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Southern Palms Beach Resort
Ranked #9 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
windsor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“hostel”
Reviewed 7 January 2008

Seven of us all looking forward to our christmas hoilday at sounthern palms ,When we arrived at the hotel we had to wait ages to get to our room after a long journey. when we got to our room the smell of musk and damp was instantly present. We had looked at previous comments and they said that there was mold on pillows we could not believe the mold and blood on our pillows we were horrified at this and went straight to reception to see the manager.The duty manager could not care less of our complant about this,after about another hour six out of the seven of us got new pillows. We could not believe his attitude,he lyed about his name and his tittle we asked to speak to the general manager and he said he was not here we asked his name and he did not know.then we asked for the owner name and email and said come back tomorrow,we were so upset and this was our first day of our holiday and missed half of the day in thr sun which was beautiful.I could write a book on how awfull this hotel and food was you would not feed it to your dog, i will give you an example of the food the first night my boyfrind got a black sausage of the bar be que,he tried it and he said it did not taste right there was a little white cat my our table ,so we gave him some and he smelled it and walked away we could not believe it so we gave him a bit of the chicken and he ate that. This was the worst holiday i have ever had the entertainment was terrible and loud music every night till twelve we did not sleep at all after all this was a holiday to relax. The service was awfull they were very rude to you .We were all enclusive and we had to pay for our drinks after 11.30pm we could not believe ,no ice cream to our friends were on half board and we nearly got the same the only thing about our holday was the weather that was it. if you want a nice holiday do not go here we also ate out nearly every night i would only recommend this holiday to the people i dont like

  • Liked — nothing the monkeys that came to our balcony
  • Disliked — no comment
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank bonnieWindsor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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London
Level Contributor
23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2007

We have recently returned from this resort and found it pretty well does everything it says on the tin. Great complex with wonderful pool and constant upkeep of grounds, friendly staff, great breakfast with eggs anyway you like them, pancakes, etc. and loads of fruit. Dinner in the main restaurant was also always buffet style but fine and sometimes quite good. There are two other restaurants including a grill and Lebanese. Can be a bit of a problem if you’re a diagnosed coeliac (as against those who just think they have a bit of a gluten/wheat allergy) on a strict gluten free diet as the staff don’t always seem to know what’s in the food and soups although the head chef can normally explain.

Half Board (HB) is probably a better bet than All Inclusive (AI) if you do not really need a midday lunch – and do you really want to walk around everywhere with the ‘I’m a glutton’ yellow wristband that the AI’s are made to wear? And the AI’s have a restricted cocktail list – not that the cocktails are any great shakes. There is a snack bar for lunch but with a rather dodgy ‘provide for all tastes and nationalities’ menu and whatever you do if you know what a Salad Nicoise should look and taste like, DO NOT order it here. The biggest pain was the saddos who keep their lounger towels overnight (you are supposed to hand them in each evening) then get up at the crack of dawn to bag all the best pool or beach loungers - and then not use them until early afternoon. The hotel should really clamp down on this but you get the feeling that some of the staff may be having their palms greased. One other point is that you are made to pay about £15.00 per week for use of the safe deposit boxes in the rooms and these remote electronic locking safes are not particularly reliable. Ours malfunctioned three times and we know other people who had the same problem which means you have to hang around and wait for the manager each time to come and fix it.

The resort is positioned right on a wonderful beach with white sands and warm sea but as you have read elsewhere the beach sellers can be a pain and regarding selling Safari’s they are not all honest! We booked our Safari with one of these guys ‘Jimmi’ on Diani beach who ‘guaranteed’ there would only be five in the minibus and this was further fully guaranteed by the travel agent he was repping for ‘Beach Air Tours & Safaris’ at Diani – when it turned up there where six people in it! Beware. Regarding these mini buses they use for the safaris all the agents will tell you that they ‘accommodate’ eight people which is true, but this is sitting down. When you reach the game park and pop the roof there is definitely not room for eight people with cameras (some really big jobs, cameras and people) and binoculars etc, to stand up comfortably. Try always to restrict it to four and if it’s anymore there should be a marked reduction in price. We did a two day (one night) safari which was well worth doing and probably if your staying overnight at one of the Voi lodges bear in mind that Voi Safari Lodge is actually in the park and much better positioned but rather dated and cold water only. Voi Wildlife Lodge, which the agents seem to have been told to push, is in fact outside the park (you have to go out of the park and over an ‘elephant grid’) but quite new with better facilities although rather unlived in and sterile at this time. Food is not good in either but then they are just overnight lodges and not hotels and not relying on repeat business. Also be aware that there are some very BIG bugs flying around here and they sometimes land in your dinner.

Finally this is a third world, tropical, hot and sometimes humid resort quite near the equator. The poverty outside can be a bit unsettling if you are not used to it but the people are very friendly. Elsewhere on Tripadvisor I have seen people mentioning about towels being a bit musty and the humidity etc. These are the norms of this type of resort and I think this one handles it all rather well. There’s always Brighton if you can’t take the heat and if you can withstand the incredibly mean sit pitch that the charter airlines plying this route offer, you can withstand anything.

  • Liked — Access to balcony
  • Disliked — Unreliable safe deposit boxes
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank RainbirdLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle upon tyne
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 December 2007

We have recently returned from holiday in the Southern Palms, Kenya. I would recommend it especially if you want relaxation before a safari trip, as the Ukunda airstrip is 2miles away and goes to Masai Mara (a must, as this Safari made this holiday!).
We stopped at the Fig Tree Camp and it was amazing. The tents were not really tents, as you had a roof over the canvas and a brick shower and a W/C attached.
The tent overlooked a river 20feet away with hippos in.
Our guide a six foot 4 scary Masai Warrior greeted us “Hi my name is William” He was FAB, (ask him to throw a small stone) (Lewis Hamilton works in the dinning room). The abundance of wildlife was surreal.

The swimming pools in the Southern palm hotel are a big WOW! Never crowded! Sunbeds were a problem. If towels are on the beds and no personal belonging are there then DO take the bed! Hotel policy!

Main Buffet Restaurant: great English breakfast!! Plenty of choice, having to wait for the bacon to be cooked was a pain, especially when German’s try to push in. The all-inclusive food can get monotonous, but they all do. The snack bar over looking the sea was good, serving pizzas, toasties etc. the service can be slow but tip the waiter 100ksh =88p and you do get served quicker.
Ali barbours’s cave is a good place to eat out and they provide a free taxi, (3miles away)

The bad parts of the Holiday:-

A BIG Regret not stopping in the Masai Mara longer push the boat out and stop as long as you can!!!.

The all-inclusive food can get monotonous
The night-time entertainment is not too good!
It’s service without a smile!
The staff do start work EARLY and noisily!
The towels do smell take your own!
There is something missing from this hotel to make it a 4*

Beach / roadside boys are a pain, say NO =(Hapana santana) or just walk into the next hotel for a drink to get rid of them. If you do want to buy goods from them, price check in the hotel shop first. And take your old trainers / shoe’s (they have big feet) T shirts, and socks. This will get your price down.
Shopping is great in Kenya (well if you want wood carvings) as that is all there is to buy. Cigarettes are cheap in the airport £8 for 200, No real limits of how many you can buy i.e. 200 per person per shop!
But you are only allowed 200pp into the UK.

Most people in the hotel had upset stomachs we were very careful taking alcohol gel hand rub, and yes we were BAD. Needing antibiotics when back in the UK.

  • Liked — pool and beach
  • Disliked — beach boys and smelly towels noisy early morning staff
  • Stayed November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank redhotbot1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 November 2007

Lovely hotel. Pool fabulous. Rooms spacious and comfortable. Staff mostly very friendly and helpful. Food ok, especially if you like indian. Beach beautiful but watch out for constant hawkers - need to be firm but friendly.

  • Stayed November 2005, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NixNix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belfast
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2007

I have recently returned from a great holiday in the Southern Palms, Kenya. I can highly recommend it especially if you are using it before/after a safari trip as the Ukunda airstrip is 4 KM away and flies into the heart of the Masai Mara (a must!!!).

Our beachfront rooms were well worth the extra if not only for the sounds of the Indian Ocean first thing in the morning or late at night.

As with most hotels, regardless of rating, the staff can make or break your stay. Save for a few angles (which have to be expected when abroad), the staff here were always hardworking, friendly and very eager to serve. Without a doubt, they were the highlight of our stay here- Anne, Irene, Edward, Lennox and Winifred deserve especial mention.

If I was to be pernickety, though, I would say that the loud air-conditioners in the rooms do need updated or moved to the service areas which tend to be oppressively warm. More beach shades are required although some were being rebuilt when we were leaving. The Indian slant to the buffet meals can be a bit monotonous although the high standard is still maintained.

Nevertheless, these are trifling remarks as overall it was a great stay.

What lifted the whole holiday to another level was a trip to the Masai Mara. We waited until we got to the resort after researching all the local options (obviously do not buy off your tour operator as they will sting you for cash). We were very lucky to find a local business called JT Safaris run by a guy called Julius Nzumbi. Not only was he able to match our most competitive rates, but, for an independent tour operator, he also offered the most professional service we have ever witnessed abroad - and we are more cynical than most. Julius readily met us outside the hotel (the management of the Southern Palms should seriously consider using him themselves) and took us through the comprehensive range of safaris he managed from pick-up, sojourn and drop-off. We plumped for one of his top-range tours into the heart of the Masai Mara with 5 star, full-board, flights and guides all thrown in. This proved to be the best money we have ever spent and became the trip of a lifetime.

We then returned to the Southern Palms for the remainder of our stay and completed a fantastic holiday.

Regards to the people who made our stay great,
from Ciarán and Elaine.

Stayed November 2007
Helpful?
5 Thank Holidays_Abu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MIDLANDSUK
Level Contributor
41 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2007

We stayed at this hotel in early November having been transfered here from their sister hotel Bamburi Beach.

The transfer from the airport was quite a drag, especially after a long flight, and in the very humid temperatures that we encountered, our mini bus didnt have air-con so the journey was very hot and sticky.

On arrival at the hotel we were welcomed with a cold towel and drink and were quite quickly allocated our room on the 4th floor overlooking the swimming pools.

Room: Not very inviting, dark furniture, uncomfatable bed that stood about 3 feet of the floor(Not practical for older guests) hard mattress and only 2 pillows which were as flat as a pancake!! Air con was nice and cool but could be quite noisy at night when trying to sleep. The bathroom was basic but clean, could do with a new shower head, clean towels daily.The room did have a TV with built in DVD player, bring your own DVD's or rent from the Internet cafe.

Main Buffet Restaurant: Excellent english breakfast!! Plenty of choice of fruit,cereal,juices and hot selection.
Never really had lunch as breakfast was quite filling!!
The evening dinner was a bit repetitive but generally ok, my only real qualm in the dining room is that gentlemen are requested to wear long trousers - even when its so hot and humid, we feel that this should be changed to smart dress shorts with a belt .

We found the snack bar very appealing serving pizzas, toasties and full meals like Spaghetti Bolognese.

Also afternoon tea was loveley with fresh sandwiches/cakes tea and coffee.

The swim-up pool bars were very nice too.

The evening entertainment was quite dissapointing , every evening seemed to consist of a DJ playing a few old records with the occasional African dance routine!!

The staff were generallly pleasant but lack training and direction in their work. Tip them and you will get better service!!! Remember in Kenya everything is Slowly Slowly!!

To summarise we felt that the best bits of the hotel were the pool area , the snack bar and the afternoon tea. A perfect hotel for subathing and eating and drinking!!

  • Liked — Beach location/ Pool Area
  • Disliked — Rooms/Buffet Dining Room
  • Stayed November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ChrisJon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barnstaple, Devon
Level Contributor
59 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 November 2007

Stayed at Southern Palms during October half term. Sadly could only go for one week as I'm a teacher and only have one weeks holiday in October. I can't understand why anyone would rate this hotel as anything less than fantastic.; the food was outstanding with tremendous choice, no matter what your taste. If you fancied a change from the main restaurant there were 3 more restaurants to choose from; the grill, Italian or Lebanese. The quality of food, service and general ambience in all 4 restaurants was superb. Staff were always happy, smiling and polite. They couldn't do enough for you.
The beach was 'to die for' - powder white sand, azure sea, palm trees and very few people on the beach. This was probably due to the beach boys who, to be honest, were a bit of a pain. However, these people are SO poor who can blame them for trying to sell you things. They even wanted my husband's socks! If you are polite, have a look at what they have to sell and buy a couple of things (which are actually very nice), barter like mad and drive a hard bargain, they will leave you alone. By the end of the week they were just waving to us and shouting a friendly JAMBO!
Make sure you book your safari with Ferdinand (on the beach outside the hotel), He's a real star! We saved a huge amount on what we would have paid booking with the travel company and got EXACTLY the same deal. We stayed at Voi Safari Lodge at Tsavo East . We travelled with 2 other couples, who stayed at Voi Wildlife Lodge. Both Lodges are fantastic. Although the rooms at Voi Safari Lodge were a little dated, the views more than made up for it. The whole experience was one I will remember for the rest of my life.
Check out Benjamin (on the beach) for a boat trip to remember (rather surreal but a taste of real Kenya!).
I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel and the whole Kenya experience to anyone. My husband and I cannot wait to return with a suitcase full of socks, pens, pencils and schoolware for the beautiful children who have so little, but never stop smiling. JAMBO!

  • Liked — Pool area, gardens, staff, food, ambience
  • Stayed October 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank kyle9205
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 Romantic Hotel in Diani Beach
#7 Family Hotel in Diani Beach
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
#9 Luxury 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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