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Papillon Lagoon Reef
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Reviews (669)
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Reviewed 5 March 2012

the staff at this hotel are wonderfull, they are a credit to melba the owner of the hotel who we also found to be very vigilante and helping guests to enjoy themselves, nothing was to much for melba and staff, i mean how many owners go out there way to fetch milk and buiscuits from local shops just to keep me happy and save me trouble of going myself. staff are wonderfull, always talking and helping in anyway, one of best 3* pluss ive stayed in africa, yes people will moan about some parts, ie possibly needs updating a little, but hey this is kenya were people are poor, we went on safari with sister hotel ngutuni lodge it was great, all arranged by melba and her staff, this was fantastic, i have already planning my next trip. a few names i can remember to thank are ally,dixon,hassan,dennis,patrick,chocky,francis + more and of course melba the owner...thanks to all...pat o brien. also victor roberts taxis is great.

Room Tip: beech front and family rooms are good if you require xtra in rooms they will supply at little cost
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank obnail333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2012

The hotel provides accomodation for bounches of european tourist who wants it cheap. And this is what you get.

On top of the very unpersonal atmosphere you constantly feel the bad relation between staff and management. We got the impression that everyone is paid very bad, and the management do not seem to care much about employees.

One could questipn how much the managment care about the guests as well. We were constantly told only to use taxis from the hotel - all others would not be safe. Also, we should leave the the hotel area for security reasons. Of course we had our best, warmest and most unforgetable moments outside the resort meeting more hounest locals, and not even one time facing something that could have been developing into something dangerous.

  • Stayed: February 2012
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3  Thank Lauritsjr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2012

Just returned from 2 weeks at this hotel staying in a beachfront room worth the extra to wake up and see and hear the Indian ocean each morning. Staff always happy helpful ,bar staff fantastic. Cant wait to go again. All inclusive was good value.

Room Tip: Choose beach front worth the extra.
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Ann F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2012

We went for a family holiday and had a fabulous time. The children, aged 18, 17, 15 and 10 all loved it. We stayed at the Papillon Reef for 10 days, taking three days out in the middle of our stay to go on safari in Tsavo East and West, and also took a day long trip to go on a snorkelling safari at the nearby marine nature reserve.

Flew Kenya Airways via Nairobi to Mombassa, which was fine. Note that when you arrive in Nairobi, after passport control and clearing customs with your luggage you need to go from the international terminal to the domestic terminal over the road. It's not far but not well sign-posted. The journey from Mombassa to Diani takes a while because of the ferry crossing, but you do get to see real everyday Africa along the roadside.

We really like the Papillon Reef. It is the location and the staff that make it. The kids particularly liked the pool, and pool activities such as the water polo and water valley ball. We all liked the food, and the inclusive cocktails went down very well. The wildlife was fascinating. We went over the road to the colobus reserve and didn't find any, then came back only to see black and white Colobus monkeys leaping from the roof of our building to the nearby trees. We also saw a bush-baby by the restaurant one evening. The staff are all very friendly and very helpful.

We took a glass bottomed boat trip from the beach, organised by one of the beach boys, who calls himself Captain Amos. He was charming and helpful, and we saw coral, starfish and range of tropical fish. We liked him so much that we also booked a trip to the Marine Reserve with him - at a fraction of the price of doing it through the hotel, yet travelling there on the same sort of battered old Nissan's that all the tour operators seem to use, and travelling out to the reserve on a lovely old dhow, like everyone else did. This trip was probably the high-point of our whole holiday. Dolphins came a swam and jumped alongside the boat as we went out. Then we did a guided snorkel safari, swimming in small groups with a guide across fabulous coral, watching parrot fish and many others - which grow large here as it has been a protected reserve with no fishing for decades. We were taken to an nearby island for lunch, where we had the freshest warm crab - even our kids tried it and enjoyed it.

Our game safari was booked through Julius at JT Safaris, who we found because he is recommended by others here. He really cares that you have a good trip, so I strongly recommend him too. (jtsafaris@yahoo.com). We went to Tsavo East and West, saw lions, buffalo and more elephants than I imagined still gathered together - hundreds and hundreds! Also saw many birds, including eagles and owls, and a monitor lizard. We stayed at the Kilaguni Serena Lodge in Tsavo West which is really lovely, and well worth the extra for a night of luxury after travelling all day through the game reserves. Watching scores of elephant and buffalo come to the waterhole at night is treat.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank David H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2012

ok guys the hotel in general ain't bad for the price but dont think they should fob it off as a four star hotel. I mean which four star hotel dont have a tv a fridge in the room as standard? The thing that make this hotel is the people and they are really warm and friendly,one or two may try and sell something to you for e.g one cleaner kept asking me to take a trip to his village i really don't know why id want to go there.. one guy towards the end of my stay knocked on my door saying he was from house keeping asked me to change ten euro's to 1000 shillings to my beleif really angered me coz i thought this only happens when u get on the beach not expecting hotel staff to carry on like beach boys.. not only am i from the uk where euros are no value to me but the cheeck of him to disturb me for money while im holiday and this is a four star hmmm??? Reception didn't let my taxi driver come beyond the gates because we had arranged taxi ourselves and not through hotel because it was cheaper,one min they said it was ok next we had to walk ourselves all the way to the gates with all our bags (4 star hmmm).. You need a little fridge in the room as its so hot all night and lil drink of water would be appreciated chilled and a tv isn't essential but would be a nice touch..
Food is an all inclusive and it's ok edible but you'll probably get sick of after a while.. Breakfast day in day out the same.. Lunch changes up a bit with African,Indian,pasta's,pizza and stir frys etc.Dinner was ok always a different theme xmas,roasts and African..
The beer was a bit flat and bloating but the local spirits weren't to bad got me me rocking :J
The gardens,swimming pool over looking beach,staff and beach activties are the strong holds of this hotel.. would i ever go again to this hotel? probably not but defo gonna come bk to Diani!!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Indian78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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