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“An Excellent Honeymoon”

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Turtle Bay Beach Club
Ranked #13 of 26 Hotels in Watamu
Certificate of Excellence
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
62 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“An Excellent Honeymoon”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2010

We have just returned from our honeymoon at TBBC and we do not regret our decision to stay there one bit.
Firstly when you arrive from Mombasa as most people do (a 2 hour drive) you are greeted by friendly and welcoming security, porter and reception staff. As it was our honeymoon we had garlands thrown around our necks and a picture taken which the hotel will e-mail to friends and family. They also printed and laminated an A4 copy of the picture for us to keep - a nice touch. We were also offered a complimentary 4 course meal in the Blue Turtle a la carte restaurant. The food here was simply amazing. We ate there 3 times and it was so cheap for what you get. It will be a while before I can eat steak or prawns in the UK - as we have been spoilt by this place.

The club room was not luxury, but perfectly comfortable and had a massive bed and a further single bed. Air conditioning was good, as was the ceiling fan. Remember you are in Africa..and the resort is trying to reduce its emissions by 25% - so no TV or radio in room. Who needs TV anyway in a place like this. As a side note the Kenyans are mad on Premier League football - so all the big games were on in Weavers Bar or Canoe Bar through South African satellite. These seemed to be watched more by staff than guests!

The pool areas are very clean and the service from the staff whilst you are relaxing is second to none. Vodka and Tonics overlooking the Indian Ocean - paradise!

The food was superb in all the establishments. We didn't eat a bad meal, Look out for the home-made and cooked in front of you naan breads - simply the best I've eaten!

The beach at this time of year was sea weedy - but still clean and it doesn't smell. In October it is apparently so white that you get burnt to a crisp on the sand. We encountered the infamous beach boys a couple of times - they are not too bad, you just have to be firm if you don't want anything. I recommend a reef walk with a beach boy called Billy - it costs what you like, but we gave about £3.00.

The staff at TBBC really do make this place. I have stayed in numerous 4 and 5 star hotels where the staff are no where near as highly trained or professional than these guys. If you want to chat they will chat, if you just want a drink they will get it for you, any problems they will try and fix it - Hakuna Matata! Everyone from the gardeners to the manager always said hello without fail. The Funbase team are great too - organising Darts, water polo, beach walks etc, but with no obligation to attend.

I can understand some of the comments on here about repeat guests. There were a few staying with us - but on the whole I didn't notice a problem. A few of the older guests do treat the resort as home from home and are a bit over friendly with the staff. I'm not sure it turns into a seaside retirement home out of UK holiday season?? BUT all guests were made to feel special in my eyes. Maybe with the exception of the naughty monkeys who terrorise the hotel in late afternoon - but this was funny to watch! Sitting watching the Weaver birds by the Weavers Bar was also a treat.

Finally - it's not all that well advertised but the hotel does have Wiki access in the public areas.

All in all a fantastic honeymoon and I would certainly hope to return - maybe try and book independently next time though, rather than through Thomson.

I have also written separate reviews for www.tundatourssafaris.com who I recommend for any trips you want to do and http://www.voiwildlifelodge.com/ where we stayed on safari.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank PenistoneJames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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uk
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2010

Just returned from a wonderful holiday at TBBC. My wife and I enjoyed our first trip to Kenya enormously. We had a superb safari at Royal Mara Safari Lodge(separate review), arranged before leaving the UK by Abdul from Tundra Tours who is a local man who gave great service. The whole thing was easy with us not paying any money until Abdul came to the hotel to collect. The Hotel is great, the quiet pool excellent for those who prefer things that way. The seaweed present on the beach at this time of year could be a problem if you let it but it's a marine reserve so you just have to live with it. We went on a snorkelling and Mangrove trip complete with a Lobster lunch, which was great. We booked this with Syria, one of the beach boys who proved to be a mine of good tips and information. The beach boys themselves were not a problem, after the first couple of walks we did with several in tow they left us alone when I explained that we just wanted a stroll together. Khamish, Ratibou and Christine looked after us very well, as did all the staff who where incredibly warm and welcoming. Ist class holiday in 1st class surroundings looked after by 1st class people. If your thinking of going, don't dither, do it. You wont be disappointed.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank dave1812
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wilmslow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 September 2010

Returned 27 August from two weeks at TBBC. It was our first stay (and first tiime in Kenya) and we loved it!
The resort is right on the (private) beach, the facilities are excellent - the food is superb in the various restaurants and, as we went all-inclusive it meant that two VERY hungry teenagerscould get refuelled whenever they want.
The service from all the staff is outstanding - they just can't do enough for you, and yet they are not constantly pestering either - they just seem to be there when you need them. Big thanks to waiters Khamish and Ratibu in this regard - who remembered all our names after the first meeting and were constantly friendly and attentive.
A boat ride to the reef/sandbanks is recommended (the hotel has its own boat - do not book with the beach vendors - insurance is a major issue) - as is a safari. For this we used Julius T (who we came across after many hours internet research (www.julius-safaris.com) - also known as Julius K Nzumbi (beware - there are several "scam" firms trying to cash in on his excellent reputation) and they were also excellent. We visited Tsabo East and West, staying at Ashnil Aruba (excellent) and Kilaguni Lodge (stunning) and were delighted.
The hotel will organise any outing you want - from a Tuk-Tuk to the local village or more adventurous pursuits - deep-sea fishing for example. There is a shop for souvenirs and a bureau de change.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Mortian1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northampton
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 September 2010

OMG - we have just returned from TBBC after a fantastic 14 days, everything said so far about this place is so true, and I don't know why some people groan about it?

The holiday style for the guests, from the outset, is slowly, slowly (pole - pole) - the staff are brilliant no matter how many times you have been before (our 1st visit), they make the place! Always smiling and chatting to you - and be bothered to talk to them too, they are always interested in you, your needs and are keen to help you with your Swahili. From the pool and mattress guys to the chefs everyone has a smile and loves to talk, a special mention thou to Ratibou, Evalynn and Khamish who truly made this stay at Turtle bay the most memorable holiday for a very long time, and yes we will go back.

I was surprised by the amount of seaweed on the beach for this time of year, as previous reports said that July was the worse time. It did not stop us having a good time on the beach thou as you don't have to walk far to find a clear bit of sand. Yes, there are boys on the beach that want to talk to you and try to sell you keyrings, bracelets and wall plaques to remind you of the trip to Kenya, they are not pushy but the conversation will come round to you buying something in the end - but if your not interested, tell them! They still talk and befriend you - don't be worried by them - they are good people and trying to make a living.............you can get some fantastic bargains by 'negotiating' a price for hand made leather sandals, flip-flops, bracelets, personalised keyrings and bright coloured sarongs etc. They can also guide you to some of the best ' up close' wildlife on the reef including octopus, moray eels, puffer fish and an array of crabs, coral, fish and urchins......recommend Henry, Rooney, Christopher, Dennis, Mr Small, Peter and Sammy as some of the most knowledgeable guys around TBBC.

Of course the reason for being in Africa was to do a Safari.........I had organised this trip for all (11) of us before leaving the UK. I had been recommended to contact Raymond Kingi, who also features here on Trip Advisor from other guests at TBBC. Check out his website at kingisafaris.com.

Raymond had given us very good price for a 2 day safari to Tsavo East with an overnight stay at Voi wildlife lodge. Well the guy certainly delivered a fantastic experience, we saw loads of animals but unfortunately missed out on the rhino...............but they are very scarce in the east park......but seeing cheetahs, giraffe, elephants, lions, hippos, crocodiles, baboons, gazelles, vultures, and many other species made up for the missing rhino! Only downside to the safari is the long drive on the relentless dusty bumpy road from Malindi to the national park, but every vehicle going on safari has to travel that road!!! But there is still lots to see and experience on the way.

Prior to the safari Raymond also organised a glass bottomed boat trip to Mida creek which included a cruise thru the mangroves and water ways seeing the birdlife, especially the flamingos and village life around the waterways, then a stopover at a small island, for lunch, this was geared up for a barbeque and canoe trips into the mangroves, the barbie was brilliant and the seafood platter of lobster, prawns, king fish, rice and shrimps was cooked to perfection along with coke, beer and bottled water it was a truly brilliant meal. As always the captured audiences had a selection of traders to haggle with, but again there is never any pressure to buy! Enjoy the bush toilet thou ladies!!!
After the lunch break it was out to sea and the coral garden for a few hours snorkelling and swimming - awesome! the boat then drops you off on the beach at TBBC, this trip cost 35 GBP, for a long days (0930-1700) excursion, 15 GBP from that price is the compulsory fee for entry to the marine park!!? Considering how much food and soft drinks there was it is excellent value! Do It!

This has been one of the best holidays we have had for a long time and I thoroughly recommend a visit to Turtle Bay Beach club, yes it's not the most luxurious hotels you will stay in but the atmosphere, staff and food will really make you want to return to this place time and again like so many people do already. Oh and incidentally, we never witnessed any favouritism towards repeat guests by the staff. I definately suggest anyone going to the hotel to try the Blue turtle restaurant for a special treat, you will have to pay thou..........a tenner! Great value, great food.
Also the pizzeria is worth a try, small menu but good quality.

Will we go back?.............................................definately. I can see now why this resort has won the Trip Advisor award for 2010

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jambo_Friends_Family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wales
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 September 2010

Myself and my new wife arrived at Turtle Bay on 8th August this year for our honeymoon. We had never visited Kenya before, but I had selected the country and Turtle Bay in particular following some painstaking research - and we were not disappointed with either!

The ride from the airport was a cultural learning point for us both, as you see the way the Kenyan's live life. We arrived at the hotel approx two and a half hours later.

We were greeted with cold juice and face towels and had our honeymooner's picture taken. We stayed in an upgraded lamu room, with a view of the adults pool and the beach. The room was lovely and more than met our requirements for a 2 week stay.

As has been said before on Tripadvisor, it really is the staff that make Turtle Bay the special place that it is. We made many friends, each of who wanted to make our stay perfect.

Food was constantly excellent and as a huge curry lover, I was overjoyed to see many different curries frequently on the menu, often accompanied by home-made naan bread. Besides the curry though, we always found a great variety of good food.

As it was our honeymoon, I had previously arranged a safari through Julius K. Nzumbi of JT Safaris (that is Julius Tact Safaris). I specify this, as Julius has a fantastic reputation that is often taken advantage of. If you are going to book a safari and want to use JT Safaris, please ensure it is THE JT Safaris (www.julius-safaris.com).
We visited Tsavo East and West and stayed at Aruba Ashnil and Kilaguni Serena respectively. Our safari was certainly the highlight of our honeymoon and when we return to Kenya, we will certainly contact Julius. Next time we plan to do Amboseli and Masai Mara.

Back to the hotel. . . the grounds are stunning! We split our days between relaxing on the beach and relaxing by the adults pool - such a tough choice! We often started our evenings by having a quiet drink in the Weaver's Nest bar, listening to the birds twittering away. This was the perfect way to start our evening.

We didn't get involved in many activities, as we were on our honeymoon and fancied relaxing, but there always seemed plenty to do and the activities team always respected our wishes. Entertainment was good too, with plenty of variation on offer.

The beach was lovely, though there is a lot of seaweed present during August. I understand that this cannot be cleared from the beach for conservation reasons. There are beach boys present and of course they want you to purchase something from them, but we didn't get hassle from them and found them all to be very friendly, if not slightly intimidating at first.

All in all, we had a fantastic honeymoon at Turtle Bay and my painstaking research paid off. It is a destination and hotel that we would certainly recommend and we will certainly visit again in the not too distant future.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank Bidmj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cheshire
Level Contributor
177 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 September 2010

The main aspect that stands out for this hotel is the staff. They were all very friendly and service was brilliant. Food was of a good quality mainly freshly cooked, with fresh fruits, stirfrys, steak etc and pastas. The italian restaurant was a little disappointing and the a la carte wasn't quite as good as it could have been although the service was good.
Our eldest,17, thoroughly enjoyed the sporting activities held throughout the day.
The main disappointment was the beach which was covered with seaweed over a foot deep. The beach looks amazing in photos on here but be warned it may not live up to expectations in our summer!
Don't be put off by the beach boys, you can learn alot from them, book a trip or two, go for walks on the beach to look at the rock pools and go across to their local village. One of them climbed up a tree to pick fresh coconuts for us. All you need to give them is a little bit of money, but leave toilietries and any clothes you don't want with them. Our children learnt so much from them and also from seeing how they live.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank merlin1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 September 2010

I found this hotel great, the staff couldnt do enough for you very friendly. I found they had some good entertainment, it was totally all inclusive. The food was ok but sometimes wasnt much choice. The beach front room we had was directly on the beach the only problem with the beach was the amount of seaweed and the beachsellers all started walking towards you as soon as you stepped on the beach. I cant wait to go back sometime.

  • Stayed August 2010
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Africajambo
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 Family Hotel in Watamu
#8 Romantic 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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