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Southern Palms Beach Resort
Ranked #12 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Reviewed 11 February 2009

this place was amazing loved it soooo much!!! the staff are really friendly. we stayed ther for a week after coming back from a safri a week long and it was very relaxing and really made you feel welcome and enjoyable. it is great for all ages as i was 13 and loved it. such an experiance!! x

  • Stayed: February 2007, travelled with family
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2  Thank alexe_xx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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853 - 859 of 1,408 reviews

Reviewed 2 February 2009

I read a lot of reviews about the hotel before we booked. Most were very good reviews but I did find a couple that were not. My family had a great stay with at this hotel and feel the few bad reviews I found are unjustified.

Staff - the staff at the hotel were the best staff that I have come across on any holiday. Nothing was too much trouble for them and the service was the best we have experienced. I got the same excellent service whether I tipped or not.

Pool and Grounds - the pool was huge and very clean. The hotel take great care of the grounds and pool which are kept meticulously clean and tidy. The hotel provide towels for the pool and beach.

Food - the food in the main restaurant is very good (I am a very fussy eater), as was the grill. The snack bar food was ok but there could do with being a bit more variation. The Italian - I am sorry to say that the food was not good when we went, but there are other reviews that say that the Italian was good. However there is enough variation in the other restaurants so you wouldn't have to eat there.

Rooms - the room was fine. They could do with an update - don't think that I am saying they are not nice. They are nice rooms with everything you need and clean. They have a good hair dryer (was as good as my one at home), tv, tea and coffee making facilities, windows and balcony all have screens so there is no problem with mosquitos.

I found one review which mentioned making sure you check your bill, so I did. I lost a few of my receipts and the hotel were able to show me straight away the copies i had signed. Everything on our bill was very accurate. My six year old lost a few things while we were at the hotel, one of which was her Nintendo DS. Everything she lost was found by staff and handed in. The hotel and it's staff are very honest.

I would definately recommend this hotel.

JT Safaris - we booked a three day/two night safari with JT Safaris over the internet before we left. I would definately recommend doing this. It is much more expensive if you book through your travel agent or through the hotels. I used JT as they had very good reviews on Trip Advisor. We all had a great time and our guide was very informative and friendly. We saw loads of elephants, giraffes, zebra, buffalo etc and also saw a cheeta and a lion - it was fantastic.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled with family
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6  Thank Clemina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2009

We,ve just returned from a week at the Southern Palms and was keen to put some comments so that it would encourage other travellers to take a look at it! We both had an excellent time-the food we found really good in all the restaurants. We mainly ate in the main restaurant, which served an excellent selection of vegetarian curries, for both lunch and dinner. There was always some plainer, more traditional food if that was your choice, with lovely salads, local fish and meat.
The rooms were well serviced, and air con. was every effective.

The pools were a sight to behold-fantastic, the biggest leisure pools I have seen on holiday, and the staff were constantly maintaining them.

The section of beach that the hotel was on was lovely... although there were plenty of beach vendors, once they chatted to you possibly bought something, or had a look in their shop, then this was okay and from there on in, it was just banter.

We will return to this hotel, starting with a safari then have a week or so back on the beach!

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Julia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2009

I stayed here with a girlfriend from Jan 12-Jan 20. I have to say it was lovely and definitely worth booking if you get a good deal. The staff is very friendly, the food is above average, and the pool itself is amazing. In fact, we took a walk into both the Diani Reef Resort and Leopard Beach, which were supposed to be the nicest in Diani, and the pools were very dull in comparison. In fact, if you googlemap the Southern Palms, you'll see how large the pool actually is.
The rooms are more like 3 star - large, basic, but not great, but what can you expect for a 4 star in Kenya?
The beach is white sand and lovely. The beach boys weren't too awful, to be honest. Just tell them No thank you and continue walking. We were 2 girls travelling alone and managed to do just fine on our own, although it can be a bit annoying.
The staff is amazingly nice and polite. They go out of their way to welcome you and take care of you. Joyce, the GM, was such a lovely woman.
We were on a half-board basis. If you can avoid eating lunch (as we opted for pina coladas instead) or just have something small, it is well worth it to go half-board, as the food isnt very expensive, should you want something. Just make sure to get a 5 liter bottle of water down at one of the convenience stores (about 1pound). Of course, if you choose to go HB, make sure you tip at the end!
The only downside to the SP was the evening entertainment. If you like a more lively place, take a cab down to the casino at the Leisure Lodge or some of the nightclubs in the other resorts.
We took a 2 day/1 night safari to Tasavo East with Mic's Safaris. It was great and cheap! Make sure to stop at the Masai village on the way back to the hotel.
A MUST DO is to go to the Forty Thieves Bar for drinks on Saturday/Sunday afternoon and then do dinner at Ali Barbour's cave. Beautiful.
It really was a great place and we found it to be very safe. If you can get a good price on the SP, go for it, as the south coast is much more beautiful than the 3star resorts on the North Coast.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled with friends
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5  Thank ppasha27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2009

We spent two weeks at the Southern Palms Beach Resort in Ukunda Kenya. We give the holiday 5 out of 5 what can I say but go there and go on safari with Julius Safari's www.julius-safaris.com.We arrived at the hotel to smiling faces a warm welcome and a cold drink. We were checked in very efficiently and taken to our room with in ten minutes. As we stepped out of reception there was a bit of a wow factor. We have traveled the world and stayed in many good hotels but this has definitely got a wow factor. The pool complex is magnificent, nicely laid out with plenty of space in the sun and also in the shade under the palm trees.
Our room was very nice but maybe a bit tired and in need of a spruce up especially the bathroom. Having said that everything worked there was always hot water and the air conditioning works well. The four poster bed was very comfortable.
We were half board (breakfast and dinner). Breakfast always had a huge choice of food from the traditional English fry up, pancakes, fruit, bread cakes ect. For those that like a lay in a late breakfast was served from 10 am at the cafe bar down by the beach. Dinner was buffet style and again there was a huge choice of food and good quality. Half board residents could also chose to book the Italian roof top restaurant and the grill in the middle of one of the pools at no extra cost . The Italian is very good but the grill seems to be a small version of the main buffet except that there is a choice of grilled meats. We did not think the grill was very good. Once every two weeks there is a moonlit dinner on the beach at extra cost. A word of advice don't book the italian or the grill on these nights as the service will be very slow. The Italian is the closet kitchen to the beach so is used for the beach dinner.We occasional eat at lunch time at the bar by the beach and the prices are similar to the UK Toasted cheese sandwich, fries and salad £4 approx and pasta £5 approx.
Drinks in the hotel are Tusker beer 500ml £2.30 Sprite £1.30 Water 1 Lt £1.70. We went half board because we knew we we be on safari for three days. The extra cost of all inclusive was £760 for the two of us and we thought we would not get good value from this as we normally don't eat four meals a day (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner) We spent about £200 in the hotel over the two weeks. You go to the cashier and pay a deposit 5000 Kenyan Schillings (£45) and then sign for everything as there is no cash taken in the hotal. You pay the balance the night before you leave.Over the road just outside the hotel you can by 5 lt of sealed water for £1 so thats what we did and filled up bottles to take around the pool. Also there is a supermarket about 500 yards up the road were you can by soft drinks biscuits local alcohol ect. We did this a bottle of local Gin/Vodka is about £3The taxis from the hotel are very expensive unless there are four of you paying. A taxi to the ATM at Barclays Bank (nearest) is about £8 return but they do wait for as long as you want and bring you back. We used the local mini buses for the same journey 30 schillings about 27p The exchange rate in the hotel is very low so use the bank.

We booked the holiday with Cosmos and flew with Monarch from Gatwick Airport. The flight out was delayed by 3/1/2 hors which unfortunately meant we lost most of our first day at the hotel. The flight eventually took off at about 00:30 am so with the flight time and the journey from Mombasa airport and the 3 hour time difference we arrived at the hotel at about 4pm.

We had seen great reviews of the service that Julius Safaris provides on Trip Advisor and also this web site. I have to tell you that every word is true. What a fantastic service he could not do enough for us. We had trouble getting the cash from the machine and so we ended up paying most of the money for the trip when we came back. We went to the Masi Mara with Julius and it was the experience of a life time, we saw hundreds of animals. A two hour flight form the local airstrip near the hotel (10 mins) We stayed in Fig Tree camp which is very luxurious and in a great location as it is actually in the reserve. You come out of the camp gate and there are the animals. The Masi Mara is good for seeing the animals as it is grassland so very few trees or wooded areas.Our advice would to go for a two nights three day safari it is definitely worth the extra cost and you will see much more.Julius will often only ask you to pay 50% when you book and is relying on giving you a good service so he gets good feedback. He can take a credit card payment at his office which and he is happy to pick you up from your hotel and take you to his office.I give Julius 10 out or 10 and the safari 10 out of 10.Julius gave us a couple of nice wood carvings on our return from the Masi Mara. We will be going back to Kenya and going to the Tsavo Parks as we did not have time to do them both.

There are many people on the beach who want to talk to you sell you wood carvings, take on a tour of the reef, sell you safaris ect. Remember that these people have been without tourism for a while as a result of the troubles back in December 2007. They are trying to make a living. Personally I found them to be no trouble. If on day one of your holiday you go to the fantastic beach with skin as white as a ghost then you you are going to be a magnet for the beach boys, they will want to get in early and try to sell you something. My advice if you want to alone is to be firm and say no and they will leave you alone also it is good fun to engage in conversation with them.

There is a beach bar to the right of the hotel as you face the sea. Beer is about £1.30 and a G&T about £1.60. They also do snacks pizza for example. It is a nice place to sit but be aware many single men and women go to Kenya to meet the locals and this bar is a meeting place for doing business and maybe acting out the business. But the bar is quite safe.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Firtoft
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2009

Before departure i read some reviews on trip advisor, there was the remark that children are discouraged, which certainly is not true, there is a resident nanny and kids club so please do not go like we did thinking there wouldn't be many chioldren.
The food was another subject, people said ti was very good, i don't know what they eat at home because the food was not vewry good at all.
The staff are great they can not do enough for you.

Stayed: December 2008
1  Thank kinaSheffield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2009

We stayed at Southern Palms from 8th December to the 23rd , Kenya is a country I have always wanted to visit and I can't wait to return.
The journey to the hotel was a real eye opener especially the mad driving in Mombassa and the ferry journey but it only added to the excitement. When we arrived we were given a lovely cool flannel and a cool drink and greeted with "welcome home". The staff are amazing and so friendly. The hotel room was kept spotlessly clean and the gardens and pool are beautiful. I did find the beach boys a little over powering at first but they never bother you when you are sunbathing and after a couple of days they do leave you alone so don't let it put you off using the beach which is absolutely brilliant with white sand and palm trees. We met the girl from the animation team for a couple of mornings for a beach walk where the security guard follows to keep the beach boys away and I would definitely recommend doing this as there is so much more to see further along the beach in both directions (don't cross the river though as we were told this isn't safe).
The taxi drivers inside the hotel gate were also very helpful, we booked a trip to Mombassa Old Town which only cost us 6,800 shillings for all three of us (much cheaper than the rep) the driver found us a guide who gave us an excellent tour of Fort Jesus and also the old town and harbour ending up going through the market - it wasn't at all scary although we were the only white faces and nobody bothered us at all. I would definitely recommend it as we also got to go into an African antique shop and carpenters as well as visiting a fabulous Indian temple which we would never had known about on our own.
We also went to Shimba Hills for the day with the taxi driver which was really nice but don't expect to see many animals as they tend to hide in the bush. We got the chance to go on a walk with the warden which was about 2km down to a waterfall, this was really good but you need to be quite fit as my husband found it hard going back up the steep hill.
If you like snorkelling try the glass bottom boat with the watersport guys at the hotel, it was a wonderful afternoon and we got to feed the fish underwater with sea urchins and had an underwater guide who showed us alot of fish we might have possibly missed such as the lion fish, a clown fish and a cube fish which I have never seen before.
Wasini Island was really good for snorkelling but the boat trip was a bit long and I didn't like going into the village as I took books and pencils for the children which were snatched out our hands by the children and it upset my daughter a bit.
I would definitely recommend getting out and about as much as you can, we didn't understand why people would come all the way to such a fabulous country and then stay in the hotel for the whole time, you miss so much and the people are the friendlest I have ever met.
Beer and drinks at the hotel were a bit expensive which was the only down side but if you take a taxi to Diani Central you can stock up - beer only costs 70 ks and pop 30 ks at the Chandarama supermarket.
We would definitely recommend a holiday to Kenya, it was a little quiet which is a backlash from the trouble last December with the elections but all is now peaceful.
A big big Asante Sana to all the staff and people that we met that made our holiday something we will never forget.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
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6  Thank happychappyies
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

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 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range: £87 - £142 (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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