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Baobab Beach Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 29 Hotels in Diani Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 February 2011

Hotel.
The hotel is situated above the beach, steps lead onto pristine white sand. It is a public beach, and so you find boys who grab you as soon as you step onto the beach trying to sell their wares. It isn't pleasant but you must be firm and tell them you just want to walk in peace.
The hotel is in three parts, The Maridadi.. the Baobab... and the Kole Kole. The Kole Kole where we stayed, was mostly catered towards the Italian market, whereas in the Baobab you find more Germans, French, Poles and some English. Although once the animation team at the Kole Kole heard us speak ,all their announcements were made in both languages, which I thought was a nice touch.
Our upgraded room at the Kole was as we thought it would be, when you look on their website you see the photo's and it was exactly like that. http://www.baobab-beach-resort.com/eng/ Our room overlooked the infinity pool and the sea, it was spotless, bed turned down every night, we had excellent service from our room boy.
The complex overall was very clean and tidy, the grounds were raked daily, the pools were pristine, and the toilets, I have never been in a hotel where I have seen toilets being cleaned that much, which again I found reassuring, but what we did observe was that there were Guests and Staff alike who didn't wash their hands after use of the facilities, which was a worry, I would have liked to have seen notices up ..NOW PLEASE WASH YOUR HANDS....
It was brought to the management's attention, and to be fare Mr Adam the General Manager of the complex did make sure that all staff were aware of this. Mr Adam was very nice and took onboard suggestions and feedback of his guests staying at the hotel, I have never found this to be the case at any other resorts we have stayed in, and we have been to a lot of places. Anyway we noticed the staff washing their hands, but the guests, well there wasn't much he could do about that.

Food
This is a point where everybody differs, we didn't find the food that amazing, there was a fare amount of choice, meats and fish, choice of salads, but after three weeks there, we found it very repetitive. And I was walking round and round trying to find something to tempt me. There was a different theme in the dining room every night which was very nice, in the morning you have the animation team who come and mime to Good Morning, Good Morning, which was fun, they tell you the events of the day and what show is on.
The A La Carte restaurant is a hit and miss, when we went the first time is was very good, second time we had to send it back, it just wasn't consistent.

Shows
This is performed by the animation team, and mimed to the records, we went to see ABBA and only one or two more shows, they did their best. You will have to make-up your own mind. We found the animation team very friendly, and I like to mention at this point Praxides, not sure if I spelt this right, she was a lovely girl came and found us everywhere for a chat, we had a lot of fun with her, hope she is well.

Loungers
There were plenty of loungers at the Baobab, but no sun umbrellas, you just pulled your chair into the tree's shade. At the Kole there was another system, we found out after a while. In the early morning most of the seats under umbrellas were covered in towels by 7 am, so you were left with the once in full sun, as the Kole was the hottest place you needed the shade, there was room under some tree's ,but if you wanted to sit by the pool there wasn't any room. We found out near the end of our holiday that if you give a good tip to the pool boy he keeps those seats you want for you, as you are only allowed One towel per card, you need to bring one yourself, although some German people who sat next to us had two towels every day, when I asked someone about it I was told a story that they had two cards which I knew was a pack of lies. I just left it at that. If you can't beat them join them, but we didn't the last four days of our holiday I was too bad to care very much about pool loungers and just wanted to get home.

Monkey's
They were an entertainment, specially at the Baobab, we loved watching them, trying to steal stuff, the Monkey's make this hotel a little special. Their antic's have you in stitches, a shame they get chased away at a regular basis , we know they can be a pest, but they did make us laugh a lot.

Overview.
Would I go back..No.... the last few days of our holiday we both had bad stomach's, I ended up at home having to go to A&E as soon as we got home. We couldn't however pin point how we got it. So I say no more about that. We spoke to a few people who have been going there for 15 years and love the people and the place. Myself I don't tend to go back to the same place, there are too many other places in the world to see.

Kenya ( from the airport to the hotel)
I have been to many underdeveloped country's before but Kenya was not what I expected, it is very, very, dirty. Everyone is out to get their penny's worth out of you, everyone takes a cut from everyone ...Taxi drivers are the worst...so be aware to be ripped off with a smile. The people are friendly and always smiling, shame we don't understand what they say to each- other about us.

Charity's
All I'm going to say is beware, if you need more information please contact me.

Safari
Please look under Safari.

Any questions you have ..no problem contacting me, if I can I'll answer you.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank letterston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 February 2011

Been to Kenya 4 times and always had super holidays,Thompsons give this hotel 4+stars I would rate it 3*It was very clean but all looks very tired,our room was the smallest hotel room I have ever been in.Food was ok animation team where very good as where most of the staff[the men on reception we found rude the women where great. If this had been our first visit to Kenya we would never had returned.

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

We have just returned from Baobab Beach resort & had a really good time. The place is beautifully kept with lovely gardens and the staff work very hard and are very polite The beach is amazing and I would get a sea view next time . The Monkeys/Baboons around the hotel was wonderful to watch & kept us amused throughout our holiday. The food was very tasty with a lot of choice and caters for everyone, although I must say on occasions it was not kept very hot. The entertainment program overall was ok but could be improved, the staff try very hard & the costumes for the shows are very good but a lot of the time the shows are just dancing and miming to music. We got involved with day time activities such as the stretch classes and the water polo. We also used the Spa and that is wonderful, I had a facial, a massage a body scrub and a reflexology. One girl deserves a special mention Mulkie she is very good and always has a smile on her face & makes you feel really welcome. The beach boys are not that bad, yes they came over to us but we told them we are just out for a walk & if we need anything we will come & find them. They just gave us there name and said have a good holiday and then left us alone. Overall we had a really good time and I would recommend the hotel to everyone as the staff are wonderful and try very hard.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JO-ORDY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2011

We stayed at the Baobob as part of a three part trip including the Baobob, a three night safari and a week in Zanzibar.

We arrived at the Boabob after a long but pretty good journey. We were with Kuoni on Kenyan Airways and whilst you have to change at Nairobi to get to Mombasa I couldn’t recommend either party highly enough. The flight was great, so much more leg room than the usual charter flights and great service.

Even better, if you arrive into Nairobi first, this is where you do your visa’s and immigration. Nairobi airport is much bigger and better equipped than Mombasa so the queue was minimal and fairly fuss free – all done in about 15 minutes.

However as a word of warning – if you are doing this option you have to pick collect your luggage at Nairobi and check it for the Mombasa connection. (Not sure why as for our connecting flights to Zanzibar it was done for us) It does clearly state that you have to do this on the tickets but we saw one couple at Mombasa who had not done so, and were not happy that their luggage hadn’t arrived….

Our itinerary originally gave us a 3 hour wait at Nairobi before our connecting flight to Mombasa. After immigration, we arrived we were met by the Kuoni representative who advised us to ask at the check in desk for any earlier flights. We asked, and were put on the next flight that left in 30 minutes! The Kuoni rep then rang through to Mombasa to arrange an earlier transfer. (This is apparently quite common)

On arrival at Mombasa airport we breezed through having already completed immigration and were met by the Kuoni team.

Perhaps Kuoni are a little more expensive that other tour operators but their transfer option in my opinion is worth its wait in gold! We had a really comfortable and fully conditioned people carrier to drive us down to the Baobob – just bliss in the heat of the morning. (Kuoni outsource this to a local company called Private Safari’s who were excellent throughout the holiday) In addition there were only one other couple with us for the journey which looked like a stark contrast to some of the other transfer coaches we saw that looked quite old fashioned with lots of people on.....

Because we had such a comfortable transfer, I honestly didn’t mind the 1.5 transfer from the airport to the Boabob. Yes we were tired after an overnight flight but the journey is such an eye opener that I found it really enjoyable! The ferry ride is absolutely fine. You just sit in your vehicle and drive on. The actual crossing only takes about 5 minutes but it is the queue to drive on that can hold you up.
But again, it is really interesting to be able to sit back and watch the everyday life on the ferry so rather than worry about the transfer, my advice is to treat it as part of your sightseeing and try to enjoy!

We arrived at the Baobob and were greeted with a cold drink and a cold towel which was much appreciated. Porters were with us straight away to take us to our room and explain the resort.

We stayed in one of the bungalow’s in the Baobob part of the hotel which was lovely. As it was our honeymoon, we had a fruit plate, bottle of wine and flowers left for us. When the porter found out that we were only in that room for one night as we were going on Safari the next day, he straight away arranged for the wine etc to be waiting for us when we returned from Safari too!

The room was good – my only slight niggle is that due to their design (lots of dark wood) that the lighting wasn’t brilliant. From looking at the pictures in reception I think I would have preferred the design of the Kole Kole rooms but it really is only a very small issue.
The whole resort is just incredible and every turn we took we found something new. There are 5 pools in total and I almost lost count of the amount of bars!
We booked an early morning wake up call to leave the next morning for Safari and the porters were promptly with us to carry our bags. Please make sure you have some small denominations with you to tip the porters as they work so hard and are so willing to help.
Even though we had such an early start, the Baobob has the breakfast room ready for guests to have breakfast before heading of on their safari adventures. Again, nothing was too much trouble for the staff.

After returning to the Baobob from a wonderful safari we were again greeted with more drinks and towels – such a lovely welcome every time.

We spent most of our time at the Maridadi pool as it was nearest to our room and quieter – we loved the cascading waterfall too! The infinity pool at the Kole Kole wing was lovely but hard to get a sunlounger round. No problem though as you can easily walk around the resort to use any of the pools regardless of where you are sunbathing.

The food was fantastic at every restaurant that we ate at. We didn’t have time to try either of the A La Carte’s but if we had been staying for longer we definitely would have.

We did go onto the beach and we didn’t experience any issues with the beach boys. There isn’t any denying that they are there, but we walked straight into the sea from the resort (30 second walk!) and no-one troubled us at all. One guy did try to speak to my husband but we didn’t engage in the conversation and were therefore left alone.

I know it is a little annoying that you can’t go for a stroll along the beach without someone trying to sell you something, but please remember where you are. Us holiday makers have so much in comparison to the people living in Mombasa and all they are trying to do is make a small living.

After leaving Kenya we stayed in a 5* resort in Zanzibar which on the surface was far superior to the Baobob. However, I actually preferred the Baobob for it’s friendliness, fun and relaxed atmosphere. I truly felt away from it all, thoroughly looked after and neither myself nor my husband can wait to return.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MemberSouthWest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 January 2011

To put my review into perspective this is our 4th visit to hotels on Diani Beach over a 15 year period . We visited the Baobab january 2011 with Thomson , expecting top hotel and all that accompanies that. Initially we were not disappointed , the superior garden room as booked with thomson was as expected , spacious, clean , with fridge, tv, air con. and terrace area as we were on the ground floor.( upper rooms have balcony.) We never felt the need to upgrade , the village style garden rooms are a lovely retreat.
The hotel restaurant appeared very good on our first few days , perfectly good salad selection, a meat or fish main course with a pasta alternative and selection of cake etc for sweet. However we quickly realised that the meat course was the only change , fish basically the same - grilled. all salad selection identical every day as was the Pasta which as we discovered resulted in not only ourselves but every other English guests we spoke to wandered aimlessly around the large buffet every mealtime seeking something appetising and different without success. I know this sounds picky, but try eating the same thing for 14 days - not recommended .
Having experienced the Kenyan service in the past I was surprised to find the waiters operating from the bar areas not exactly keen to attend tables , despite the frequent tips on offer or worse again try getting any attention at the bar, on several occasions staff would see people approach and instantly find glasses to wash or simply walk off !
Finally on the service front never will you find anyone frequenting the sun loungers in the gardens offering a drinks service , strange but true.( found at every other Hotel on Diani)
Hotel entertainment - was disappointing , not purely on content but a combination of factors , its all done in a large amphitheatre well away from the hotels bars and seating areas and not until 9.30 pm ending about 10pm . This breaks up any opportunity to interact with others and settle for a drink as you are in bench seating in a circular pattern. If you have watched the short show , try getting seats on your return.
Over all a disappointing holiday here , made up for with an excellent safari to tsavo booked with thomson - and the lodges in tsavo were to die for - i,ll say no more on that.
Would I go back to Baobab and Diani - NO - There is no longer any alternative hotels left open on Diani if we return we will try the north beaches , I understand they are still all alive and kicking. A shame because Diani beach and its people are fantastic.
Do visit Kenya , Because you will love the people and the area, travel on the matatu
( local small buses ) the experience of a lifetime .

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank lucydog2808
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2011

We stayed at the Baobab in November 2010. Could not fault this hotel at all. We were very fortunate to have a room upgrade of no extra charge and have to say it did add to a great holiday. The monkeys on the complex we really enjoyed to watch and have some lovely photos. The staff were very friendly and the beach view was brilliant. I did have a particularly bad stomach upset why there but a couple we spoke to gave me a couple of sachets you put in water to help. We did a safari with JTSafaris which we have done a separate review for and all in all would definitely go back to Kenya and hopefully do a Masai Mara Safari with Julius again.

suetam

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank BeesKneesTamworth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2011

We have just returned from a wonderful holiday. After spending a week on safari, we had a relaxing week in the Baobab. The hotel is excellent with three pools and three restaurants. There is also an a-la-carte restaurant which we didn't use as the food in the all-inclusive restaurants was so good. The staff are very friendly and attentive at all times, and add to the enjoyment of the holiday.
There are lots of monkeys in the grounds, as this is also their home. It is best to look and photograph them, but not to feed them. Although it didn't stop one taking a bag of peanuts from our balcony or donuts from the Tapa Tapa bar. They will try to enter your room if you leave the balcony door open, and as we had medication in the room, were vigilant to prevent them doing this - we heard a story about a monkey in another hotel who died when guests feed it bread rolls, so dread to think what human medication could do.
The hotel leads to the beautiful white beach and the Indian Ocean which was the best I have ever seen. It is a public beach which is good as anyone can enjoy it. The only downside is the young men who lurk outside the hotels waiting for tourists. On our first day, my wife and I attempted to enjoy a relaxing walk on the beach, but were immediately approached by two men, one either side. Not wanting to be rude, we spoke to them thinking they would move on after a few minutes, but they were still with us 20 minutes later, claiming they didn't want money but wanted to 'practise their English' (which they spoke perfectly!). This was not what we came to Kenya for. Eventually I told them that if they didn't go away, I would spend the rest of the holiday at the hotel and our money in the hotel shop. They then drifted away, although one returned a few minutes later with a 'charity sponsor form' that he magically produced! We did venture onto the beach again, but were forced to palm away any more approaches from other men - they soon got the hint. It was disappointing to be forced to resort to this, but this was a very expensive holiday.
However, it is important to remember that most locals are nice people and the hotel is wonderful.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Jeffrey42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Baobab 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 Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Diani Beach
#4 Romantic Hotel in Diani Beach
#4 Family Hotel in Diani Beach
#4 Luxury Hotel in Diani Beach
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Diani Beach
#5 Business Hotel in Diani Beach
Price Range: £127 - £282 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Baobab Beach Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 321
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the world famous Diani Beach. The resort comprises three luxurious properties – The Baobab, The Maridadi and Kole Kole, offering a unique selection of exquisite accommodation and facilities spread across the resort grounds. Guestrooms have been specifically designed to provide paramount comfort and luxury for all our clients. Guests may utilise leisure facilities across the resort including 3 swimming pools, dining areas and much more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Baobab - Baobab Beach Hotel Ukunda
The Baobab - Baobab Beach Resort And Spa
Baobab Beach Hotel Diani

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