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“Fantastic Holiday all round!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Papillon Lagoon Reef

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Papillon Lagoon Reef
Ranked #12 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Swindon
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Fantastic Holiday all round!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 November 2012

We stayed at Papillon for 3 days prior to going on safari and then returned for our final days. The hotel has the most beautiful settings and is right on Diani beach which has the most amazing white sand! The hotel overall was clean and well looked after. The staff are all friendly right from the reception staff through to the men who went round ensuring the paths were clear. The animation team are a great bunch of guys who were very good with your young son ensuring that he could join in with activities where possible.
The food was far more than we ever expected, with lots of variety and choice and always served with a smile and this was mirrored whilst we were on safari too!
There is lots to see and do and the taxi men, booked through reception are very informative. Twice we went to the local supermarket and they are happy to wait to bring you back and the fare is very cheap.
We went on a dhow safari book through Philli Pippa and this was a truely amazing experience. The food served for lunch on Wasini Island along with the hospitality of the ladies serving us was outstanding.
We were fine with it and it was made clear right from booking our holiday but some others weren't to happy with having to buy bottled water. The tap water is not suitable to drink and to know the water that we were drinking was safe we felt it was a small price to pay.
The only drawback was the beachboys! They are friendly enough but if you venture onto the beach with a bag of any description they will hound you which can be annoying so be aware. If you go down soley in swimming gear and head straight for the water they will tend to leave you alone which is a shame when you could quite easily while the hours away sitting on the beach and would like to take photos at your own leisure but this was a small price to pay for an trip of a lifetime.
We would throughly recommend this hotel and will definately return again, soon hopefully!

Room Tip: Non beach front rooms dont have any tea/coffe making facilities so if you like an early morning coff...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank swindon33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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556 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 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 (70)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2012

I spent a few nights here on my own, recovering from a long trip. Overall I had a great time and can thoroughly recommend it.

Pros
* great value for money. You can eat and drink till you drop without worrying about the bill. The food isn't five star, but I loved it. Lots of roasts, soups, pastas etc, with the occasional themed meal.
* the staff seemed pretty friendly, greeting you with a 'jambu!', having a chat if you want, or leaving you alone if you'd prefer
* I was concerned that, given it's an all-inclusive resort, it might have had a booze-hound vibe. But really the vibe is more family-oriented, with the occasional young couple. All very chilled.


Cons
* the place is perhaps a bit old, but still clean and tidy
* the mosquitoes are pretty bad in that whole area so I had a couple of near-sleepless nights; the mosquito nets didn't seem to be 100% effective
* internet is only available on two shared computers and seems pretty expensive. If you need to do some work (as I did), you're better off going to the shops and buying a 'SafariCom' USB Modem, which will set you back maybe $20 including more internet than you'll probably need.

Overall, I really enjoyed my stay and would definitely go back.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank J-dog9842
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newmarket, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 October 2012

We stayed at the Papillon Lagoon Reef in September, either side of a safari, and can only rate it as one of the best 3 star hotels we have ever visited. Set in beautiful grounds adjacent to the idyllic sands of Diani Beach, south of Mombasa. The hotel is clean and well tended by its numerous staff, all of whom were friendly and extremely courteous.

The food was plentiful, well cooked and lots of choice even for vegetarians. The after dinner entertainment was of a high standard, interesting and varied and all on “all inclusive” basis. During the day around the pool area the “animation team” used to arrange various activities such as football, volleyball, badminton, boules and aqua aerobics. Their aim was to make sure people were enjoying themselves but they were always polite and happy to leave you in peace if you wished.

The buildings were very well maintained. The only drawback we found was that it did not lend itself to the needs of the disabled. Both I and my partner are registered disabled but are thankfully able to walk. Built on a picturesque hillside access to the rooms, swimming pool, restaurants and various facilities is invariably via stairs/steps and many of these throughout the grounds are of crazy paving and without handrails. If one of us had been wheelchair reliant it would have been impossible.

But, that aside, it was a thoroughly enjoyable holiday and one which we would gladly recommend. We are very keen to revisit ourselves, sooner rather than later.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank BobandCarol45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 October 2012

stayed for 3days following a 7day safari. A great end to a great trip, the staff were wonderful. On our
arrival we were not overly enthhused with the room, there was a hole in the fly screen i reported it and it was changed within a matter of 1hour, the shower was slow but then we realised the water pressure was not good all over so accepted it. The staff were brilliant, unfortunately the owner was there at every meantime and she was a tyrant, rude to the staff in public every one was on edge when she was around which affected the service,at one point she said to me these people have no commen sence, this was when she was removing was the was cushion from my chair as she thought i had wet cloths due to the rain. She made meal time uncomfortable if she left it to her capable staff it would have run smother.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank octob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Koumac, New Caledonia
Level Contributor
73 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2012

I went there with my husband for a few nights after our safari. It's a good hotel with a nice swimming-pool. In the swimming-pool area, there is a bar and a large garden with a view on the white sandy beach. The two restaurants are very nice and the food is varied and tasty. They also organise a big barbecue once a week. You can book different excursions (snorkelling, diving, fishing, safari, ...). The boat trip to the coral reef for snorkelling is really cheap and worth it.
In the gardens, there are plenty of coconuts (with some nice staff to prepare them for you) and monkeys (watch out your belongings !).
The all inclusive formula include a large choice of drinks and cocktails (no need to buy anything)

The white sandy beach is absolutely amazing ! Unfortunately, few people enjoy it because of these beach boys that keep annoying people all the time. The best way to go to the beach is to leave all your belongings at the hotel and go with your swimsuit only.

The public you find in this hotel is very different from the one you meet on safari. Most people are German, Dutch or Belgian and they have booked their stay through a famous tour operator and are staying there for a week or two. Their aim seems to enjoy the swimming-pool and the all in formula as much as possible.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Isa_57016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2012

Wow what can I say! My parents have stayed at this hotel at least 15 times! It was our first time as a family and found everything near on perfect! The hotel is traditional and full of character, the gardens are wonderful and the staff were exceptional!!!! The food was good and plentiful and enough choice for all to find something that they could eat! The daytime animation team went above and beyond to ensure everyone had a great time! Abu. George, Patrick, Francis and Roger! Raphael. Victor and Simon always served with a smile at the bar! Elijah and the rest were exceptional waiters! The beach is amazing! Tsavo East safari unforgettable seeing a huge amount of wildlife! All in all a truly memorable holiday! Aloise does a great job managing the hotel for Tom and Melba and Patrick a great job in the restaurants! Depressed to be home but cannot wait to return!!!

Room Tip: 2nd floor garden rooms are superb!! great view!
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank yummiemummie41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surbiton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 September 2012

We stayed here after our Safari Trip in the Masai Mara for 3 nights. I think the amount of time was enough.

Room and facilities- We had to change rooms as when we arrived in our room there were the following problems: broken window so loads of mosquitos flying about, leak from behind the toilet, very dirty sink and shower, fan hanging out from the ceiling by wires and holes in mosquito net. We called the reception and the manager arranged for us to be moved to another room. The room was much better although I found that the bathroom could be cleaner. There was also no tea or coffe making facilities in the room and we found the water in the bathroom to be cold most days even though we were up early at about 8am.

Dry Cleaning- We requested same day dry cleaning and the items were not ready until the next day after we chased the staff up about it.

Staff - The staff were all friendly and very helpful but for such a big hotel there seemed to be a lack of staff. Those that were there were very good though.

Shop - Doesn't stock much but what it does have is good value although cannot be paid for in cash and needs to be added to the room bill.

Meals - The means were fine as we were only there for 3 days so the food did not repeat itself. I particularly enjoyed the pancakes for breakfast and the fresh fruit was very tasty. Afternoon tea is also served from 4-5pm otherwise outside of that it is impossible to get a cup of tea or coffee (outside of breakfast). Dinner was served outside in a nicely lit up area with lots of fairylights. At breakfast we also had to wait for a long time for our drinks to be served, we had been done eating by the time tea was served.

Safe: Paying for a safe per night was a negative. Has to be paid for my cash but strange how they allow some things to be paid by cash and not others (eg gifts from shop).

Beach - The beach is lovely but beware of the beach boys- they are very very pushy. The trick is to ignore them. Even when in the hotel on the sun loungers they will shout over the wall and try and sell you stuff.

We did go to a nice restaurant one evening called Ali Barbour's Cave Restaurant which is a 5 min taxi ride (the hotel can organise), it is set in a cave and serves really good seafood amongst steaks, pasta etc.

Overall I would not go back to the hotel but I can see that it has potential (location, size, good staff) however if there were more staff I think it would make a real difference.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Harmonica1982
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, 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
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Papillon Lagoon Reef Diani
Papillon Lagoon Reef Hotel Diani

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