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“Amazing Holiday- Highly Recommended from the perspective of two 23yr old girls!”

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Southern Palms Beach Resort
Ranked #9 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Amazing Holiday- Highly Recommended from the perspective of two 23yr old girls!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 October 2011

Myself and a friend booked this holiday last minute to get away. We were looking for paradise at a reasonable cost and managed to find it here at Southern Palms. We wanted a relaxing holiday with guaranteed good weather which is exactly what we got. We stayed here for 2 weeks from the 13th September 2011 on a half board basis.

The resort itself is situated on the beach a long a strip of other hotels. The beach really is beautiful. White sand and crystal clear sea (beware of the coral as it's quite sharp on your feet). The beach sellers do hassle you when you first arrive as you are seen as 'fresh meat'. We found after we bought something they left us alone and pretty much did want to just have a chat when they saw us.

The food in this place was sensational. In particular the grill restaurant was amazing! All fresh meat grilled that the chefs would bring round and you could choose from. The main restaurant had lots of options but was rather basic and the italian was pretty standard as well. There is a lebanese restaurant that you can go to but for an additional cost. Breakfast was varied with lots of options so plenty to choose from.

Rooms- our room was basic, but was perfectly fine. If i was going to criticize anything it would be the shower. It wasn't very powerful. Otherwise everything else was pretty great. Our room cleaner Oscar was great. Our room was always immaculate when we came back.

As with every hotel things are a lot more expensive in the hotel. We bought our water outside of the hotel, just as you walked out of the main gates there were some huts outside with shops that guys were selling water. It was all sealed up and perfectly fine. We bought 5l for 150 kenyan shilling when in the hotel to buy 1.5l is 190 kenyan shilling so much cheaper to go outside.
The same went for our Safari. We went to Tsavo East for 1 night and 2 days. We were a bit apprehensive being 2 girls on our own booking a Safari on the beach but we didn't have the budget to go through Thomson and thought it was a bit of a rip off. We went with WT Safari's and were absolutely fine. We paid 250000 kenyan shillings each for all food, water, safari and overnight stay for the duration and went with 4 other people. Had a great time but would recommend going to Masai Mara and doing at least 5 days. This is the consensus we got from most guests as to where to go and for how long for to be able to see the 'The Big 5'. But obviously it's pot luck as to what you see.

Staff were great- jambo this hakuna matata that. My friend and I found ourselves humming the jambo song non stop. A couple of staff who made our stay great were the entertainment team: Charlie, Azif, William, Champagne, and Morris. Everyday there was beach volleyball, water volleyball, water aerobics, water polo and beach walks. We participated in the activities everyday so got to know the guys really well. The evening entertainment is pretty good with Masai dancers, snake show, bands, circus acts to name a few always ending with 'disco dancing' which went on to 11pm.

For those that wanted to continue after 11pm there were a couple a places you could go which were Forty Thieves Bar and Shark Attack. On our first Friday we reserved a table at a restaurant called Ali Baba's which is situated in a cave and is completely spectacular! The food and service was fantastic but the real draw to this place is the atmosphere and location! Very romantic, so any boys reading this definitely a place to take your girlfriends/ wives for dinner. Forty Thieves is the bar owned by Ali Baba's and is only a few hundred metres from the restaurant itself. It's situated on the beach and plays reggae music. Very nice to go for a few drinks or to have a party.
Second weekend we ventured out to Shark Attack on the Saturday night. A lot of thought went into it as this was an actual club and from what we heard we thought being 2 young british girls we might get hassled. By this time we had made friends with quite a few people in the hotel and therefore went out with them. Only to find that there was quite a mix in the crowd so we probably would have been fine on our own but better to be safe than sorry. Great music! So would recommend if you want a good dance!

We went out to the village of Ukunda one morning as we wanted to see the real Kenya as the resort really is in its own little bubble. This was an experience itself going around the villages and seeing where people live. Most of them just have a room for a family. Definitely recommend going and having a look though and if you do buy bags of sweets! The kids come running up to you shouting sweets as they can't afford to buy! We had a look round one of the local schools.

We truly did have a great time and are looking forward to going back again hopefully next year if we can save up enough money! Definitely a 4 star hotel and would return in a shot! Other staff members who were great were Frank, Said and Francis at the entertainment bar and Mohamed one of the cashier clerks who made our stay particularly great a long with the entertainment guys and Oscar.

Thank you Southern Palms for a great holiday and we hope to return next year!!!! We miss it already!

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
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1 Thank Eleanor C
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
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 October 2011

I stayed here with my daughters on an all inclusive basis. It should have been a wonderful holiday but as the days passed, things that were little niggles just grated on us more and more and became bigger issues.

On the plus side, all rooms have either a pool or sea view, our bedroom was large and clean, the 2 pools are very good sizes, the gardens kept neat & tidy, the beach is lovely, there are plenty of daytime activities for all the family, and there was always something on the menu that was edible.

On the negative side, our shower had broken taps for a fortnight, and hot water came out of both for the last 2 days, likewise an area of the pool was shut for our entire stay, the pool/ beach towels which were supposedly changed daily were always smelly, like they'd be just left to dry and not washed, the buffet food was generally poor quality, the animation team who organised the daytime activities involving all the family, became sleazy in the evenings, only asking pretty women up to dance at the discos, the "beauty saloon" staff pester you throughout the day to try there services, a neighbour claims one offered him sexual services outside the hotel, the Internet bureau is a rip off, and often shut at a whim, the waiting staff all expect tips despite it being all inclusive, at the beach you are hemmed in by beach boys aggressively trying to sell you stuff, so it feels more like a prison (especially given the number of security staff wandering around) than a idyllic holiday.

All in all, more a 2 star experience than a 4 star

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank monty999_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 October 2011

Where to start...Kenya is getting a bad rep at the moment because of Somalia, this resort,however, is a good distance from the trouble and very security concious.

The resort is world apart from the Kenya which you will travel through as the country as a whole is very poor but once you get there you will be delighted. The food is great(I'll come to the the staff later)The pool area is massive but there is a culture of reserving sunbeds, we hated doing it but if you didn't you just didn't get one(Top tip.. we gave a pool boy $5 and promised him $5 more on our last day and he reserved us the same beds and umbrella everyday, best $10 we've ever spent)

Rooms are clean, we upgraded to a sea view room and were visited on our balcony by a bush baby almost every night(They love bounty!!!)Didn't see a single mozzie in the whole 2 weeks so don't worry about bites here. Beach is lovely as long as you don't stray to far from the hotel, if you do you get a bit hassled by the beach vendors but they're pleasant enough as long as you are politely firm.

Snorkelling non existent unfortunately and whilst there is a dive school the dives weren't up to much but we are probably spoiled by the maldives diving!

The only warning I would give is that the staff, whilst pleasant are very manipulative and will plead all sorts of poverty, we heard stories of gullible and ,we can only assume less seasoned guests handing over hundreds of pounds to help sick kids/grannies etc. It is a very poor country but please don't be taken in.

Last thing, if you do go please book a safari to Tsavo and choose to stay at the Lions Bluff lodge(See other review)It is amazing.

All in all well worth a visit and excellent value for money.Safari is a must.

Room Tip: upgrade to a sea view room, they are out of the way and nice and quiet,ours was on the third floor a...
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  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank archie15111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 September 2011

Lovely hotel, definitely 4* but the bathroom lets it down a bit, as did the staff member who stole my rayban sunglasses which were left in my room for only 2 hours whilst we were watching football in the main tv room! wasnt happy with the manager Thomas something or other and the thomas cook rep who would not give me an abstract saying they had been stolen from my room for my insurance purposes! very disappointing! the hotel staff are overall very nice but dont be charmed by that!

Room Tip: make sure the trees do not block your 'pool' view !
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank RPATEL33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
66 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 September 2011

Average hotel with great location on a gorgeous beach. Large clean pool area with plenty of loungers and nice bars and good restaurants. The room itself was spacious but somewhat shabby and in need of some tlc and new bedding/towels. Another couple we spoke to said their room had not been very clean. Our air conditioning key was not working on arrival, but they provided us with a spare key until it could be fixed the next day. We were on half board; one day we bought some water and drinks from a nearby supermarket (much cheaper than paying the hotel prices) and put it in our fridge, only to find the staff took them out and locked access to the fridge - this seems appalling! We had arranged for the hotel to send a taxi to pick us up from Ukunda airstrip but it did not arrive and we had to ring the hotel - they did apologise and eventually sent one out.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Shortie115
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 September 2011

We had our last 5 days upgraded here, as it seems to be common pratice for honeymooners..... we did get our meal, and package, but no cake, the room looked over the beach which was lovely, I wish we had booked this hotel from the start, but then we would not have met Mercy....the food was exceptional, the staff very attentive, the grounds beautiful, the beach, excellent..........I would highly recommend this hotel for anyone wanting to go to Kenya......and if you take a walk up the road, left out of the hotel grounds, you will find a small tourist shop which you can book excursions at half the price thomson charge and they will personalise the trip for you, we will be doing this next time we go.....

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank jayjay65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Burton upon Trent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 September 2011

Just returned from Kenya on 21/09/11 we had one week on safari and then a week at the Southern Palms Hotel. Good sized rooms with excellent air-conditioning, all public areas are beautifully kept, food was very good and service excellent. The staff were all very helpful and friendly and did a wonderful job from reception to gardeners. An excellent hotel.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank MargaretJane10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Southern Palms Beach Resort

Property: Southern Palms Beach Resort
Address: Diani Beach Road, Diani Beach, Ukunda 80400, Kenya
Phone Number:
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda > Diani Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in Diani Beach
#7 Family Hotel in Diani Beach
#7 Romantic Hotel in Diani Beach
#9 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Southern Palms Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 298
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This dramatic hotel with its fantastic pools and beautiful beach is the perfect spot to relax after a safari… or simply visit to relax! The warm and very African feel of the hotel with comfortable rooms, well appointed bathrooms and selection of restaurants offers guests plenty of places to lounge in the sun and almost as many shady spots to enjoy a bit of a breeze and a good book. All rooms have quiet, split unit air conditioners, televisions, mini fridges and coffee and tea making facilities. There is a safe (chargeable) in each room and a business center located in the main building with internet or wifi access in public areas. The drama of the huge, traditional makuti (thatched) roof in the main restaurant offers the Chef a terrific showcase for a varied selection of local and international dishes on the buffet or you could indulge at one of the a la carte restaurants (chargeable) for a special occasion or just a quiet evening for two. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Southern Palms Beach Hotel Diani
Southern Palms Beach Diani

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