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“Good for families”

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Papillon Lagoon Reef
Ranked #13 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 October 2013

I stayed here for a week in July 2013. The hotel staff were very friendly and the communal areas were very well maintained and presentable. The bars, pool and garden areas, which includes a small toddler/child pool which the children loved, were also well maintained, clean and tidy.

I would recommend staying here, It is right on the beach, where there are a few hawkers selling their wares, but they are all friendly enough. If you don't want to buy from them just say so and they leave you alone. I prefer to chat and have a laugh, talking about everyday things which they love.

The hotel food was decent enough, although I did get a bit bored of it by the end of the week and did see a couple of cockroaches in the dinning hall. Although the whole area was cleaned regularly by staff, so I really did not see this as an issue, we are in Africa, that should be remembered. The hotel does have several steps heading down from the reception area to the pool, gardens, beach and breakfast areas. There are also several rooms up near the reception end, as we were; however the steps really were not an issue for us (I'm not the fittest and in my 40's) and we have young children and a pram. There is two routes down, one traverses down so the steps are not steep, there are a few of them though, so ask for a room near the beach or pool if you are concerned.

We had a family room and the children bed area was behind a curtain which was good, we put a blanket up at the window to blackout the morning sun and we all slept very well. the were even two bathroom which the hotel and holiday company website did not mention. There are several Resident monkeys, which the kids loved to see, even though the try to drink any unwatched drinks next to the sun lounger. The staff are generally on top of things though.

The actual hotel location was decent enough too, about 5 miles from the small centre of Diani where there are a couple of banks, ATM's and shops, including groceries. You can also book safaris from here, I noted the prices seemed a little cheaper than we bought in the UK. We also ate out a couple of nights in local restaurants and there was some great food. Very much worth while. I never felt unsafe either and indeed the locals we met were all very friendly.

Overall this hotel is a 3 star in my opinion and worth a stay for sure. I would recommend it for everyone from couples of various ages, families and groups of friends. The hotel put shows on for an hour or two in the evenings, followed by a small disco. It was not rowdy and loud, and the music stops at midnight.

Room Tip: We liked the family rooms near to the hotel reception, spacious, quiet and clean.
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Doug I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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92 - 98 of 607 reviews

Reviewed 2 October 2013

The hotel is very pretty with very good people working there. Yes it might be little older, but the services are as good as you can get anywhere. The hotel area is nice, beach is great (I reccommend snorkeling trip which you can purchase in Diving Center right in the hotel or cheaper trip from the beach boys in front of the hotel). Room was large and very nice, always perfectly clean. Food was great. I would return there anytime...

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank DebiQue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2013

Such accommodating and friendly staff, especially in reception. Rooms large and clean, pool was excellent and food was lovely. Monkeys slightly annoying! Waiters were sometimes over attentive to two young women and a bit full on in their flirting for tips! we organised a great boat trip through the marine organisation in the hotel and a lovely lady called Aisha. There wasn't much surrounding the hotel in terms of shops in walking distance but the shopping centra was a taxi drive away if you wanted it. Overall- a great place to stay.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Sally C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2013

Stayed here for 4 nights in August 2013 the hotel rooms need a bit of refurb but on the whole it is great. Food is plentiful and good quality. There are a lot of sellers on the beach which means it is rather quiet on the beach in front of the Hotel and you have to be careful of the reef across the sea in front of the Hotel. You can go around it to avoid nasty scratches and then the sea is beautiful and just as warm as the pool. The evening entertainment is amusing with them all looking to gain some payment at the end either tips or buying their goods! Overall it was a great trip and Papillon did not disappoint.

Room Tip: Our party had 4 rooms and they were all equal looking over the grounds but you cannot leave your bal...
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank June M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2013

well, after having 7 nights here i have to say we had a fantastic time, rooms basic but clean, grounds well kept and look great, the staff were amazing, so friendly and helpfull, good fun to chat to, food was good and more than enough to chose from, the beach was so nice, the ocean was wonderfull to swim in, plenty of monkeys around and they wernt to bad although if you leave food on your plate it wont be there for long, lol. beachboys hound you as soon as you step on the beach but we were firm and said no and they soon left us alone, all in all a fantastic time there and would definatly go back

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank marksch1972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2013

My wife and I chose this hotel for the good quality of the reference left by previous guests and had a fabulous time. The garden is very large and very well cared for. Populated by these cute monkeys who occasionally have a lunch with what they find on your table but by no means bad or dangerous. The pool is very well maintained, the evening shows are interesting, international cuisine, good quality and variety, the African-style rooms with mosquito nets and well kept, the reception staff very helpful as well as all the attendants. Very comfortable inside the Diving for those who are interested in diving.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank DagoFMT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2013

We’ve been to Papillon twice: 3,5 years ago and now – we came back here for our honeymoon because here we spent our best vacation.

Hotel and surroundings

The hotel is very nice. It isn’t very exclusive, but it’s clean and lovely. We had there all we needed. The rooms are quite big, the room keeper was cleaning the room every day. We had clean towels every day, clean bed and shampoos, soaps and body lotions. We had a garden view room on the 2nd floor. The garden is beautiful, the pool looks great and the best thing is – there are a lot of palm trees so you don’t need any sun umbrella. If you want some shade you just put your sun bed under the palm. Isn’t that great! It’s so natural. You can also see the ocean from your sun bed as the garden area is just next to the beach. The beach itself is public (everywhere in Kenya) so you cannot go there with a hotel sun bed.
There are sea view rooms – they are bigger but I don’t think they are worth the extra money.
The hotel is not very big so after some time you get to know the guests. It is quite easy to make new friends as there is one central area for the nights.

Staff

The staff in Papillon is the best! They make the stay really wonderful. All of them: bartenders, waiters, animators, room cleaners, gardeners, security – all are very friendly and helpful and always smiling. Of course we had some favourites, but all of them were very nice.
They remember you after the first day, they always have some time to talk you (of course if you want, they are not pushy ) and may become your friends. They also remember what you like, so waiters remember what you usually drink during meal, the gardeners keep the sun bed for you in your favourite spot from the early morning and of course bartenders remember your drinks during the day and in the evenings.
Animators and animations are really great. I don’t usually attend to those things, but in this hotel it is real fun. The games are not for winning, they are just for spending good time with stuff and other guests.

Food

The food is good. There is always a variety to choose. There are always couple types of meet and a lot of vegetables and some fruits. So no matter if you are a vegetarian or eat meat you always have a good choice. Once a week (Thursday night) there is a barbecue night – I think it’s the best, you have to try it!

Pool

The pool is great – it’s really huge and nice. It has the shallow part where all the water games and aerobics take place and the deeper part, where you can just swim.
There is a swim-up bar which is great during a hot day. You can seat in the water and have a drink.

Bazaar

Just next to the hotel, on the beach, there is a bazaar where you can buy some souvenirs. Remember to bargain! The first price you hear is far far to high, you just need some time to talk to the seller. The bargain itself is nice it’s just part of the culture. It is not rude. We have our favourite guy there: Bernard. The old guy selling souvenirs made by himself. If you want something he doesn’t have, he will get it or make it for you, just ask. And say hello to him from the newly-weds from Poland! 

Beachboys

The beachboys are often pushy but if you are nice and firm they get your message – that you are just for a walk and just don’t want to do business right now. Than you can have really nice talk with them. Really, it is possible for them to understand you. Just try to talk to them not ignore them or yell at them.

To summarize – we spend great time there and it was a good choice for our honeymoon.

Room Tip: Take a garden-pool view room. There are family rooms at the back of the hotel-far from the pool.
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Kasia S
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

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: £71 - £215 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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