Many other reviews on this site describe this hotel as very good. They are wrong. It is excellent…… However a few things may not be what some people expect or even want. They are hugely outweighed (in my view) by the friendly service, beautiful setting, and all round warmth of both the climate and the staff. First – the good things:-
1.We arrived to beautiful rooms which were well maintained throughout our stay. Although the staff don’t always remember to restock the mini bar (far more reasonable than average prices) they are friendly and thorough. Moreover when we asked to move to rooms closer to the Ocean, the hotel guest relations manager was only too happy to oblige, and we moved the next morning. The Ocean front rooms are very good. All rooms are the same size but these are separated from the beach only by a narrow path. We had our breakfast most mornings brought to us (for a tray charge of £1.20!) and ate it outside overlooking the sands.
2.The management are really interested in your comfort and happiness and the Duty Managers (John, Catherine, Anthony) bring standards to their job which would embarrass the house management in some of the finest hotels in the world that I have stayed in. The ability of a hotel manager to somehow materialise out of the air when there is a problem is a genuine rarity. These guys are so good at it that it is little surprise that many (not quite all) of the staff have picked up the same approach and they are friendly and appear genuinely concerned that you are enjoying yourself and have what you need. This place runs like a well oiled machine. It has government connections – which must help!
3.The activities kept our children (11 & 13) very happily occupied. We don’t usually go to hotels that have “Kids Clubs” and our children can amuse themselves without organised activities. However the two guys – Andy & Martin made our children’s holiday. Again, they appeared genuinely interested in making sure that they had a good time.
4.Trousers! Beware – the main restaurant operates a strict dress code! Men must wear long trousers in the evening! I had not brought a pair with me – only three-quarter length trousers. The hotel management’s solution? They sent the hotel tailor and housekeeper around the next morning to measure me up and made me a pair – at no charge!
5.Diving School. Omar the guy in charge is friendly and helpful. His boss, however, seems to put him and his colleagues under a lot of pressure. The hotel management handled the resulting issues with their usual skill.
6.Sadly on the last day my daughter was ill. Out of nowhere appeared John (Duty Manager that day) appeared and made Sarah comfortable whilst his colleague rang for the doctor and rearranged our transfer to the airport and packed my wife some sandwiches for the trip! The local doctor was very helpful. Again the skill and willingness of the hotel management to help ensured that this episode was as bearable as possible for us all.
7.There are no longer TV’s in the rooms and the rooms do not have safes (the safety deposit boxes at the cashier desk are open 24 hours).
8.Entertainment and Music around the pool. There is loud music around the pool from 11am-1pm every day (to accompany the aerobics class!). This horrified me when we first arrived. I had no prior knowledge of it and when the “entertainment” continued over lunch at such a volume that we couldn’t hold a conversation, I was really fed up. I quickly found that if you move down the beach you can get out of earshot of the music (mostly) fairly easily. This is the solution. However if you don’t like poolside music (the loud kind) and lounging by the pool all day is a key part of your holiday – you will have a big problem here. The evening entertainment too starts straight after dinner and is followed by music that goes on until 11. Tame stuff (no doubt) compared to some resorts – but if you are looking forward to quiet candlelit evenings under the stars, forget it. Bear in mind that these beaches are really not safe to hang around on after sunset so you are stuck with poolside in the evenings. The “escape” is the Bahari Cove seafood bar at the other end of the hotel. Well out of earshot of the razzamatazz and a great setting serving wonderful food. Superb Lobster Thermidor and tomato soup served inside an enormous freshly baked bread roll - delicious!
9.Some aspects of the décor are a bit tired – but – and I hope I’m wrong here – I’m worried for the future of this place. The owners Jacaranda, have recently changed the name from Indian Ocean Beach Club (everybody locally knows it as the IOBC) to Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Resort. This may mean nothing. However “Resort” hotels for me, conjure up images of unsubtle, noisy, mass market joints which are a far cry from the beautifully run, friendly IOBC. Let’s hope that the Jacaranda guys don’t forget the old maxim “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
- 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