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“Nice quiet holiday in Africa. Better than expected”
Review of Diani Sea Lodge

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Diani Sea Lodge
Ranked #10 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 June 2011

First of all I would like to say that people who rate this hotel 1/5 are absolute jokers. When we booked to go to Diani Sea Lodge and then looked at these people rating the hotel so badly, we were really worried about what we were getting ourselves into and considered swapping our holiday. I'm glad we didnt as the hotel was better than we expected and proved that some people who review on here expect everything for nothing. If you want a 5 star hotel then 1) dont go to Kenya, Its a 3rd world country, and 2) pay more for your holiday!!!!

Rant over. Now our take on the holiday....

Myself and my girlfriend are in our 20s and have been to the carribean and other places and have been in some very nice 4-5 star hotels and payed for that standard hotel (over 1000 each easily) but we wanted to go on safari this year and heard the diani sea lodge was a nice little hotel to stay in Kenya on a good beach (which is correct). Plus it was cheap and value for money.

When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted by the friendliest staff I have come accross and were shown to our rooms. The rooms are basic but we didnt mind as we were hardly in there anyway. The rooms were cleaned every day and the air conditioning worked perfectly unlike some people who have said that it doesnt work on here.

The hotel itself was pretty small compared to hotels we have been in the past but was very nice and the location on the beach was superb. The beach was stunning but the beach boys were very much a pain in the backside from the moment we arrived. As soon as you step foot on the beach the 'land sharks' pile in on you trying to sell you anything they can, from safaris to shells off the beach. If I have any tips for you in dealing with them, just say you have already booked safaris and other trips with the hotel and they tend to leave you alone after that (they did with us anyway).

The food at the hotel was the down point of the holiday. It wasnt that the food was bad, there was just a real lack of choice over the two weeks. If you like fish, rice, meat and cakes then happy days. Another thing that baffled me about the food is how you are served your meal some days and then have a buffet style dinner the rest of the time, and even when you have the buffet you still cant help yourself as the staff are there to spoon out portions to you. Weird.

If you want a nice drink and something to eat surrounded by a nice busy atmoshpere then head down the beach to '40 thieves' on a weekend. Really enjoyed it down there and it was pretty cheap for the quality of the food down there.

The best part of this hotel was without a doubt the staff. They were brilliant and would do anything for you. Easily the nicest staff I have come accross at any hotel I have stayed in.

Overall I would say that the hotel is nothing more or less than 3 star but thats what we expected so wasnt dissapointed at all with it unlike some people who expect to stay at somewhere like the Savoy for 800 pound.

Dont listen to the stupid 1 star reviews some people put on here because it is far from a bad hotel and we enjoyed our time there. Some people are just never happy.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank me330
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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175 - 181 of 496 reviews

Reviewed 25 June 2011

We just came back from holidays in Diani Sea Lodge and it was the worst expierence we ever had.!!!!!! Hotel is no more than 2 stars, on the booking we been told that we get pool view room but there is no pool view rooms at all in Diani Sea Lodge. Rooms are very basic, towels stinks, if you need to use safe you need to pay extra 2£ per day....We did not had a hot water for 2 days and last day we didnt had water at all for half day... We do not recomend drink any water even from the sealed bottles. Food choise very small every day same food and at pool bar same dish every day served differently. Last day on the breakfast we found bug in the bread no apollogise salads was dirty.. Beach Boys stay away from them you can not have even a second on your own they fallowing you all the time....

Room Tip: Baobab hotel 5 star hotel and 5 star service....
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank debesiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2011

We were a party of two couples whose main requirement was to relax and take it easy whilst seeing what kenya has to offer.
The hotel was clean and public areas well maintained, the hotel was quiet as this is their low season, it is for this reason that the 'Beach Boys' home in on new faces at the few hotels along this stretch which are still open. Having read recent reviews before we left England, I was not particularly looking forward to staying in the Diani Sea Lodge so was really pleasantly surprised on arrival. for the price that we paid it was very good value for money. The rooms were a little dark, but were air conditioned, on the whole this did work, ocassionally switching off when the automatic generator kicked in, the shower did lose pressure now and then.
We enjoyed a trip to Shimba Hills, which was a relatively low cost trip, if not staying over. We also did a 2 day safari to Tsavo East which we arranged prior to travel. Salim Senti was fantastic, really knew his stuff and tried his level best to ensure that we had a great time, at a very reasonable price.
We also went to the Ali Barbours the cave restaurant, about £50 per couple including wine, beers and G&Ts well worth a visit, free transport, just book at reception. Need to check out the doorman...
The Kenyan people in the hotel were fabulous, very friendly, sisters Beth and Susan were great, a credit to Kenya.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank GinaG20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2011

My husband (65) and myself (young 60) have just come back. Bit disappointed in the hotel. The price as very economical and this was reflected in the hotel. Room was very basic, no TV, no fridgte, no telephone. Towels smelt musty and the electrics were positively dangerous. The rooms were cleaned every day and towels changed as often as you want but still smelt musty. Wouldn't trust water left in thermos flasks. The food was awful, obviously used cheapest cuts of meat. If you need a detox this is the hotel for you, I had a 14 day one! Most people we spoke to were suffering from tummy upsets but we couldn't quite work out the particular culprit. Outside area was good, pool quite adequate and plenty of sunbeds in sun and shade. Beware falling branches and coconuts. Some other guests could not get round the obsession of putting towels on sunbeds very early although there was really no need. The safari we booked before we went, we just felt safer doing that and I'm not sure they were that much more expensive. It was really really good, and our driver was excellent - Jambo to John. Shimba Hills accommodation was absolutely gorgeous and the food was excellent, but the other lodges were very tired inside but brilliant outside, and the food mediocre. Jambo to Jackie and Mick, the first couple we met on the safari bus - and they came from our home town!! Jambo Andy and Cat (just married) they all made the safari a smashing experience for us. The staff were lovely and very friendly as were the animation team with a full entertainment programme /organised trips during the day and evening. The Village Walk is a bit of a con as the village is not actually lived in as they would have you believe. Very poor country but everyone has a mobile phone. All in all we loved the country and would go back again but I would pay more this time to get better accommodation.

All in all loved Kenya,

Room Tip: View otheer rooms to get the best one.
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank 186363Angela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2011

The recent spate of negative reviews made us a little concerned about choosing this hotel; however I can truly say that any worries we may have had disappeared on arrival of the Diani Sea Lodge. The hotel is located on a white sandy beach – with only an obstacle course of beach sellers blocking access to the Indian Ocean. However there is ample sunbathing space in the gardens and around the pool area – we barely ventured onto the beach and therefore the beach boys didn’t bother us one bit!

The hotel is small, and there were only a handful of other guests in our first week (arrived 3/6) so it was easy to find a sun lounger either in the sun or the (plentiful) shade. Watch out for falling coconuts and palm branches though!

All public areas were clean and well-maintained – a little run down in some areas but this did not spoil the look of the hotel. We had a basic room – no fridge/TV/tea-making facilities – but everything was spotlessly clean and housekeeping do a great job making sure that rooms are cleaned and sheets & towels are changed every day. The air-con was extremely powerful (after the power cut the first day…) and was often glad to crawl under the sheets in the middle of the night! My only complaint would be the bed, which whilst extremely wide was rock hard and came with the thinnest pillows ever made… Ask reception/housekeeping for additional pillows!

There was a limited variety of food available, particularly for those who are used to large ‘resort’ hotels with multiple restaurants; however there was always a fish, a meat and a vegetarian option, along with potatoes, vegetables and rice, and the food was always of good quality. Most nights were self-service (buffet style) – apart from the soup which is served to the table – although there was a set menu with waiter service on a couple of occasions; dinner is also served on the outside terrace a couple of nights a week (African night and BBQ night). There is also a snack bar open from 10am til 4pm which serves pizza, sandwiches and burgers if you don’t fancy a 3-course lunch (or if you miss breakfast!).

The staff at this hotel are what makes this a fantastic holiday. Everyone – from maintenance to housekeeping, reception to waiters, animation team to water-sports sellers – will greet you with a ‘Jambo’ and take the time to talk. They are as interested in our lives back home as we were in theirs. Particular mentions go to the wonderful Bernard and Elvince on the pool bar… we spent most of our time here and they became like old friends!

Both Mr Fletche and I were victims of stomach bugs – Mr Fletche being particularly ill at the end of the holiday and requiring medical attention – however we believe this was down to a number of factors – heat, different water (it’s hard not to swallow the shower water when washing your hair…), different food, excess alcohol and the malaria tablets. We do not blame the hotel in any way for this – in fact their service and attention when we required medical help was second to none.

Finally (!) – make sure you take a trip out to Ali Barbours Cave for a fantastic meal in a stunning underground setting (free shuttle – tip the driver – book at reception); take a glass-bottomed boat trip; take the Kinazini Funzi Dhow trip (booked via First Choice Rep); book a safari through a recommended company (we used F King Safaris – absolutely fantastic – see separate review) – and watch out for those pesky monkeys!

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank MrsFletche
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2011

This hotel gets mixed reviews, before we went there were a few negative comments which made us a little apprehensive as when we booked it eight months earlier the reviews were quite positive, we needent have worried. As a party of two couples aged 45 to 55 we found this hotel certainly more basic than some hotels we have stayed at, our last hotel had five a la carte resturants and eleven bars this was certainly less than we have been used to but in this case small is beautifull, the people cant do enough for you and you show them a smiling face and they will totaly embrace you without having to tip them as you walk past. The rooms are basic with no fridge/mini bar,tv or coffee/tea making facilities, but are spotlessley clean with sheets and towels changed daily, all the communal areas eg toilets bar area, pool area, grounds are all maintained to a high standard, even at eleven thirty at night going in to the toilets next to the bar there is still an attendant on duty without requiring tips assuring that it is still clean at all times. The food was very good even for the fussiest eater, although the portion sizes were not very big you could go back or ask for more, there was always a choice of a meat or fish dish with fresh vegetables each lunch and evening meals, a salad bar where you could help your self and a pudding area with an assortment of cake, jelly, mousses and fresh fruit which all food was kept covered for cleanliness , packed lunch and early breakfasts were available for those going on safaris. The only negative that we would comment on was the beach boys and girls who whilst were too friendly and very persistant became annoying to the point where you did not want to go on to the beach or walk outside of the hotel gates, however through trip advisor reviews we booked our two safaris to tsavo east for a two day staying at the voi safari lodge and a day trip to the shimba hills and the nearby elephant sanctuary.We did this through a local guide called Salim Senty, you can contact Salim by email on sasuse101@hotmail.com we found him to be priced very competitivley and his service was fantastic his knowledge of what to find and at what times were somthing that only the best can do, whilst we were in tsavo east he stopped and directed us to look at two bushes the furthest being forty yards away and the nearest being only fifteen yards, in these bushes there were three lions resting with legs up in the air,with a full stomach as you could just see the hind quarter of a zebra which they had killed, this would have been missed by most people and again he showed this unique quality when we were in shimba hills, and directed us to look at a darkend area in a tree just at the entrance to the shimba tree top hotel that he had took us to visit, two owls that were watching the people going in and out the entrance none of which had any clue that these two birds were there this was the uncanny nack of being able to spot whats going on in the surroundings. People if your looking to book a safari dont overlook this guy he will not disappoint you. Over all we found the whole holiday truly amazing and memories that we will remember for ever. There are some hidden costs to this holiday that you may want to be made aware of these being malaria tablets malarone which is recommended are very expensive cheapest place to buy is super drug £54 for a two week holiday, yellow fever (optional) £50 and entry and exit visa costs approx £50.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank lynn_stones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2011

This was my first time at this resort and I was very impressed. Miles of soft white sand and very few people made it idyllic.
Our accomodation was basic but clean and the daily maid service was efficient. Our air conditioning was so good that we had condensation on the outside of the windows in the morning! The shower was salty water - so we did the final rinse of our hair with drinking water to keep it soft.
The food was satisfactory - varied - and my friend who is a vegetarian, always had a choice.
The animation team were friendly and enthusiastic - and there was a good range of activities to keep people of all ages entertained if they wanted to take part.
The pool was good and there was lots of shade for folk who didn't want to bask in the sun. I would recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank KateNE46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Diani Sea Lodge

Address: Diani Beach Road | Ukunda, Diani Beach, Ukunda 80400, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda > Diani Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
#12 Romantic Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range: £86 - £189 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Diani Sea Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 168
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated right on the white sand beach of the Indian Ocean, Diani Sea Lodge, an all-inclusive 3+ resort, is surrounded by lush tropical gardens. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Diani Sea Hotel Diani

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