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“Good, but not as good as the Diani Sea Resort”
Review of Diani Sea Lodge

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Diani Sea Lodge
Ranked #9 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Warwick, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Good, but not as good as the Diani Sea Resort”
Reviewed 12 November 2011

We stayed at the Diani Sea Lodge for two weeks in October 2011.
We had been to the Diani Sea Resort back in April 2011, which is the Lodge's sister hotel along the beach. So we couldn't help but compare the two.
The Lodge is smaller, but this means the beach, bar and pool are all within easy reach.
The food is good, the snack bar does great burgers and the bar service is always efficient.
The room we stayed in was part of a grouping of bungalows, so you got no view at all and the room was quite dark.
However, it had a large safety deposit box and free air con that worked very well.
We would recommend the glass bottom boat trip, as you get to snorkel in safe waters with hundreds of fish surrounding you. Ignore the headline price of £18, you can get it easily for £10.
The Diana Sea Resort is a larger hotel with more facilities and the rooms all provide you with a view of something. It also has free Wifi of an evening which I really missed at the DSL.
If I was to chose a hotel to go back to, it would be the DSR.
Whilst in Kenya, you need to go on Safari. We did a 4 day trip with Tanke Tours, who were fantastic (seperate review to follow).

You need to think carefully about which airline you use to get to Mombassa. Remember it is a 8-10 hour flight. Thomson use long haul jets where the standard leg room is equivalent to trans-atlantic flights and they have a choice of movies with seat back screens. Monarch on the other hand have cramped seats as standard and shared movie screens in the aisle.

Some quick notes on trips to Kenya:-
- It is a fantastic country to visit.
- It is a 3rd world country, go with your eyes open.
- Expect to be politely bothered by beach boys and other sellers. They are just trying to survive.
- It is perfectly safe if you follow the advice given to you.
- By all means book safaris with local companies. However, check out their reputations on tripadvisor before you travel, contact them by email to establish an itinerary and cost, but don't pay until you arrive.
- The sex trade is alive and well in Kenya. You will find European men and women paying locals to keep them company during their stay. This happens in all hotels in the resort.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Boardyuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Billericay, England, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 November 2011

If you're looking for a nice quiet chill out then this is just what the doctor ordered. There is a friendly, relaxed vibe throughout the hotel, the staff are mostly exceptionally friendly and helpful and not just hunting for tipsl and the guests seem to get on and mingle well. What's all the fuss about Germans for? Yes they do smoke a lot( which surprised me) and I wouldn't choose their choice of swimwear but they're just holidaymakers chilling out like everyone else so no problems there for me.
The hotel grounds/gardens are lovely and the location right on the beach is wonderful. Food is good and there is enough variety to please most( trust me on this I'm really fussy).Apart from the main dining room there is a good snack bar next to the beach bar which is good for lunch.
Nightlife is fairly quiet and the bar stops at midnight although most seem to be in bed before then anyway. Ministry of Sound won't be setting up here anytime soon but as I said rest and relaxation are what this place is about.
For some two weeks relaxation might be a bit too much and choose excursions to break things up a bit. We did a 4 day 3 night safari with the excellent Julius Thuvi(juliustsafaris) and a separate review covers this
So are there any downsides to the hotel? Yes a couple.The beach sellers can be a pain and spoil your enjoyment of the beach with their persistent hassle Yes they're trying to earn a meagre living but even when we bought things they didn't give up in fact the people we bought off got worse.At least they're not agressive like they can be in say Egypt. Also we found the hotel gift shop very reasonable and mostly cheaper than beach sellers and roadside"curio" shops. I guess it's up to the individual where you want to spend your money.Of course the sellers on the beach are outside hotel juristiction and security keeps them out of the hotel grounds.
The other area I think for improvement is the rooms which are lovely peaceful bungalows but are in need of a makeover as the fixtures and fitting do have"30 years old" written all over them. They are spacious however and kept nice and clean.An upgrade here could easily push this place up to 4* in my opinion.
The hotel also has a charge of 75 euros for a lost room key and 12,000 shillings(£80) for a lost safe key. This seems a rip off and they should be upgrading to swipe entry and digital safes.
Overall a great holiday and of course the 6 million dollar question, would I go back? Yes for sure as the good clearly outweighs the not so good.

Room Tip: I understand there are upgrade rooms with fridges and probably quieter air com.
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank GaryK538
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 October 2011

My husband and I just came back from Kenya and I have to say we had the best time of our lives. We stayed at Diani Sea Lodge from 4th to 18th October. DLS is 3 star hotel and if you are on the budget it is just perfect. It is located on the powder white sand Diani beach. The view of an Indian Ocean is breath taking and definitely the asset to the hotel. We have stayed in the cottage style rooms, they are basic but spacious and provide everything we needed to with waking through wardrobe leading to a very spacious bathroom. Rooms were clean and tidy.
Hotel staff was always very helpful and nothing seemed to be to much to them. These people tried their best to make our holiday a great experience.When we booked our holiday we were very anxious about the food as opinions varied. However we were pleasantly surprised, I am a huge fan of fish and there was plenty of it every day as well as other meats and vegetables. I cannot believe that anybody can say that food was bland and so on, to all of these food critics I would suggest to book a 5* hotel where they can get 5* food!!!
I must admit that we had a few rainy days but it did not spoil our holiday, besides the rain was very refreshing and something we needed after "roasting".
I would recommend this hotel definitely and would go back there now :)))

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Travaler1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2011

My husband and I just came back from Kenya and I have to say we had the best time of our lives. We stayed at Diani Sea Lodge from 4th to 18th October. DLS is 3 star hotel and if you are on the budget it is just perfect. It is located on the powder white sand Diani beach. The view of an Indian Ocean is breath taking and definitely the asset to the hotel. We have stayed in the cottage style rooms, they are basic but spacious and provide everything we needed to with waking through wardrobe leading to a very spacious bathroom. Rooms were clean and tidy.
Hotel staff was always very helpful and nothing seemed to be to much to them. These people tried their best to make our holiday a great experience.When we booked our holiday we were very anxious about the food as opinions varied. However we were pleasantly surprised, I am a huge fan of fish and there was plenty of it every day as well as other meats and vegetables. I cannot believe that anybody can say that food was bland and so on, to all of these food critics I would suggest to book a 5* hotel where they can get 5* food!!!
I must admit that we had a few rainy days but it did not spoil our holiday, besides the rain was very refreshing and something we needed after "roasting".
I would recommend this hotel definitely and would go back there now :)))

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Travaler1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liverpool
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 October 2011

I spent the last 2 weeks of september at Diani Sea Lodge, there mostly for the diving. 1st impressions are quite good, spacious, a nice breeze blowing through the area from the Indian Ocean fights off the worst of the humidity. Rooms are very basic, no fridge included ( you can rent or buy one ! ), Bedding is changed daily, and the bathroom is adequate. Furniture is uncomfortable, and I found myself needing to double up on the cushions on the chairs in the room to prevent my bum going to sleep when reading ! The location is superb, right on the blinding white sugar sand beach, which is mostly empty in either direction from horizon to horizon. Just a few people were there, these are the boys and girls who want to entice you into buying a safari, go diving, a trip on the glass bottomed boat, or just souvineres. sadly they home in on you like predators, and if you give your name to one of them, it travels by ' bush telegraph ' with such pace that within the hour you hear your name being called by people you never met before ! The upshot of this is that we tended to stay away from the beach, which is a big shame as it's glorious ! the location boasts very nice gardens, carefully manicured grounds, a swimming pool, which was mostly empty of swimmers ( excellent ! ), an outdoor eating area by the pool bar, and Germans ! After a few days, as the place is German owned, and sells itself mostly to German tourists and some from the U.K., it became evident that I'd slipped into a timewarp back to Spain in the 1970's ! Sun loungers have towels on them very early in the morning, with in some cases no occupant appearing for hours. Those that were occupied benefitted from elderly, creaking, overweight people, who were wearing swimwear that they shouldn't even contemplate wearing ! Beer o' clock starts after breakfast, as does the determined training to qualify for the German Olympic smoking team for the 2012 olympics ! In some cases it's impossible to gert away from the stink of cigarette smoke, other than by going to the less desireable areas of the resort. The food is awfull, I was treated to a choice of buffet meals each day, much of which was cooked in the kitchen by people who don't understand the simple cookery practices such as seasoning the food, and tasting it before it leaves the kitchen ! It's then stored in barely heated containers, and as with all meals, apart from soup for some unknown reason, you serve yourself. Time and time again I selected a meal, including soup, only to be disappointed at the first taste, and pushed plates away and went for the salad area, as this is difficult to ruin ! I met the assistant manager one evening after an ' African Buffet evening ' who asked me did I enjoy the food ? the food was awfull, and by the time we got to our table from the buffet area the meal was stone cold. I invited him to sit down and had a frank discussion with him. He advised he would tell the manager of my opinions, and a few days later I was invited to meet the manager and the head chef to select something from that evening's menu, which the head chef would cook personally for me. The meal was a big improvement, and over the next 3 days, I met the Sous Chef, and I think the Head of Kitchens to discuss the menu. What I hoped for was an overall improvement in all meals, not just mine, however it never happened, and I was left feeding myself up on salad for the rest of the holiday. Evening entertainment is low key, but can be entertaining, with gymnasts, local Masaii dancers / singers giving their best. The Bingo night is a definate ' no no ' ! Watching a load of people from a different time zone to the rest of us spending their hols staring intently at a bingo card, shifting beer, and smoking themselves to death is not my idea of entertainment ! So what's GOOD about the place ? The locals are great, friendly, chatty, with smiles which can melt the polar ice cap. The location is wonderfull, the rhesus monkeys who come into the grounds each afternoon as the Germans go to the terrace bar for afternoon tea, leaving the monkeys to search for scraps of food to eat, which can involve rummaging through a bag or two ! The restaurant staff are great, ' specially the girls who try so hard to make the best evening happen every day ! So, the burning question, would I go back, or recommend Diani Sea Lodge to anyone ? The answer is sadly " no " ! If I wanted to be surrounded by German folks, I would holiday in Bavaria, but not fly almost 10 hours to East Africa for the same effect. If this doesn't convince you, then at least pick the right time of year to go. I went in the last 2 weeks of September, that's the end of their winter, and some days we had a lot of rain and high winds. November / December is better. Diani Sea Lodge really needs to move forward a few decades into the 21st century, and shrug off it's retirement home image !

Room Tip: Having read other visitors reviews regarding upgrades and what you get for your money, I'd be se...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank mikedicko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Worcester, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 October 2011

We are booked to go to Diani Sea lodge next August 2012 for two weeks and do a three night safari. We are slightly concerned after the recent events in kenya. Can anyone let me know how safe this area/hotel is? Are we likely to be at risk? Is the hotel gated? What is the area like?

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.:)

Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Joanna180
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sunderland, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 October 2011

I have just came back from a two week holiday in Kenya. We stayed at the Diani Sea Lodge.My room was great, if not a little basic and parts of the hotel are a little tired.
The staff are great. Friendly helpful and good fun.
But this hotel has it's problems.It is a German owned hotel and on an evening dose feel a little like a German retirement home.The problem is that the Germans book an all inclusive wich includes an escourt for the two weeks and you end up shareing your holiday with them. This is advertised as a family hotel. My major concern regaurds the food.The soups are great, but they pre cook the meat on an afternoon and reheat on a hot plate to a luke warm tempriture.My husband and other guests had food poisioning.So i would strongly recomend you do not eat meat that is not red hot.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank lizzybee99
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:
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
#12 Romantic 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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