We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A good choice, real value for money”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
Papillon Lagoon Reef
Ranked #13 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 6 Contributor
41 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
“A good choice, real value for money”
Reviewed 29 April 2009

Just returned from Papillon Reef Hotel, its absolutely great for a nice chill out beach holiday in the most beautiful garden setting with stunning pool, friendliest staff and losts of romantic, beautifully created outdoor spaces.
There are so many reviews on this hotel, and I read most of them before I went, so expectations were high! And I have to add quickly that all the reviews were spot on! But I am well travelled and have not done a "package" holiday for some time and had to remind myself of this. So for others like me, please remember that this hotel is not a boutique hotel (and also does not advertised itself as one) it is a lovely, gracious four star old lady, around 25 years old (according to one of the older waiters we chatted to), and very well kept. The beautiful garden reflects the care of its upkeeping and big mature trees and especially two huge baobabs create the most luscious environment. No need for umbrellas for the sun loungers, just chose your shade tree with sea view anywhere around the pool- plenty for all.
What really impressed me was the variety of choices on offer as to seating for meals. Each meal time offered a choice of indoor or outdoor seating (with smoking and non smoking areas)and my favourite was under the trees at breakfast and the stunning "balcony" venue for dinner in the evening. On special evenings the little magpie came down the centre tree to feed from your hand, a real treat for the kids. The food was good, not gourmet, but very enjoyable and the pride with which it was presented made it very special. Again, it is some time since I chose an "all inclusive" as opposed to "a la carte" on holiday and it is important to judge fairly in this regard. I came back quite a few kilo's heavier - I think that says it all?
The accommodation itself is in blocks (see picture), some facing the garden, others the sea. We stayed in a garden room, slightly dated, but spacious with lovely balcony and ensuite bathroom with shower. There was a good hairdryer and a modern digital safe, big enough to house a laptop computer. We were however surprised to find that we had to pay extra (150shilling per day) for the use of the safe. seemed strange as the safe was in the room (as opposed to some hotels in Asia where you also pay for this, but then the safe is at a room in reception). I took a small travel kettle with me and will recommend this if you like to make your own coffee in the room. The plug in the room is the standard 3 pin British plug. The sea facing rooms have an extra bar fridge and TV and is in a block adjacent to the beach. Some of these rooms (seafront)overlook part of the pool as well as the beach and to my mind would be the premier choice as the hotel grounds are so beautiful.
The pool really is lovely, I dont think that could have been from 25 years ago. And you can see the sea from all angles around it so no need to go an book a spot early in the morning!
I did not realise that drinks all day long were also included - thought it was only with meals. can recommend the Tusker beer and they also serve a mean gin and tonic- served in a plastic cup what what the hell! The house wine was drinkable, I preferred the white, and there were imported wines available at extra cost. We took some good wines with us and there was no objection to us enjoying this with our meals (no corkage fee was charged).
The staff is great, if at times overeager to assist, your plate is barely empty before it gets whipped away. They also take great care in all the hotel belongings, making sure you dont sit on the chair cushions in a wet costume and are very reluctant to bring you a lounger cushion (they are wonderfully thick and soft) if they think its going to rain. Apparently the cushions get mouldy if left wet. Also dont try to go to the beach with a beach towel from the hotel - the security guard will chase after you! So bring your own if you plan to tan on the beach or swim in the sea.
Evening entertainment started at 9.30, a bit late for the kids, but the ones I attended was very enjoyable. Short, sweet and varied. Nightly disco thereafter, next to the pool was also fun.
Even though the hotel is closing at the end of this week, for a renovation period, it did not compromise on any of the services offered. Unlike many other hotels in the area, it still had lots of guests and a full program going.
We used Southern Safaris based in Mombasa as booking and transfer agents and they were fantastic, even rushing someone to the airport with our forgotten cell phone and handing it to us in the departure hall as we were boarding for our flight!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank HoutBayDiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

598 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    281
    220
    62
    19
    16
See reviews for
148
315
26
3
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (74)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
England
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2009

Jambo Jambo - Hello Hello!!!! We spent two fantastic weeks at the Papillion Lagoon Reef and would recommend it to anyone wishing to visit this part of Kenya. We could not fault the hotel and have even talked about going back again. From the moment we got to the hotel to the moment we left, the staff (from the cleaners to office staff) were just brilliant they simply could not do enough for us they were lovely people. Julius the receptionist was a great guy always wanting to talk. The guys love to talk about football. We had a lovely room which had a nice view looking out on to the hotel grounds. The room was very clean and comfortable - clean sheets and towels every day. On returning to our room later in the day we were greeted with a different display on our bed of the local flowers they pick from the grounds – this gave a lovely touch, well I thought so as the female. The views from the hotel grounds looking out on to the beach were fantastic – lovely white sand. There was never any problem getting sun beds in the grounds, in fact if you spent a few times in a particular area the guys got to know where you wanted your loungers. The hotel food was good and well presented every day - we loved the variety of local dishes and tried just about everything. One of the chefs at breakfast mentioned to me that he has been trying to find out what the HP stands for in HP brown sauce (yes they had this) I still have not found out and will have to investigate that one if anyone knows and is going over then let them know. Daniel one of the chefs was very chatty. All the waiting staff, although we got to know James and Bosco the most, were fantastic and very helpful. The evening entertainment was ok – we enjoyed watching the Masai dancing very interesting, just the odd night where we did not stay and watch. It was a shame the disco wasn't more attend DJ Francis was a great guy, it is a shame he is unable to get the most up to date music, we are hoping to send them some, we had a great time on the dance floor as always. Service at the bar could at times be slow but hay as they say Pole pole (slowly slowly) their charm certainly made up the lack of glasses. Everything in fact was Hakuna matata - not a problem.
The animation team, George, Micky (after Micky Mouse) and Martin etc were great guys not pushy at all. We even got Micky and Martin playing tennis with us.
If you have any old, spare or are able to buy cheap football tops the staff would welcome them.
Across the road from the hotel we got to know a local family, Susan her three children (Daniel, Maggie and Elizabeth) and her father. We would pop and say hello to them and give the children sweets, pens and paper on our way to the tennis court. One morning Susan took us for a walk to see where she lived and the local people – this was definitely an eye opener and very interesting.
Diani Beach is one long beautiful beach. Steve made friends with a couple of the beach boys Ali and Bob and we had no hassles at all. We found them to be friendly and polite and not pushy at all. Some people seem to have had bad experiences with them I think you just have to let them know whats what. When we walked up and down the beach we didn't feel hassled or intimidated at all in fact it was interesting to find out about their lives and visa versa. If I didn’t want to talk to them I just said “No Thank you” and they soon got the message. Down the alley just of the beach to the side of the hotel we visited the massage area, the ladies were very good and it was very cheap (£7 for a one hour body massage), although we did try one also in the hotel this was also a pleasant massage (£12).
During our stay we did a 3 day safari – absolutely fantastic. We booked it through the travel agent (Thomas Cook) before we went and could not believe what we got for our money. The lodges we stopped in at Sarvo East and Sarvo West were idyllic could not fault them in any way. The Voyager at Sarvo West was breath taking especially with the sun setting and Mt Kilimanjaro in the background.
We really cannot fault our experience of the Papillon or Diani Beach - it was perfect and definitely one of the best holidays we've ever had. For us it was 10 out of 10.
Remember: pens, pencils, crayons, colouring paper and sweets to give to local children or to take on trips. If possible, leave behind any clothes that you can do without bringing back to the UK - even socks!!!
Kwaheri – Bye

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank steve&jayne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Yorshire
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2009

Just returned from here - there is nothing to fault! The setting is simply wonderful, the cleanliness is amazing, the food is great & varied, the Pool is fantastic,. What more could you want than to look through the lawns and palm trees, over a wonderful pool with the back drop of white beaches and the indian ocean with wonderful weather. IF you are really sad and feel that you really want to spend a lot of time in your bedroom then you might argue the rooms are not highly luxurious. They ALL have air conditioning, modern bathrooms, mossy nets and verandas etc. Keep the doors shut as the monkeys will creep up on you in the night!! The staff earn just 120 shillings per day thats nothing so do tip them say 50 shillings for drinks and good service - it will cost you nothing and make their day. The staff simply cannot do enough for you. Until your travel to near by villages us Europeans have no idea how easy we have it. Be generous and DO take socks/shirts/pens/spare shoes ANYTHING you can spare to give away. Overall - ENJOY!!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Richard_uk1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Middlesbrough
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 8 April 2009

We stayed at this hotel for two weeks at the end of March. we read the reviews on TA before flying out and were looking forward to arriving at the hotel. From the moment we arrived we were not dissapointed. The hotel staff are really friendly and extremely helpful. The hotel is set in really nice grounds where you can often see the different types of monkeys roaming around. It also faces directly onto a white sandy beach, yes there are beach boys but there not too much hassle. The food was always cooked to a hight standard and tasted good and the rooms although a bit dated are cleaned every day with fresh linen and towels provided. The pool is great and always kept clean and the day time animation team were a good group of guys too.
We booked a 2 day safari with J T Safaris and it was awesome, please check out the separate review ive done on JT on Trip Advisor. Dont book with your tour rep as it will cost you more and you will be crammed into a van with 6-8 other people. Your tour Rep will advise you only to book with them as they say its not safe to book with anyone else. Do not listen to them, J T are were extremely professional and safe. Visit there website at [--].
Overall our holiday was great made even better by our Safari.
I would definatley recommend this hotel or J T Safaris to anyone.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank boro1934
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2009

We stayed in the Papillon Lagoon Reef for 2 weeks this is the second time we have travelled to Kenya but the first time at this hotel.
We stayed in room 127 which had a beach view and pool view, There was plenty of room for the three of us. The service was excellent, and john who cleaned our room everyday he always put fresh flowers on the beds which made it look supurb !!! .We also had a family birthday which john decorated the room lovley with flowers balloons and banners.
The food was excellent with lots of choice, and the staff couldn't be more helpful.
We took a day safari to Shimba Hills and saw elephants, giraffe's, buffalo's, wild boar, we also had luch at the tree tops resturant. For a day safari it was well worth the money!!!!.
We also went on the Mombasa City Tour for the day and the woodcarving village is a MUST!!!, later on that day we went to the zoo which we saw crocodiles, hippopotamous, and many more.
I would recomend this hotel to familys and couples

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank disney123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sheffield
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2009

We stayed at the Papillon for 10 nights to relax after a superb safari with Rhino Safari's. The Papillon was a perfect place to relax and finish our 3 week holiday in Kenya. The hotel is in a beautiful location with very friendly staff and has a stunning swimming pool. Our room was excellent with stunning views over the pool, beach and Indian Ocean. We stayed on an all inclusive basis and there was a wide variety of food and drink available of a very high quality.

Both Rhino Safari's and the Papillon Lagoon Reef truly made this a holiday of a lifetime.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Dan_and_Sam_Taylor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kiwi girl
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2009

We spent two weeks at the papillon lagoon reef which followed the virgin holidays 'A Taste of Kenya' tour. Safari was amazing and the Papillon lagoon reef was brilliant. Staff were very friendly and efficient. Rooms were comfortable and clean. Food was great, im a vegetarian and there was plenty of choice, buffet menu changes daily and food always tastey and fresh. Swimming pool was fabulous as well .

Monkeys were a laugh and great to watch as you lie beside the pool. Recommend going for walks in the village of Ukunda 5min ride in Matatu (matatu is a cheap local form of transport) to see abit of the real kenya. Dont be afraid to leave the hotel and mix with the locals everyone is so friendly and helpful! We went to a primary school and orphanage which was well worth a visit! Take PLENTY of sweets! Pens, pencils and old tshirts are asked for by everyone. Only downside were the annoying beach boys... other than that we had the most incredible holiday....... cant wait to return!!!!!!!

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank haylis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Diani Beach hotels
4.9 mi away
Southern Palms Beach Resort
Southern Palms Beach Resort
#10 of 29 in Diani Beach
1,329 reviews
0.4 mi away
The Sands at Nomad
The Sands at Nomad
#7 of 29 in Diani Beach
430 reviews
2.0 mi away
Diani Sea Resort
Diani Sea Resort
#5 of 29 in Diani Beach
995 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
5.3 mi away
Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Resort
0.6 mi away
Afrika Pearl & Spa
Afrika Pearl & Spa
#17 of 29 in Diani Beach
160 reviews
1.9 mi away
Waterlovers Beach Resort
Waterlovers Beach Resort
#2 of 29 in Diani Beach
389 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Papillon Lagoon Reef? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Odigeo, Booking.com and Jovago.com so you can book your Papillon Lagoon Reef reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Papillon Lagoon Reef Diani
Papillon Lagoon Reef Hotel Diani

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing