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“Great relaxing holiday”

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Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #17 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Reviewed 19 February 2011

We stayed at the Diani Reef Beach Resort & Spa for 2 weeks in February. The hotel is in a fantastic location on the white sands of Diani Beach. The beach shelves down to the sea - this means that when lying on the sun beds on the hotel’s private beach area, the beach boys cannot be seen. The security guys do a great job of ensuring that the boys keep to the lower level of the beach so, unless you stand up or walk down towards to the sea, you will not be disturbed. When going in to the sea or for a walk along the beach the beach boys can be a bit of a nuisance, but they are not aggressive and there are fewer of them near the hotel than along other parts of the beach.

As previous reviews have mentioned, the staff at the hotel are very friendly and welcoming and genuinely want to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. The management team are very visible and are keen to hear any comments.

Tips were always gratefully received by the staff and even though food and drinks are signed for, we just included a small cash tip with each signed bill.

We found the food to be of a good quality with a wide choice for both the buffet breakfasts and dinners - the live cooking stations meant that freshly cooked food was always available. We ate lunch at Fins and although this is not ‘budget’ dining, the portions are large and the food is of a high quality. We also ate at Fins one evening – quite expensive, but both the service and the food were of a very high standard. It’s a pity that this restaurant is so under used in the evening (we were the only couple dining that evening), maybe the very low 500 KS per person credit is partially to blame – perhaps a 1,000 KS credit or a free starter would entice a few more people to dine there? Other reviews have mentioned the mark-up on drinks but this is usual for any 5 star hotel - a 25% discount is given between 6pm and 8pm in the Zebra bar, so this does help.

Although the location, service and food are of a high standard, a few things do let the hotel down. The rooms, although kept very clean, are in need of refurbishment. The sun beds could do with replacing – some had missing arms or wheels and were grubby. Also, some of the room towels were grey - rather than white and fluffy and many of the beach towels were frayed and marked. Similarly, some of the table linen had holes in and, although clean, were marked. None of this spoilt our holiday and we would currently rate Diani Reef as a very good hotel. However, if these few points were addressed then Diani Reef could potentially be a fantastic hotel.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank peanut0904
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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437 - 443 of 739 reviews

Reviewed 14 February 2011

This is a fantastic hotel located on one of the best white, sandy beaches I have ever seen. Right from the start the staff at all levels, from management through to the security guards, were very friendly and helpful. We stayed half board as we wanted to have the choice of eating out at other establishments to sample local menus so we ate in the hotel restaurant for breakfast and dinner. Over the two weeks we were there, the choice of food was amazing and always freshly cooked. The only complaint was the massive mark up on the price of the wines. The cheapest bottle of house wine was £24 (this could be bought at the local shop for a mere £4.50) and the dearest bottle was champagne at £240.00!! The beer prices were what you would expect at around £2.40 a bottle so I don't understand why they have to charge well over the odds for the wine. Our room was clean and comfortable and we were lucky enough to have a view over the rear gardens where we saw all sorts of wild life every day only a few feet away.
The hotel facilities were excellent too with free Wi-Fi in selected areas for the sad people who take their lap tops on holiday (come on guys - get a life!!) and I took advantage of the gym facilities where a staff member put a fitness program in place for me - all free of charge to guests. The only disappointment was the fact that the jacuzzi and sauna were not complimentary to guests. I have stayed at other spa hotels where these services have always been on offer complimentary. There seems to be an issue with the sun beds and towels on the beach too. On several occassions we would ask for towels at the little beach hut but there would be none left as some guests were getting two or three each. There needs to be a system put into place to monitor this. Also we saw some guests giving money to the all night security guards to "reserve" sun lounges for them by placing towels. As there is a notice saying that no beds can be reserved we found it very frustrating to see towels on beds all day and no one lying on them.
All in all though a fantastic holiday experience.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank mychellee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2011

I recently spent two nights at Diani Reef with my partner and from the moment we arrived we were meant to feel special. All employees seem to go above and beyond to make sure you are having a good time and have everything you need. The food was well-prepared and the grounds were quite beautiful. And there are many activities and ways to pamper yourself on offer.

We had a massage at the Maya Spa which was divine. Most impressive was the reasonable cost of the one hour treatment, the aromatherapy treatment, which covered almost the entire body and was customised based on the scented oil that I chose.

I was also able to do a two-tank dive with Southern Cross diving. The visibility was average on the day we dove, but the reef was in fantastic condition and I saw four huge sea turtles on my second dive. I also saw a beautiful leaf fish which I had never seen before and tons and tons of beautiful purple coral.

Diani is a great beach for walking, but you must be prepared to deal with beach boys. Diani Reef does a good job of keeping them off the beach immediately in front of the property, but if you want to walk any reasonable distance you will have to deal with them.

Most impressive about this place is the level of service. I felt that anything I needed was available and if it was not, the staff would bend over backwards to try to make it happen. There are a lot of Brits and other Europeans here, so you will need to be prepared for that. If you are looking for a quiet getaway, this may not be the best choice. But if you are looking for sun, fun and a place to be pampered, this is it.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled on business
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Thank Mellykat_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2011

My wife and I have just got back from 2 weeks at the Diani Reef. We just wanted to write a quick review to say we had a fantastic time, the staff are excellant and could not do enough for you, the food was great, varried and always fresh with lots of choice and the hotel facilities where good too. The gym was very modern with up to date equipment, there are 2 pools one of which was great for swimming lengths while the other was good for cooling down. The beach outside the hotel was lovely and guarded to stop the beach boys bothering you. The only down side I would say where that the bathrooms could do with a refurb, however they where clean and perfectly useable and there was always hot water. We would recommend this hotel.

Whilst in Kenya we also did a 2 night / 3 day safari to the masai mara which was also excellant. We booked this through JT Safaris before we arrived in Kenya. I would thoroughly recommend booking with JT, Julius is a great guy and very helpfull. We paid a $300 deposit befor our safri and then paid the balance after our trip. We stayed at the governors camp and would also recommend this. We had a great time.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank jamesbondleicester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2011

We have just got back from a wonderful holiday in Kenya& stayed at this hotel.Super hotel overall & we were made very welcome.Everybody is so happy & accommadating. The hotel & gardens are kept very clean & tidy. All staff are excelent. Thanks to Albert for all his work & dedication to the job.
The beach boys can be a big problem & are very persistant when walking along the beach.. Very good entertainmen in the evenings. Dont miss the poolside dinners, a real eyeopener. Cant wait to go back. Highly recommended.!
Richard & Maureen Sussex.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank JeremysEastbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2011

What an excellent hotel! Nothing is too much trouble for the staff. The rooms may just need a lick of paint, but that is nothing in comparison to what the hotel has to offer, excellent choice of food which is made extra special by the staff who work hard to set up dining areas under the stars and even around the pool area, whilst listening to bands playing, the entertainment is just right and there are fantastic bar area,s to have a drink or just chill out and unwind. My wife,s concern,s about travelling here where gone within five minutes of arriving and she cannot wait to return later in the year. If are considering going. Enjoy!!. We did!!!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Clive070268
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2011

i can only repeat what others have said about this hotel,it really is fantastic. the staff play a key role in this as the service is second to none. Along with the hotel setting,services,food,facilities and decor, this is a must if you're going to diani! like any hotel, it had a few very minor faults but this is by far the best hotel i've ever stayed in.

special thanks to Albert Thomas the f&b manager,he truly is a legend!

Cheers!

"Mr Paul"

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank MrPaulo1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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
#8 Spa Hotel in Diani Beach
#13 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range: £68 - £374 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 Hotel Ukunda
Diani Reef Beach Resort And Spa
Diani Reef Grand Ukunda

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