Have recently returned from Diani Reef and had a wonderful, relaxing holiday. Hotel absolutely fantastic --- staff could not do enough for us. Food was very good and many choices to cater to everyone's dietary requirments. Staff were very friendly and made an great effort to remember your name which made it very personable. Although in the low season, lots to do although the night club and casino were not being used,
Our room was lovely, very clean and in a quiet garden location - great to see the monkeys making their journey over the roof tops in the morning and late afternoon. Annie our Cosmos Rep was very informative/helpful although personally would not travel by this company again as their transport to and from the airport was very poor alongside Thomas Cook - not air-conditioned so make sure you have drinks with you at all times! The Resort itself did need a little redecoration in places although it was obvious that there were plans in place. The idea of dining at night in different locations i.e. by the pool, in the garden and on the beach made a very welcome change. The Exec Catering Manager is very good and takes on board suggestions from guests.
Only complaints we had was that there was very little information of what was going on especially evening entertainment. A lot of people obviously left for an early night not knowing of this. Also think that some of the entertainment (including the Masai Warriors/Missionary School Singers etc) would benefit performing at the Fins Club on the beach which has a bigger and more open stage. Saying that, they were all very good.
We did not have much problem from the beach boys as the security guards were ever present. We only encountered them when we went into the water to swim but after telling them we were not interested - left us alone.
Drinks very expensive in the resort --- £30 for a bottle of wine! Best bet is to go outside the resort and buy drinks to take back to your room (£2.95 for a reasonable bottle of wine!) --- but don't forget to buy a corkscrew as they immediately take the one away that is in your room for your complementary bottle of wine!
If you can avoid - don't fly with Monarch --- they are a nightmare--- staff very rude and our experience was they would not let us walk around the aeroplane, even though it was a 9 hour flight. Having flown long haul many times was quite disgusted eg DVT. Also staff were sitting in the extra leg room seats! We also experienced a 13 hour delay on return - although to be fair Monarch did allow us to keep our rooms free of charge.
With regards to souveniers - beware of the local markets. We got hemmed in by 8 people who would not let us leave until we had finished negotiating. When we told them we would think about it --- they chased us down the beach --- thereby paying over the odds. Mombasa Airport has some really good shops and they are half the price you would pay anywhere --- unless your negotiating skills are good.
Tsavo East & West memorable - it does not matter where you purchase this trip the price is relatively the same. We organised this trip through our Rep and I must admit we had better rooms and accomodation than most people. Recommend you stay in a tent at Tsavo East --- at night all the animals come close to the wire which is right outside! Don't worry -- the tents are sealed and cannot let anything in. We saw a couple of scorpions but there was no way they could get in the tent!
We had a great driver could Donald who knew everything and everybody and managed to get us places on the safari -- wonderful experience of seeing young lions sitting next to our truck!
Try and go to Ali Baba's Restauarant which is built in the coral caves. Fantastic food and atmosphere. They provide a free bus to and from resorts. If you have time --- go and visit the beach bar --- one of the staff will take you and again transport is available back to your resort --- it is an eye-opener of the other aspect of Mombasa!
All in all we loved our experience in Kenya and will definitely return although probably not for 2 weeks - probably 1 week Tanzania and 1 week Kenya.
But would highly recommend this resort to anyone.
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- Also Known As:
- Diani Reef Beach Resort And Spa
- Diani Reef Beach Hotel Ukunda
- Diani Reef Grand Ukunda