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!
- 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