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“Fantastic Holiday - great hotel”

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Papillon Lagoon Reef
Ranked #13 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Certificate of Excellence
West Sussex
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Fantastic Holiday - great hotel”
Reviewed 24 October 2009

I researched hard to find this hotel and was not disappointed in the least. It is a nice size not too big - in a lovely setting with superb gardens, great pool and easy access down to the beach. I wanted an African style hotel with mixed nationality clients not all British or German etc. and that was what was really nice -visitors from everywhere . The hotel is attractively built in the Swahili style -when you enter the hotel through the lovely entrance you really feel you ave arrived somewhere special. It is drops down to the beachfront rooms through lovely grounds with waterfalls and pools ( all well maintained ) -fantastic plants including the most incredible Baobab tree which is over 500 years old which has to be seen to be believed. I am not sure that the web site pictures pick up on how nice the gardens are aound the pool -with shade from coconut trees if you want it -but plenty of room to move around and keep in the sun. We had a beachfront room which we would recommend as we got a constant sea breeze - the upgrade was worth every single penny as we also had a little fridge and lovely views- we were lucky in having a ground floor room which meant we could step in and out of our room from the sunbeds set up for us every day by the efficient pool staff. There is a day time restaurant by the pool and near the beach and an evening restaurant with an out side balcony - food was really excellent for an all inclusive holiday - well managed, clean and great service - as others have said, the staff could not do enough for you without being OTT -all were very friendly and tried very hard to please. If you do eat too much there are activities in the pool such as Aqua-aerobics and water polo organised by the Animation team but the pool is massive so this does not get in the way. Thereand-is a swim up bar which is lovely. The hotel is efficient and immaculate ( given one or two African quirks !!) -this is all down to the very service-orientated owners who happened to be present when we were there and we noted how much effort they put into the place.

There is a popular beauty salon at the hotel - being too old for temporary Henna tattoos or hair brading I stuck to a pedicure.

We must mention the monkeys - all part of the fun especially with uniformed security guards chasing them with catapults!!! So along as you follow the hotel instructions not to feed them you can enjoy them and their antics - the Colbus Monkeys were a bonus, as were the Bush Babies who came out for dinner guests' enjoyment.

We also did a mini safari through the hotel associate company Rhino Safaris and stayed at the Ngutini Lodge is situated in a small private reserve next to Tsavo East . Ngutuni was absolutely stunning with fantastic rooms facing a watering hole which was continously visited by game - Elephants ,Water Buffalo etc. We had three game drives , two in Tsavo East and one in the private estate with a one night stay -excellent value and highly recommended for those who just want a taste of safari life.The driver/guide was knowledgable and alerted us to good animal sightings which we would have missed. Terrific night time atmosphere at the Lodge, eating dinner over looking the water hole -it was a really romantic 'Out of Africa' experience.

We also did some travelling round using a private taxi at reasonable rates which we found through the hotel - I used to live in Kenya as a child and wanted to do a little nostaligic visiting. Our excellent English speaking driver Yuvi knew exactly the sort of things I wanted to do.

We also had evening dinner at Ali Barbours (note spelling!!!) cave and were picked up by the complimentary bus - a wonderful place eating in a subterranean cave with a roof open to the sky - BUT do not eat too much lunch at the hotel - the portions are massive.

Another great tour we did through our Hayes & Jarvis hotel rep. was a Dhow excursion to Funzi Island which included a motorised canoe visit to the Mangrove swamps - it was, in fact, as much a canoe trip as a Dhow trip . Don't be put off -it is all salt water so not too heavy on the mozzies. We saw lots of birds and a small croc - the visit to Funzi was worth doing to understand the hardship and pressures remote communities face - there is a school and a clinic which is supported by a UK based charity - we will be supporting it. The trip then ended with a great sea food lunch on a private island - a real mixed trip -educational but fun.

On a wider front when visiting any Diani resort hotels - remember this is South Mombasa -so you do have to cross the Ferry which can sometimes have delays but you do get to see African urban life while you are waiting. Air-conditioned transport makes any wait much more comfortable.

In summary our two week visit to the Papillon Reef Lagoon Hotel was a wonderful holiday -very relaxing and just what we wanted. Thanks to all those who made our stay so enjoyable.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank Rewellpeople
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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haydock
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 October 2009

We had a great stay in this hotel the food is the best we have ever had in an all inclusive hotel and the staff are great. Room although not very big was very comfortable and very clean. The gardens are perfect with all the monkeys being very cheeky. Fantastic pool, beach great. We went on a safari that we booked before we left the UK with JT Safaris this was fantastic.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank HaydockNanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kenya
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2009

This was the best holiday ever. The hotel was lovely, the staff amazing, the location and setting perfect. I cannot praise ALL the staff enough for their excellent service. I would highly recomend the hotel particualarly if you are an animal lover. There are five primate species living alongside you at this hotel and all get along fine providing you take the advice of the hotel and dont feed them. they are wild animals and unpredictable but incredibly entertaining. The colobus monkey lives here and just up the road is the Colobus Monkey Trust which is well worth a visit. Ali barbours restaurant is a must as well from this location. Book with the hotel reception for the free shuttle. I teseached my safari before we left and deceided on Kenyas best safari - First african dream tours and safaris, www.fadsafaris.com The package we booked was for four days and three nights and was fantastic, there was only the two of us in the vehicle and our driver Charles was BRILLIANT his was knowledge amazing. MIke the company director met us outside our hotel a few days before our safari and checked our itinery was what we wanted and introduced us to Charles. We had to meet outside the hotel as the hotel would only let their own companies in. Part of their sales pitch was not to go on safari with anyone but the companies they recomend. If you do your research you will be fine ignoring this advice. we did and had the best time. We saw everything but the rhino! Charles made sure we got the best out of our safari. The safari lodges we went to were the Aruba (FABULOUS new hotel) the Ngulia (built in the 60s and has clearly stayed there but spot on for beautiful scenery and wildlife, the watering hole attracts plenty and they feed a leopard nightly. Look through the binoculars over the Rhino Sanctuary you may get lucky) and the FInch Hatton OMG this is luxurious tented accomodation with no fences and wildlife all around. Hippos and crocs in the lake that you 'tent' is on, baboons all around. You have an escort to take you to and from the lodge for dinner in the evening and what a dinner! as a result of the drought this lodge has been flying in hay to feed the hippos who were struggling to survive. 30 hippos came up to eat just outside the lodge AMAZING!
Tips
Research you safari and make sure you get what you want (olur guys were great and will email you back quickly and make sure you get what you want)
Dont take travellers cheques it is hard to get them changed at a decent rate and Barclays Bank (the main one in the area) dont change them at all. use the ATM.
Take heed of the locals re the wildlife.
Tip the staff depend on it !!!!!!!
dont be afraid of the beachboys they are only trying to make a living, be firm and polite if you dont want to be bothered
ENJOY!

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank NormaKC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
europe
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 October 2009

We've stayed at this hotel as part of our safari & stay in Kenya for 2 weeks in March 2009. Our group was me, my husband, mother and father. W all agree the hotel is clean and confortable. You should go on safari to Tsavo as we did.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank katiebenenden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cheshire
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2009

We have just returned from staying at The Papillon and can not rate it highly enough. After enjoying an excellent safari with Rhino Tours. The hotel was first class from our point of arrival with a warm and sincere welcome from the check in staff to the ebulant waiting on staff in the evening. I really could not find fault at all save the cheeky monkeys that seemed to prowl around all the time. A quick jet of water from our water pistol soon had them escaping though and by the time our holiday finished a quick flash of the pistol had them running for cover!
Whilst we were staying the owners were on site too who were not only friendly but also interested in their guests. Quite a rare occurance these days.
We can not praise the Papillon highly enough and will be returning soom I'm sure

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank nickbCheshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cheshire
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 October 2009

After a great safari we stayed for 8 days at this all inclusive resort. All the staff were very friendly, the food was varied and catered for both meat eaters and vegies. The hotel is close enough to the reef that you can swim there on low tide. Great water sports and an excellent dive centre. We had an ocean view room that was always spotless.

Down side? The monkeys; we took a water pistol which kept the blighters out of our beach bags.

We would happily book again... a great place to unwind and soak up the sun.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank 123hoges
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lincolnshire
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 October 2009

we stayed at papillion lagoon reef for 14 days, the moment we got there it took my breath away. we had a beach front which was exactly that. the scenery was amasing, the staff was exceptional!!! they couldnt do enough for you.we went on a 4 day safari after being at the hotel for just over a day, they gave us breakfast before leaveing at 5am.Our rooms were well looked after while away so no worries there. we would like to say a big thanks to dickson the waiter,benjamin the manager, fred an excellent bar man,ally who cleaned our rooms and did such a good job,the pool boys who made sure we had our sun beds every day.we had cocanuts straight from the tree,hows that freshness the list is endless. try it you wont be dissapointed.the beach was so white it hurt my eyes, and the sea so turqouise.that hotel and jt safaris you cant go wrong.only critasisam would be update your bathrooms... food was brilliant all of us put on too much weight!!!!!!!

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank aggymanorfarm
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
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Papillon Lagoon Reef Diani
Papillon Lagoon Reef Hotel Diani

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