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“Nice”

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Turtle Bay Beach Club
Ranked #13 of 26 Hotels in Watamu
Certificate of Excellence
Ottawa, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Nice”
Reviewed 11 January 2010

We had a pleasant time at this hotel and it was very relaxing. The beach is good but there are sometimes several hawkers between you and the water that you have to work your way through. The beach is nice, beer cold, and the food generous but a little variety would be nice (they seem to have a set, rotating menu). The dive shop is professional and the Kenyan staff/instructors were of special note as they were patient, friendly, and helpful; especially with the new and infrequent divers w/some experience. There were a lot of very experienced divers there during our stay; which is a good sign. The gentleman in charge of the Dive Center is extremely easy and pleasant to deal with. A nice place for a family with young children, and the staff was always responsive, but it would be great if the jewelry shop were open more often. Thanks for the good family vacation.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tunis1addis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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cornwall
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviewed 29 November 2009

I can't really add much to the other reviews who praise the hotel because they have pretty much said it all. We had two young children with us and we were quite worried about the mosquitos but the hotel has brilliant mossie nets that encase all the beds together and you can ask for your room to be sprayed each evening. None of us were bitten at all. The staff are amazing and seem really happy there, especially the funbase team who were enthusiastic but not pushy. The guys on the beach do jump on you straight away but if you give them a bit of time, talk to them and go and see the eels they will leave you alone. They also really appriciate anything that you are not taking home with you ie. shampoo, clothes etc. The best bit is the pool - amazing!!!

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank kennallvale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dorset, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
26 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2009

I have thought long and hard before writing this review because I cannot give it the 5 star review that I was hoping, so I will get the negatives out of the way.
The restaurant, it needs a Maitre d' for consistence. it is expected to be shown to a table and a designated drinks waiter to look after your needs. On several occasion's we had to go to the bar area ( no big deal!! ) and place an order only to return to our table and have 4 waiters descend on us for our order. Also it is nice to build a rapport with one individual.
Rooms, we stayed in the Lamu's overlooking the new pool, yes I had done my homework and knew the rooms were basic but....
the bathroom was in a very poor state in need of a complete revamp. Dirty tiles and grout, and the towels have seen better days.
The main area was seemly clean until you happened to move something i.e. the small bedside table to access a power point, very dirty behind the table. Also a curtain across the wardrobe space would have been nice, and two chairs in the room please!!
The air con, very efficient, however.. no remote control, so if you leave it on at night you are awake in the early hours absolutely freezing, there is a ceiling fan but we found this to noisy.
Reception staff on the whole, very helpful apart from one ( lady ) who was very rude indeed. Very unusual for this part of the world.
O.K that's all the negatives out of the way.
The grounds were very well kept.
Both pools were of a very high standard. Although there were no sunshades at the new pool.
It was lovely to be able to use the beach area, as the beach boys are not allowed in this area. The attendants we always available to move the beds and to supply the mattresses.
Beach boys were of little problem to us, yes they do try it on but a simple no thanks worked well, totally different from the Voyager where we stayed last year.
The food was fantastic in all three restaurants lots of variety in the buffet and all of a very high standard. Well done to all the chefs. Pancakes were excellent at 4pm. There is a snack menu as well which is not widely advertised.
Entertainment was as you would expect, if it is not your scene the bar in reception is a good alternative.
The beach was not at its best with lots of weed most days which also meant the sea although beautifully warm was not very clear. No fault of the hotel.
A short walk to the left of the hotel past Hemingway's brought you to the Ocean Sports hotel where you can watch this fishing boats come in with their catch as we did on the days when our men folk went out to play. Very reasonable for a couple of tuskers and a very nice setting. Oh yes, the boys were very pleased with their catch as well including a very nice Sailfish.
We did a safari with Abdul and stayed at the Royal Mara,separate review, wonderful, both Abdul and the safari cannot recommend either highly enough.
To sum up, I am sorry if I have offended anyone as the reviews for Turtle Bay are in the most part 5 star and yes I will return mainly for the men and their fishing and the location of the hotel. I know it is a third world country and know the hotel has only a three star ratting but not a three star cost and should be prices accordingly.
With just a few adjustments it could be THE place to be.
In no way would I deter anyone from staying here this is my ( & family ) opinion and everyone has a different expectations.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank dorsetjane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2009

The best thing about this hotel is its wonderful situation, right on a stretch of excellent beach and a short boat ride from fabulous reef snorkelling. The hotel also runs really good snorkel safaris, organised by a very knowledgable marine biologist. But otherwise, it's pretty average. It's dominated by the Thomsons package tour crowds, so there are too many replica football shirts round the pool, the food is very English, and it is impossible to rid yourself of the faint whiff of lager lout in the background. Probably as a result of having to deal with a clientele which seems uninterested in the local culture, preferring to drink and turn red on the sun-loungers, the staff seem rather battle-weary compared to anywhere else I have been in Kenya. I won't be going back.

  • Stayed August 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank LondonScreenName
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cannock
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2009

What can I say about TBBC, as a solo traveller I was very nervous, but from the moment I arrived I was put at ease. The staff are all brilliant,everyone greeting you with a smile and Jambo. The rooms are spacious, food plentiful and varied, had to go on a diet when I got home.I met quite a few repeaters and I can fully understand why they keep returning here. I booked my safari with Abdul from Tundra tours and he is a fantastic man who treats you like royalty, a lot cheaper than booking with your rep.One day I hope to return to this paradise.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank vingirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Yorkshire
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 October 2009

Well what can we say about TBBC that hasnt already been said!

From the moment we arrived we were treated in an excellent manner. The staff here are the most friendliest we have ever encounted. They all make time in their day to stop and have a chat and ask you what you have planned for the day etc and always remember your name. The food choice was very good with a mixture of western and african cuisine to try. Inbetween breakfast, lunch, dinner there was pancake time! this is when the chef makes delicious pancakes just to see you from lunchtime to dinnertime (not that you needed it, but the smell was too tempting) and then snacks are served after dinner and throughout the day if requested-be warned you WILL need to go on a diet when you get home!
We had read about the beachboys before we arrived and i must admit that for the first two\three days was very upset at not being able to casually go on the beach as i would have liked and felt a bit "trapped" as each time when stepped foot on the beach would be swamped for them trying to get us to book a safari/boattrip/snokelling/windsurfing/scuba diving/mountain hiking\polar bear tracking/drystone walling/flight to the moon.......etc etc and so was planning on putting on my review what a terrible time we had with the beach. HOWEVER things started to change as i took courage to say No thanks, and that we really were not interested in the above -i even gave one a lecture on how we bristish dont like this kind of "selling" and they seemed to back off. If you remain polite but firm you will be able to walk on the beach without hassle and actually by the end of the holiday i was powering down the beach looking for a certain two boys we met to arrange beachwalks, rock pool walks etc (i never thought that would have happened at the beginning) So dont worry about them too much, it does get better with practice and may i recommend JACKSON and DICKSON who are two of the beachboys who are very good at showing you the coral and its pools and all the fantastic seacreatures you would never have spotted without them. They showed us Moray Eels, pufferfish, starfish, seacucumber, urchins (plus the ones to look out for that are the nasty type). They walked with us on the beach showing us all the interesting sights and facts about the area, they were even good enough to take us to their local village and see the school where the children sang to us. They showed us the living conditions the villages have and it was a real privilage to see this, plus its nice to get out of the confines of the hotel once in a while. We took bikes down to the creek on the main road. Dont be frightened to do this as the locals are really friendly and shout Jambo! and wave and all the children love to wave to you aswell. So i can fully recommend Jackson and Dickson as they are sweet boys who arent pushy and love hearing about the UK. Im in contact with them now we are home so if you need anymore information on them please PM me.
We booked a Safari through Abdul of Tunda Tours, again what more can be said of Abdul that hasnt already been said..... He did everything he promised to do. He phoned me before we left UK and he emailed me several times to put me at ease. We paid nothing til we got to the hotel and he came to meet us in reception on our first night. Then two days later we has a transfer bus come to pick us up and take us to Malindi airport and we arrived safely in the Masi Mara just a couple of hours later. Please see my separate report of Governors Camp. So please rest assured that Abdul is as good as his reviews have already stated.
Everything about the hotel is relaxed and friendly. The night entertainment is a little basic but i think thats what this type of hotel is about. Its mainly African styles of dance for about an hour each night. There are sometimes acrobats or church choirs performing, its all quite laid back.
We had a lamu room overlooking the adult pool. This was a quiet area to be in at night and lovely as we could hear the ocean from our bed.
These are a few tips i think might be of use.
Make sure you take money and not credit cards as they are not widely accepted
Be prepared to leave your left over soaps\razors\etc as they are so welcomed by the members of staff as these products are so expensive over there
Its true about taking socks\pencils\tshirts\clothing anything really as these are all a godsend to the staff or like we did and gave to our two beachboys. You can even trade with these items on the stalls on the beach for goods.
If you have the money book a safari, ours was the best thing ive ever spent money on!
Get out of the hotel and see whats there, dont just stay in the confines as thats such a waste of valuable time.
Barter for best prices, they always go in high, try and start at half the original price.
Remember to take a little bit extra for tipping. You dont have to do this but the staff are so very thankful for any extra help you can give them. (dont forget catering staff too)
Our time at TBBC has been really fantastic, i cannot say how great everything was especially as its only a 3 star.
Hello to Khamish, Sleepy, Ratibou, William and Festus, you are the best!!
If you are wondering whether to book this holiday, then i would say get it booked you wont regret it. Im so sad to be back in blighty, well maybe next year.........!!
Well done to all at Turtle Bay. Annie and Dave.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank anniebeebee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bedford, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 October 2009

Arrived at TBBC to warm wet flannels & a refreshing drink - this was very much appreciated after been on a bus for 2 hours.
Check in was quick & very relaxed - no queing, filled out forms & had wrist bands fitted whilst sitting relaxing with drink.
Shown to room - had Lamu room overlooking the new adult only pool.
Rooms could do with updating - especially the bathroom, but don't worry you are not in there for long! I understand that the rooms are gradually been refurbished. Bonus of tea & coffee making facilities provided - not every hotel has these. Flask of drinking water provided every day for cleaning teeth but this you can refill yourself from various water stations. System actually works very well as at first I was a bit concerned that there was no fridge. Large safe included in price. Large balcony to sit out on especially first thing in the morning with a coffee watching & listening to the ocean. Air con unit & overhead ceiling fan.
Lovely well kept grounds - some areas the monkeys roam around. Pond area around the Pizzeria nice & quiet where you can sit with a drink & watch the weaver birds & bats - but be careful of mossies especially at night.
Spent most days on the beach as there was a nice breeze keeping you cool. Drink service during the day was very welcoming & efficient.
Pool towels & mattreses provided.
The minute you step off the hotel beach onto the public area you will be approached by the beach boys - some people can find this a bit intimidating but we found them most helpful & interesting to talk to. Go with them to the rock pools at low tide, take sausage to feed the eels. They will show you all sorts of aquatic life which we would never have spotted ourself. For just over an hour we gave them 200 ksh for showing us around the pools. After that when ever we went on the beach they would come & talk but where never really any hassle.
At low tide take a canoe over to the turtle rock - clear area of water in which to swim. Walk around the rock & see loads of crabs.
The food was very good but not a vast array as previous hotels however you did not go hungry. Nice to be able to sit after your meal with a cappucino.
Evening entertainment was a bit hit & miss, but the usual for hotels.
The Fun Base Crew where brilliant & although we didn't join in with everything they came to see you every morning & always remembered our names. Walk with them every morning at 10 along the beach - exercise much needed. Every Saturday you can also walk with them into the village & the Creek - take some sweets for the children. Daily water aroebics, darts, table tennis, beach games, water polo, beach volleyball. Points awarded for taking part in these activities which can be exchanged for items in the shop. However you can also donate your points to be used for the school children which we did.
The one thing which made this hotel for us were the staff. No where have we been were the staff have been so friendly & genuine. Excellent service from everyone - not just the waiting staff but pool boys, security, room boys & front of house.
Damien the manager - lovely chap who we met on our 2nd day, runs a very well organised hotel - long may it last!
Whilst at TBBC we did a 4 day safari which we organised with Glorious Safaris prior to leaving the UK - excellent. See my seperate review.
Hi to Christine & Graham, Tricia & Dick, Louisa & Dean (the honeymoon couple who taught the funbase team a new dance).
Would I go back - hopefully one day. Try TBBC - you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Tiger8MiddleEngland
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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