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“A fantastic holiday!!!!”

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Southern Palms Beach Resort
Ranked #13 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Reviewed 13 May 2013

This was our first visit to the Southern Palms Hotel, our second to Kenya and I have to say it was so good, we are hoping to go back in October for 2 weeks. To cover all areas, i will split this down.
Location
The hotel is around 1 1/2 hours from the airport by coach across the river which gives you opportunity to see Mombasa or to have a nap. It is located on Diani Beach which is close to the mouth of the river Kongo and not far from the supermarket and shops of Diani. It is safe to walk by day but they advise not to walk at night but there are taxis at the front of the hotel.
Rooms
The rooms are good overall, they are not plush and fancy but they are clean and well maintained. An example, the mesh was broken by a monkey in our room and was fixed within a day without us asking or notifying anyone. There is a fridge and yes you have to pay for the items but this is standard in my opinion as the all inclusive bars are open 10am until 11:30pm so the fridge is an addition to this, i dont see why you need to use this, we didnt we got a drink be it lager or water and put it in our fridge and put thiers on the side until we departed then put it back in. The balconies are spacious (room 233) we had views of the sea and the pools.
Food
There are 5 areas to dine, these were grill, italian, mixed buffet, lebanese (chargeable) or the snack bar by day which had fish, steak, burger, pizza etc. In terms of the food quality, this was good and was healthy. Another report said swimmiing in grease, i found it to be quite to the contrary and was pleased to find chips at the snack bar to get come grease! The food was varied, indian selection, pasta, stir fry, meat, veg, fruit, salad etc in the mixed buffet. The whole waitoring team were fantastic, very attentive and helped make our holiday. Hussein is mentioned a lot and was great but so were the others who worked throughout. I wont mention names as i cannot remember them all but they all need to be praised. Each day i was taught a different Swahili word or phrase by the team and had good banter each day. If they thought something wasnt right, they would ask nnot ignore it.
Bars
The bars are all good and the bar team are fantastic. It does get repetitive signing for every drink but i understand why this happens and frankly isnt the end of the world. By day, the team walk around taking orders so you dont have to leave your sunbed if you dont want to, i chose to swim to the pool bar but you dont have to. I am a fussy drinker and so found it hard to ind a drink i liked (alcoholic) as i dont like lager or beer, i am a cider drinker and i am not into shorts but the wine is ok. One disappointment is you have to pay for all imported drinks which includes lime cordial (fresh lime juice was included) which to me is a bit tight and should be included in the all inclusive to enable people to have a lime and lemonade (or i could have had a vodka in there). The cocktails are good though so i drank those once i discovered them.
Pools
The pools were being cleaned daily by the team and were huge! There is a salt pool or fresh water pool and this well cared for. It would have been good to have some background music throughout the day in the activity pool to help create a good atmosphere (they do this in Diani Reef Hotel)
Animations
What can i say, the activity team were great!! Charlie, Omar, Grace etc helped to make my holiday. There is always something to do if you want to ( or not but it is good to encourage people).
Beach
Yes there are beach boys and yes they try to get your attention. I went on the beach walk with the animations team and then no one bothers you and you get to walk a lot of the beach. I did go to the sea and chose my times so i was not bothered. You can just say no and eventually they will listen but at the end of the day they have nothing and that is their source of income. If you dont like it stay by the pool, go with animations or chose your timng like i did and was not once harrassed (and not attacked like it said in another review, harassed maybe, attacked definately not. They are all friendly guys) There is seaweed on the beach but they do clean this every day.
Grounds
The gardeners are fantastic, friendly and helpful. They will get your sunbeds in the right place for you and look after the grounds very well. There were 2 days of terential rain whilst we were there and they worked tirelessly to get it back to looking good.
Check in
This could be improved if i am honest, they knew we were coming but appeared unprepared but this could have been for the rain. In my opinion they should have got the keys and paperwork ready for each room and then all we need to do is complete the paperwork and off we go to our room. The bell boys were great and very helpful.
Summary
A great holiday overall. Th only other recommendation/observation i would make it with the General Manager. I saw him a number of times but not once did he say hi, how are you or even make eye contact. As a former hotel manager, that was my job. I was there to talk to people and make sure they were ok, this seems to have been deegated to Hussein but as the GM you should be doing it yourself! This is a minor point as the rest of his team are fantastic and this more than makes up for his distance from the guests.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank KBW85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 May 2013

Dear KBW 85,

Thank you for taking your time to write this wonderful review about your holiday In Southern Palms.
What can we say? We were bowled over by your wonderful review of what you describe as ‘a great holiday overall’. Additionally, your overview of the hotel and its facilities must be full of sound advice for anyone considering taking a holiday at Southern Palms.

Your assessment of the dining areas and the quality of what you describe as good, healthy food was greatly appreciated by everyone in the restaurants and snack bar. The bar staff too, were happy to learn of your comments.

The pool staff and animation team work hard to help guests enjoy their holidays and your kind words mean such a lot to them – as with the gardeners who do such a fine job keeping the grounds in such excellent condition.

We apologize for the delay you experienced at check in and take on board your comments. It’s a great pity that there was no contact with the General Manager as he regularly tours the hotel and grounds and chats to guests. Sadly this apparently didn’t happen in your case but you can be assured he will rectify this oversight when you return in October. As a former hotel manager yourself you well know all the day to day constraints, problems and issues facing management to ensure a smooth running operation, and the GM is delighted that this one minor point didn’t affect your holiday.

We all look forward to welcoming you back to Southern Palms later this year.

Best Regards,

Betty.

Guest Relations.

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516 - 522 of 1,396 reviews

Reviewed 10 May 2013

Overall we had a fantastic time on this holiday and staying at this hotel.

We had a few problems during the week but the staff were fantastic in trying to resolve this for us, extra special mention has to go to Hussein who in our opinion was the STAR of this hotel! Nothing was too much trouble for him and he aimed to resolve any issue you had within 10 minutes..... We would like to say thanks to all the staff but especially Hussein (as above), Elias, Charles and Charlie! (Hi Charlie from number 4 - Wayne Rooney!!!!)
The animations team were fantastic whether rain or shine! Always trying to make the best of any situation.

Rooms are slightly outdated and the bathroom could do with a complete refurb. In our opinion the food although varied was very basic and contained large amounts of oil/grease.
Not sure why you have to pay for the mini bar in the room when on the all inclusive option you can get the same drinks free at the bar and take them to you room with no charge - this seems very strange!

We booked our safari through Rashid on the beach (Asante Tours) and this turned out to be a great decision and good value for money. However do be careful with the beach boys as they are quite persistent.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank GazandKel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 13 May 2013

Dear Gazandkel,

Jambo!!Thank you for taking your time to write this great review, we are happy to hear you had a wonderful time with the great staff of our hotel especially Hussein, Elias, Charles and Charlie. They said hallo and were happy to have you with us. We are glad that you had a memorable Safari to the Kenyan Wild.

We are glad that you loved the variety of foods and we regret that you found it a little oily for your liking, we will look into that and thank you for the observation.
We wish you a nice time back home and we look forward to welcoming you to the resort in the near future.

Warm regards,

Betty.

Guest Relations.

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Reviewed 9 May 2013

i had a great time at this hotel it had a wonderfull location and the pool was great . What made my holiday special was a man called hussein popote he was great he showed us round hotel sorted out any problems we had and helped us to get the most out of our holiday. I would like to thank him for making my holiday special and will be coming back to this hotel soon

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank paul e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 12 May 2013

Dear Paul e,

Jambo!!! Thank you very much for writing this superb review on Southern Palms Beach Resort. We are happy to hear that you loved our huge pools and the hotel being in a wonderful location, we are actually one of the best placed hotel with flat grounds right from the front to the beach, and this is very ideal for the aged and the young ones. We have a very easy access to the beach and guests can relax right next to the beautiful waters, thus well placed as one of the top hotels in the South of the coast.

We have passed your good mention and much appreciation to Hussein Popote for making your holiday days nice, easy and obviously memorable. He is happy that you remember him; he and all of us wish you a wonderful time back home and hope to see you soonest here in the resort.

Best regards,

Betty.

Guest relations.

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Reviewed 6 May 2013

We had a great time at Southern Palms. All the Staff were very friendly, hospitable and very helpful. Elias and all his team in the Main Restaurant gave us excellent service at all times and went out of their way to make us special Afrcian dishes like Mchicha, Ugali, Sukuma Wiki and also Indian Food. Lilian was very welcoming at all times.

The Animation Team kept Guests quite busy with varied activities. Beach Volleyball was brilliant, we had a great time with all there!

The Rooms need updating but are quite clean. On the whole we enjoyed our stay at Southern Palms. Would go back and definitely recommend it!

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Dhanji_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 12 May 2013

Dear Dhanji_1,

Jambo!! And thank you for taking your valuable time to write this wonderful review on Southern Beach Resort. We are glad to hear that you had a great time especially with our friendly and welcoming staff Lillian and Elias.

We are also happy that you loved our local African dishes and you spell them correct and the Indian corner too. We are honored to have been with you and thank you for recommending our hotel.
We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Best regards,

Betty,

Guest Relation.

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Reviewed 3 May 2013

...If you stay on a half-board basis, but then you will be charged heavily for everything that is not included, for example a cup of tea at 4O'Clock will cost you 3 USD and you will pay $4.5 if you want a cooky with your tea. Since there are no eateries around you will in fact be on full board with them. I found their food to be mediocre be it breakfast, lunch or dinner. They do not allow you to switch from dinner to lunch when you are on H/B. Don't beleive their "all our rooms are with the sea view" story, you will only see the swimming pool behind the trees from your balcony. The small territory houses more then 300 rooms so in high season it should be pretty crowded there. You will be literally attacked by the beach boys on you way to the sea. On the positive side I found their staff one of the best trained and selected in the whole Diani Beech area.

Room Tip: There are three floors in each building, ask for a room on the third, but watch out for the monkeys...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Mikhail S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
southernpalmsbeach, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 12 May 2013

Dear Mikhail,

Thank you so much for your observations after your holiday at Southern Palms. They were most appreciated, and we were delighted to learn that you had such a high opinion of our totally professional staff.

Sadly, we then became a little confused. You see, nowhere do we ever claim that all rooms have sea views – so we are at a loss as to how you reached this conclusion.

Regarding your comments about half board arrangements, we follow a practise common to most hotels on the Kenyan coast, both north and south, where afternoon tea and refreshments are charged items. This is also the case with switching meal plans – although in special circumstances it is possible that this change can be made.

We admit that the beach traders can be a problem – something we have brought to the attention of the tourism police. But to say that guests will be “literally attacked” on their way to the sea is a slight exaggeration as none of our visitors have ever sustained physical injury!

We were also sorry to learn that the food did not meet your criteria, and hope that if we can welcome you to Southern Palms in the future that the dining arrangements meet with your approval.

Warm regards,

Betty.

Guest Relations.

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Reviewed 24 April 2013

Just returned from 2-weeks at the Southern Palms. Travelled as a couple with a 13 yr old son on a half-board basis.
Overall we really enjoyed the hotel, with the pools and general layout being particularly good. The food was varied and well presented and the variety of eating venues sufficient to keep us happy.
The rooms were simple but functional and clean. We had a few minor faults develop, but these were resolved by calling reception..however the pace of life is slower in Kenya, so don't expect action within minutes. The drinks were reasonable, about UK price really. The gym was a little dated, with equipment in need of updating; which is a comment that applies to many areas of the hotel. Staff are friendly and Hussain was certainly the star 'manager', doing everything he could to make our stay pleasurable. We booked our Safari in the UK and just did the Diani Bikes village tour, both are highly recommended.

Room Tip: Near reception is quieter than by the beach. A pool view is available in most rooms. e-mail the ho...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank Navyhound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southern P, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2013

Dear Navyhound,

Thank you for taking your valuable time to write this great review about Southern Palms Beach Resort. We are indeed happy to know that you enjoyed your holiday just as you expected. We are glad you loved the wide variety of food and the friendliness of the staff, we have passed your good mention to Hussein for going the extra mile to make your days the best. He is happy to have been at your service.
Thank you for having Southern Palms as your hotel of choice and We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.

Warm regards,

Betty.

Guest Relations.

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Reviewed 14 April 2013

Stayed at Southern Palms for Three weeks holiday. This is our 3rd year returning, bit of a mix up of the room but got sorted after 1 hour.Lovely that the staff remember you, Richard looked after us well and Calesters always looked after us on the beach.The food very good,Geoffrey on the fruit had great artistic gift, he carved animals, flowers, palm trees, out of melons and always had a smile for you.The security guards really do there job and make sure the sellers on the beach do not harass you.we had a private 3 night 4 days safari with F.Kings, booked back in the UK would highly recommend this company. Just booked to come back next year.

Room Tip: Worth paying extra for sea veiw
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank kathyKidderminster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southern P, Guest Relations Manager at Southern Palms Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2013

Dear Kathy ,

Thank you for the wonderful review of our hotel Southern Palms Beach Resort.
We are happy to know that you had an amazing time particularly with the staff Richard and Celesters who took very good care of you and the security who do a commendable job to ensure our guests safety.
We have passed your special mention to Geoffrey for his good work and talent of sculpturing on the fruits, and he is all so proud that you put it on the trip advisor.

We are honored to be the hotel of your choice again for the fourth time next year and we look forward to welcoming you back..Karibu tena

Warm regards,

Betty.

Guest Relations.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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
#11 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range: £90 - £143 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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