We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Sarova Whitesands or Baobab Beach resort?

Surrey, United...
Level Contributor
749 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic
Sarova Whitesands or Baobab Beach resort?

Hi,

I have read dozens of reviews and have also spoken to people who have visited these hotels, but I simply can not decide which is the better resort!

At the moment, the Baobab is slightly edging it as the Diani beach seems to be a nicer beach. Is the beach at Whitesands bad, or much weaker?

Could you please share any positive or negative comments which may help us to decide which resort is right for us?

We would be going all-inusive in July. We would have already done our safari, so we would mainly want to relax, sunbathe, walk along the beach nd maybe take a couple of daytrip excursions.

Regarding food, my partner is a vegetarian - I am not sure how well vegetarians are catered for in Mombasa.

Many thanks for your help.

Newcastle Upon Tyne
Level Contributor
91 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: Sarova Whitesands or Baobab Beach resort?

Just seen this post, our only gripe with the baobab was that there was so much vegetarian food, not sure if this the same with all hotels but when we went on safari the food was was much more meaty ! Saying that the food quality in baobab was very good x

Watamu, Kenya
Level Contributor
39 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Sarova Whitesands or Baobab Beach resort?

hi

whitesands is a five star hence i would highly recommend it.the beach and meals wonderful.

Surrey, United...
Level Contributor
749 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Sarova Whitesands or Baobab Beach resort?

Thank you.

It is more the location that we can't decide on.

Diani seems to have the better beach, but Whitesands seems easier to get to and has more daytime excursions / activities.

Based on people's comments, it doesn't seem that you are unable to sunbathe on the beach, so maybe I shouldn't let that affect our decision.

Whitesands seems to have a more active entertainment team.

I am just concerned that the Bamburi area does not sound quite as nice as the Diani area, so may opt for Baobab ahead of Whitesands.

Nairobi, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Kenya
Level Contributor
2,985 posts
201 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Sarova Whitesands or Baobab Beach resort?

I'm at Whitesands right now. Beach looks nice. There are sun beds on the lawns facing the ocean, and also by the pools. Food is good - loads of vegetarian options.

Diani beach is nicer, but can be a pain to get to due to the ferry crossing.

Surrey, United...
Level Contributor
749 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Sarova Whitesands or Baobab Beach resort?

Thanks Roadwarrior.

Do people mainly use the beaches for walking rather than sunbathing?

Can you swim in the sea at the Sarova Whitesands, or can you not do this due to rocks and the reef?

My main concern about the Sarvoa was that the beach is not as nice as the Diani Beach. Is it still nice enough to walk along etc though?

Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
Level Contributor
15,477 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Sarova Whitesands or Baobab Beach resort?

Basically depends what you want, the North Coast (Bamburi Beach, Nyali, Shanzu) transfer from airport is easier and quicker, access to Mombasa Town is easier. The area is more developed, there are more attractions, things to do, etc and a much wider choice of restaurants, clubs, bars, shopping malls, etc. historically these hotels were much busier than the South Coast hotels, a major restricting factor was the fact that the South Coast is accessed by ferries, which in the past could add significantly to transfer time and used to suffer regular incidents. Now the new ferries have been in service for some time and the coxswains have learned how to sail them, traffic hold ups are much less frequent and incidents are much rarer.

South Coast (Diani, etc) has better beaches, is less developed, many hotels are smaller and were cheaper (because of low occupancy) than the North Coast ones, it now appears that English travel companies are dropping the North Coast hotels which have become too expensive for them (some are now in their Premium brochures) and are including the South Coast hotels in their brochures instead. North Coast hotels are now very quiet for long periods and English tourists seem to be in a minority.

There is lots of info on the North Coast, things to do, bars, restaurants, etc and a map showing where everything is in the FAQs on the right of this page.

I'm usually in Whitesands several types a week, I'm a member of its gym, it is one of the two best hotels, the only two 5 star (Kenyan marking), on the North Coast. It is very big, has government ministers staying there and lots of conferences. It has a very long beach frontage and the grounds facing onto it are very nice.

Within walking distance of Whitesands during the day there are lots of decent restaurants, including the excellent Giardino (recently No.1 on Tripadvisor, its just been overtaken by Whitesands own buffet restaurant - Pavilions) several beach bars, shopping malls, Haller Park, etc. At night it's better to take a taxi than walk, and there are lots of bars and clubs Kahama, Cheers, the Lounge, Bob's, Il Covo, Sheba, Yellow Ribbons, Suli Suli, Big Tree, etc and restaurants within a short ride. A slightly longer ride brings Kenya's 'Las Vegas' / 'Sin City', Mtwapa with it's literally hundreds of bars and 3 of the best restaurants (certainly location wise) in the area. (Details of all these bars in the FAQ on bars, and the restaurants in another FAQ and their location is marked on the Google map in the FAQs).

Here are a couple of photos of the beach in front of Whitesands, I took them with my phone to show someone early last year.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39012909@N06/sets/72157635560186855/

and if you walk 15 to 20 minutes or so to the south end of Bamburi Beach at the weekend you can get to witness the locals at play, and very enjoyable, joyous, and boisterous it is

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39012909@N06/sets/72157619087754554/

Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
Level Contributor
15,477 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Sarova Whitesands or Baobab Beach resort?

Forgot the reef / swimming. The Kenyan coast has the second largest barrier reef in the world running its entire length, the reef is between half a mile and a mile off-shore from most tourist beaches. (At low tide on some beaches it is possible to walk out to it with a guide, but walking on reefs opens a whole set of issues).

Because of the reef most beaches have gentle gradual slopes and the tide goes out a long way, when it comes in it does so very rapidly, its as though it builds up against the reef then suddenly floods over it. Plenty of people swim in it when, the tide is in.

Surrey, United...
Level Contributor
749 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Sarova Whitesands or Baobab Beach resort?

Fantastic feedback Doff.

Whilst we will not be interested in the bars/clubs, it is good to know that there is a variety of entertainment outside of the hotel during the daytime (restauarants and shopping etc).

I was concerned about the beach, having compared it to Diani, but your photos look great - the beach seems more than adequate for a stroll and swim. Would you agree?

Are there any excursions such as boat trips, visits to local villages etc?

Maybe we will see you there and i'll buy you a beer!

Thanks you!

Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
Level Contributor
15,477 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Sarova Whitesands or Baobab Beach resort?

Hi Danny,

I've walked long sections of that beach many times (to walk end to end is a good long stretch). You will get people falling in step with you or trying to get you to buy from their pitch, so you'll need to be firm. You'll find it much quieter if you turn right and head towards the Public Beach, there are many more beach boys on the stretch to your left in front of the other tourist hotels

For things to do, excursions, boat trips, etc have a read of the FAQ - things to do

Edited: 16 September 2013, 16:56
1 post
Save Reply
10. Re: Sarova Whitesands or Baobab Beach resort?

Hi

I would choose Sarova Whitesands this is because it has a large sea-front with newly refurbished room with modern facilities. also their services have always been consistent over the years and the hotel has a good reputation. The Team at Sarova are quite friendly and ready to serve you with a big hearty smile. they have a massive buffet for all meals with a large number of vegetarian options, it is the best vegeterian spot that i love while in Mombasa in Mombasa. the hotel offers quite a lot of activities that can be done during the day as well as entertaining shows every day.

at Whitesands you will definitely have a fun-filled memorable holiday full of adventure as well as total relaxation