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“Not as good as expected”

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Sandies Tropical Village
Ranked #6 of 28 Hotels in Malindi
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Not as good as expected”
Reviewed 10 June 2011

We stayed at Sandies Tropical village for a week in March, first thing to note is the extremely long bumpy road from Mombassa Airport to Malindi, it takes forever!!
Once we arrived the hotel looked great but what a disappointment when we entered our room. It was listed as a 4 star hotel, looking the our room- not a chance, 2 star at best. Very hard bed and dodgy old bathrooms, the staff were fantastic though, always smiling and if it hadn't been for them I think we would have left.
BEACH BOYS, well having been to Zanzibar, I thought I knew all about beach boys, but no. In Zanzibar you get about 3-5 beach boys and after awhile they get to know you and dont bother you anymore, the problem in Malindi is that there are hundreds, so as soon as one knows not to bother you, there are 500 to take his place, NEVER AGAIN.

One place in Malindi that I can highly recommend is a resturant called "Old Man and the Sea" - WOW - dont judge this book by it cover, it is the BEST place to eat Seafood in Malindi - try the red snapper, it is fabulous.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank bugeje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
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South Africa
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2011

I think that a 4 star rating is a bit of a push for this Hotel, standard rooms suffice but lack Privacy as they overlook an open Garden interlaced with walkways so sitting on the Balcony is not private.

I don't know what it is but so many Hotels seem to go out of their way to find the hardest Mattress possible so quality of sleep was not great.

Forget about going for romantic walks on the beach, You will not be able to avoid the "Beach Boys" that just pester you from beginning to end and expect money for walking next to you. The Beach boy issue is even worse here than it is in Zanzibar. Fo the week we were there we did one Hotel beach walk which even had 8 "Beach Biys" trailing along trying to sell anything they could. I am surprised I did not have to pay for the air I was breathing. The other thing about the beach is it is just covered all the time with Sea Grass due to High tide. Maybe the Hotel should pay the "Beach Boys" to clean up the beach each day in front of the Hotel and leave the guests alone!

The water in the showers is salt water so that is not great either. We went specifically do go diving at the Marine reserve. We had planned to do about 6-8 dives but ended up not doing more than two, the reef is boring, on one dive we saw one blue spotted Ray and a few small fish. Comparing dive sites Sodwana Bay in South Africa has dive sites 100 times better than this area. Perhaps Mombasa is a better reef but we wanted to get away from the commercialism.

Okay lets not kid around, Kenya is poor...extremely poor. You will not want to travel around outside of the Hotel as there is nothing but a slump. Although making the trip to the restraunt "Old man and the sea" is a definite.

The only saving grace at the Hotel was the exceptional staff and the service they provide. But let's face reality, it makes for a very expensive 7 days sitting around a swimming pool wishing you had rather spent the extra couple of Thousand and gone to the Maldives or to Thailand if you are prepared for the travel.

Room Tip: Have no suggestions that would add value.
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank emailSouthAfrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Antwerp, Belgium
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2011

Lovely hotel, GREAT staff, special thanks to Mangi and Griffin our sweet friends, GREAT food although there is little choice.
We booked a junior suite for 2 weeks and payed about 4500€, airco not working and no light in the bathroom and it took us 5 days to get it fixed, room was crowded with minibugs too...
If You like to swim in the ocean and lay on the beach then DON'T book Malindi because the beachboys will drive you absolutely CRAZY. The entertainment is also WAY TOO PUSHY, waking you up for an activity?
Just book a Safari in Kenya, Tsavo East is breathtaking, but do it in combination with a private beach in Zanzibar if you don't like to get mad on holiday...
If You think you will be able to handle them, think again cause they just keep on following you wherever you walk and when you tell them you have come just to be together and enjoy the ocean they get REALLY rude...
So we payed 50€ a few days for a taxi to take us to a quite beach and also have lunch and drinks over there while we had an all in! Chesale and Papa Remo are beautiful and much more peaceful, so if you have already booked, just go there!
Kenya safari we will be back, Kenya beachboys damn you!

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Daphne_Myriam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2011

Our stay was pleasant , the rooms are African style no TV , there is a very nice reception/lounge area where you can relax & watch TV there is also free WI-FI ,but the time we were there we were unable to log on. I traveled with 2 young kids and they loved the entertainment provided by the franco rosso team . The beach is not one of the best as the sea has many weeds , but there is a lovely BIG pool overlooking the beach .
I would go back again..

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank dolcevita_3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ghent
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2010

The hotel is well maintained,built in typical African rooftop style. The staff is generally friendly, especially the waiters and cleaning teams. The rooms are tidy, airy, no television. We stayed in one of the garden suites and our package had complimentary laundry service (great when travelling with teenagers) and a filled mini bar. Key for the safe and towels come with a deposit which is returned (or the credit card slip is torn) upon checking out. The private beach is shielded from the beach boys and is continuously cleaned and guarded. Nice but no so big swimming pool. When we were there (end July) the hotel was hardly filled (maybe 25%), which was for us great. Their high season is August so be prepared for some mass tourism...or avoid it all together. There was already the noisy disturbance of the bar and lobby since the garden rooms don't have any real windows. Around the lobby you can connect to the hotel's wifi (I just asked the reception the wepkey). The food is good although somewhat monotone Italian (80% of the visitors are Italian). We also had the feeling that some of the hotel staff (especially the animators) were more interested in selling their own little business than taking care of the well being of their guests. There is a small fitness in the adjoining spa (African Dream). You can go for a jog on the beach. After a while the beach boys know you and they leave you alone.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank PeterSGhent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Syria
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2009

Just remembered I never wrote a comment after our experience at Tropical beach to warn others. We arrived late evening with a toddler of 2. We booked and reconfirmed room at ground floor. Apparently they over booked and wanted to put us in a room for one night and then we had to move. Or just stay on 1st floor all of our stay. The Italian manager, who only came to see us after one hour, was absolutely rude to us and very customer unfriendly, just told us it was overbooked , not his fault and we had to deal with it. It didn't help that I speak Italian but e didn't know I did. Then after making lots of fuzz, we were 'upgraded' to the hotel next door: Coconut Village. Indeed more stars but not our taste, certain crowd, entertainment and too noisy. This 'nice upgrade' also ment a room next to the parking, that had people passing the whole night. We specially requested and paid for sea view and were in a room at parking looking out at a piece of grass! Next day we moved back to Tropical Beach, finally the room we booked. Hotel was fine, pool nice, rooms less ' boutique design' and spacious as on photoos on Internet, and not really a sea to swim in (weed) or beach to walk barefeet. This shoudl be mentioned in hotelinfo. The food was fine, but had 2 times serious stomach problems the next day (and we live in Syria, so my stomach is used to quite some bugs) . Good thing was, the staff is very friendly and you can use facilities at hotel next door. Manager didn't do anything to make us feel a bit better after initial bad start.
After our trip I complained with Central Planhotel and never heard anything about it. We are expats and travel quite a lot. I will never go to a Planhotel anywhere again, and cannot advise you to do so too if you want to make sure you have a stressless holiday. Of courseI realise things in Kenya are different from Europe, but that;s why I chose an Italian Management hotel! It seems they are just out to make money and pleasing customers is not the managements priority. Pity.
Fam. Muli-van Akkeren, Damascus, Syria

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank hanvana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
122 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 October 2009

We stayed with 3 children, two teenagers Girl 17,Boy 18, and a boy 11, a 2.5 Hr drive from Mombasa , the rooms were fine 3* style, safe 20Euro deposit, aircon, no TV or kettle, very clean, great large beds, no mozies which was great, big net over the beds, bathrooms old but clean, salt water in the showers, towels for the pool 20Euro each deposit, internet room use with vouchers from reception 5 Euro 30min, when you arrive in Kenya buy a Safricom Sim 500KS as the coverage is good and its 3G so full Internet and email on your cell phone for the week. Pool is nice and big, music is bad the DJ plays lots of rap with(--)and lots of(--) not nice to hear, good entertainment at night and the local beer is ok, you cannot walk on the beach as you get hassle from the locals, the local croc & snake park is good fun during feeding 1000KS, the scuba PADI diving is fantastic 85Euro plus 15USD to the Marine Park, the beach volleyball is fun in the late afternoon but sometimes it is taken over by the hotel staff and you cannot get a game, I wondered who was on holidays, food is great and the general staff is also good , they try to make good for everybody, the local village tour is good too.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SACLS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandies Tropical Village

Property: Sandies Tropical Village
Address: Casuarina Road, Malindi 68, Kenya (Formerly Planhotel Tropical Beach Resort)
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Malindi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Malindi
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Malindi
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Malindi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Sandies Tropical Village 4*
Number of rooms: 108
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sandies Tropical Village Hotel Malindi
Planhotel Tropical Beach Hotel
Planhotel Tropical Beach Malindi
Sandies Tropical Village Malindi, Kenya, Africa

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