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“Paradise”

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Southern Palms Beach Resort
Ranked #10 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Paradise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 November 2008

Wow, what an amazing place! Arrived at the southern palms after a week on safari. Met by my son who had arrived 12 hours earlier, check in was quick and easy the welcome we recieved from the hotel staff was amazing. The room was lovely with a big balcony - very clean and comfortable.
The food was plentiful, varied and good - something for everyone even fussy eaters like myself!
The swimming pools have to be seen to be believed, absoloutly fantastic, the grounds are kept immaculate.
Walking onto the beach was like stepping into paradise (until the beach boys spot you!!) the beach is private and the security guards keep the beach boys away as much as they can.
There is a beach walk every morning with one of the hotel staff and a guard to stop amy hassel from the boys, its well worth going on.
Entertainment wasnt the best with the disco being a bit out dated - every thing stops at 11pm
The security guards are some of the nicest people i have ever met, they work 12 hour shifts of pretty much standing in the same place all day long but the smiles never leave thier faces. Peter and Mark were two great guys. Anderson who worked the beach bar was another favourite of ours, the drinks were ready before we got there!!
It was my 'BIG' birthday while we were at the hotel, the staff went out of thier way to make it speical organising a party on the beach and baking a cake for me, a big thank you Ester and Rama
Back to the beach boys, they can be a real pain but if you take the time to talk them and have a look at their goods they will respect you and leave you alone. John, Solomen and doctor were three lovely lads who made sure the others left us alone to enjoy our time on the beach, Swimming in the indian ocean was another highlight of our holiday the water is clear and warm but quite choppy when the tide comes in - you have been warned!!
Overall a fantastic place to stay

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank foxcat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Oxford, UK
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2008

Just returned from 10 days at the Southern Palms after starting holiday with a safari.

Overall a good experience. The pools are magnificent, and access to the beach is good (you can make it to the water without being caught by beach boys!).

Service from almost all the staff is excellent and genuine. As with everywhere in this country there are one or two who push the boundaries when looking for tips etc, but the minority shouldn't detract from the others.

Food on the buffet service is good and varied. The addtional restuarants, especially the BBQ grill are disapointing though. A special meal on the beach is well worth trying. I would recommend taking the all-inclusive option.

Only down side is that the rooms themselves are in need of a re-furbishment. However, they are clean and of good size. New mattresses would be a big help, and the a/c units are on the noisy side.

From discussions with others on the return flight I would rate Southern Palms as one of the better options for Kenya.

Whilst you're there be sure to try Ali Barbour's restuarant on the other end of Diani Beach - unique location and excellent food.

  • Liked — Pool
  • Disliked — Bed
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank OxfordAardvark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2008

Our recent stay at the Southern Palms was slightly disapointing, having been on many All Inclusive deals in many places this was poor. We booked a room upgrade which really was not worth it, very standard rooms which needed redecorating and tidying up some what and not that large. The buffet food was minimal, as the hotel was barely 50% occupied the management decided to only provide 50% choice of food which was very disapointing. The cocktail list at the bar is a joke, not enough choice. The few staff who were in the bars restaraunts were nice enough but were not plentiful so we found ourselves waiting quite a lot of the time. The pool area is lovely and it was the saviour of the holiday really. with only 50% occupancy this meant you could relax basically anywere around the pool or within the bed area on the beach. The entertainment on an evening was repetative and the disco was awful, many times we witnessed guests leaving early and we found ouselves the last customers at eleven o'clock!. We were glad to get away for a few days on safari which was the best part of the holiday. Be warned the beach boys were a nuisance but I understand there plight and just accepted them as part of the nature of Kenya. We will go back to Kenya, Diani beach area again but will stay somewhere else next time

  • Liked — Pool and Beach
  • Disliked — room & food & drink choice
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank regnartseht
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cumbria UK
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 October 2008

Last minute booking to Southern Palms due to XL cancelling Egypt honeymoon - thankyou XL - we had an amazing time in Kenya and our honeymoon was just superb.
From the the minute we arrived in reception we were met by extremely friendly staff in the most amazing hotel complex i have ever seen. It is simply stunning, beautiful, immaculately clean and the gardens/pools/resteraunts etc are really well kept and maintained.
The food was plentiful and very good - a few different tastes/textures but remember we are in kenya. We were half Board and had plenty to eat. The soups were creamy and delicious. The presentation of the food was lovely on the centre console and the salad bar was so decorative. Alot of effort and thought was put into this.
The beach was beautiful. Dont worry about the beach boys - just tell them firmly not to bother you and they will leave you alone. We met two of them who we got on very well with and they told the others to leave us. They were very friendly. They are really not to worry about, and they have some lovely carvings and jewellery, sarongs etc etc.
The entertainment was good, the best being the traditional african tribal dancers in full costume.
We were there for two weeks on honeymoon and didnt once get bitten by mosies - I was expecting tons of them, didnt even see one. The air-con was very good and mosie screens are secondry to the patio doors which we kept closed just in case when we were in the room. Rooms, exceptionally kept clean and very comfortable. Nothing was any trouble for the staff. Everyone were very nice and friendly. The water was very warm and the beach stunning. Snorkelling was poor as the reef is mostly dead in front of the hotel but there are still fish about.
The daily life of the fishermen is interesting - they go out every day in make shift boats. The watersports is very handy at the beach edge - the guys there are very helpful.
In all, a very enjoyable, relaxing time and a beautiful place to start our married life together.
Thank you Southern Palms

  • Liked — Beautiful Setting, well maintained, very relaxing and great beach
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank GLPowell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wiltshire
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2008

Southern Palms is the Sister hotel of Bamburi Beach Hotel and we were transferred to Southern Palms after problems at that hotel. It certainly is much better than Bamburi Beach! Our room was nice, the balcony sliding doors also had a mossie sliding bit so you could have the doors open and the mossies couldn't get in. The bathroom was also quite nice. The air con worked fine and we also had our own remote to control it!
All the staff at Southern Palms were lovely, especially the security guards around our rooms who we regularly had a laugh with. The pools were nice, they had a fresh water and a salt water pool, 4 restuarants (the Lebonesse you have to pay for). We didn't like the Italian restuarant much but the Grill and normal restuarant were fine. Also, the toilets throughout the hotel were absolutely immaculate!!! I don't think I've ever seen such clean and well presented bathrooms in my life. One thing we think this hotel did lack was things to do in the evening. They put on entertainment a few nights but it was over quite quickly.

  • Liked — The white sandy beach and clear blue sea!
  • Disliked — Nothing really!
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Elmafuddyesmate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 October 2008

I have always wanted to stay at Southern Palms. I grew up in Mombasa and had stayed at several hotels on the south coast when I was a kid. Upon arrival we were offered a 'welcome drink' which was juice and a cloth to wipe our hands with. The lobby area had small ponds and a waterfall. Our room was average, the bathroom needed a little updating, especially the shower area looked a little grungy. The bed was comfy, the ac worked, tv worked, had a little hot water kettle for tea and coffee....I broke a glass one night and went to the reception to get a broom, but they called someone up to clean it up for me.

My husband enjoyed playing beach volleyball and water volleyball, while I sat by the pool. The hotel was not full at all, very few guests. The beach was very nice, however we didn't spend much time on it because of the beach boys. Because there wasn't many tourists, the beach boys were very annoying and persistent. The food in the main buffet was quite good, they usually had a variety of food, however I have eaten at better buffets in other hotels. We ate at the Italian restaurant one night and thought the food there was good as well.

About the price, we were staying in Mombasa and called SP to get a price quote. They quoted us 150 euros per person per night. I think this is way too expensive. We managed to book on www.kenyalastminute.com, for $80 per person per night, which was a lot better. I think I would have expected a lot more out of the hotel if we had paid 150 euros each per night.

The hotel did have an all inclusive option, I am not sure if it was worth it or not. We usually shared a plate of chips for lunch, which was 280 shillings (in town you can get a plate of chips for maybe 100 shillings). Also, be advised that water and soda are price. 1 liter of water was 160 shillings. My husband took a walk one morning and bought two 2 liter fantas for 70 shillings each.

Overall, it was a great hotel, great service, loved the pool and the activities.

  • Liked — Pool and activities
  • Disliked — bathroom was grungy
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank red-headtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2008

We stayed at the Southern Palms for a week, and we utterly enjoyed our holiday.

The hotel:
We have not been around all the time as we went for safaris and snorkeling, but I think they offered a complete range of services to keep the guests entertained as much as possible. There were not too many people which probably made it easier for them to take care of us, but we experience no problems with the cleanliness of the room at all, safe worked perfectly, and the mosquito nets were OK - there were not many mosquitos anyway.

The beach is very nice, maybe a little disappointing for snorkeling as there is not much to see closeby underwater, and the there is some seeweed on the shore which takes back from the beautiful white sand. The food was fine, there is some variety and you can go to an Italian restaurant as well if you are fed up with the main buffet: we felt everything was pretty tasty and had no stomach problems at all.

Overall the hotel was OK, one may get nicer room, better food, but it was value for money and there was no reason not to fully enjoy our stay.

Safari:
We decided to go for a same day safari to Tsavo East and a 2 day one to the Masai Mara with Julius at JT Safaris (www.julius-safaris.com). I can honestly recommend his services to anyone: he outperformed even the First Choice offered services by adding an extra personal attention. He is very trustable and only provided us with the highest quality services: we saw all the big five and had a wonderful stay at Kichwa Tembo. Great organising, honest and helpful descriptions, can't get any better! Prices are beating most others and absolute value for money!

We also went for snorkeling and dolphin watching with Valentino form the beach, which worked out very well, there is a 50 KM drive south, and then we were taken on a boat to the islands: saw the dolphins as well as a beautiful coral reef and then visited a village on the island for lunch: very nice crew on the boat and we enjoyed every bit. It was a bit of a local experience having it booked with a beach boy: we were a bit uncomfortable at the beginning, but it worked well after all, great day!

  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Syx
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
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
#10 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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