome time.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank nurupirie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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48 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
London
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2009

This was a big holiday for us (my partner and three kids - ages 10, 15, and 16). It had been a very long time since we'd had proper vacation, and we all needed a break. I researched the options in Diani Beach thoroughly and knew what I wanted: sun, water, some action for the kids without intrusion on the tranquility we all craved. I was worried about being kept awake by noisy discos at night and early morning pool aerobics. When making my booking, I asked a thousand questions, trying to cover all my bases. But you never know until you arrive if you've found your perfect paradise or made a terrible mistake...

In this case, I am delighted to report, we found paradise. From the moment we stepped out of our taxi (efficiently prearranged by hotel staff to pick us up at Mombasa Airport) I knew we'd hit paydirt. The always friendly, kind staff met us with cold & delicious passionfruit cocktails and proceeded to make us feel right at home. Our rooms were spacious, clean and comfortable. The communal spaces were relaxed and inviting, the pool was perfect and the beach, only steps away, just beautiful. Really: paradise.

What the other reviews failed to get across (to me, anyway) was that Flamboyant used to be the family home of a man called George. He built the house for his family in the 1980s, and my guess is spent the next 20 years entertaining an every expanding circle of friends who must have been eager to spend some of their holiday time with him. Once his kids were grown, he decided to move to a smaller place nearby and convert his home into a boutique hotel. Occasionally, we ran into him as he busied himself with odd tasks around the place. He's an affable man, friendly and warm, as were every member of the staff. In fact, by the end of the first day, we felt so much at home that the whole place seemed like our home. Funny how you can delude yourself on holiday! I hadn't realized that there are only 12 rooms in total. It feels like a home, not a hotel.

Nancy, the go-to gal who seems to be in charge of everything, was as kind as she could be. Johosophat and Vitalas, who looked after all our meals and drinks, friendly and utterly professional. The chef came to see us at least once a day to make sure we were happy with the food (he should have known from the plates licked clean after every meal). The women who cleaned our rooms each day laundered our clothes without ever being asked (at no extra charge.) My children were dumbstruck to find their t-shirts folded on their beds at the end of each day, and needed deprogramming to ensure they wouldn't expect similar treatment at home.

The boys played squash, snooker and went windsurfing. We arranged a day of scuba diving which was great fun. Dolphins swam by our boat, we saw lots of sting rays, parrot fish, grouper, moray eels, beautiful corals, and had a delicious lunch of fresh crab on Malindi island. Every day we swam on the beach just in front of the hotel, which is about 50 meters from the popular Ali Barbour's beach bar. Yes, there are beach boys and (mostly ertsatz) Masai tribesmen selling all sorts of trinkets on the beach. But they accept a polite "no, thank you" and were always perfectly friendly and polite. The beach is beautiful. The pictures on the website don't do it justice. And so warm!

We were there for Christmas. Listened to carols sung by a Kenyan choir at the beach bar, and swam in the sea in the dark. Just magical. Special dinners were presented with great care for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We had to insist that the staff went home to their families, and were happy when they skipped off for the night. Then, we had the whole place to ourselves, feeling completely and utterly at home. Most drinks were included in our all-inclusive package, but the bar remained open on an honor system even when the staff weren't around. We found a good bottle of grappa on a high shelf and helped ourselves! Bliss.

I'm wracking my brain for some criticism. Hmmmm. I have none. I've never written a review for Trip Advisor before, but let me tell you I am a fiercely critical person and would be happy to give fair warning if I felt that it was warranted. In this case, I feel compelled to write because the comments I'd read before travelling did not ease my mind enough to put my concerns at bay when I booked this holiday. So if you are considering travel to this part of Kenya, here's my two cents: take plenty of sunscreen, pack lightly, leave your troubles behind and dive in. It's wonderful.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
1 Thank PAKLondon09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 6, 2008

Flamboyant is situated in a superb location on Diani Beach, within one minute's walk of Forties (Forty Thieves) and Ali Barbour's Cave. The main building, grounds and rooms are immaculate, tranquil and well-maintained. However, the hotel was full and had booked me into its neighbouring block (one of several), "Johari". This property was a different story altogether. Unlike rooms in the main building, those in the other blocks do not have air-conditioning, and mine did not even have a mosquito net - an absolute *must* at the coast. I spoke to the manager, Nancy, about this and the situation was resolved within a day but a hotel that terms itself "exclusive" should be providing mosquito nets as a matter of course.

The service, apart from the manager and one of the dining room staff, was very poor. I ordered tea and toast for breakfast one morning and it took 40 minutes to arrive. When I wandered down to the kitchen to find out what was taking so long, the staff were all leaning on the counters, talking and not making any attempt at preparing breakfast. Goodness knows how they cope when the hotel is busy! Some of the staff (one young lady in particular) were positively surly and unhelpful - not a good representation of the hotel. However, I cannot fault Nancy, the manager, who went out of her way to make my stay an enjoyable and pleasant one. I would stay at Flamboyant again - but I would suggest that they make some rapid and all-encompassing improvements to their adjoining properties and to their staff training if they wish to continue to market themselves as an "exclusive" property.

  • Liked — The location and the management
  • Disliked — The adjoining buildings were in a terrible state of repair
  • Stayed October 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank FLFourOneZero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Flamboyant

Property: Flamboyant
Address: Ali Barbour, Diani Beach, Ukunda 80400, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda > Diani Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 20 B&Bs / Inns in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Flamboyant 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Flamboyant is a family home where guests return time and again for its unparalleled service in an intimate and friendly atmosphere. Set in a lush tropical garden, overlooking the beautiful beach of Diani on the south coast of Mombasa, Flamboyant is the perfect retreat for an exotic and a romantic escapism. Welcome! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Flamboyant Hotel Diani

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