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“worth the stay”

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Papillon Lagoon Reef
Ranked #14 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Level Contributor
18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“worth the stay”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 July 2012 via mobile

i loved it so much, the food was great esp the barbeque,the staff were very friendly fast and always helpful.the entertainment wasnt so good most times they would ignore the black tourists and only involve the white tourists,the rest was just too good,and i would definately go thea again

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank belzo8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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583 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 April 2012

this is one amazing place situated right on diani beach , the transfer from mombassa was an eye-opener thats for sure

the hotel is clean and very nice , the food was great and the animation team could not do enough for you

the diving and fishing trip were a bit expensive but we loved it anyway

we went on the fishing trip and gave a fish to the gardener he loved it , from then on we had fresh coconuts when ever we wanted

very friendly place , would love to go back

we went in jan 2009

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank paulandnicnic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Windsor, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 April 2012

We are three asian girls in our 30's and stayed here on a short trip to Kenya. First of all I must say the location itself is beautiful (and is the only reason it has 2 stars) wonderful stretch of beach and a lovely pool. What lets this place down is the staff, cleanliness, and food (in that order). We found the staff to be very judgemental and by that I mean we felt we were treated differently to other guests. For example my muslim friend asked whether the meat was halal to which she got a response of 'yes, but are you a real muslim because you dont have a mark on your forehead to show you pray 5 times a day'!!! On another occassion we were asked whether we want any alcohol and when we said no the waitor asked why not!! The reception staff although curteous were not able to make decisions and therefore had to keep ringing managers who were elsewhere. For example we wanted a late check out as our flight was late at night. Standard check out time is 10am and we were told we would have to pay an extra 2000 shillings (about £20) - it might not seem a lot but considering almost all hotels offer a discretion on check out time and we were not even going to be in the room we felt this was a bit much - again they would not shift on this. Instead we had to check out and then offered another room later to have a shower and change - I really dont see the logic i that! With regards to the room we had a family room which was a good size but we had cockroaches in the room every single day - need I say more about the cleanliness!! There also seems to be a shortage of towel at this resort - you are only allowed one at the poolside and if its wet and you want to change it touch luck! In the rooms if you want to request extra towels make sure you let them know hours in advance otherwise you will dry off naturally waiting for a towel! Another word of warning is on booking excursions.We booked with JT safaris (see separate review) and the hotel clearly showed there disatissfaction in not using there own. We were made to go out of the gate to be picked up and would only be allowed in for our drop off because we made a fuss! Finally the food was not that inspiring, ok enough to keep you from going hungry but thats as far as it goes. Overall this hotel and the staff were a real let down and almost put a dampner on our holiday of it wasn't for our great safari trip and the natural beauty of Kenya.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank Snuffy31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Waterford, Ireland
Level Contributor
57 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 March 2012

I stayed at this hotel for 5 nights following a safari in Tsavo East in Kenya. Its a very nice friendly hotel and the food and service was great. I would certainly recommend it.

Room Tip: Room with a sea view have some extra facilities (Fridge)
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JoanDurney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
norfolk,uk
Level Contributor
103 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 March 2012

got back on weds 21st march 2012 feeling shattered after long trip home but wow what a holiday.so pleased we stayed 17nights. really didn't want to leave. thanks to all the staff at the hotel for helping make it a memorable hoiday for us and one we will find hard to beat.
hotel room had all we need, double bed with mozzie net,wardrobe with lots of shelves and safe to use. balcony with lovely views over garden area and monkeys, who also like our balcony very much. bathroom comes with lots of hot water and clean with a hairdryer.
wouldn't recommend for people with walking disabilities as there are steps all over . food and drink was good and plenty of it. kitchen and waiting staff were eager to please and had very good memories. our drinks were always on our table within seconds of sitting down. dickson was excellent as was james, george ,rashid ,swali, alex and jack.
animation team kept us all amused throughout the day with waterpolo, water arobics, beach volleyball, boccia,table tennis, and badminton.all very friendly and missed.
hotel location is right on the beach and views are spectacular.
only downside was bottled water had to be purchased and drinks were not available from 6pm til 7.30pm and apart from the entertainment bar you couldn't get drink anywhere else within the hotel as the restaurant closed at 930pm. but that said the entertainment was good and followed by a disco.
i would recommend this hotel to people and we hope to return very soon.

Room Tip: beach rooms were equipped with kettles whilst garden rooms are not.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Donna P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chelmsford Essex
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 March 2012

Have just returned from a fabulous holiday at this hotel. Room, fine, one drawer but lots of shelves in wardrobe, good mirrors and a balcony with view of garden and monkeys! No tea /coffee making facilities.Large double bed plus mossy net. Efficient air con and fan. Bathroom, fine, plenty of hot water, lots of shelving, hairdryer that worked.
The hotel - well laid out running from road down to beach front, be aware there are steps which could be a problem for disabled but saying that there was a guest in a wheel chair. Beautiful pool which is next to the beach so therefore cool breezes. Entertainment team good fun but not pushy, pool boys cheerful and helpful, plenty of loungers with comfy cushions! Steps directly onto the beach where the "Looky Looky Boys" lurk. They are fine, no need to be frightened of them, just be polite and they are polite back, they do like a chat and do not always try and sell! There are also stalls down there which are worth a visit. Beautifull white coral sand and the Indian Ocean to float in.
We did a fabulous beach safari with three of the beach boys which was like rock pooling in a tropical fish tank and was really good.
The food in the hotel is good and plentifull but does repeat itself every week, however there is always choice of meat, fish,pasta and a vegetarian corner so you could eat for weeks without repeating the same meal! Waiters are good, friendly and helpful and good company.
Evening entertainment watchable, acrobats quite good.
Negatives - Only one bar open during day at the pool so if you come in from a day out and fancy a drink you have to go to the pool! Only one bar open after 21.30 at the entertainment so no choice but to attend! Afternoon tea with cakes at 4pm but no facilities for tea/coffee outside meal times.
I would def visit again.

Room Tip: Sea view rooms have tea/coffee facilities.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ACB3125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kent
Level Contributor
102 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 March 2012

We have just returned from 10 days/nights at this hotel.
It's main asset by far are the staff - excellent waiters and cleaners and the front desk are also superb. The bar staff are also good (but see my comments below).
The location is fantastic - although it's a right drag to get the ferry to the South Coast (where this hotel is located), and the ferry can be intimidating.
The food is 'ok' - some nights it was outstanding (the gammon one night was exceptional) - but other nights the choice was limited and boring.
The food cleanliness also appeared to be exceptional.

There are some down sides I'm afraid.

The rooms are tired and in need of renovation - we had plumbing problems in our room (little cold water reaching the shower / tap making it very dangerous to shower etc -- but they managed to fix it (to a point). Our AC unit also leaked although they eventually managed to fix that also.
There was only a small stool in our room (no chairs) and no hooks or other useful bits for hanging (eg) beachbags or hats etc.

We had to pay 150 shillings per night for a safety deposit box and the internet is far too expensive at 300 shillings per 30 minutes.
We saw the Beachfront rooms (we were given one for an hour to shower when repairs were being carried out on our shower) - this room was also a little tired, although it had a TV, fridge and tea/coffee making facilities

The drinks are poor - the beer is draught lager and after 2 or 3 glasses (never full and served in half pint glasses) it tastes awful.
The spirits are generally ok - but poorly presented - partly due to the pressure that the bar staff are under (eg you always have to ask for ice etc).
The spirits are limited - no 'local' Baileys or Pernod etc.
We persevered with the local wine at dinner - and it was ok ... just. They do a good Spanish Rose for 1000 shillings which we had on our last night - well served etc by the head waiter.

We booked 2 trips with the beach boys - a 1 day tour of Mombasa (including Fort Jesus, the wood carving factory and Haller Park). This was a tour (for just me and my wife) and was organised by Rocky -- it was ok - we loved Haller Park - where you get a chance to feed the orphaned giraffes at 3pm each day.
The other trip we booked was Wasini Island / Dolphins etc (booked through Suleman) - this was not so good - the visit to the Shimoni Caves did not happen, the Dhow was a bit of a wreck (but Ali and Abdul were lovely boat crew). We saw a few dolphins but didn't snorkel - others on the trip did snorkel and seemed to enjoy it. Lunch was awful - we chose the chicken option (rather than crab) and we could not eat it - tough and cold and the village visit was not terribly uplifting.

Two final tips -- if you go on a safari, don't go to a Masai Mara village - it's a rip off and extremely depressing.
BUT do try to go on the Tamarind Dhow evening sunset cruise - from Mombasa - food cooked on deck (lovely) and a band to entertain you -- wonderful.

Would I go back to this hotel - No (although it's staff were wonderful).
Would I go back to Mombasa - no also - it's dirty, smelly, full of traffic and the poverty is depressing

Room Tip: If you want a TV and tea/coffee making facilities and a couple of chairs - then upgrade to a beach f...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank BubbleKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Papillon Lagoon Reef

Property: Papillon Lagoon Reef
Address: Diani Beach Road, Diani Beach, Ukunda, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda > Diani Beach
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#10 Romantic Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Papillon Lagoon Reef 3*
Number of rooms: 119
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Also Known As:
Papillon Lagoon Reef Diani
Papillon Lagoon Reef Hotel Diani

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