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“Unhappy stay”
2 of 5 bubbles Review of Reef Hotel

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Reef Hotel
Ranked #18 of 58 Hotels in Mombasa
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
41 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Unhappy stay”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 November 2013

It saddens me to say I have had an unhappy stay at Reef. I am a frequent guest here, have stayed 12+ times in the past 5 years and have loved every stay until my recent stay last month. I booked through FTI, a German tour operator (never again!). I didn't book the cheapest room as I didn't want a garden room, I wanted a sea view room, so I booked a more expensive room. I arrived early in the morning and the guy in reception tried to give me a garden room, I told him I hadn't booked a garden room so he gave me a sea view room. However later that day, the "new" front office manager contacted me and told me I would need to pay extra to stay in the sea view room. I showed him my FTI booking, I showed him how I booked it online and how I had not chose the cheapest room, he still insisted on charging me for a sea view room. I contacted FTI about this and they were no help either. That night when I was in bed, I got a call from reception saying I owe money for staying in the sea view room. I told them I was in bed and would deal with this matter in the morning. The next morning, I was awoken before 8am with a phone call again saying I owed money to stay in a sea view room.

I was so upset as I am a very frequent visitor to Reef, I bring lots of friends out with me from Ireland and the UK to Mombasa and we all stay in Reef, I invite my Kenyan friends into Reef every night for dinner and spend lots of money in the hotel but this is how they treat their good guests. The front office manager only started in Reef in Sept and this is how he treats his guests. I did not book the cheapest room, I had written proof of it but still he still insisted I was wrong. So I moved to a Garden room for the rest of my stay as I refused to pay the extra money, he even tried to get me to pay for the couple of nights I stayed in the sea view room! So be careful with your bookings as you do not want to encounter the new front office manager as he is likely to make you cry.

Usually all good hotels all over the world upgrade their frequent guests, never downgrade them, that has to be a first.

It is such a shame as the rest of the staff are as wonderful as ever, especially Isabella in Customer Relations, she should be called Saint Isabella.

Room Tip: 3rd floor rooms are quieter as they are on the top floor
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Gina W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ann G, General Manager at Reef Hotel, responded to this review, 27 November 2013
Dear Mrs Woods,

First of all we would like to express our gratitude for your visit and for the time you spent sharing a review with your personal experience on your stay at our hotel, as we are always happy to learn from our guests how to improve in our daily services.

We were surprised to see your review on Tripadvisor because you wrote an email to our Managing Director and we did send you a reply.

We do apologize for any inconvenience you may have suffered however when we receive reservations from a tour operator such as FTI we offer the room type that has been booked by the tour operator. We have an agreement that if guests wish to upgrade from a garden room to a sea facing room there is an extra charge per day. As I understood our Front Office Manager offered you a 50% reduction for the upgrade.
We are sorry that you think our Front Office Manager has not acted correctly but rest assured that he was following the standard operation procedures of the hotel.

FTI offers all our roomtypes on their website including the sea view rooms and they are slightly more expensive than the standard rooms with garden view.

Please note that during the week of your stay, we were almost fully booked. It might not have looked this way because a lot of our clients are participating in meetings.

The service orientation of our staff is one of our prime pillars and we do our best to school them to be guest oriented at all times, this is why we are very sorry to hear that you couldn’t take full advantage of this aspect of your stay.

Once again we thank you for choosing Reef Hotel and we do hope we may welcome you again in the future.

Kind regards

Ann Gallen
Operations Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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383 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
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  • Swedish first
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English first
UK
Level Contributor
59 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2013

If the hotel management read this, I so hope they take these points on board. They have a charming hotel, with (on the whole) very friendly and attentive staff.

But the place just seems disorganised! Example would be that on all inclusive you can't have your lunch at the snack bar during restaurant hours - I appreciate that the restaurant food was perfectly adequate, but they insisted upon ladies completely covering up, even sun dresses weren't allowed.....kind of defeats the object of staying at a beach hotel if you have to shower and dress for lunch!

I think the reason for this was that the hotel was very quiet, so a number of the bars weren't open, and only one of the restaurants was open at a time when I think there is supposed to be two.

Entertainment was ok, drinks were nice although the bottled beer included on the all inclusive (allsops) was not to my taste, and the draught tusker was not working at any of the bars throughout our stay.

One big plus was the use of proper glass bottled soft drinks, although for all inclusive customers it seemed odd that they would go to the expense of using the small glass bottles of coke etc (not a complaint, was a very nice surprise actually), rather than using the machine they had (again not working).

We didn't bother to venture on what looked like a nice beach due to the fact that if you even peered over the wall, the beach boys came running, and I can't be doing with the mither when I just want to go for a walk.

Swimming pools were excellent, particularly having a pool which you can just swim lengths in is something I wish more hotels would do. Cashier was next to useless, took us half an hour wait to get a safe deposit box working in our room, and I had to get a bit shirty to get them to sort it out, and they never seemed able to change a $50 note without an inordinate wait (half an hour seems standard).

Reception staff were a little off hand on our arrival, but this was a one off, the same lady was very pleasant through the rest of our stay, as was everyone else at the hotel.

Security was a bit odd, being frisked and body searched with a metal detector on arrival all seemed a bit over the top when we then just walked into the hotel with two 20kg suitcases which could have contained anything (if they were really bothered about weapons etc).

Overall a nice week's stay, on a par with the voyager down the road but considerably cheaper.

Room Tip: I think all rooms have a pool/sea view
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank johnpb78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2013 via mobile

Well what can I say except you get what you pay for we had a fantastic holiday at the reef it was a little dated the food was average in the buffet but we only needed a base as there are lots of other places to eat but the staff where excellent it is in a great location with lots to do for all ages and had a good atmosphere (two weeks in Kenya including flights spending etc cost less than a weekend to Venice from the UK)

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Deb P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 October 2013

I have stayed at The Reef hotel for 2 weeks. Arrived for New Year's eve. In the first days a special attention to the food was given due to the celebrations and that was awesome. Then teh food got a bit repetitive and boring. But in general it was ok.
I enjoyed very much the fact the hotel atmosphere is relaxed. It is not too big nor too small. I stayed there with a friend and we enjoyed both very much the entarteinment: mainly evening shows (getting a bit repetetive in the second week) and live music. Nothing too extravagant but for us it was perfect, we just needed some rest.
The beach is full of beach boys that won't let you rest for a single minute. We understood their needs to make a living and we did purchase and helped some of them. That only created more requests and it has been impossible to lay down on the beach for a single minute.
We enjoyed very much the diving school that is 10 minutes walking from the hotel. The diving sites around the area are not thrilling but we did see few turtles and sharks. We reccomend to book the wasini island excursion and go diving there. We encountered dolphins as well!

The receptionists tend to be very slow but all in all friendly. The staff is always very gentle and friendly. The hotel is 10 minutes walking from a shopping center and ATM. There are nice tuc tuc that make the short explorations around more fun and adventurous.

Sometimes there were not enough sun beds for us to lay and with the beach filled by the beach boys the only solution was to lay on the grass. That is not the best thing but we didn't mind so much.
Internet is quite expensive and the computers offered were all old and half of them broken. So not the best place to keep track of your mails.
The massage saloon is poor and the massage given are not excellent at all. Not get in there.

The all inclusive service is worth. There is service along the swimming pool and one can enjoy a drink and a snack through out all afternoon.
If you mind the noise then the sea view room is not going to be your favourite choice.
Mombasa is a nice city filled with different cultural influences. Get a local guide and make your own tour. The Jesus fort was not very interesting and took 2 long hours. The museum inside is not taken care of and it is more exciting to browse around the city. The big market offers a big variety of different stuffs and is exciting, colorful, disgusting (if you have a weak stomach avoid the meat market), surprising and interesting.
I am looking forward to go back to Kenia.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank giuliodanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yokohama, Japan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 September 2013

spend my vacation with my family at reef Hotel the place to be. the receptionist was very kind and they even changed a room for me. also the location was ok since just located near a beach. even thought the rooms are a bit old i would spend there next time.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Benjamin K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portadown, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 September 2013

I have stayed in the Reef Hotel twice now, and each time have been equally impressed. Any future trips to Mombasa, will result in another booking to the Reef Hotel.
The service in this hotel is flawless, the staff are so friendly and so helpful - so much so that it is homely. The rooms are fine, not exceptional but not terrible by any means. The view from the balcony is fantastic overlooking the Indian Ocean. I think the best view is on the right hand side of the hotel (I guess depending how your standing right side could be either, so perhaps West side?!)
The food in the restaurant is average for dinner, great for breakfast.
Poolside is beautiful - clean and well kept and a nice atmosphere.
Be warned, the hotel is right on the beach, but its hard to enjoy a peaceful walk there as there are so many 'husslers' trying to sell things. But all in all, a great place and I look forward to returning.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
108 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 August 2013

Oldish looking hotel that is in a really stunning setting and has a great fun atmosphere - not sure if this is good for business trips, but great for families.
Number of bars surround the sparkling clear pool and it is frequented by those looking for a splash and ball games.
Breakfast was average, but lunch at the poolside was superb.
Air conditioner didn't work well and wi-fi was hopeless, which detracts from a business visit perspective.
Overall an average stay, but would return due to proximity to stunning beach.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Reef Hotel

Property: Reef Hotel
Address: Nyali beach | off Mount Kenya Road, Mombasa 82234-8010, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Mombasa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Mombasa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Reef Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 146
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Reef Hotel Mombasa is a friendly, relaxed Hotel, professionally managed since 40 years by the same family to serve a mix of international and resident guests. The hotel offers a combination of resort facilities for beach holidays, as well as business services including conference rooms and corporate business facilities. The Reef Hotel Mombasa is conveniently situated on the white sandy beaches of Nyali overlooking the beautiful Indian Ocean. We are adjacent to the very best shopping areas, clubs, restaurants and golf courts and only 7 kilometres north of Mombasa city centre. The original Reef Hotel Mombasa was built in 1972. The hotel just had a significant renovation and has re-opened with new designed rooms and public areas. Reef Hotel rooms are air-conditioned, each with its own bathroom, balcony, telephone extension and TV. Buffets are the traditional way we serve meals with a international mix of cuisine. Enjoy our romantic candle-lit dinners on theme nights (African, Chinese, Lebanese, Indian, International, etc) and regular barbeques. A choice of 3 restaurants and 4 bars, and water sports directly on the beach assure you that the Reef Hotel Mombasa is ready for your holiday. With regular entertainment by our resident live band and disco, 3 fantastic swimming pools, Jacuzzi, tennis courts, relaxed sun-bathing and elegant evenings; yours will be a very special holiday in Reef Hotel Mombasa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Reef Hotel Mombasa

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