We spent a week at the Baobab after 8 days on safari at the end of July. As Mombasa airport is on Mombasa island and the hotel on the mainland, getting to it involves a road transfer and a ferry. The journey is about an hour, excluding any waiting time for the ferry and by Kenyan standards on an extremely good road. This route means that the return journey back to the UK is heavily impacted by the ferries and as a result there will be some kicking of heels back at Mombasa airport.
The Baobab complex is enormous consisting of the Baobab, the Kole Kole and Maridadi wings, each with various forms of accommodation. Based on the rooms we had and these were relatively basic, our impression is that some of the fittings are starting to show their age.
The hotel amenities include 3 swimming pools, 3 inclusive restaurants and a further 2 a la carte ones, which we did not try. Food in the inclusive restaurants is similar irrespective of the venue; what changes is the variety and the ambience dependant on where one dines. The central restaurant is the largest one and offers a very broad choice. Food on the whole was good to very good dependant on what was chosen and because it is buffet style, with individual cooking stations, the temptation to overeat exists.
Monkeys are an issue and will try to steal anything that looks as if it contains food. I saw one German family who despite the signage tried sneaking a banana out of the restaurant. They didn’t get far before a monkey stole it from their hands. Cats have been mentioned in previous reviews and yes, they have a presence (as do bush babies) in the restaurants at night, but do not attempt to steal and are not aggressive.
Of the pools the most spectacular is at the Maridadi end, which consists of two infinity pools cascading into each other and then falling into a lower one, where a pool bar is situated at one end. It was interesting to note that different nationalities tended to congregate in different areas – the Kole Kole pool was very much Italian and this might have also been driven by the fact there is beach access from there, the Germans tended to colonise the middle section and the Brits (and Germans) were at the Maridadi end.
As noted by others, we saw quite a large increase in the Indian contingent towards the end of the week and our impression was that they tend to come for the weekend out of Mombasa and Nairobi. Noise levels did increase quite a lot, but I suspect this reflects cultural identity.
The beach is gorgeous: fine white sand, fringed by cocoanut palms going on for miles and a very warm Indian Ocean. The beach boys are annoying, but manageable. Because a number of nearby hotels have closed down for various reasons, they tend to congregate in front of the Baobab. In their eyes they are trying to drum up business – boat rides, snorkel trips, textiles and other craft goods for sale – unfortunately in European eyes they are very full on. They tend to single out new arrivals, who are obvious by skin pallor, nervousness and who engage too readily … We found that if one was firm, clear and friendly you were left alone. It also helped if at some stage some little business was transacted.
Although on a private trip, Pollmans acted as our representatives in Kenya and organised all transfers etc. We were on the whole very impressed with them and they were there every step of the way. In the hotel our Pollman’s chap organised a day’s sailing trip to see dolphins and go snorkelling. We didn’t see dolphins, which I suspect is the nature of the beast and is also not a guaranteed event, but the food on the dhow, the snorkelling and a visit to an uninhabited island which was teaming with crabs, much to everyone’s delight, proved very successful. We were also advised against visiting the Kongo Mosque which dates back to the 14th century and sits in rainforest on security grounds. Apparently too many people have been relieved of various possessions.
Despite its size, we enjoyed our visit to the Baobab.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC