My partner and I have just returned from a 2 week stay at the SP and I think I said from day 2 that the first thing I will do when I get back is put the record straight about some of the negative reviews posted on this site about the resort.
We booked the place and then read the reviews and we have decided to take most, if not all the negatives with a pinch of salt. We were terrified that we had done the wrong thing after reading the reviews and can say without doubt that anyone being put off by them should forget them, go there and have a brilliant time as we did! Just one tip for arrival at Mombasa airport for your Visa... You can either pay (in cash only) $50 US or £30 UK or 40 Euros each. Make your mind up which is the better rate!
On arrival after a sleepless flight, you are bound to be tired but it all starts coming together when handed a cool drink and cool towel and check in. It's little things like that, that make the difference. Within minutes we were in our room (284) and felt anxious as to what was going to greet us... Yes a slight musty smell (hellooo! abroad, heat, humidity etc etc.) Once the air con is on, forget it. I almost promise you won't notice it again.
The room was very clean and tidy. The towels were absolutely fine and did not smell even when wet. We didn't have a bath but obviously knew before we went but the shower was excellent and was powerful as someone else has said. The odd time in the evening when almost everyone is using them, the hot may fail but the cold by itself is fine..it's not cold! I would say the food was very very good and if you can't find something that you like, you have a major fussy problem. If you like curries, you won't be disappointed. Breakfast is brilliant and I have to say that the only worry is how much weight you are going to put on with all those cooked breakfasts you eat. We have been to lots of places abroad and it's the first place thats come up to 'full English' standards. Yet again, there is something there for everyones taste and nationality. How many fruit juices! Banana! (never seen that before)
We actually booked H/B with Thomsons before we went but didnt realise that you could up-grade to A/I for as many days as you wanted to. So, as we were away most of the first week on Safaris and trips, we left it H/B and changed to A/I, via the rep, for the last 6 days. Very simply paid our bill to date at the cashier (which was spot on i.e. they didnt try to rip us off as has been suggested) and then wore the band for the rest of the Hol. Unlike some people, I could drink my moneys worth for the whole holiday in one session bar near! All I am saying is that it suited us to upgrade and worked out that we got our moneys worth.
Another worry before we went was who to book the Safaris with. If you read all the reviews, there is always someone who's got a bigger box to put whatever you've got in! I'm sure you can get it cheaper on the beach or in the town and 4x4s are better than mini buses but you can worry too much! We simply booked through the Thomson rep on the 2nd day at the resort for all the trips etc and it was no messing about. It tends to shut the sellers on the beach up when you tell them you've already booked with the hotel too. I seem to remember someone saying "It was much better in our 4x4 and we saw others 'crammed' in mini buses". Not in ours would that have happened. It was a standard Nissan (Pollmans by the hundred!) that the roof lifted up on and there were 3 couples in it. Loads of room! You can't sit where theres no seat so I just dont get where the 'packed' label came from. Sheltered from the sun, able to stand AND a better view of things that were spotted on the safari. The only poss drawback is that the buses dont go off road/track. We were more than happy with the mode of transport. We did 2 trips. An overnight stay at Saltlick taking in Tsavo East and Voi lodge for lunch and Dinner at Saltlick in Tsavo West. A drive before Breakfast is not as bad as it sounds and I can only say that the experience of it all (including the trip up there and back) is all superb and part of the whole thing. We did another overnighter at Shimba Hills Lodge Nearer to the resort and even though we may not have seen every animal ever created it was still an unforgettable experience. The food, service and acommodation was all superb. Spoke to many people who went to Masai Mara and if you want to splash out the extra for it, it's top banana - you are almost guaranteed to see the lot I'm told.
If you have to do the culture tour of Mombasa, you would be wise to take in the 'Jambo Mombasa' tour. That takes in Fort Jesus, the usual memorabila/curio shop and then an excellent lunch on the Tamarind Dhow ( 2 hours and its needed!) followed by a visit to Haller Park and hopefully get the chance as we did, to hand feed the giraffe. Just to sum up... unless you are a very hard person to please, there is absolutely nothing to worry about. The staff are very friendly and I defy you not to get an energetic 'Jambo' reply from someone who you thought wasn't going to say it to you in the first place. You will see staff looking after the immaculate place all the time. There was another whinge about security... Our safe packed in as we haven't invented an everlasting battery yet. Security attended with the locksmith and supervisor just in case we weren't in the room. I think honesty prevails. Example; I am a professional hat loser and left my sun hat on the back of a loo door at 7 a.m. off on a day trip. at 10am the next day I went to customer relations and my hat was back on my bonce minutes later. The cleaners face, James, who found it, was a picture armed with a decent tip for his honesty! They do a flippin' good job for the pittance they are all paid I reckon. Put any worries you have where they belong if you are concerned about going to SP. We had no complaints whatsoever. By the way... someone said that one of the pools was salt water. Not either of the immaculate pools we went in! The guys were constantly cleaning them! Enjoy!
J&K Kent UK
- 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