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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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