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“"all inclusive" - except good service”

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Neptune Paradise Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Galu Beach
Reviewed 18 January 2011

These are actually 2 joint resorts:
the Neptune Village, which is oriented towards families and offers the full entertainment program (with a DJ that LOVES techno music, so be warned if that’s not your favourite), and the quieter Neptune Paradise, which seems more oriented towards couples and individuals who prefer a more relaxed holiday.
Each has its own pools, restaurant(s), business center, but they can be used be guests of either resort.
We stayed the first half of our 3 weeks stay in the Village, then went on a 3 day safari, and decided to change to the Paradise after we came back from the safari.
In our impression the Paradise was not only more quiet, but also had a higher overall standard - but that might be also due to the fact that we were upgraded from standard rooms in the Village to superior. The only negative thing in that room was that there were obviously some nasty insects in our bed or mattress, coz we woke up every morning with new bites that were clearly not mosquito bites (we still have the nasty marks to remind us of this unpleasant part of our vacation). Our request to have the bed and mattress treated with some insecticide was however never understood but anyone we asked, the room boy always just sprayed the air, which of course didn’t kill the insects in the bed.
(this as explanation for my low mark for “sleeping quality”).
Otherwise the cleanliness was very good, better than you would expect it in Africa. I was especially pleased by the pool, which was big and deep enough for some real swimming, and which was cleaned daily (something that I don’t take for granted anymore in many countries)!
This was however also absolutely necessary, as swimming in the sea is not really an option on most of Diani beach. The water is very shallow (during low tide people would walk hundreds of meters seawards from the beach), and the bottom is overgrown with seaweed, which also floats in the water in big chunks, which makes it quite unpleasant to swim through it.
(this, and the fact that the hotel is at the very end of Diani road, far from everything else, as explanation for my low mark for location)

Both resorts are partner of big tour operators like Neckermann or Thomas Cook, so they are largely occupied by this type of “package tour” guests. An attendant of these tour operators is taking care of the needs of those guests, with the effect that the hotel itself does not show much own efforts to attend to the requests of guests, who have not booked through one of these tour operators.
Notably the receptionists in both resorts proved to be completely useless. E.g. when I informed them that I wanted to check out they asked in all earnest: so what should we do? And when we came back from our safari and wanted to check in to our new rooms, for which I had made a reservation with the sales executive before leaving, the two receptionists just stared on their lists, where they couldn’t find my name, tried to make phone calls with no apparent results, and otherwise just stood there with a helpless expression in their faces, and kept me waiting for more than 15min without ever saying a word to me, not why they couldn’t check us in, much less any word of apology. Only the housekeeper who came after an eternity explained us the situation, that our room was still occupied by the previous guests who had not yet checked out (at 5pm!)
In the end I even had to pay the full day all inclusive rate for this room, even though we could use the room or anything else only after 6pm!

The waiters and bar attendants were of course all very friendly, and always liked to chat with the guests. This did however not always help to improve ones mood over otherwise poor service. The “all inclusive” service in this hotel just confirmed my dislike of this concept and my bad experience I had made earlier in the Dominican Republic. While you can get free food and drink almost any time during the day (bars would close at 12mn), you just have to contend yourself with the cheapest stuff they come up with, and sometimes even that is out of stock. Some more examples of such “all inclusive” service: plates on the buffet often were only refilled after explicit request, more than once the juice was clearly diluted with water; the pool bar was not occupied most of the time, the “backup” restaurant for late breakfast or afternoon snacks was either unattended or working in slow motion,…. In short, the staff, despite all their friendliness, was not really eager to make the guests consume – unless they would order something to be paid extra.
What pissed me off most however was, that you could not leave your plate or glass unattended for more than a minute (e.g. to go to the toilet, to get something else from the buffet, or just swim a short round in case of the pool bar) without some waiter removing it, despite the fact that it might have been almost full. Sometimes they even tried to take our plate away while we were still eating!!! I have no idea who of their superiors had instructed them to do so, but that goes certainly far beyond keeping an orderly look on the tables. I consider this plain rude!

Ok, this is getting too long, so I guess I should end here. There might be still more interesting things to tell (in 3 weeks a lot can accumulate), but I think you can get the picture.
I would certainly not stay in this (or any other all inclusive hotel in Diani beach) again, especially after experiencing something far better (Pinewood Hotel) only weeks before (see report there).

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Solardiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 January 2011

Trip details: 5 night at Sentdio Neptune Village and 2 nights at Sentido Nuptune Paradise, two adults and a child of 10 y.o.

In fact Sentido Neptune Paradise and Sentido Neptune Village are the one hotel with little if any difference between them. A German based company is responsible for sales and marketing of the hotel currently. We stayed in both of them before and after our 6 days safari.

We liked
- The infrastructure and the hotel territory in general, they were well thought over and organized (in this sense Paradise is a little bit better – was built later or maybe renovated): two-story bungalows comprising 4 guestrooms, swimming pools, restaurant facility etc. Most likely it was a very good resort back in the 1990s but we observed its decline (However the official Sentido website describes Neptune Paradise as «the newly created resort»)
- You can eat any time, if you are late for breakfast you can have it later in a kind of cafe, the same with the lunch (for both hotels)
Food is OK, seems to be slightly better in Village, but nothing special

We did not like
- Booking via official Sentido website despite the receipt of the booking confirmation turned out to be a disaster: we arrived to the hotel on December 31, 2010 and it appeared that our booking is not registered at the hotel and neither the room is reserved nor any room is available. Finally we were given the room at Sentido Neptune Village instead of Paradise since we arrived earlier than other guests (I wonder how they managed to accommodate other people, we were told that the hotel refused to accept them)
- Service is relatively poor (service in Village seems slightly better). First we thought that this is country-specific and did not pay much attention, but having stayed at other hotels and lodges in Kenya we understood that the condition of the service is very hotel-specific and is the reflection of lack of training and is not organized and / or regulated in a proper way
- The condition of towels and bedroom sheets is far from being good (for both hotels), however the official site offers the guests of Neptune Paradise “premium mattresses, sheets, towels”
- Strange order of towel distribution near swimming pools / beach: (for both hotels): you can collect the towels during only two hours in the morning (9-10.00 and 12-13.00 if I am not mistaken) and return them back 17-18.00, the towels themselves are in a poor condition
- European multi-language concierge is of little help: never answered the e-mail with the request of the additional information and could hardly be considered eager to help guests
- Problems with Wi Fi not only in rooms (despite the fact that the official site announces “WLAN in all public areas and guest rooms”) but in public areas either: if there is an internet connection it is not stable at all and obviously is not high-speed.
- The additional services are not promoted at all: spa, excursions, trips etc. There is almost no information about the hotel offerings in the rooms: are they interested to earn extra and / or satisfy the guests?
- Location, it is situated relatively far along the road to nowhere, far from Mombasa and more or less smaller developed areas, the location is not compensated by the anything special (like proximity to the nature, special service etc)
- Some services are available only in one of the hotels: business center is in Village (if you are staying in Paradise you have to go over there), bank cards are accepted in the Village (equipment failed to operate in the Paradise), cashier is sometimes is located only in the Village, thus you have to go to another hotel if you need to pay or visit the business center.
- There is almost no possibility to swim in the ocean due to low tide in the morning and daytime, the high tide seems to be at 5.00 a.m. It was like that at least in January.
- The treatment of the pools is a disaster: chloride or chloride-based powder is diluted in a bucket with water and poured into the pool, in the evening on can see the white powder on the surface of the pools' water and smell the specific chloride odor

The hotel seems to be mismanaged. Despite the adequate infrastructure basis and not much investment required to turn it into a good resort, its current status is far from being ideal.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank d495
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2011

We recently returned from a 14night stay at this hotel. We chose the hotel as it was included in an all inclusive package deal (not really our sort of thing usually!) and made it economical enough to be able to leave our 60kgs of sports equipment in the hotel whilst we went off on safari and other little adventures here and there.

The staff at the hotel are really great - the bar staff are friendly and are more than happy to keep on filling up your glass :-) We also had a great girl cleaning our room (Susan) - we would return home to find "Enjoy da Sun" written in flowers on our bed or some other nice touch which just makes you smile after a long day!

The troop of monkeys which live in the hotel grounds are a great bonus too! They will come around and are very friendly so get your camera ready! Just remember that they are still wild animals - even though they are very tame.

The beach is just at the end of the hotel and is easily accessible (not to mention totally gorgeous!) Sometime if the tide is right a sandbar is exposed which you can walk out on. I know a lot of people have complained about the beach boys but we didn't experience any real difficulties. We'd speak with them in Swahili so maybe this helped ("hapana asante can work wonders!) Sometimes there is a guy on the beach who has camels - be sure to ride them!

I think the only downsides are that all the bedrooms seemed to be twin rooms (we had to push the beds together!), the shower only seemed to have 2 setting - cold or boiling - and was a little small. Also I personally am not keen on the "package hotel" attitude - we rode the matatus all week but the hotel kept insisting that we should have a private taxi. The matatu is safe during daylight hours - just don't flash your valuables around. Also we independently booked a safari with JT Safaris - which was excellent please read my separate review of that! As soon as the hotel rep found out we had booked this they were not keen to talk to us - they make all their money on safaris I suppose and don't like people doing things independently! We did some other lovely things during our stay such as visiting Kaya Kinondo but because it was a very small, non-commercial thing the hotel could not assist us (or were not interested in assisting us) with any information. Just be aware that if you want to organise things like this do it yourself as the local knowledge of the hotel concierge is shocking!

Apart from those few things the hotel is a great place to stay. Oh! And the food is excellent - I've travelled in East Africa before and so know African food - I was able to get all of my favourites at the hotel cooked authentically so was really pleased (don't miss out on the chapati!!!) I would recommend this place but caution people to make the effort to explore Diani area as it has a lot to offer!

Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
Thank cazmantis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2011

We just got back from 10 days at the Neptune Village Resort after a 6 day safari and would definately recommend it to anyone. The people are really amazing, special mentions to Patrick and Alfred behind the bar, Lucas and Moses and the animation team, Ellison, Eric, Happy john, DJ Erico and DJ BMG - you made it a once in a lifetime experience, thank you!!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank k2398
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2011

We arrived at 3 pm at the hotel had a frustrAting battle to get our rooms eventually given rooms at 7pm
Most of the rooms had dirty bed linen no towels twin beds for couples food is ok but would never visit again
The staff were under the impression that they were doing us a favor by allowing us to stay there

  • Stayed: December 2010
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Thank Girishshah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2011

This hotel was very good, It had high quality public areas and lovely gardens to relax in and very good service.
It is right on the beach.
The restaurant was good and the food was as high of quality as you would expect in Africa, it is not michelin star but there is plenty of variety including salad bar, hot meats fish cooked daily, Rice, Potatoes, pastas all in various styles, with choices of fruit and cakes for pudding and soup for starters both lunch time and dinner time.
The drinks on all inclusive are local unamed and they have a small cocktail menu also available it is not too bad. The waitering staff are very nice indeed. They just couldnt do enough for you. In the hotel you have two bars (not including in swimming pool) I will recommend you not the main - was always busy and had to wait ages for drink. Just go to the last bar - is the best one with the best barmans - especially Solomon. You will never wait to long for your order and will make a nice conversation.

Beach Locals:
when it comes to booking a safari or any other trip it is far cheaper to do on the beach or outside the hotel with the same result if not better. we booked our safari last year with Marco Polo. His office is located just outside the gate of the hotel. Lodges were superb amazing views and the driver was brilliant so knowledgable and nothing was too much trouble for him.. in fact he was just as excited to see things as we were and he had been doing it for 15 years... The safari was the highlight of last year trip... This year we had a special request for Marco - to see plantation tea and coffee. he organized for 4 of us two days trip. It was amazing - we havent been disapointed. stayed at beautifull hotel with amazing garden, saw plantations, factory etc. If we ever be back again - we will choose service from Marco Polo.

To summerise
It was a once again a great holiday, friendly and halpfull staff. Definitely will visit again.

Also the hotel has free WIFI .. which was great but not always on!

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank ZebraScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2011

We have had an absolutely brilliant trip to the Neptune Paradise Village Resort, there is nothing bad that we can say about it. The staff were so friendly and nothing was too much trouble, and the hotel was very clean. The food in the restaurant was the best food we've ever had on a holiday, there was so much choice every night, and most of it was cooked in front of you.
When booking our safari trip, the Thomas Cook rep warned us not to book with JT Safaris outside of the hotel, but we did anyway and it was fantastic. It was just the two of us in the jeep on our 2 day/1 night safari and our driver, George, spotted EVERYTHING! We would have missed so much if he hadn't pointed it out. He was very professional and made the experience all the more memorable, as well as JT being so much cheaper than the tour operator.
The beach and the sea were gorgeous - yes, there are the beach boys that like to 'hassle' you, but once you've told them you don't want what they're selling, they leave you alone and are always very nice. They are not as much trouble as people make out.
Our trip to one of the local orphanages was a bit of a shock - it was the Christmas holidays so all 46 of the children were there, and they were all so lovely. The sad thing is, it seems like the pastor who founded the orphanage is just after your money - and not for the children. Be very wary of this if you make this trip (which is free through the hotel) - we took loads of sweets and lollies for the children instead.
The animation team at the hotel were great, they organised lots of activities throughout the day, and always put on a good show in the evening - they work such long hours, as do all of the staff, and are always so happy even though they're getting paid hardly anything.
Overall, we had a brilliant holiday and would definitely go back to Kenya, and to this hotel. We're not sure what there is that people manage to complain about!

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank JamesSophie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Neptune Paradise Beach Resort & Spa

Address: Galu-Kinondo Beach, Galu Beach, Kenya (Formerly SENTIDO Neptune Paradise Village & Spa)
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Galu Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Galu Beach
Price Range: £105 - £310 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Neptune Paradise Beach Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 92
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Neptune Paradise Beach Resort & Spa is set in a beautiful tropical garden. The 92 rooms are in makuti roofed cottages bungalows with only 4 rooms per unit. This gives you a relaxing and quiet holiday. Restaurants and bars form a perfect match between hotel and nature and offer a real African atmosphere. The Resort is located at the South Coast at the famous Diani Beach. Mombasa town at ca. 40 km, Moi International Airport at ca. 45 km and the nearby Ukunda Airstrip is only ca. 8 km away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sentido Neptune Paradise Hotel Diani
Neptune Paradise Village Hotel
Neptune Paradise Village Ukunda

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