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sun n sand beach,is it as bad as they say!!!!Help!!!

england
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sun n sand beach,is it as bad as they say!!!!Help!!!

Hi ,we are booked to go fri 18th Feb,

just been looking at the reviews,en it doesn't look good!!

Pools not clean or closed,safes have been opened !

We are not expecting the hotel to be the Ritz,as it is in a third world country,

We have been to Goa and we loved it and the people were Great,so was hoping it might be a bit like there,we always go with open mind,

We are booked with First Choice,

So if any one out there can put our minds at rest .

Many thanks Kaz en Mart.

Mtwapa, Kenya
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1. Re: sun n sand beach,is it as bad as they say!!!!Help!!!

Hi,

Can't help with the state of the hotel, though it is due to close for refurbishment in April, May and June, but as for the safes being opened that was a gang who were working the North Coast hotels. Several hotels were hit, in Bamburi and Nyali as well as Kikambala before the thieves were caught and arrested. They were an external gang who had no actual connection with the hotels, I heard they weren't even Kenyan.

Dunfermline...
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2. Re: sun n sand beach,is it as bad as they say!!!!Help!!!

Hi,

Sorry to tell you - we didn't like it. We had also been to India (Kerala) before and had booked to go again with Thomas Cooke but it got cancelled. We decided on Sun n Sands with First Choice including a Tzavo safari and really looked forward to it after reading many good reviews.

I think it was partly our Indian experience that spoilt it for us. After the freedom, sea, food and people in India we found Kenya disappointing in all these areas.

Basically there is very little outside the hotel grounds and,when we ventured out, it didn't feel safe. We felt trapped. The beach/sea is poor and full of hawkers. The food was average at best. The all inclusive alcohol isn't great and certainly not free flowing!

We were relieved to get our wristband cut off after 2 weeks although we still had to face the nightmare that was Mombassa Airport (another story).

On a positive note, there was plenty of people that seemed to enjoy it. The resort grounds are impressive and the weather's great. The rooms were clean enough and the pools were good but a bit grimey. I guess it comes down to what your expectations are.

Sorry to be negative, I suppose it's what you make it. I hope you enjoy your holiday and prove me wrong. Let me know.

By the way, we were there in 2009 so it might have changed.

uk
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3. Re: sun n sand beach,is it as bad as they say!!!!Help!!!

reading your reply commondenominator about nothing outside the hotel, there is plenaty to do , theres mtwapa, mombasa or you could have gone north, personally i dont understand why people go AI as it seems they stay in the hotel, the wrsit band is so you can get your AI its not a ball and chain

as for safe , its as safe as anywhere else, i have been out all hours of day and night and never had a problem

hawkers on the beach you get everywhere and are good banter

have another go at kenya but do it bb or half baord and get out and about

maybe stay in mtwapa or bamburi there so much more to do and see

Mtwapa, Kenya
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4. Re: sun n sand beach,is it as bad as they say!!!!Help!!!

Hi,

I find it really sad that people go AI and never leave the hotels, though sometimes the reps don't help. It is safe to go out and about just about every where during the day, and at night bars, clubs and restaurants are safe but you need to get a taxi door to door. The people who seem to love Kenya most, the ones that get 'Kenyaitis; are the ones who go out and meet the people, who are very friendly, and see something other than the hotel grounds.

Sun and Sand and Kikambala are a bit out on a limb but all the things mentioned in 'FAQ - Things to do' are still accessible, and Mtwapa 4 to 5 miles away has 3 of the best restaurants in the area all in stunning locations,(two offer free pick up and drop off and the other can arrange a cheap taxi) its also got hundreds of bars and two of the best clubs in the area.

Shanzu, Kenya
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5. Re: sun n sand beach,is it as bad as they say!!!!Help!!!

Just wish to echo comments of pjduk and Doff.

Have stayed at sun'n'sands in the past (as well as other hotels).

Yes it has gone downhill and the pending refurbishment is not before time.

Don't listen to the Reps about not going out of Hotel. They are just trying to increase their commission by getting all your trips booked with them.

I have just returned from Kikambala - rented a bungalow and lived among the locals. Far better than any hotel.

Once the locals get used to you they leave you along. They are always friendly and will always say hello.

There are 2 bars just outside the hotel - Selshas (outside Staff Gate) and Sweetwaters (outside Main Gate). Both are friendly and cheap.

These two you can walk to (100 metres each one) safely and don't need a taxi. Bungalow was half a mile from hotel and I didn't use Taxi but then most people know me.

Ignore reports about hotel - most hotels are the same where ever in the world.

Get out and mix with the locals.

It is the people that I keep returning for - not the Hotels.

When you drive through Mtwapa on the coach on the way to the Hotel it looks intimidating. Get into Mtwapa on your own and it is a great friendly place with lots of bars (and very good Restaurants). The real African experience - not a sanitised Hotel.

Dunfermline...
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6. Re: sun n sand beach,is it as bad as they say!!!!Help!!!

It's just a personal view that we didn't like it. As I said, Kenya disappointed in all the areas of our expectations after our amazing Indian experience the year before.

For the record though, we did venture out to Mtwapa (nearly 12 miles away) and thought it was dire. Also went to the bars outside the hotel, to the school, village, and beach. All awful. We didn't experience genuine friendliness and the people only seemed interested if you were buying/tipping.

I'm not keen on A.I. either but frankly, I'm glad we didn't have to rely on the local restaurants. It's also hard to get used to buying a drink at a local bar where the barman has to serve you from behind bars (the metal type)!

The sea is non existent unless you want to walk for a mile over dead coral and the beach 'banter' is pushy sales and gets a bit tiresome.

I wouldn't want anyone to think we were naive travellers that didn't go to Kenya with an open mind and try to enjoy it. After all, we have been self catering in India twice, loved it and are planning to return.

I would suggest that those that extol a Kenyan holiday probably haven't had an Indian experience with amazing beach, sea, food and people.

Finally, in my view, it's probably not a good sign if your hotel requires to be surrounded by 24/7 security guards!

Norfolk, England
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7. Re: sun n sand beach,is it as bad as they say!!!!Help!!!

I regularly visit Kikambala, although I do not stay at Sun and Sand. The area is perfectly safe if you follow the rules of any area you do not know well. I walk out during the day feeling quite safe. I am female often travelling alone.

I have found the local people some of the most friendly I have ever met. Yes, some are a bit pushy in trying to sell. No money no food.

Everyone likes different things from their holiday, and has different expectations.

Go with a positive attitude, go outside the hotel and meet the people.I can give you the nos of a local taxi driver if you are interested.

Mtwapa, Kenya
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8. Re: sun n sand beach,is it as bad as they say!!!!Help!!!

Hi CD

of course you are entitled to have an opinion and voice it, that's what these forums are all about, it would be a very boring world if we were all the same and liked the same things

I would correct one small error in your post its about 5½ miles to Mtwapa, I live there most of the year.

You are right Mtwapa is a great culture shock if you are not used to Africa, when people ask me about accommodation in Mtwapa when they want to try somewhere different than the big hotels, I always ask them if they are used to Africa first, if they have only experienced the hotels and tours I advise them to try places still in the more touristy areas. Personally I love Mtwapa, and though the main road could very validly be described as dire (or fascinating depending on your point of view) I don't think there can be any argument that Mtwapa Creek is beautiful as is Mtwapa beach where Jumba Ruins and Monsoons are.

have a look at the the photos on these websites.

lamarina-restaurant.com/about%20lamarina.html

http://www.themoorings.co.ke/restaurant.html

http://www.letseat.at/Monsoons/gallery

and you can see both sides of it in my set on Flickr

http://www.flickr.com/photos/39012909@N06/sets/72157622322155975/

Edited: 11 February 2011, 13:11
Mtwapa, Kenya
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9. Re: sun n sand beach,is it as bad as they say!!!!Help!!!

That Flickr link in clickable form

http://tinyurl.com/6kbodfv

Shanzu, Kenya
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10. Re: sun n sand beach,is it as bad as they say!!!!Help!!!

Hi CD,

Firstly haven't been to India but have been to Sri Lanka. Hotel had more security than in Kenya. Gave it a go didn't like it one little bit.

You say in your comments that you went with an open mind. I feel you didn't. After your "amazing Indian experience" it would appear you were biased and compared everything to Kerala.

Still everyone to their own.

Doff lives in Mtwapa most of the year. Pjduk is going to Mtwapa again in March for 3 weeks. Hazda visits Kikambala a couple of times a year and I have just spent 8 weeks in Kikambala and am going to Mtwapa for 8-10 weeks in July/August..

The place and people you describe bears no resemblance to the place we all know and love.

To girlracer - go with an open mind and I am sure you will not be disappointed. Enjoy !

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