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“Just an okay stay” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Galu Beach Retreat

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Galu Beach Retreat
Ranked #14 of 21 Diani Beach B&B and Inns
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Just an okay stay”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 September 2012

Diani beach has a lot of hotels, and Galu pales in comparison.

My husband and I were looking for a place to stay and we were hoping to stay at a place called Kenyaways. They were booked, so the person at Kenyaways went us pictures claiming to be of Galu Beach Retreat, so we booked our stay through her. The place was nothing like the pictures.

The room was decent, but the mosquito net had lots of holes and it didn't close completely. As a result, we ended our trip with mosquito bites all over us. Using the room in the day time was kind of a hassle. Lighting is incredibly poor! The toilet flush makes a long lasting noise which sometimes kept us up if one of us used the bathroom at night.

When we arrived, we were told that we can have our meals at any time. So I booked for a yoga class at 10am and my husband booked to go snorkeling at 8:30. We planned to have breakfast at 7-7:30 to only find out that breakfast is only served at about 9-9:30. Plus, there was only one server and maybe 4-5 rooms occupied at the time we were there. So, the whole process was drawn out while we waited for him to take everyone's order and then bring the food out one by one. They should have at least had one more person working there.

We were also told that we could have our meals at the restaurant (2 floors) and the patio area outside of our room. The bottom floor of the restaurant has a cover to block wind while the second floor and our patio area at the room does not. One our second day, we opted to eat on the first floor of the restaurant only to be told that we cannot by the server. The server said that we were not allowed to after our first night. Then the hotel owner, who also lives in the hotel grounds, came when we were finishing up dinner and told us that there must have been some sort of miscommunication. My husband is Kenyan and spoke to the serve in Swahili, so i'm not sure where the miscommunication came from when we were told "no, you cannot sit at the first floor of the restaurant."

My other gripe about the food was that they had a menu but often told us that they didn't have items in stock. I'm not sure what the point of a menu is when options aren't provided. Also - stay away from the cereal. I tasted like it was months old.

Overall, there are LOTS of nice places on the beach, so find another place! You'll likely get more for your money elsewhere as well!

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank M P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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8 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Maidenhead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 October 2011

If you want TV, music, pool games etc. this isn't for you. Galu Retreat only has 10 rooms and the level of service and friendliness is superb. If you want to truely unwind and don't want staff to be in your face all the time, then you should consider this place. We booked through Africa Sky and would be happy to recommend them. We combined this with two nights at Sable Valley, which was fantastic. Again this is for people wanting to relax quietly, with the chance of spotting occasional antelope or elephant if you're lucky. I would however recommend trying to arrange at least a half day safari into Shima Hills whilst you are here. For our return to Mobasa the Galu Retreat, at no extra cost, arranged for us to take a 10 minute flight rather than risking the traffic on the main road.
This isn't a flash 5 star resort, but somewhere you can truely leave your worries behind.
On the beach you will encounter the local beach boys, but being poilte but firm is the way forward.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank HewesJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Riding of Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2011

Well this was a surprise. We booked our flights with KLM from Humberside via Schiphol direct to Mombasa & accommodation through africasky.com. All pretty straight forward really, except on arrival instead of going to Gazi Beach Retreat we arrived here at the Beach Retreat at Galu. Not a problem, one look at the view across the palm-filled gardens to Galu Beach and then beyond to the blue of the Indian Ocean & we really didn’t want to move! I’m not exactly sure why we were staying here but we were more than happy to stop here.

Galu Beach Retreat is owned & run by Destination Adventures Kenya whose other resorts include, Gazi, The Cove & Sable Valley Tree Houses, and run along the same lines; the only difference is that here at Galu you are in a room proper as opposed to tent / treehouse & a busier beach front than Gazi & The Cove, if you count the few people that daily walk past along the white coral sands.

The rooms were of a good size, complete with air conditioning, decent sized bathroom [though the original taps were a bit of a pain to use], proper fridge filled with soft drinks / Tusker & the really nice touch of a water dispenser. The bed, traditional style, came complete with mossie nets. The covered terrace with comfy day bed was a favourite lazing spot. As with the other properties there was no piped musak / TV / radio /internet, which we thought was pretty good, you come here to relax after all!

The staff, food & service were excellent, being the only guests at the time we had the place to ourselves. The choice of food was fresh, local and cooked to order then served to your table or if you preferred, on your terrace, we preferred the open air restaurant overlooking the beach. Being all inclusive, drinks were included, so a cocktail before dinner or a cup of tea in the afternoon was just the ticket!

Facilities on site included a Jacuzzi, star bath [we didn’t], swimming pool at the back of the complex, a health banda with Phoebe offering a range of treatments from manicures to reflexology.

The beach with its white coral sand, warm blue sea was divine, who could ask for more. The retreat is situated to the south of Diani, along a residential stretch of the beach front, so there is not too much hassle from the resident beach boys, & from here you can comfortably walk in either direction.

Whilst here, we visit the Gazi mangroves & Women’s boardwalk which was fascinating and also stayed a night at the Sable Valley Tree house [see separate report].

Would we go again? In a word yes. This is a place to relax and totally switch off, with a ‘no news, no shoes’ feel. The staff however is really the finishing touch, pleasant, knowledgeable & happy; makes such a difference. A special thank you to Doris & her team for our 10 days in heaven!

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sharlot-roos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Galu Beach Retreat

Property: Galu Beach Retreat
Address: P.O Box 5480, Diani Beach, Ukunda, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda > Diani Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 21 B&Bs / Inns in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3 star — Galu Beach Retreat 3*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Galu Beach Retreat means Peaceful! Galu Beach Retreat is designed to provide every guest individual attention and treatments and activities or none at all, so they can find their own personal pathway to peace.…This small Exclusive Luxury Boutique Hotel set along the stunningly white Diani Beach yet away from the big hotels and with only Ten Luxurious air conditioned sea view rooms with your own private outside terrace, allows you to walk on the beach or simply lay on a deck chair and read …this is the place for you. Perfect for weddings and honeymooners or those seeking quiet holidays in this child free resort. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Galu Beach Retreat Hotel Diani

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