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“nice place away from hussles” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Diani Banda

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Diani Banda
Ranked #11 of 21 Diani Beach B&B and Inns
Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
1 review
“nice place away from hussles”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 October 2013

quiet place with friendly staff, would recommend for a family on a budget especiallly if you want to be away from the hustles and bustles of the city. walking distance from the white beaches of Diani, actually you can change from the room and walk to the beach. try it out.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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Thank nyokabi2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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14 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    4
    8
    1
    1
    0
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Kampala, Uganda
Level Contributor
30 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 January 2013

Based on the reviews and the pictures on the website I am afraid we expected a bit more from Diani Banda, especially after excellent stays in Voi and Tiwi Beach the days before, at places which were just marginally more expensive than Diani Banda.

Let's start with the positives though:

The location near the beach is pretty good, it's just a short walk to the beach, although we ended up taking the car to other locations as we didn't really like the beach area around the beach entrance that much (many beach boys, no secluded areas). The staff is also quite friendly and are trying to help. Upon entering we immediately noticed the close proximity to two camp sites, so we expected a lot of noise, but fortunately it was very quiet at night (and we stayed during the busiest period of the year - Christmas).

But, unlike Tiwi, Diani Beach has plenty of beach boys, which especially linger around the beach entrance nearest to Diani Banda. Also the dark alleyway leading up to entrance doesn't feel very pleasant at night. One night there were some rasta's hanging around the compound (both inside and outside) smoking weed, not that I mind that that much, but I can imagine that for visiting families this is an absolute show stopper. It was also a bit disconcerting that the askari (guard) was nowhere to be found.

Furthermore, and we really don't complain that much and are used to things (have a look at my other reviews) but the bedding in our room was absolutely awful with a very thin and soft mattress, even adding some mattresses from the sunbeds outside so we didn't have to feel the wooden structure of the bed anymore, didn't really help so we didn't get much relaxed sleep during the 6 nights we spent here (pre-booked and pre-paid everything, otherwise we would have moved elsewhere). The fan on the ceiling is located a few metres away from the bed, so we had to move the bed around first in order to get any benefit from it in the hot & humid beach climate. This left little room to walk around, but at least we now got some use out of the fan. The kitchen is OK, but could do with more utensils (come on, just 2 glasses, 2 plates, really? Spend an additional 3000 KSH on the outfitting and everything should be OK). An extra table in the kitchen would be useful as well, as now there is no room to prepare anything as all the room in the kitchen is taken up by the cooker. The bathroom doesn't have any hot water. That actually isn't much of a problem because of the climate, but it seems there actually is supposed to be hot water, it just doesn't work. The fridge is OK but very small, so don't stock up too much otherwise you can throw it away because of lack of refrigeration.

The garden could do with some spicing up, there was a lot of rubble from some ongoing construction work, and it was just very bare. So, even though we had a small veranda, it wasn't very inviting to sit there, as there wasn't much of a view, it's more a patch of uneven grass, fencing and some flowers here and there. There are some nice big trees though, and one day it was filled with colobus monkeys which was a splendid sight, that I have to admit.

Second to last point, I am not sure about Kenya, but in Uganda a 'Banda' is a stand-alone cottage-type building, however, at Diani Banda there are no bandas at all, rather, you stay in a room which are all located in one house. The architecture inside is by the way quite nice, there definitely is a Swahili atmosphere there, but because so many other things are not really up to standard that goes a bit past the casual observer I am afraid. Maybe this name was chosen for Marketing purposes, but it is very misleading, one might expect a nice beach cottage upon hearing this name - this is very far from it. But, maybe in Kenya a 'Banda' means something different...

Price wise I have to admit that, even with Christmas, the rates are relatively affordable (compared to other accommodation in otherwise expensive & overpriced Diani), but still in other areas of East Africa you just get so much more for this price. If the owners could just put in some decent beds, adapt the kitchen and make an effort in landscaping the garden, then I think this could be a nice little gem, right now it just isn't there yet. Also, don't get me wrong, if you are on a budget, this is an OK base from where you can explore the Diani area, but just don't expect a nice and homely place to spend your holiday, you are really forced to go look for that elsewhere.

Room Tip: The 2 rooms upstairs have a lot more (shared) space to sit outside than the 3 rooms downstairs, and...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank VincentUG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oswiecim, Poland
Level Contributor
24 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 January 2013

We stayed 2 nights at this place and it was very comfortable. Staff is nice and friendly, room was clean and quiet with small kitchen so it was possible to prepare breakfast or lunch on our own. Good location - near the beach ( not crowded ), near the supermarket.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank krotasia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
Level Contributor
44 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 October 2009

I stayed at Diani Banda after arriving at Stilts and not liking the look of it. My sister and I went to a few places before settling on Diani Banda.

Diani Banda is a guesthouse with a few (6?) outward facing little suites. Each unit has it's own outside door and a small food preparation area with a little fridge and sink. The owners have really done a nice job on the building and it feels very solid and even a touch luxurious.

There are nice big solid comfortable queen sized beds with heavy duty mosquito nets. The beds come with a sheet and a thin blanket (you don't need more). The floor is nice brown tiles and the room is relatively well lit. There is lots of storage. There is an ensuite bathroom with a big shower and a sink and a toilet.

The housekeepers name was Janet and she was wonderful. She did my laundry for me for 300 ksh (about 6 items). She was so friendly and reassuring. I felt bad leaving just because I would have preferred to stay with her.

All rooms have small sitting areas outside... perfect for passing the time with a book.

So all in all I thought this was nice accomadation and we had a hard time finding a place that didn't feel run down and empty on our search for accomadation.

The price we paid was 3000 per night but we were advised that even for a few night stay, a better rate could probably be negotiated.

The bad thing (or good thing depending on your view) is that the Diani Banda has no facilities - no restaurant or pool or bar. Just a nice building on a nice quiet property - you will sleep so soundly and enjoy the sounds of the bugs! Oh and it was very secure with a very dutiful watchman who kept the gate well locked all night long and let you in only under scrutiny.

But Diani banda is about a 3 minute walk from the beach and you don't have to cross any roads to get there. So this is ideal as you get "off the beach" pricing with complete beach access. Also it is right next door to Diani Campsite and Cottages where there is a cheap local style restaurant and bar. We went for a walk down the highway and had arrived at the Diani Shopping Centre about 10 minutes later.

Really I think this is ideal for people on a budget, people who prefer to get out to the local bars (not be in a resort), people who are travelling in a group so they dont' mind passing the later evenings enjoying the night sounds in peace and quiet and generally people who are more looking for a place to sleep.

And be nice to Janet she's wonderful!

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank itzakadoozie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Diani Banda

Property: Diani Banda
Address: Beach Road | Opposite Diani Beach Post Office, Diani Beach, Ukunda, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda > Diani Beach
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 21 B&Bs / Inns in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 5
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