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“Perfect beach location”

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Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #19 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
South London
Level 5 Contributor
93 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Perfect beach location”
Reviewed 21 October 2011

Hotel quite a drive from the airport but worth it!

The rooms are tired but perfectly adequate. We wanted a room as close to the beach as possible with a good sea view. We were shown a few and finally chose 1002. We had no Internet connection in the room for some unresolved problem which couldn't be fixed but although the hotel offered to move us we stayed due to the closeness to the sea. Wifi in the rest of the resort was fine though.

We are vegetarians and thought the French chef and his staff put on magnificent spreads every day for breakfast and dinner. We ate one night in the Sake restaurant and the food was amazing although portions too large!

The staff cannot be faulted and in particular Saumu, Susan, Naomi and Elizabeth helped with all our requests but all of the staff were brilliant.

Beach perfect, sun loungers fine and must have been expensive although some need fixing they were very sturdy and comfortable. We had no problems with the towels! 

The beach sellers walk up and down all day long and can be tiresome but amusing. We tried to buy a little something from several of them as they are very poor.

We did have an escort across the reef at low tide and made the mistake of not asking how much before we started and got stung for approx £17 for the two guides again not much to us but put dinner on the table or their kids! but ask first and don't let them walk with you if you do not want to give money!! 

We can recommend Chirat tours in the complex across the road from the hotel who we did a two day safari to Tatia Hills staying at Saltlick lodge. We saw loads of animals at very close range. We did book a trip to Wassini Island with them but due to the adverse bad weather we had it had to be canceled. They were very prompt at refunding the deposit.

We got some lovely items in the shop at the end of the arcade called Lepalm. The lady in there is very grateful and happy to receive your books when you have finished with them and I make a plea to all you Kindle readers to take at least one hard copy book to pass on as I am sure it will be read many times!

We had tea at Roi's over the road and would have eaten there as the menu looked lovely but we had paid for meals at the hotel.

We did walk to the bigger shopping centre 1km away but were accompanied by an angry young man who wouldn't go away so we were forced to take a taxi back to the hotel. It is a shame they do this as it does not help them!

We took pens, pencils and sweets for the children and also some tee shirts which were gratefully received by the chap we gave them to along the beach front.

The only sour note which put a dampener on the holiday was that my husband's sunglasses went missing from his dive bag that he took on a dive trip with him. We had hoped they would reappear but they didn't. We reported to the hotel and dive centre who contacted the police.

We can highly recommend the resort.  It is very beautiful inside, the staff are wonderful, the food was excellent and very plentiful, the beach is white and clean, the garden staff are always working to keep it looking lovely and the security staff are always there even when you wander onto the public part of the beach to make sure the beach boys don't take liberties.

  • Stayed October 2011
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Helpful?
1 Thank hawkeye9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (124)
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Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 October 2011

my wife and i have just returned from the diani reef resort and spa we picked the hotel because it was 5 star and not all inclusive. after a long journey as cosmos does not fly from Manchester we arrived at the hotel and have to say the hotel and grounds are fantastic you cant fault the rooms the staff were really nice.We were half board the breakfast was ok,but the meal at night which was buffet was very poor we complained twice the meal times were 7 to 1030 and if you went to eat after 8 the food already cooked was only luke warm.we both had tummy upsets and we put it down to the food there were two other resturants which you were given a discount but they were not fantastic there is a great chinese and indian opposite the hotel the food is ten times better and they serve it hot other guests said the same thing about the food being luke warm I have had better food at a 3 star all inclusive an that is what i will do next time I love Kenya and want to go back.Martin Gilbert Southport Merseyside

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gillygilbert1954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DRBRS, Management at Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 15 October 2011
Dear Guest

Thank you for taking time out to give us your honest feedback on the hotel and your stay with us.

We are sorry for not meeting your expectation in terms of food, however we beg to state that as you may see from most of the reviews we always have had excellent feedback for food in terms of quality, spread and experience at all our venues.

As you would have seen that we do have many items at Live cooking stations to ensure that that we offer the food at the right quality and temperature, while the pre-cooked food are continuously heated with fuel gel under it to maintain the right temperature & at the same time avoid getting burnt smell.

Change of weather , water and possibly some ingredients / spice in food could play a role in stomach upsets for some people, as we did not have any complaint from other 180 plus guests staying with us of upset stomach due to our food, who dined at the same restaurant. For your reference, our food is stored and prepared under strict supervision and hygiene conditions with standard checks to pre-empt any contamination or spoilage. Your health and safety are extremely important to us and we value your feedback.

The management shall however also write to you in person in this regards.

Thank you again for your feedback & please do let us know of your travel plans in future and we look forward to welcoming you back.

Kind Regards

Diani Reef Management
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Derby, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 October 2011

firstly what i think is the biggest plus point for the Diani Reef is the beautiful beach. The hotel (i understand unlike many others) has its own private beach and it is gorgeous with beautiful white sand backed with palm trees and the sea is very nice too. the sea is protected by a coral reef but u do really need sea shoes due to the coral and sea urchins. when the tide is out you can walk up to the coral reef and see marine life in the rock pools etc. the beach boys will try to take you on a tour (for a price) which at first i thought what a gimmick but it was actually very interesting as they were able to spot and identify a lot of the sea life including a very poisonous stone fish that i would not have wanted to find on our own.

The beach boys can only approach you on your way down to the sea and they do not come up to the private part where the beds are nor will the hassle you when you are in the sea. they are friendly and not aggressive at all and easy to get rid of with a firm no thank you or a small purchase. their markets are actually very good and sell good wood carvings and canvass paintings. in any event the security at the hotel are fantastic and patrol up and down the beach and certainly tell the beach boys off if they are hassling people. so do not let this put you off.
as with many of the other reviews it is fair to say that the hotel does need a touch up here and there but our room (a junior suite upgrade) was very nice.
the staff really are very friendly and the food is good too. there is good entertainment at night and the zebra nice is very nice for a drink or two before dinner!!!
on the whole i would sincerely recommend this hotel and would almost certainly go back. Kenya itself has so much to offer and is a beautiful but very poor country. we combined our stay at the diani reef with a stay at the mara bushtops for a 3 day safari and this was totally amazing!!!!

Room Tip: do keep your balcony doors shut because of the monkeys who are very entertaining!
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank natc082
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Benfleet, Essex
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 October 2011

Hotel staff excellent, nothing too much. Food very good. However wine is expensive, the pool bar cocktails are disappointing and one half of the hotel is closed off completely (a little bit spooky to be honest) but understand has been waiting re-furbishment for a couple of years - maybe to do with the economy, It is quite a drive from the airport but for a four star hotel ok. We always prefer a 5 star but non available in the area. Also we was on top floor but lift not working during our stay.

Room Tip: Make sure the lift is working if you have a top floor room
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  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Laura B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DRBRS, General Manager at Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 11 October 2011
Dear Guest

Thank you for your comments on the staff and food & honest feedback on the hotel facilities overall.

Our beverage & Wine prices are not expensive considering the cost of procurement of certain brands which may be distinct from other hotels nearby, while we offer “Happy Hours” between 6-8 pm every evening at Zebra Bar wherein a 25% discount is offered on Menu price for all drinks. We certainly shall look into your concern on the Cocktails at Pool Bar and imrpove where necessary so as to enhance the guest experience.

The far end of the resort is closed for refurbishment as it awaits certain obligatory approvals from the local administrative authorities. However since the inception, it was never a part of the inventory & hotel facilities mentioned on the hotel website or any other Operator you had booked. Also, there are notice boards at relevant areas to restrict guest access to that extreme end of the resort beyond Spa Pool.
While you would appreciate that Silent pool (Spa Pool) adds to guest advantage to relax in a soothing and calm atmosphere & spend time with no activity in or around the pool.

In light of your concern on Elevator, the resort has 2 guest elevators at both ends for ease of access to beach level as well as other floors, while the Service (Capsule) elevator is restricted from guest use, Notice for which has been displayed on the lift as well to avoid any confusion.

We thank you again for your constructive feedback and please be rest assured that we do take every feedback positively and act upon it to ensure you have a memorable stay with us at all times.

Thank you.

Kind Regards

Roberto Simone
General Manager
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Surbiton, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 October 2011

My boyfriend and I (both mid-20s) stayed at Diani Reef September 2011 for 2 weeks, what a stay! Arrived in the morning after a very long flight and greeted to a fabolous welcome with cold flannels and a cold drink, showed to our room, clean and lovely... The hotel is lovely... set on a beautiful beach, picture postcard white sands and the dazzling Indian Ocean. The food served was absolutely fantastic - so much choice and really delicious. The staff cannot do enough for you, you wont recieve hospitality as good as in Africa, they were so friendly, kind and made you feel incredibly welcome. We were keen to escape the hotel walls (however hard this was!) and have a taste of the real Africa! Did a 2 day safari to Tsavo East, a once in a lifetime experience which we will never forget. Also did the Pilli Pipa boat trip - highly recommended, Shimba Hills and visited the local communities - an incredibly humbling experience... Recommend the Tamarind Dhow at sunset to see Mombasa at night and Ali Barbours and Forty Thieves for top grub and amazing surroundings! All in all, cannot fault this place at all - maybe the rooms arent 5 star but remember you are in Africa and the service there is 10 star at least! Would go back in a heartbeat - asante sana Kenya!

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank katieepsomuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 September 2011

Stayed at Diani Reef for 2 weeks with my husband and 2 adult daughters. The communal areas of the hotel are excellent but the hotel rooms could do with a bit of upgrading and cleaning. However, this did not spoil our holiday at all. The staff are a REAL CREDIT to this hotel. They cannot do enough for you. Patrick, Andrew and Juma are just a few i can mention. They really go to great lengths to make you very welcome and happy during your stay. Also Mary on reception who was very helpful, after losing 2 items in the hotel, ensured both were returned to me promptly. There are areas in the hotel that can be improved, for example, the sunbeds could do with a little upgrading and the towels were a little worse for wear. These are minor points and can easily be rectified, which i am sure the new management are already looking at.

All-in-all, we had a fabulous time at this hotel. Food was lovely with plenty of variation. The Coral Bar where you have lunch has an excellent sea view and a lovely place to sit and relax with a wine or beer. After spending 3 days away on safari we had several comments from staff on our return welcoming us back which i thought was a lovely touch.

Would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone thinking of going to Mombassa. However, you need to be aware that you are very safe within the hotel and guards are always at the entrance and on the beach, but you do get a lot of hassle once outside the grounds of the hotel and also when in Mombassa Town which can be a little unnerving at times. Don't let this put you off though as this is just their way of life and other than this, i have never met such lovely people.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AlisonAndy1962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2011

My family of four adults booked Diani reef Resort for a once in a life time holiday. We didn't want to book anything less than a 5 star hotel that had good reviews for food, so going on reviews Diani reef was our choice.

First impressions were good, with an impressive reception with fish swimming beneath the glass floor.

We were shown to our rooms, we had pre requested two twin rooms, but this was not initially honoured and took some time to resolve. The result was that our two rooms were not together, but we were given two complimentary spa treatments for the inconvenience. Additionally we paid extra for a 'sea view' room, we could not see the sea, but were 'facing' the sea.

The rooms are dated and are not what would be expected for a 5 start or even 4 star hotel. I felt the room could have been cleaner, but once I mentioned this staff rectified this. As someone previously mentioned , the sheets feel damp and not crisp. I think this may be due to their cleaning product.

The Gym had good equipment, but not much of it, but it did not look like many people used it. The staff in there were friendly, but only comment is that there was often no water stocked.

The resort itself was nice, but could do with some care and attention in places. Beach towels are well used, most of the beach chairs are broken. They are easy to repair so I am not sure why this is not regularly checked. Half the resort is closed at the far end. The Jacuzzi was not working when we were there.
The resort was nicely landscaped and was in keeping with the feeling of being in Kenya. The roaming monkeys were a bit of a problem for the hotel, but I liked them. The activities could be better, I was told the cooking demo was 'green salad'!

The spa was lovely and a good price for treatments, but the steam room and sauna was not working when we were there.

The food was amazing, especially the curry's and fresh nann at dinner!

The staff were very attentive and did a good job to make sure guests are happy.

Over all there are minor things that could be done to bring the hotel in to line with other 5 star hotels and the rooms let it down. We did however have a lovely stay and the staff made it very special for us.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank OHandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DRBRS, General Manager at Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 26 September 2011
Dear Guest

Thank you for your comments on Tripadvisor.

Kindly note that as the rooms are not at the beach itself but at a certain distance from beach as per the local regulatory norms and due to the landscaping of the resort overall the view is interrupted by some trees, while as mentioned all our Standard rooms are either Garden Facing or Ocean Facing.

We do apologize for the inconvenience casued in light of the cleanliness in the room and we do appreciate your confirmation of it being rectified after it was brought to our attention. In light of the feeling of dampness in sheets & linen, we work with Ecolab (worldwide organization) – for all our Laundry, cleanliness, Sanitizing etc related services to maintain high quality. But you would agree that due to atmospheric humidity at the coast there is bound to be dampness that may affect the cripness of the linen at times, however we do understand the concern & have noted the feedback positively and are working towards enhancing the experience with linen in rooms.
This is to bring to your notice that there was continuous power outage / fluctuation at the Kenyan Coast for about 15 days (including during your 1 week stay with us) leading to lack of quality water supply to many hotels due to which the Jacuzzi / Steam / Sauna (that needs continuous flow of water) had to be taken out of operation for those days and had to undergo the cleaning process so as to maintain the quality of the facility. OUr sicere apologies for the inconvenience caused in this regards.

While the far end of the resort is closed for refurbishment and never had been a part of the inventory & hotel facilities. However the Silent pool (Spa Pool) is an added advantage for the guests to relax & spend time with no activity in or around the pool and with no children allowed it creates a soothing atmosphere for the guests.

We thank you again for the honest feedback and please be rest assured that we stand committed to take every feedback positively and act upon it to ensure you have a memorable stay with us at all times.

We look forward to welcoming you back with your family once again and assure you of a memorable stay with us.

Kind Regards

Roberto Simone
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa

Property: Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa
Address: Diani Beach Road, Diani Beach, Ukunda 80400, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Ukunda > Diani Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Diani Beach
#9 Spa Hotel in Diani Beach
#15 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
#18 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 143
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Diani Reef Beach Resort And Spa
Diani Reef Beach Hotel Ukunda
Diani Reef Grand Ukunda

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