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“Wonderful Resort. Beautiful Location. Beautiful Experience.”

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Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Resort
Ranked #15 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Lagos, Nigeria
Level Contributor
31 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Wonderful Resort. Beautiful Location. Beautiful Experience.”
Reviewed 25 January 2012

I stayed at the Jacaranda last September when I visited Mombasa for a workshop. After checking out the website, I was excited and I hoped that the reality would live-up to the picture painted by the website.

It certainly did and much much more. The Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Club is about an hour from the airport (with no traffic), which includes a ferry ride. The chalets are spacious and beautiful, designed in what I imagine is safari-style. All chalets open-up to a verandah. Ours faced the ocean, which meant we could enjoy the sunsets and sunrises from our room front.

The rooms are kept immaculately clean and in the evenings, the mosquito nets are let down and the rooms sprayed with insecticide to protect guests from the mosquitoes.

The staff were wonderful and warm. I stayed on after my workshop was over and got to know many of them by name. The Jacaranda is both welcoming for people travelling in groups or solo. I didn't feel lonely after my colleagues had left. Infact, I was busier than ever thanks to the wide array of water sports. With the experienced instructors, I learnt to scuba dive in the pool and booked a dive in the ocean the next day. This alone was the most memorable part of my visit and for that alone the Jacaranda will always hold a special place in my heart.

For the active guest, aside from scuba diving, activities available include snorkelling, jet skiing, boat rides. The resort was also a stop on some safari trips, though I believe these trips had to be arranged before-hand. The resort also organised nightly entertainment by the pool, which ranged from fashion shows to acrobatic acts to dancing for all.

For the guest who just wants to take things easy, they can spend the day on the beach, walking across the grounds, sample the wonderful cuisine, enjoy the spa services, or organise sight-seeing or shopping trips into Mombasa. I did all of these and also curled-up in the window seat in my chalet and read for hours.

For people who prefer urban environments, this might not be an ideal holiday spot for you. There were only 3 or 4 TV channels available in my room. And during my stay, there was no Internet access available in the chalets (you could however get online in the business center). So if being connected to the outside world is of prime importance to you, again the Jacaranda might not be your cup of tea. But I would guess that most people who come here are looking for a quiet-ish break.

If you want a vacation for the entire family, are a solo traveller who needs a break from it all, or are seeking a serene environment for a workshop or conference, I would highly recommend the Jacaranda. And even for the most hyper traveller, the Jacaranda is a fantastic holiday spot, albeit perhaps for only a few days.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled on business
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1 Thank MsOreoluwa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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303 reviews from our community

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English first
Newbury Park, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 January 2012

I stayed at this resort in 2005 and loved it so much I stayed again in 2007. The hotel was once glorious and one of the nicest hotels in south Mombasa. I booked it this January for my honeymoon and was SOOooo disappointed in how far it had gone downhill. The rooms used to be beautiful and sparkling, but they have not been kept up. The first room we were given smelled so badly of mold, we had to switch rooms. The room also had a hole in the window where bugs were crawling in. In the second room, both lamp shades were broken, the curtains were torn, and the bedding was stained. The service at the hotel was quite poor. There was across the board (with the exception of a few front desk people), a very lazy, slow, "unattentive" attitude with the staff. It was so across the board, that it must come down from management. At lunch, my husband and I played a game of how many chapters of my book I could read before we received our order. I read 3 chapters, more than an hour, before receiving our order of burger and fries. When our room was cleaned each day, the steward would take ALL of our towels and not replace them. We called in for new towels...3 hours and two more calls later we received them. The towels were all in shreds and looked like rags. Additionally, we were without water on and off for two days. We could not take showers when we wanted to and had to make numerous calls to the front desk to get an update on when water was going to be turned back on. The lazy service is not typical of other resorts I have been to in Africa and in Mombasa. It was really quite sad to see this resort go so downhill. South Mombasa is littered with resorts that have been abandoned and gone to the baboons because of mismanagement and I think this one is on its way there. On another note, the beach in front of the resort continues to be amazing. The snorkeling outings and weather in Diani Beach is awesome. I just would recommend finding another resort and there are many to choose from.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Marci S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herts
Level Contributor
31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Club/Resort (JIOBR) for 3 nights before Christmas. The hotel is about 1hr 45mins drive from Mombasa Intl airport.

On arrival we received a warm welcome and were quickly shown to our room (Room 241). We had booked a club ocean facing room, which turned out to be just the perfect location as we were about 5 Meters away from the beach and with perfect views of the ocean from our room. Great!

Reception - The room induction was not great with the very obvious being shown to you (eg this is your sink, soap and TV), rather than key things such as phone numbers for housekeeping, reception, where to find restaurant(s) for breakfast, lunch or dinner and their opening/closing times, use of the aircon etc. As we arrived at about 11:00am (minus breakfast), we asked the Receptionist if we could have a snack delivered to our room and she said she would arrange for this. After about an hour of waiting we went to Reception to enquire only to be informed by the Receptionist that she had forgotten to respond as when she returned to Reception there was lots of other things to do!

Room - comfortable double bed, with turn down service. The room came equipped with a mosquito net which was necessary as the evenings are balmy. The only complaint about the room is the bathroom which is in need of a complete upgrade - the shower head is silted and hardly allowed any water for a shower. We resorted to filling the tub instead. The bath enamel is cracked and stained, and the taps were heavily lime scaled. The overall bathroom workmanship and finishing could and should have been better for the price JIOBR charge for their rooms.

Meals - We found the lunch buffet in general a bit bland and uneventful. However, an effort was made at Breakfast and Dinner time. The puddings/breads were however left open/exposed therefore risk of flies getting to them before guests can complete their main meal. (Management please note!)

Staff - Staff at the restaurants were very helpful and friendly and on each occasion we were quickly shown to a table on arrival. They were attentive, however, sometimes to the point of being overwhelming. The waiters are well-meaning, however, management could benefit from allocating specific waiter to a table(s) so that guests don't have to keep repeating their order and confirming you are ‘ok'. The hotel was 50-60% full at the time we visited so it may well explain the unusual availability of so many staff at meal times.

Pool/beach - Service and security by the pool/beach was good apart from the pool attendant who was somewhat 'dour'.

All in all we enjoyed our stay at the JIOBR. The beauty of its location makes up for several of its shortcomings.

Room Tip: Ask for ocean facing club room, for great view, privacy and quick access to the beach.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank HertsMickey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maidstone, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 19 December 2011

First of all, the photo shown above is not of the Jacaranda Beach resort/Club, this if of the Mombassa hotel, a completely different complex.

My fiance and I stayed here in November for two weeks. On the first night, they had double booked us, so sent us to the 5* hotel next door and in a vila. Hardly worth complaining about. Staff were very apologetic, and couldn't do more to help us. Once we were checked in properly the following day the hoilday really began. Good service, fantantsic burgers (from the reef grill) free tea at 4pm, and pancakes served daily. Be sure to check out the Dhow bar to the very far left of the complex, The bar is in the shape of a boat and serves happy hour drinks all day every day (all drinks at half price) but this is not advertised. BEWARE beyond this bar the hotel boundary ends, and there is a craft shop run by locals. Have a look, but they will pester you if you go over there. If you want to buy anything, also offer 75% less than their original offer. As for beach boys, there were a few that used the beach, but the beach is constantly patrolled by guards, and they are not allowed to venture to up to the hotel complex, only along the shore line. If you ignore them, they will ignore you.
There is an entertainment team, and we both were able to befriend many of them. As for venturing outside, at night time it is safe, we walked in the late afternoon and purchased a few items from locals.. This was so much cheaper than any major tourists shops. As for security, do not worry, the hotel is located next to a naval base, has 24 hour security, manned gates on entry and beach guards the goverement has even provided soldiers to roam around the complex after dark. Completey safe. We even ventured to the local night spots. Ali Barbars and the 40 theieves is a owned and run by a british national. A friendly beach bar with disco and pool tables. Many many tourists can be found here.

The highlight of the entire hoilday was JT SAFARIS. If you type in Kenya Safarais into Google, JT is a top list search, and deservidly so. He cannot be found through tour operators but via his website (www.julius-safaris.com). He is a local, and his service is second to none. We booked JT because of the rave reviews on here. The guy has over 1000 reviews and more continue to add. As a tour operator he went completely out of his way to ensure our trip was a memorable one. On arrival in kenya, we realised we had forgottent the battery to our camera. JT safaris, spent the entire day looking around Mombassa, searching for this battery whilst we lazed by the pool. They tracked down the battery and sent a driver. For all their trouble, all they charged was for the battery only and not the time for staff time. Absoluetly fantasic, battery worked and we have some amazing photos from the trip. JT really made our trip!!! As for the sarafi, we went on a 4 day 3 night safarai, and had the pleasure of Cobra our guide with over 23 years of experience. He was very lovabale, knowledgable and completely trustworthy. With the price of $810 pp, we stayed at two of Kenya's finist lodges, Kilaguni and Amboseli, both my the hotel chain Serena. We had no idea, but these were really expensive and all for the same price. Definetly recommend staying there.

If you feel like taking a few day trips, also see JT safaris for this too. The hotel and other guides offered us tours, but be sure to check with JT to see what he had to offer.

After our Safari, we had a week, left and decided to to take two trips with JT. One a local UKUNDA village tour, visiting a local school, borehole and wood carvings. This cost 2000 ksh total. The next day we took the Funzi Island trip with JT and this was one of the highlights if the trip also. After a 45 minute drive to a local viallage you are taken on a 10minute boat ride to Funzi Island to meet locals, visit a school, view local living arrangemnets and local crafts, after that, there is the chance to swim off the sand bar for 30mins, and hopefully see some dolphins. After the swim you are greeted with a cold fizzy drink, and an hours boat trip through the mangroves up the river to sea crocodiles. The tour ends with a restuarant meal, a meal we will never forget. Upon entering the resort, you are presented with a cold drink, and towel, the chance to have a shower and then a relax in the bar. You are called to dinner where you are served a four course meal of fresh crab, loster, red snapper and desert. Absolutely fantatsic.

To sum up this hotel, if you are considering it, by all means do. There are no security issues, and the hotel is very nice, clean and friendly. Speak to Mohammed, he will teach you to climb trees and maybe make you a hat. Be sure to meet Jackson, he makes the most amazing cocktails, and watch out for the entertainment in the eveneing, Andy's (one of the enterinainers) miming to popular music is classic. If you want a safari for your trip, book JT, if you have booked with others, CANCEL and use JT., you won't regret it.

Hope this helps.

This hoilday was reviewed by a young English couple, no children in November 2011.

Room Tip: Ask for an upstairs room. You get a private balcony. Choose room 338, it's fantastic, and is on...
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mark H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Losone, Switzerland
Level Contributor
75 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 November 2011

if you are looking for a hotel not just for tourist you are right. Many kenian citizen are visiting the resort. beautiful sand beach. no loud animation team around. very helpful and friendly staff.
close to shima hills and chale island.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Pascal T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gurugram (Gurgaon), India
2 reviews
Reviewed 7 October 2011

I and My wife had a fantastic stay at this resort after my disgusting stay at 'Diani House' - Another accommodation on the Diani beach.

This hotel had beautiful rooms with amazing privacy on the beach.

The staff is very courteous.

In all I loved my stay there and wish to go back.

Room Tip: take the one closer to the shore...i loved it !
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank PruthiVaibhav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gampaha
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 September 2011

I had a nice stay here. Rooms are clean with very good view on the Indian Ocean. The pools were lovely and so was the beach. i have short boat ride to the reef. no mosquitos and fantastic sea breeze

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank shalithajayasinghe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Resort

Property: Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Resort
Address: Diani Beach, Ukunda 80400, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda > Diani Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Diani Beach
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 100
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Resort is located 40 km's from Mombasa town and situated along the white sandy beaches of south coast surrounded by swaying coconut palm trees and magnificent old stoic baobabs. Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Resort comprises of 100 deluxe rooms, tastefully crafted and beautifully furnished found in white washed, 'makuti' roofed structures. The rooms, double or twin, are tastefully appointed with local hand carved furnishings and are filled with luxurious amenities; walk-in shower, separate toilet, mini-bar, direct dial telephone, hair dryer and have the convenience of both air-conditioning and a central ceiling fan. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Club Hotel Diani
Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Hotel
Indian Ocean Beach Club

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