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“Excellent Hotel with Amazing staff”

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Southern Palms Beach Resort
Ranked #8 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Reviewed 2 March 2014

We stayed at the hotel from 11 Feb through to 25 Feb. Having painstakingly scoured Trip Advisor in order to really research a good hotel. It soon became apparent that the time spent was worthwhile. Southern Palms Beach Resort turned out to be an inspired choice and we were not disappointed.

The journey to Kenya was aided positively by our flight with Thomson's when we found that we were travelling on their newly purchased Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, what a great trip. However, you are still tired when you reach your destination but that tiredness soon evaporates when you are welcomed and checked in by Betty and her reception staff. Thank you all, you are a credit to the hotel and deserve the plaudits.

We settled in very well and quickly, the room (370) was a corner room and therefore nice and spacious. We soon felt 'at home'. Many thanks to Isaac for keeping our room spotless.

I'm conscious that I don't want to repeat everything that other contributors have already stated about Southern Palms. The complex itself is extremely well kept and spotlessly clean, it is easy to quickly navigate your way around and you soon become aware that the staff are the most polite, friendly and helpful that we have ever encountered on all of our travels. You soon become acquainted with the phrases 'Jambo', and 'Hakuna Matata'. Really polite welcomes and well meant.

The food was acceptable, with breakfast and the snack bar excelling, however, the restaurant food for the evening meal lacked a tad in variety for vegetarian choice. This is not meant as a massive criticism, it is just an area we feel could be enhanced. Nice variety of sweets and an abundance of great fruit at all meals times.

All of the staff are brilliant. If they can be of help they will go out of their way to do so, the entertainment staff enjoy themselves and their enthusiasm is infectious. Having said that, if you don't want to take part in the activities they don't hassle you which is great. Banter with them is fun. We recommend highly the morning guided beach walk, really good. Special mention and thanks to Hussain, Saleem, Dinnah, Lugwa, Julius, Robert and Ali. Also to Samuel the chef who always liked to speak to us individually about our meals. David the pizza chef made the tastiest pizzas. The shop was very nice and Nancy and her co-worker were very welcoming, even if we just want to browse. Dominic at the cocktail bar makes the most amazing cocktails.

Security at the resort is superb and the personnel are also very very good.

There are 3 variety of monkeys which freely roam about the place. They are quite friendly however watch your food on your balconies and keep your doors shut.

However, there are a couple of real negatives from our perspective which we feel the hotel needs to look into if they are going to enhance guests stays, as follows:

a) WiFi/Internet access is advertised but virtually non existent. Why the hotel management do not address this issue is beyond me and badly lets them down. Most travellers now want and need access to their loved ones whilst away and access to Skype is generally a must. This was totally impossible and as such it is wrong that the hotel promote the availability of WiFi or the Internet. Please Please look into this.
and,
b) Beauty Parlour. This operation is unfortunately not owned by the hotel and as such out of their control. My wife found the treatments to be expensive and not always at the advertised price. Treatments are offered and booked at one price, the treatment is given and then suddenly a higher price charged.!!!! Not very ethical at all and not isolated to my wife, we found another guest that had encountered the same sharp practice. Our advice, stay away from the beauty parlour.

We booked a 3 day safari through Julius T Safari's, a local company not associated with the tour company's. Really good service and we recommend them highly, please look at their reviews.

Would we return to Southern Palms -definite Yes.

Room Tip: We had room 370 which was a third floor corner room which was quite spacious, quiet and with a large...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Paul T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 March 2014

"Jambo Southern Palms".
We arrived around midday after many hours of travel from England and quite frankly we were very tired and fed up! Well if you want to go any where in the world to be cheered up then go there, as we walked into the beautiful reception area we were greeted with very welcome cold flannels and a refreshing coconut drink as our bags were taken off the coach, we then went to the reception desk and were greeted by Betty and her team who booked us in very quickly and greeted us with huge welcoming smiles.......now the holiday had begun.
I'm a great believer in first impressions and this place certainly delivers, the gardens are immaculate, the rooms are spacious and clean with huge balcony's.
The pools are amazing, after a few days when we swam towards the bar Nancy remembered what we drank and would be holding up our drinks in readiness for us.
The beach is very clean with beautiful white sands and the sea was oh so warm.
The food selection was just simply amazing, in the main dining room there is something for all pallets and it is not repeated day after day as in some holiday hotels, the selection is huge especially the puddings! in addition to this there is a Lebanese, an Italian, a Fish and a grill restaurant if you want some something else, (you will need to book for these).
The staff are wonderful every one of them, they all greet you with a "Jambo" and a pleasant smile, its hard to single out any one in particular as they are all working hard to please but the one who stood out was Hussain, he is an absolute credit to Southern Palms.
In the evening the entertainment was always finished by 11:00, its very low key but you'll never please every one.
I must say having read the occasional negative comment on trip advisor I am staggered! These are obviously the sort of people who like to moan for the sake of it because this place is faultless!
The only problem we had was my wife has gone up a dress size because of the fantastic puddings! small price to pay for the best holiday ever! thank you Southern Palms.

Room Tip: Take some beach shoes for the sea, there's a lot of coral.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank David C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2014

We stayed here from 11th February until 25th it was a relaxing holiday. My husband enjoyed his fishing trips and did catch fish. The hotel was kept clean as we're the rooms we had a problem with the shower not draining and as soon as we reported this the problem was remedied. All the staff were friendly and efficient. For the amount of people the hotel catered to the food was very good. We indulged in the fish restaurant and the service again was was very good the only negative in the whole time we were there was wifi. A thoroughly enjoyable holiday. We have been four times and each time look forward to going again

Room Tip: We had a sea view well worth it quiet and peaceful on ground floor
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank warnerley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2014

We stayed here for a week from 28th January having booked the holiday through a local tour operator in Mombasa. Having visited Kenya north and south coast several times previously this was our first visit to this Hotel. Whilst not having had any bad hotel experiences this hotel compares favourably with the best we have stayed in. The rooms were kept clean and the mosquito nets drawn around the bed whilst you dined. The swimming pools are large with the usual activities or a quiet pool if you prefer to relax. Attention to detail is perfect as one morning I mentioned the bathroom light was flickering when I returned lunchtime the fluorescent tube had already been replaced. our week was divided by a one night safari to Tsavo East with James of Mtana Safaris based in Mombasa. We always book private safaris with James finding his rates and knowledge to be excellent regardless of whether travelling to Tsavo, Masai Mara or even samburu. taking a safari in this manner gives the option of driving round looking or if you prefer spending all the game drive watching and waiting for something to appear/happen. Returning to the hotel I decided to try the beach sunbeds and what a delightful experience. These are overlooked by the hotel security and I found no problem with beach boys at all, whilst they would walk past trying to sell their ware this was no problem at all. I feel this has to be the best hotel I have stayed at in Kenya for a beach based holiday.
Evening entertainment is low key but sufficient although we did go out locally for two evenings.
overall I would rate this hotel as an excellent choice for a relaxing beach break in Kenya.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank TPL62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2014

We stayed here for our honeymoon, apart from a scribbled welcome on checking in and a basket of fruit which arrived after we had gone to bed 9.30pm, no extras or discounts were offered...for meals or spa...
Room quality good,tv stations were hit and miss changed each day but who comes on holiday to watch tv. turn down service sprays the room for bugs at night...didnt get bitten once..
pay mini bar disappointing, water left each morning outside the rooms (some days missing! think it was other guests going on trips!!)
signing chits for everything was a pain in the **** !! especially when you need glasses.it meant hubby had to take them everywhere! bands should be colour coded for half board or all inclusive. we understand they need to account for everything but even then, why not put it all on same chit rather than signing 3 or 4 for a single meal ?
Food was ok but not if your a foody..The Indian corner was the best in the buffet. the restaurant by the beach served the best food, cooked fresh, but can get busy, so we ended up eating a large lunch because buffet in the evening was very limited not a lot of variety of fruit and veg..
3 times during our stay nobody came to take a drinks order. we felt as it was because we didn't wave tip money around...TIP .......if you want attentive service...we know it works as we watched it !!
we tip when we get good service not to get it!
Pools good, sunbeds available any time of day...bar service good..entertainment team need some new ideas every day the same !
Beach beautiful mind the sea urchins hubby had 10 spines removed by the beach boys..(£40 outlay but cheaper than hospital & insurance and no infection..)
Beach sellers can be annoying but its a hand to mouth existence & as the tourist trade is poor at the moment so are the people.. we just told them if they keep pushing people wont come on the beach it worked for us, all friendly waves and chats till we gave away hubbys clothes & shoes on last day ..Go and check out the local village and school...an eye opening experience...you can never take enough sweets pens paper felt guilty when ran out after a few houses...
Had a meal at the African pot worth a visit for local food, buffet night cost less than £10 with drinks.
Overall it is worth a visit for winter sun, Hotel good for Kenya we have been told, maybe we were a bit spoilt last year in Sri Lanka...

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank cyberchickjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2014

We stayed here between 6th and 21st January. Before we left the UK I sent the resort a quick email explaining it was our 30th wedding anniversary and requested they arrange some flowers as a nice surprise for my wife when we arrived.

Upon arrival we were greeted with cold flannels to cool us down and a freshly opened coconut to drink from.

I would like to especially thank Betty for the nice welcome, organising our room, flowers and surprise anniversary cake. Everything was perfect we couldn’t have wished for more.

The resort is lovely with accommodation and restaurants focusing around the gardens and swimming pool, which is one of the largest pools in Kenya. The monkeys frequently visited the gardens looking for food. On a couple of occasions they also ventured onto the balconies looking for treats.

The beach is fantastic too. Lovely white powder sand and glorious sunshine. Plenty of resort sun loungers available to soak up the view – and the mojitos.

The one blight in the otherwise perfect horizon comes from the annoyingly persistent beach boy venders who constantly patrol up and down the beachfront making it impossible for guests to enjoy walking the beach. They follow you everywhere. I appreciate that they are outside of the resorts jurisdiction and are simply trying to scrape a living, but we found them a real problem.
Southern Palms recognise the Beach boy issue as the fantastic entertainments team do daily organised beach walks around 10.30 in the morning which last around an hour and a half to two hours, also having a security guard in attendance. The beach boys know to leave you alone on these walks - highly recommended.

Safari is in my opinion is expensive. We didn’t use Thompson and arranged our own through Diani Tours and Safari. Happy to answer any questions about Safari should you want to ask.

To sum up a great overall experience. Wonderful staff who really can’t do enough for you to make your stay as good as it can possibly be.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank StudentMod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2014

We returned to the UK last Tuesday after a 3 week winter break at this lovely hotel We travelled with Thomson on the Dreamliner and had a comfortable flight both ways The rooms were better and bigger than we expected and were kept spotlessly clean by Alex We had an end room with a large balcony overlooking the bottom pool wih a partial sea view The bathroom was large with a separate bath and shower The bath isn't modern but functional with lots of hot water so that I could enjoy soaking in bath oils We found the bed extremely comfortable and slept very well here There were a few minor issues but these were dealt with very quickly and equipment replaced where needed. Please report any faulty equipment so that future guests dont have any inconvenience on arrival after a long flight. Most of the staff were so welcoming and looked after us so well the lovely Betty and Hussein from guest relations were constantly checking that everything is ok with the guests A big shout out to Defence and Dinnah, two very gracious ladies who are a credit to this hotel and very attentive. Jimmy at the pool is so sweet and lugged our mattresses over to the sunbeds with a lovely smile Said and Felix at the pool bar for their excellent service and not forgetting Leonard(aka known as the president) from the buffet restaurant who was such good fun The buffet restaurant was our least favourite and although we couldnt complain about the food which was varied and good we did notice that some of the waiters were more attentive and welcoming to certain guests It took us a while to realise that tables were reserved for some guests by the waiters putting glasses of juice or wine bottles on their tables and whilst this would not normally bother me I got up extra early one morning towards the end of the holiday so that I could sit near to the pond to watch the lovely weaver birds. These tables had been reserved for their favourite guests despite them not being used in the time it took for us to eat our breakfast I did complain about this because we could have sat there and the table reset for other guests The waiter seemed unhappy that I complained and seemed quite surly with us for the duration of our breakfast Leonard soon lifted our mood though and I thank him for that I must compliment the hotel laundry for getting a huge red wine stain out of my husbands linen trousers I wish I could buy that product in the Uk The animations team were brilliant and we participated in the beach walks, water aerobics and water volley (the doctor and Brian were hilarious) I loved the pools and did a fitness swim most mornings and had the pool virtually t myself The pool nearest to the beach was the livliest with the swim up bar and hats of to anyone who can drink vodka cocktails at 10.00am my kidneys would pack up The all inclusive is probably the best value(10.00 am til 11.30pm) if you dont go out much and the rum and cokes were fine The cokes were in bottles (not draught) which I prefer. The beach restaurant, grill restaurant and the rooftop terrace italian restaurant were my favourites because it is waiter service These are part of the all inclusive package too The beach is lovely and yes the beach sellers will try their hand I find it hard not to respond in a friendly manner but believe me after 3 weeks we were walking the beach without being bothered because we were very firm and did not talk to them This is totally against our nature but we just wanted to walk the beach quietly and listen to the waves I did however buy some sarongs and gave some stuff to one of the ladies but the difference was I approached her, English guests are in the minority here but we met some lovely people Glynis and Terry and Diane and Peter who were very good company. Some guests were staying here for 5 months and return each year!!! If only ,,,,, I think the highlight of our trip was the safari with JT safaries. This is a very reputable company and we did a 3 day safari to Tsavo East (Voi lodge excellent views) and Tsavo West (Severin tented lodge - didnt want to leave here) Ken (FROM kENYA how he likes to be known) was an excellent guide who was brilliant at spotting things we couldnt The cost was very reasonable given that it was just us 2 in a new Toyota Landcruiser which was so comfortable Julius the owner is a lovely man and his drivers say he is an excellent boss He gave us 2 lovely wooden bowls as presents which was nice of him I would definitely recommend him and will use him for our trip to Masai Mara When you see the other busses packed out and people struggling for roofspace to take their photos you would wish you had arranged a private safari for less than Thompsons charge using Pollmans JT safaries have an office based near to the Diani Sea resort hotel Email Julius and he will send a driver to collect you. Julius kept in telephone contact during our safari to ensure that everything was going ok for us which of course it was I could have done a longer safari because we were so comfortable There is always next year so after returning to gale force storms and rain in the UK causing our roof tiles to smash up my new car I am already starting to plan our next trip to cheer myself up!!!

Room Tip: 2nd floor end balcony with sea view
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank mazzero
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 18 February 2014

Dear Mazzero,
We are all thrilled to read from you this terrific review on Southern Palms. We are happy that you loved the corner room, they are normally much lager and have not only a shower but a bath tab too and they are mostly in demand with many repeat guests, I let you to a little secret for your next booking. The welcoming staff Defense, Dinnah, Jimmy, Felix, Mr. President, Hussein, the animation team and I all thank you for remembering us, we are proud to have made your holiday a memorable.
The good food especially in your favorite restaurants the Grill and the Italian, all with the much preferred drinks in the bottles and not the draught make us outstanding from our competitors in the all inclusive market. We are glad you found a way to live through the beach traders and enjoyed your quiet beach walks too.
To crown it all you clearly had some wonderful time at the safari, with your own cruiser definitely had VIP services and it must be sad to have gone back to the cold. But of course there is always tomorrow and the fact that you are planning already your next trip back, puts a smile on our faces.
Sad to hear about your car.
Remember us to your husband and family.
We are counting the days to your return.

Thank you and 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 Romantic Hotel in Diani Beach
#7 Family Hotel in Diani Beach
#8 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range: £77 - £215 (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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