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.

“great for "regulars" not so good for first timers”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Turtle Bay Beach Club
Ranked #14 of 26 Hotels in Watamu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 February 2012

We have just returned form a weeks stay at turtle bay in watamu, our first time there, ( but not our first time in Kenya).
The hotel is lovely, and the beach is gorgeous and we can quite see why people return again and again, but therein lies the problem. The hotel seems to have been totally taken over by "regulars". Although there was no table allocation in the all inclusive restaurant, on the first morning we were moved 3 times ( with a plate of food in one hand and a coffee in the other) before being allowed to sit at a table not "always used by regulars". The same story extended to the sun loungers, with every single lounger in a decent position used every single day for all our stay by the same "regulars" or family of "regulars". Also all the little tables for use at the side of the sunbeds being in possesion of these people, some having up to 3, whilst we never had one and had to place our drinks and food on the floor. ( we did actually overhear one couple say to another " we saw someone looking at YOUR sunbeds so we quickly ran over and put some of our stuff on til you came", we also observed 2 sunbeds with a parosol and table ( something we never managed to use) being reserved for over 4 hours with no- one using them and 3 hours later, still no-one had used them all day. Also the "glares" when trying to use the pool in the over 18s area was awful and although we tried not to take any notice it did spoil the swim and we gave up trying in the end. In the evening all the best placed dining tables around the pool had a "reserved" sign on, although there was no booking system in place ?? Very much a, you can have use of something only if we dont want it situation all round and all across the board.
The advertising for the hotel states that there is a snack bar, and hot tub ????? WHERE ?????? we never found either and we did ask staff who didnt seem to know either.
Also its stated that the hotel is NO SMOKING in all public and private areas. Smoking was taking place all around the pool , on the sun loungers, at the white plastic tables set aside for food around the pool, and in the entertainment area ???
The beach was lovely, all we hoped for, but sadly due to the persistence of the "beach boys" who latched on the minute you put foot on the beach and wouldnt leave your side til you left the beach, a quiet walk with your partner to relax etc was quite out of the question. How we would have loved to peaceful enjoy the view the rock pools and the marine life ( which was the main reason for our booking ) but sadly it wasnt to be, ever.
The hotel was clean, although we did find the staff rodding drains right at the side of the dining tables a little "off putting" , and most of the staff helpful and friendly.
The manager and his staff where great and its a super hotel and location but we will never ever return.

Room Tip: if you are a "regular" i am sure your room will be good, beach view etc, but a first timer...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank chrisbridlington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (926)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

565 - 571 of 926 reviews

Reviewed 31 January 2012

If anyone had said after our first visit in 1997, we'd still be coming back every January without a break in 2012, I'd have laughed my socks off. But here we are, just back from another terrific stay here. There's no one reason we keep coming back : The staff, from management down to gardeners and cleaners, do all they can to make sure you have the best stay possible. From the moment you arrive and are greeted with cool fruit juice and refreshing towels, you start to slide into the relaxing life that is TBBC. And start to recover from the overnight flight and the two hour road trip from Mombasa.
We stay in the Lamu rooms, which are a bit tired but are comfy and quieter, most with a view of the lovely quiet pool.

The setting is exceptional - all the lovely white sand, one of the top ten tropical beaches in the world, blue blue sea. Everything is wonderfully maintained and kept spotlessly clean. Food is buffet style and there's plenty of choices, lots of fresh salads and fruit too. The pizzeria is included in the AI deal and is worth a visit. The Blue Turtle a la carte is excellent value for money too (not in AI but worth the extra). The service you get from Silas is just fab.

I know we repeaters come in for stick in reviews on here but I honestly don't agree that repeat guests get better treatment from staff than newbies do. The large number of repeaters especially in January does mean that nearly everyone knows everyone else and I could see some people may feel uncomfortable about this but, hey, we all had to be first-timers some time. Doing the beach walks in the morning is a great way of getting to know people.
Entertainment in the evenings is fairly low key - dancers and acrobats (amazing acrobats!), live bands and disco some evenings. But this is a holiday for the laid back really. There are loads of bars in the village if you want something more lively - staff will be happy to show you where they are!

The massages from Patience or Pauline are good value and you can have a mani and pedi too for more pampering.

Do try get out and about - Watamu is a great little village - a bike ride away if you're energetic (free from the hotel), or get reception to call you a tuktuk for an easier way of getting around. The deck at Ocean Sports along the beach is a fab place for a drink especially in the later afternoon when all the game fishing boats are coming back in.
TBBC is very community minded and supports many local charities - visit the Community Office to find out more - they'll happily arrange visits too.
There is wifi which you can get in the public areas and in most rooms too I think. Very useful but a bit pricey!

Hope I've covered everything about Turtle Bay but if you want to know more, just ask

Room Tip: Lamu rooms are quieter
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank hellibear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2012

There are a lot of reviews about the hotel and its rooms etc so I would appreciate the chance to throw light on some other aspects of this excellent holiday destination.
This hotel is deservedly popular, the management and staff work really hard to please everyone and keep standards high. They are often winning awards for eco, green credentials, customer satisfaction etc. What's more the staff are treated very well and the whole community benefits a lot, there is even a Community Officer and desk for holiday makers who want to visit or donate to worthy causes...check out the hotels website for more info about excellent local projects and initiatives. Within the hotel there is an ongoing programme to improve facilities and amenities yet keep the special atmosphere. I love the fact there are no TV's or gadgetry in rooms. I go on holiday to get away from all that.
We will be classed as dreaded! repeaters but most repeaters are not demanding and the loyalty demonstrated by repeaters has kept the hotel going through some of the tough times eg election troubles and tsunami scares that saw many other hotels close.
We usually travel independently so will typically fly into Nairobi, spend the first night or two at the brilliant Fairview Hotel, and see how the rescued babies fare at New Life Homes Trust, dropping off useful items for them and spending a privileged hour or two cuddling the babies or playing with the toddlers. We get an internal flight to Malindi and then the TBBC hotel collects us from the airport.
Over the years following an impromptu visit to a local church one Sunday morning we have got involved with several local projects and it is very rewarding to see the lives of others slowly improving year on year. This has the potential to be much more than a lovely holiday.

Room Tip: No lifts so a bit of a climb in main black super club rooms. Helps keep you fit though!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Fiona M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2012

Arrived after long journey- not the greatest route- Heathrow to nairobi then internal flight to mombasa then 2 and half hour drive...found out possible to fly from nairobi to malindi airport but there are wieght restrictions on luggage.
To be honest I was a little underwhelmed at first on arrival but this soon evaporated- remember this is Kenya not the Maldives and comparing it to Usa again unrealistic.
What i soon realised is what Turtle bay does is do things right...The aircon works- the showers are hot all day- the staff are wonderful- the toilets are spotless- the pools are kept clean and are beautifully maintained- the food has choice and variety- it keeps coming- the pool drinks service is every 20 mins almost- plenty of sunbeds the beach is just the best we have been on - miles to walk and clear warm sea to swim in.
Location ideal for some of the best fishing in the world.
Any minor room problems were fixed that day and promptly.
We were lucky to get a second floor beach front room- i gather there are only 5-6 of these available so if you can secure one then do so the view of the beach and sea was first class- listening to the waves crash sent us of to sleep every night. A fridge was a bonus but to be honest all we kept in it was some milk for a morning cuppa!
Entertainment was good and the new years eve party was just spectacular- lobsters galore and sparkling wine in buckets- just a fabulous evening which ended up with a great beach party.
We made some wonderful new friends and Turtle bay was just that- a big friendly place.
We didnt particularly enjoy the restaurant meal in the a la carte but many people thought it was wonderful.
All in all probably one of our best holidays ever. A warm mention to Abdul of Tunde Tours in Watamu. I booked online with him in august when planning my holiday. He wanted no money up front and met us in reception 6-7 days bfore we were due to go. We booked the Royal mara lodge which was just spectacular...see my other review for all the details. Abdul was great all the way along- he personally escorted us to the barclays bank in malindi , town nearby so we could pay him. He then treated us to a tour including a nature park where we were looked after like vips. he also took us to and from the airport and booked us through security to the plane. Whatever he promised he delivered and i can highly recommend his services.araxman17@yahoo.com is his email address.
Also I want to mention staff at turtle bay - namely Wendo at the bar- looked after me so well particulalry with his hot toddies when I had a bad chest for a week. Hrareth at the quiet pool and Samson at the pizza restaurant.
We will definitely be back and hopefully with the rest of my family.

Room Tip: beachfront second floor but limited- otherwise lamu room near to quiet pool
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank davemullins2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2012

My first visit to this hotel was in October 2009. Having visited Kenya several times previously this was my first visit to this part. The staff were friendly, remembered all repeat visitors and went out of their way to ensure that your experience was a pleasant one.

I returned again last year and was happy to see that nothing had changed. Yes, I was remembered and was made very welcome. It was like returning home after a long time away.

The food is excellent, drink plentiful and service second to none. Will I return - YES most definitely.

Room Tip: Lamu rooms are quieter than the club rooms (which can be a little on the noisy side if you like to g...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Nuttytartz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2012

Big big problem - only had 1 week at turtle bay should have done 2 :-)

Just back from a fabulous week at Turtle Bay. Staff are great, location is great, food was great. I can have sensitive guts on hols but not here. (Just avoid tap water at all costs)
I love the area the culture and the experiences available in this area/hotel. I have stayed in many places around the world and this place really does it for me. We were lucky finding here 9 years ago, it was that good we have talked of coming back ever since. 9 years later it was once again everything we wanted on hols. Beautiful relaxing beach holiday with lots to see and do when required. Its was also good to see alot of familar faces still working there. Simply a happy place full of happy people and i cannot recommend this holiday enough. I will def not leave it so long before my next visit and i will def do 2 weeks in future as when we were leaving and friends we met were just heading for a 3day safari followed by a few more days at the hotel I felt sick sick sick.
Keep up the good work and hopefully see you soon

Top tips - get cash from cash machine near hotel or airport in Mombassa best rate this way, consider your options for tours and safaris and support the people

Room Tip: if you go to bed early consider a Lamu room as much quieter. Hotel is quiet by 12 so its not too lat...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Honesttraveller50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2012

We have been fortunate to visit this hotel many times and have never been disappointed. We usually travel as a family including a Grandpa of 70 something and the youngest being 12 years old with ages in between - there is something for all of us at this wonderful establishment. The staff are friendly and efficient and appear to remember all repeaters. Every-time we plan a trip we consider trying something different, but the outcome is always the same - if it is not broken , why try and fix it !! We will be back in March 2012. This hotel does not pretend to be something it is not and what is does do, it does well. We much prefer the Lamu rooms to the club rooms as we like to go to bed fairly early and the disco noise can be irritating in certain locations of the hotel. We love the private beach, dive centre and the adult pool. My 12 year old did the sailing course and can now use the little catamarans for free as he has a 'licence'. Kids of all ages enjoy the pedaloes and kayaks - fun to go out to the sand bar at low tide. There are some lovely coral heads a short swim from the hotel - not anywhere near as good as the Marine Park but very easy to venture out to at the right tidal period.

Room Tip: Lamu Rooms for peace and tranquility
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank LinzTNairobi_Kenya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Watamu hotels
2.9 mi away
Mawe Resort
Mawe Resort
#4 of 26 in Watamu
282 reviews
0.2 mi away
Ocean Sports Resort
Ocean Sports Resort
#16 of 26 in Watamu
197 reviews
3.4 mi away
The Charming Lonno Lodge
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
1.8 mi away
Crystal Bay Resort
Crystal Bay Resort
#5 of 26 in Watamu
810 reviews
2.4 mi away
Garoda Resort
Garoda Resort
#6 of 26 in Watamu
1,178 reviews
0.1 mi away
Medina Palms
Medina Palms
#2 of 26 in Watamu
345 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Turtle Bay Beach Club? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Turtle Bay Beach Club

Address: PO Box 10, Watamu, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Watamu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Romantic Hotel in Watamu
#8 Family Hotel in Watamu
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Watamu
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Watamu
Price Range: £111 - £285 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Turtle Bay Beach Club 3*
Number of rooms: 145
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Jovago.com, Booking.com, Expedia, TripOnline SA, Hotels.com, HotelsClick and Ebookers so you can book your Turtle Bay Beach Club reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Turtle Bay Beach Club Hotel Watamu
Turtle Bay Beach Hotel
Turtle Bay Beach Resort
Turtle Bay Beach Club Kenya/Watamu

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing