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“A Fab Experience”

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Turtle Bay Beach Club
Ranked #13 of 26 Hotels in Watamu
Certificate of Excellence
Manchester
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“A Fab Experience”
Reviewed 7 October 2008

Let’s start by saying that we usually go to the Caribbean and dreaded this planned holiday from the moment we booked it.

And now......We don't think that we would ever go back to the Caribbean.

The Staff at the TBBC could not do enough for you, from the cleaner’s to the chef’s, nothing was ever too much trouble, I can honestly say that we have never been looked after as well during a holiday.

The beach boy’s can be a pain when you want to go down onto the reef, however, we found that when you latched on to you they could be really helpful, by guiding you around the rock pools and finding gifts etc at a really good price, we ended up being escorted by Dennis, who was great, and then rest of the beach boys then left us alone. If at any time they get too much, firmly but politely say that you need “me” time and they will back off.

The rooms were very basic, we had the superior beach front and it was a disappointment, for the extra that we paid, but at the end of the day we had fresh towels and bedding every day and the room was spotless, and I suppose for the views it gave us it was worth it.

We took the US dollar, but when we go back next time we will take the Kenyan Shilling (except for the $50 each, required for the visa). It was very confusing for the locals and the people who took the KS got a better deal.

I would defiantly advise people to come here, you won’t be disappointed.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank ellerob14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Value
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English first
Suffolk
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 September 2008

Well what can I say, TBBC lived up to the hype. From flying into Mombasa you just knew this was something different to the exotic places I'd been before like the Maldives, Carribean ,etc.

The 2 hour drive to Watamu is testing after a long flight but interesting. Your cases stacked on top of the rickety semi-modern vehicle. In the end only a few were dropped off at Watamu for some reason.

The Hotel

TBBC is not 5 star but the service more than makes up for it. Let us be clear, Africa is poor and Kenya is in Africa. Alot of people asume Kenya is somehow different but it isn't when you scratch the surface. The waiters and staff are paid very little so please leave some money for tips at the end. Hamish, Peter, Ratibu, William and Arnold, big recognition for being exceptionally helpful and the Fun Base team for keeping people happy (although i was too lazy).

The accomodation is basic (no TV in case you wondered) but you will spend little time in it and it's nice resorting to such basics as, er, reading a book. No bugs or mosquitos in the room the whole holiday!

Food is absolutely excellent. A wide variety of dishes and compared to some AI holidays i've had there was little repetition even over two weeks. There's also an excellent pizza place in-house.

The beach right now was getting calmer but can be rough sometimes and it can get quite windy but it's a nice breeze. There's always the pool if you're that way inclined.

The only downside to the beach is the beach boys can be a bit tiresome as they wait out for you to make your move into the sea. However, don't feel intimidated, they're just trying to make a living and in the end they get the message. My suggestion is treat it like a game, who can outwit the beach boys at their own game. I saw people trading football shirts with them so you could always take some stuff over there. Also mobile phones are a second currency too so take some old spare ones if you have them.

Oh, and the sun loungers are possibly the comfiest you will ever lay on, front or back.

The shows are all of good quality, acrobats, dancers, amongst other things. The disco is ok but is loud so take some ear plugs if you're an early adopter of sleep. It's off at midnight though.

The Safari

Our safari was prei-booked before we went with Abdul from Tunda Tours and yes, it more than lived up to the hype which others have mentioned on this site. Should you not go with Abdul the risk is that you will not get the personal service he offers nor the extras which he seems to offer from knowing everyone at the camps he uses. He's a Liverpool supporter too and so am I so that was good but if you want to talk footy, he'll more than hold his own as all kenyans seems footy mad.

We stayed at Fig tree camp which i cannot imagine being bettered. On an island surrounded by water we took the tent option. In the night we were disturbed by hippos fighting, scary but safe and a great feeling of adventure. ALL electric off at midnight!!

For the safari we had our our own Masai warrior and a vehicle which was comfy and open and we all agreed that we had not seen a better vehicle on the 3 days we were there. Really, do consider the Fig tree camp and try and get William as your masai guide (he's very tall and a chief) and Jonathan as your driver, great and knowledgeable pair.

I don't need to say much about the safari except it's brilliant. But do try and go and visit the Masai Village and experience the way they live, it will for sure extend your memories of this great country.

The internal flights are also something else to behold, our return journey was an adventure in itself!

Watamu Village

We went to the village to meet Abdul to get our tickets (don't worry, he'll pick you up) It's very safe but bustly, do try and experience this. We want to spend more time there next time.

S.P & K Nursery School

I would just like to mention a very special place we went to because we were asked to visit by a local friend Peter we met. In TBBC they have a charity they are promoting which is very succesful and it looks very nice and it would be so good if one day SP&K can reach such levels.

This nursery of about 100 disadvanted children (orphans, single parents who can't afford to keep them and HIV children) has no such funding and sorely needs some help.

What you will see you won't believe, your emotions will be a mixture of happiness which you feel eminating from the children, their smiles radiating at you but also sorrow, that they are all very hungry kids with no-one to care for them other than the volunteers. They keep smiling and they are so well behaved you just need to experience this to gain some true perspective on life in general from this very humbling experience.

The couple we went with at first didn't want to go for they had mixed feelings about how they'd feel which i understood so i went first with my partner. It was a great experience. A few days later we all went and they were so glad they did. We shared breaktime with the children and spoke indepth with the volunteers who are now friends.

We had such a burning desire to help this school we are considering our options to help them make it the place which they deserve. A cow for £250 to make milk for the porridge which only uses water right now and a wall for their dormitry (to seperate boys and girls) for £400 is already happening.

What they need though is real meals. Porridge all day (not our porridge i'll assure you) is just not enough for growing children.

The next step is a charity or fund which we are looking into. This is of course not the only school in need in Africa but compared to some it's in alot of need. Kids in the UK just don't know what they have.

So if you can brave your emotions please try and make a stop at the nursery and offer a donation, it's the only way they can survive and they have no affiliation with any hotel so funding is hard for them as no-one really knows about it. Mama Janet oversees the nursery (and is keeping ten orphans at her home whilst we offer the funds to complete the dormitry) with Daniel, Josephine, Peter and all the other brilliant volunteers/teachers chipping in.

Make it happen for them by visiting and you will be rewarded with a big smile on your face. I named it in my head the sunshine school! If you need any information please let me know as i am in contact with them and they can prepare the children for your visit.

Summary

If you want a walk on the wild side, Kenya is your true home. Doing an activity or just lazing on the beach TBBC has it all as does Kenya in general. There's so much we didn't do and all four of us are going back to do it and meet everyone at TBBC and Fig Tree again. ASAP!!!

Asante Sana

ps. i will upload pics once i re-size them as the images are too large.

  • Liked — The Staff!!!
  • Disliked — Nothing.
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
12 Thank darbuka99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 August 2008

We first stayed at this Hotel in 2003 for our Honeymoon, and returned again in 2006, if anything it has improved. The staff are so friendly, and the service excellent. We were due to travel there again in Jan 2007, but due to the troubles in Kenya we had to go to Cuba instead, what a mistake. Can't wait to get back to Turtle Beach Hotel for the beach, the ocean, and just being made to feel that you are special, and a friend.

  • Liked — The staff
  • Disliked — Nothing to complain about
  • Stayed January 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank James H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2008

This was our first time in Africa and we loved it.... We've been before to spain and Asia but never know that Kenya was search a wonderful place to visit. We choose this hotel because we had read some good reviews and loved the idea of the hotel fun base for kids. We have 3 kids aged 16, 9 and 4 so we knew this was the best place to be and thats what we got a fantastic time.
When you arrive at the hotel they first give you a cold piece towel to wipe your face and a glass of juice which is so cool after driving for 2 hours from the Mombasa airport. The staff were all smiling and happy to check us in and carry your bags to your rooms. The food is superb and lots to choose from, the drinks are inclusive too. We always sat at the pool bar drinking while we watched our kids play at the pool with the fun base crews. Everyting is lively and well organised from the day we got there till we left which was so sad for the kids after making friends with most of the staff.
We also had amazing safari which we booked through the famous Tunda tours and safaris, we also read about Abdul on T.A and e.mailed him inadvance to inquire about safaris to the Masai Mara. We meet him on the afternoon we arrived and he took us around Watamu village and to his office to give us our safari details and air tickets. He's very informative and top man on tours, everyone calls him the Mayor. The safari was well organised and we saw alot of animals including the migration of the wilderbeast, pride of lions, leopard with a kill just 15 mins after we landed at the airstrip and many more..... Am write a full review on our safari on the Siana Springs intrapids and also on www.tundatourssafaris.com
Anyway we real loved everyting on our 2 weeks holiday in Kenya. Turtle bay hotel will also be in our sweet memories of Africa. The staff members like Dennis, Khamish, George of fun base and all the others are the best team of hotel staffs. Hope to see you next year *¤*.'^ thank you very much..,
.

  • Liked — Almost everything
  • Disliked — The bed size
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank LadySue17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hallifax
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 August 2008

I am new to posting on TA but we have just returned from such a magical holiday that I felt compelled to to sing the praises of tbbc. The trouble is where to start. The food is outstanding quality, with hardly any repetition during our fortnights stay. The staff are so obliging and very happy always greeting you with a smile you just can't help but have your spirits raised.
The rooms are a little basic but perfectly adequate (and you shouldnt be flying all the way to Kenya to spend time in your room anyway!). We went on a couple of trips organised by the hotel, Mida Creek and the Falconry & Snake farm. These again proved excellent. The community officer at tbbc also took us to a local school where we distributed pens, pencils and t-shirts again to lots of polite smiling children (this was truly a humbling experience and really brings home how lucky we are in this country).
We also went on safari, which we arranged through Liz & Fredy (a huge thank you to Smudger - a regular poster on here for recommending Fredy he truly is a star).
Anyone reading this and considering going to Kenya and staying at tbbc all I can say is dont dither get it booked you wont regret it, anyone reading this who has stayed there, will know exactly what I am rattling on about.
This was truly the most magnificent of holidays.

  • Liked — Superb staff
  • Disliked — Slightly hard matresses
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank thegreatgardini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Higham Ferrers, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2008

We spent two weeks at TBBC in June for our honeymoon. We'd read all the reviews on TA before booking, and to be honest, it is because of TA that we chose Turtle Bay. We had high expectations and every one of them was lived up to.

The resort wasn't anywhere near full occupancy (due to recent troubles earlier on in the year and the fact that no other british charters were flying out except for Monarch) but that didn't make any difference to our experience. We can't praise the wait staff enough - a big hello to Khamish (hope we spelt it right), Ratibu, Jonathan and Peter and all the others, too many to mention. The fun base team were also brilliant - particularly George and Mambo - we got involved with water aerobics and water polo, great fun.

Whilst in Kenya, we took a two day/one night safari booked with Abdul of Tunda Tours to Tsavo East and stayed at the Voi Safari Lodge. Our guides were brilliant and we saw the most amazing wildlife - far more than we ever expected. I'd definitely recommend Abdul as opposed to tour operators. We found that people who'd booked with a tour operator were going about the park in mini-vans. We went about in a Toyota Landcruiser - it was much more enjoyable and I'm sure we had a much better opportunity at spotting the wildlife than we would have in a mini-van. A big thank you to Abdul for the arrangements - he's also good for changing money with - give's much more favourable rates than the hotel or airport.

Whilst at TBBC, we were upgraded to an Ocean front room, as our first room had a problem with the shower overflowing. Nothing was too much trouble for them, and in the second week, we had a visit from Damian, the General Manager, expressing his sincere apologies for the disruption in moving rooms etc. Moving rooms wasn't a big deal, but it shows how much the staff and management care about the wellbeing and happiness of their guests.

What more can we say, other than we'll be back! Can't wait to see everyone again.

  • Liked — Unbelievably friendly staff
  • Disliked — Nowt!!! Loved it all.
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank gillyvegas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coventry
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2008

We we on our honeymoon and had great expections of the hotel and resort.

The hotel rooms are very, very basic - even though we booked a 'Superior' room with a beach view - save your money and don't bother as it comes at a premium rate !

Food is ok - very varied and freshly cooked.

Staff are very attentive - though it becomes more and more evident that it's to get a tip/get your money - and you can't really blame them for that

  • Liked — Nothing much
  • Disliked — Very basic, smelly bathroom/toilets
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank DavidSunderland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Turtle Bay Beach Club

Property: 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
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Watamu
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Watamu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Turtle Bay Beach Club 3*
Number of rooms: 145
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Also Known As:
Turtle Bay Beach Club Hotel Watamu
Turtle Bay Beach Hotel
Turtle Bay Beach Resort
Turtle Bay Beach Club Kenya/Watamu

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