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“Great Hotel, Great Beach, Great Food”

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Southern Palms Beach Resort
Ranked #10 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
UK
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Great Hotel, Great Beach, Great Food”
Reviewed 6 February 2007

We arrived at the Southern Palms late January, for a weeks all inclusive break with the intention of relaxing in the sun. The hotel has a great feel to it. It has lovely pools, but you just cant beat the beach, the Indian Ocean is warm and great to swim in, though when the tide is in it can be a bit deep and a strong current for youngsters.
We did the official trip to Wasini, to see the reef, to snorkel and to have lunch. It is a trip well worth doing, the crew of the boats are friendly and make you feel very welcome. Best to be prepared as the sun can be very hot, so wear your sun screen & drink plenty (they have an ample supply of complimentary drinks on the boat). The snorkelling is fabulous out on the reef, this was my 1st time and we were well looked after and felt very safe, it was ideal for beginners (buoyancy aids were provided). Take the taxi from the hotel to the Diani shopping
centre, its worth a wander around, there is a pharmacy there, as well as a convenience store and several souvenir shops. The taxi is Ksh700, they will drop you off and wait for you. You could walk it, its about 3Km.
The hotel itself has several restaurants to try, for the smaller ones you need to book in advance, but in the main restaurant the buffet was brilliant, plenty of fresh fish, vegatables, curries and salads, as well as stir frys and grilled meat. Theres no way you will go hungry.
The rooms are ideal, light, very clean and airy, though it did take a while to work out the air conditioning, but once that was sorted it was just great, we had ocean views from our balcony as well and the room hada tv, coffee facilities, mini bar and hair dryer . Thankfully no sign of any mosquitoes or other unwanted creatures in the room, though we'd recommend you keep everything closed as there are some miniature ant like creatures that seem to be attacted to sugary / salty thing.

The only downside to the holiday was Mombassa Airport when we departed , the security checks and queues spoilt an otherwise lovely holiday. There were at least 4 full security checks, and then a bottle-neck at the 1 metal detecting machine, also you need to fill in exit visa form , something that no one had told us!!
All in all , with the sunshine, the food, and the people its a great place to visit and stay for those who want to relax for week as well as for the more active amongst us.

  • Stayed February 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank mark13rr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Kent, England
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 January 2007

I am shocked at how someone who stayed the same week as us can complain about Southern Palms!!!!!!!! :-(

We arrived here on New Years Day, only stayed for a week but really REALLY wish we'd have booked for a longer break! I can honestly say we didn't meet a single person who had a bad word to say about this holiday.

It was the best holiday both my partner and I have ever had!!! The staff are the friendliest people I've ever experienced in a hotel (and I usualy travel a couple of times a year), they go out of their way to help you in every aspect of your holiday. The bar men, Ali and Robert, who work on the pool bars are the nicest people and told us lots about Kenya in general and we found it so interesting talking to them while sipping a rum and pineapple in the pool!

The rooms were fairly basic and very clean and there were always cleaners around. They left chocolates on our bed every night too which was nice! The restaurant food was excellent in terms of usual buffet style food, I am vegetarian and always found something to eat. The meals also include a wide variety of tropical fruits and cakes which again, were lovely! We were half board and it suited us perfectly as we were out and about and most trips include lunch etc. For a local beer "Tusker" it was 190 shillings which worked out to be around £1.70 which I didn't think was expensive really...and cocktails were around 300 to 500 shillings. They take all sorts of money though i.e. US$, euros, sterling.

We had monkeys and bush babies visit our balcony regularly and have got some fab photos! We also done excersions most days and would highly recommend trips to Shimba Hills and Wasini Island where you can spot dolphins and snorkel and see the most amazing reefs and fish!

I would recommend to ANYONE wishing to visit Kenya to stay at Southern Palms, we definitely hope to go back one day!

C & P, Kent

  • Liked — The great location near the beach, pool and fantastic views!
  • Disliked — Everything was perfect!
  • Tips/Secrets — Just go!
  • Stayed January 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
10 Thank PhilCar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bridgend, Wales
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 January 2007

Arrived at SP on Christmas Day, to be greeted by the staff saying Welcome Home. It is Africa, not New York, so always try to bear this in mind. Staff are very friendly and helpful, let yourself fall into the pace of life and go with the flow. You may have to wait a little while for a drink, but some people have no patience.

Yes, the rooms are fairly basic, but they are spotless and well maintained. A comfortable bed is all that I require.

Food is fine with a good choice, as before remember you are in Africa. The hotel and staff surpassed themselves with the amount of time and effort they put into New Year's Eve. A night to remember.

Recommend Ali Barbour's, free taxi/ minibus from the hotel, if you fancy a change.

We had a three day safari booked through DM Safari's of Diani Beach. Would highly recommend this company, especially as they only use Toyota Land Cruisers for the safaris. This proved invaluable especially after the amount of unseasonal rain encountered in the Parks.

I would highly recommend Southern Palms for couples, families, just about anybody really.

  • Liked — Excellent staff and service
  • Disliked — No dislikes
  • Tips/Secrets — If you want a prime sunbed look after the right person
  • Stayed January 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank daiestwing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scarborough,UK
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2007

Just got home from a fantastic holiday in Kenya staying at the Southern Palms hotel Diani Beach. Remember this is Africa , so its not all mod cons but the staff and the and their friendliness more than make up for that. The food is good with a very wide choice, I would point out though the Grill restaurant left a lot to be desired. Our room was kept spotless as where the hotel grounds and amenities. We stayed over the festive season and the hotel pulled out all the stops to entertain guests and New Years Eve was truly amazing. A great place highly recommend to couples and families alike.

  • Liked — staff
  • Disliked — rooms quite small
  • Stayed December 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Lozgaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2007

We would not recommend this hotel just back from a two week stay. Reception staff are rude and have no time for complaints. Rooms are basic ,bedlinen and towels are musty 'and bathrooms not cleaned properly. Food is hit and miss, best to stick to African diet which is simalar to Indian but forget about meat if you want to avoid stomach problems. We were there for Christmas and New Year we had dinner in main restaurant due to weather conditions on christmas eve and it was choas too many people bumping and pushing into each other trying to get food buffet style ! our table was a long way from the food so after soup I give up too much hassle for something to eat especially when you don't enjoy the food , you have to be careful what you eat if you don't want to visit the local hospital! watch the BBQ chef lift raw food then use same tongs to put cooked food on your plate. Alex who is in charge of the sunbeds on the beachfront will make sure you will not get a bed at the front unless you tip him well,the first day I tipped him 100sh it was'nt enought and I did'nt get one the rest of my stay Alex is there from 6 in the mornings putting the sunbeds out with towels so you have no chance even if you get there at 6.30 he will say they are all reserved by guests when I made a compliant I was told to forget it as these men are friends or family of managament and that is how they got the jobs!! as they are so well tipped, there is a sign to say that the beds can't be reserved but Alex will tell you with a smile that they are all reserved even tho we had a seaview room and could see him putting the towels on with no guests around. We would walk to the next hotel Indian Ocean beach Club and for the price of lunch get a frontline sunbed there without any problem also the food is much superior and cleaner and about the same price. Ali Barbours is worth a visit they will send a car free of charge and its in a cave with the roof opened up food is good owned by a Scottish man. Book your safaris with Ferinand on the beach you will get exactly the same deal as the hotel but much cheaper and your boat trips from Ali Baba these people are honest and hard working I would rather my money go to the local people instead of hotel these people need to eat. Change money with Mama kiguo for best rate in Ugunda village. Staff are not so corrupt at Indian Ocean or Grand Diani reef and better hotels for everything rooms ,food and service and have more respect for their guests.

  • Disliked — Location
  • Tips/Secrets — don't forget to bring warm clothes for safari
  • Stayed December 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank sheilaLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Sussex- England
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 December 2006

"JAMBO"

If like me you have been reviewing Tripadvisor for a while and are anxious about staying at SP, honestly there is no need. The whole place is exceptional beyond our expectations and in my opinion it's 4 star rating.

Whilst there they put in a kettel and cups, A mini fridge which appears to be free for all inclusive guests and were stock piling up tv's to go in the rooms very shortly after we left.

The resort is immaculate in every way with ample room to do whatever you want to do, whether that be swim, sunbathe, eat/ drink, play sports or just relax in the bars. You are never tripping up over other people which really helps to give you a really realxing holiday.

If you go all inclusive and order a beer you will be given "Pilsner".
"Tusker" or "Tusker Malt" is a better beer and will only be given if asked for. The food is excellent if not a bit bland and boring after a 2 week stay as Kenya doesn't really have it's own cuisine...However this should not put anyone off as it's all fresh and you can try loads of seafood dishes you would not normally be able to without a hefty bill.

As you may be aware, The resort gets plenty of visitors in a furry sense. Monkeys are everywhere, Particularly if you are on a top floor. These are friendly, especially if you have fruit to give them from the restaurants...However still be wary of them as they are wild and will protect themselves if they need to. We had the pleasure of a bush baby on our balcony and out of 6 other people we travelled with were the only ones to see animals on our balcony. Remember to take a banana or two from the restaurants for a better photo opportunity!

I went out to SP for with my fiance to get married and was a little anxious about how it would work, Whether it would be as expected, whether we would be able to understand the registrar as his native tongue isn't English etc.
Well if you are considering a wedding at SP do not hestitate. It was as we dreamed. The only thing that came a concern was the tide as we were having a beach wedding. Due to the monsoons earlier in the year the tides are very changeable and random. We in the end had to change the time from 3pm to 11am. Due to this my wife got very little use out of her dress due to it then being the hottest time of the day. (surely well above 110F out of the shade) This also made it very difficult to look normal to the camera without squinting... but hey ho!
The help of the guest relations assistant Frida was invaluable so please if you see her say "Hi" from us.

The only thing that let this resort down a bit was the really annoying beach sellers. The hotels beach is very small in width and as the security guards only patrol the hotel's beach, it is impossible to have a romantic walk for 2. The best way we found to get rid of them was to say firmly and sternly " I'm not interested" or "leave us alone".
This is not the hotels fault but does slightly tarnish the whole experience.

Overall in my personal experience this is a great place to stay.

  • Liked — Exceptionally friendly staff that aren't lingering for tips.
  • Disliked — Beach sellers
  • Tips/Secrets — Take immodium etc and buy from moiz shop 10mins walk away, not hotel shop for bargains
  • Stayed November 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank WishIwasThereAgain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Livingston
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2006

To complete a fantastic Honeymoon in Kenya, my new wife and I booked four nights in the Southern Palms. I honestly don't think we could have visited a better resort. The room was clean with an awesome view of the ocean, the food was tremendous and the staff were out of this world. I would thoroughly recommend this hotel to anyone travelling to Kenya.

  • Liked — Staff and view
  • Disliked — Pushy sales people on the beach
  • Tips/Secrets — keep tips till the end
  • Stayed October 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
13 Thank Steph_laurs
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
#9 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
#10 On the Beach 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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