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“Simply Perfect” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Diani Sea Lodge

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Diani Sea Lodge
Ranked #14 of 30 Hotels in Diani Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Dover
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Simply Perfect”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2011

This was a most wonderful holiday and I can say that the staff were the most friendly and helpful I have ever come across.

We came to Kenya to get married and thanks to George (the hotel manager) and his staff the day was absolutely perfect in every way. They organised every detail and planned the perfect wedding, leaving us to enjoy our holiday, wedding and honeymoon.

The only bad part was having to leave this amazing place. Recommended to all.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank HowardandBeata
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
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (71)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Kent, uk
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2011

We stayed at the Diani sea lodge, in the summer 2010. We liked it some much we are going back there again, this year. The room we had was kept immaculate by the cleaners. In fact, all of the staff, were polite, friendly and very attentive, always smiling and welcoming. The food was excellent, and varied. There was nothing we could fault, so we recommend the hotel. We also booked our safari`s from Julius safaris. He sends a car to pick you up and return you to the hotel, as his booking office is only 5 0r 10 mins down the road. Julius` service is excellent, he tailors the safaris to meet your needs and charges half what the reps were charging. He checked in with us each day of the safari, via phone, to make sure we were happy with everything, which we were. We cannot speak highly enough of Julius and his safaris.
Alan and Shirley.
Kent. England.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Alan O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2011

We stayed at the DSL for 2 weeks 15th – 29th July, specifically booked on a budget, so we weren’t expecting 5* luxury. Our main reason for visiting Kenya was safari, make sure you research well as there’s a lot of difference between game parks and reserves. The DSL is only a small hotel, the rooms are basic (even though classed as superior in holiday brochures/websites), the food choice was limited although fresh every day and perfectly edible, never had 1 bad soup. 2 evenings a week dinner is served ‘al fresco’ which is lovely change as there’s only 1 restaurant on site, make sure you try the naan bread straight from the tandoori oven, gorgeous.... As many have said before – you get what you pay for so don’t come here expecting more. You have to remember what you’ve seen on the drive to resort, this is a 3rd world very poor country, not the Caribbean!!! What you do get however is 5* service from the very friendly, ever smiling staff. ALL the staff (see names in previous review, thanks John & Russell) work very hard for very long hours and all they want is for you to enjoy your holiday, they simply can’t do enough to make this happen. There is entertainment every night, it doesn’t last for long and is ‘local’ so just relax and enjoy. The live band night was a real treat (both week’s), an opportunity to dance the night away, the only exercise I got all fortnight!!! Pool towels are provided and can be changed every other day but if you like nice fluffy, soft towels (especially in your bathroom), take your own!!!
Take a mixture of currency (USD, EUR, GBP, KSH), they’ll take it all but any change will be given back in KSH you’ll need $50 per person for an entry visa and $20 exit tax. All local purchases/tips are best paid in KSH, so make this your main currency. Safari’s are normally quoted in USD and if you choose to pay on credit card you pick up a 5% charge, so take enough cash (USD), if not already paid.

Don’t miss:
Afternoon tea and/or pre-dinner (6pm) cocktails served on the terrace, very civilised
Evening meal at Ali Barbour’s cave restaurant, book at reception or through your rep, to get the courtesy bus (return).
A drink at Forty Thieves (bar) on the beach (2 minutes from Ali Barbour’s), small entry fee in the evening at the weekend (200 KSH/approx £1.50). Forty Thieves also serves great food and often has live music (day & night).
45 minute full body massage for 750 KSH (approx £5) excellent value for money and very relaxing, don’t leave this until the end of your holiday... why only have 1 at that price...
Manicure’s and pedicure’s for about the same value, lovely treat for the homeward journey...

Be aware:
Unless your planning on buying from the beach seller’s, politely just say NO. If they get a hint you might buy (don’t say maybe/later/tomorrow), they won’t leave you alone. They must’ve seen us coming, we were well and truly ‘done’... They still pester you even on the escorted beach walks!!! However, every Thursday afternoon the local’s set up and sell their ‘wares’ in the hotel grounds, this is a great way to practise your negotiating skills. You have to haggle and expect to pay about ½ the original asking price, please remember this is their only source of income so you don’t need to be rude. Also, there’s an old guy about 10 mins walk along main road (towards Diani Shopping Centre), he carves himself & doesn’t try to rip you off.

Happy to give more info, just ask!
Jayne & Dave

Room Tip: rooms basic but clean (how much time do you really spend in your room?)
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank JRiceManchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Warrington
Level Contributor
21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2011

We spent two weeks at the Diani Sea Lodge from 15th July 2011. Having been to Goa we had an idea of what a third world county is like and the standard of hotels on offer.
This place is great. The room are comfortable, cleaned daily, always hot water and the air conditioning worked great. Our room was cool the whole time.
The staff make this place, on day one, need I say 'at the bar' we met, Bernard, Mark, Ali, Titus who all, after the traditional 'jambo', remembered you name and what you drank. Not forgetting Joseph, Anyet, Elvince. The waiting staff were every bit as helpful, especially Michael, Kennedy 1 and 2, Dan (the man), Masa, Dominic, Rama, Crispus, Dollar.
You will always find something to eat both in the main restaurant and the snack bar.
We did eat out at the Forty Thieves along the beach, a couple of times (Take a torch as its pitch black on the beach with hundreds of crabs!!!) Massive portions and great value.

Booked a Three Day, Two Night Safari with JT Safaris from the UK. Excellent service, great price. (Review on JT Safaris website)
Had a fab holiday, the safari was the highlight, met some great new friends and the staff at the Diani Sea Lodge made this a holiday to remember.

John & Russell

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Scotsman2110
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2011

We booked this holiday in January and have been closely following the reviews and were somewhat apprehensive about this holiday having read some of the reviews, whilst the majority are very good there are also a number of poor reviews/comments. However we needn't have worried as this was one of the best holidays we have had. We were allocated a family room (no 1) which was close to the reception and whilst a little basic (but no more so than an average room in in the Med/Greece/Turkey) was spacious, plenty of cupboard space and a sizeable bathroom. The air con was ok and kept the temperature at the right level and in view of some of the comments about the air con in the 2nd bedroom we decided to take fan.

There have been some comments about the towels in the room which certainly weren't fragrant but served the purpose and can be changed when ever you want by leaving them in the shower.

Whilst the food wasn't lavish based on the price we paid for the holiday it was good, some dishes excellent, our only criticism would be the BBQ night which was held twice a week around the pool area. Whilst there was wider selection than usual, you had to queue for about 10-15 minutes and then by the time you got the food back to your table it was cold, mainly due to it being windy. The food at the snack bar was good but limited in choice (pizza/omellete/Burgers/soup/chips) and service sometimes slow but you do have the option of using the main restaurant until 2pm.

The bar staff and waiters are excellent particulaly Dominic, Kennedy, Titus, Elvince, plus many others

The animation are superb (particulalry Ibrahim) and arrange a number of activities during the day, beach football, volleyball, bowls etc but don't push you into taking part. They also arrange walks during the day. A beach walk to the sister hotel the Sea Resort (a good way of walking along the beach whilst avoiding the beach boys). They also arrange a walk to the local village which we would highly recommend, this takes about 2 hours and is very informative. It cost just over £2 pp and is paid directly to the village. It is here that we met Erik who we became friends with and we arranged for him to take us to the local school 'Habari Njema Hope School' which was excellent as we were there for 2 hours and they took us around all of the classrooms and we met all of the children who at the end of our visit sang and danced for us. We would highly recommend that you take the time to visit this school the teachers, who are all volunteers, were very friendly, welcoming and enthusiastic despite the fact that they did not know we were coming. The school is very near to the hotel, we went by taxi but could have quite easily walked to it. We gave out some exercise books, pencils, sweets and made a small contribution to provide food for the children, as the meal at the school is sometimes the only meal they get.

We went on 2 day safari wth JT Safaris which was excellent, this is best arranged face to face to allow you to barter the price. You pay a small deposit in advance and then pay the balance after you get back.

There are a lot of comments about the beach boys in most of the reviews. Whilst they can be a pain they were not as bad as we thought they would be and we made some good friends particularly with Chris the sand artist who let our son help him with his brilliant sand sculptures. He owns a shop which sells pictures which he has painted himself making them more unique than most of the stuff you will see. The shop is near to the Sea Resort Hotel and we arranged to meet him one day and best of all he gives you a very good price so there is no need to barter. We advise you NOT to go the beach shop directly to right of the hotel which is run by Pete, you will get a lot of pressure to buy, he barters at a very high price and you get no thanks from this chap and his cronies after you have bartered him down.

The monkeys are cute but DO NOT FEED THEM, they are scavengers and if they know you have food on you they will have no fear of taking it from you, we regularly saw them rifling though peoples bags or pinching their drinks. Plus they have rabies !

The following may also be of interest to you;
We paid $50 each to get in the country and $20 each to get out, including children
The taxi drivers at the entrance are expensive & miserable, we recommend Rashid Omar who is based at the Big Six Safari office. He took us to and showed us around Ukunda which was an amazing experience at a very reasonable price
The acrobats (and other entertainers) don't get offered drinks by the hotel so we gave them coke/fanta after the show which was greatly appreciated

We could go on but hopefully this will give you a flavour of the holiday we had, but overall we had a great time

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank andy_hulbert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 August 2011

After reading previous reviews of this hotel I was a little cautious about going there. But now, iIn all honesty, I can't understand the bad reviews..

All the staff are so helpful and will go out of their way to assist. The hotel is kept clean and we had no problems whilst we stayed there. All the rooms have a safe which you pay a small amount to hire for your stay. This is really worth doing (and it is very large) I think it worked out as £21 for the 2 weeks we were there.

The room was spacious and kept very clean. Each room is provided with a pillow for each person, the cleaner of our room noticed we were stuggling with this (as we had folded a towel up under our pillows) and provided us with 2 more without us even asking..

The room is also provided with a flask of drinking water which I understand is filled from the water fountains ( situated in the restaurant and Pool bar) but we didn't want to risk this in all honesty so we bought bottled water from the bar for 180 Kenyan shillings

It is wise to take the advise of the staff and do not try and feed the monkeys or leave your door open as they will enter your room and cause chaos. Each day about 4pm they appear from all directions heading to the pool bar and try to get the fruit from drinks, peoples plates etc but there are security guards all over with catapults to try and stop them.

The Beach is gorgeous but please don't let the beach boys put you off going to it. They are relentless in their approach to trying to get you to buy something and will not take subtle hints. This can be quite frustrating especially if you just want a quiet walk. Whilst it is frustrating they are only trying to make a living so be firm but polite..

To give an example of what it can be like, a couple we met went for a walk and ended up returning with 13 people in toe.. mmm

I would recommend buying from Philip ( masai fellow) he was such a gentleman and accepted if you just wanted to be left alone.. I ended up giving him our sandals shorts and t-shirts at the end of the holiday and also bought quite a few items from him

Whilst my husband and I booked our safari through our tour operator before we left the UK I was advised by many people there about booking safaris through the beach people, they are far cheeper and you probably get to see more. We were recommended JT Tours and when we go again I think this is what we will do.

The Evening entertainment is basic so don't expect wonders but gives you a taste of the local dancing, acrobats, masai etc..

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ADavisLeeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2011

Just returned back from holiday - 2 adults plus 18, 17 & 16 year olds. This holiday was chosen as a chance in a life-time and perhaps a last family holiday.

Firstly, the visa cost has gone up (since 1st July 2011)....it is now US$50 pp rather than $20 but luckily we had taken extra money just in case.

We had 1 bahari room and 1 family room. I agree with other comments that the bahari room was better but the only difference was it was equipped with a fridge and bottled water in the bathroom for cleaning teeth, whereas the family room only had a flask and no fridge. Recommend Room C9 as it had a balcony with a fantastic view of the beach! Also, late afternoon we had monkey entertainment on the balcony - so do not leave anything out to dry as you may find it ends up in a tree/on the roof as our neighbours did!

Cannot fault any of the staff as they were all friendly and helpful. The animation team worked extremely hard throughout the day to give everyone the chance to do an activity. A special thanks to Charles in Security; Sami from the Animation team and Dan from the restaurant.

The food in the restaurant was good and although a bit repetitive it didn't matter especially as our holiday was broken up as we were away for 4 days on safari.

I do tend to agree about the towels in other reviews but the beach towels were fine and the room towels were fine on occasions but would recommend possibly taking your own for the room if you are unsure.

We found the beach boys are not a problem - there is a security man at the hotel who moves them on unless you want to talk to them. On one occasion, as I didn't have much money on me, I bought 2 statues for 600 shillings + 2 pairs of socks (socks; t-shirts and other items do seem to be a good sort after commodity)!.

Our safari was booked through Hayes & Jarvis (Mombasa Rendezvous) and will review the accommodation on their individual sites (Voi Lodge; Kilima Lodge; Sarova Taitia Hills Game Lodge) overall it was an amazing experience but perhaps next time we would prefer to stay at one lodge as there was lots of driving involved.

Activities whilst staying here should include:
- visit to the Colobus Monkey Trust (a lady from there visits the hotel and you can book with her).
- visit the nursery school (which was set up 2 years ago for orphaned children). We were given a tour and the children sang nursery songs for us. I took along stationery (ie: coloured pencils; pencils; rubbers; pencil sharpeners) and gave the 4 teachers a t-shirt each. The school relies upon funding/sponsorship but does not force this on you.


Unfortunately the only faults I can mention are:
- the snack bar service was very poor as you could wait up to 1 1/2 hours after ordering which the kids did on a couple of occasions. I think the average was 45 mins.

- the nightlife is none existent within the hotel. There was a show at 9pm which lasted about 1 hour and then nothing afterwards. The bar then closed at 12am but only a handful of people were there. Although adults tended to go out, we felt it was difficult to let 3 teenagers go out of the complex by themselves.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mikehead1962
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

Property: 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:
#12 Romantic Hotel in Diani Beach
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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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