Malindi

Near Mombasa 1h 27 min by car

Malindi Marine Park and Reserve lie between Lat. 3o and 4o south, about 118 km from Mombasa town. It is located to the south of Malindi town. The marine park is endowed with magnificent resources such as fringing reefs, coral gardens in the lagoons, sea grass beds, mangroves, mudflats, and high fish diversity, marine mammals (e.g. dolphins), turtles and various species of shorebirds.

ACTIVITY OPTIONS

  • Snorkeling at coral gardens
  • Sunbathing
  • Recreational activities that are enviromentally friendly
  • Conferencing: A resource centre with audio visual equipment with a capacity of 50 and a library
  • Glass bottom boat rides
  • Picnicking  and barbeque in the magical islands
  • Boat Excursion rides
  • Sea Bird watching
  • An education/informational  centre with audio visual equipment
  • Diving
  • Nature walk along the beach
  • Trips to Manyugu, a tidal Island, where you can have fresh food
  • Visits to the coral gardens  to see tropical fish in their habitats
  • Swimming in the warm ocean water

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 Ocean Beach Resort & Spa (view website)

Individual and luxuriously appointed rooms are spread around the beautiful gardens creating a private, secluded atmosphere.
The hotel offers 20 rooms and 15 suites showcasing early 20th century tropical style with wooden beamed roofs and elegant wooden floors.
The resort boasts two pools, one semi-olympic with a Jacuzzi, the second beachfront with soft entrances on both ends.

During your stay, enjoy a rich culinary experience at one of the restaurants offering casual and fine dining opportunities. Rejuvenate at Morjana Spa, a unique spa focusing on speciality and tailored treatments. Ocean Beach Resort & Spa also offers a convenient and comfortable location to host business events, conferences and meetings with various spaces indoor and outdoor, creative catering and cuisine and hands on meeting planning services.

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 Positive reviews on this Lodge :

Our second visit to the resort was amazing. Very personalized treatment and all staff are passionate about their work and go the extra mile to ensure that guests are happy.
Great food as well. Great spa experience. We had the most relaxing massage. The days just flew by and couldn’t believe that the stay was over.
We shall definitely be back again and again!

The staff, from the concierge staff to the waiting staff, catered to us very well. The chef personally came to ask if we’d enjoyed our food! (Of course we did.)

I visited the hotel over easter to use the spa one day. I can without doubt say that this was the best set of spa treatments I have ever had and this is not an exaggeration. Afterwards I had a lovely dinner in one of the restaurants with a beautiful view. A manger approached me and we had a great chat about the facilities and he provided me with some information about potentially visiting again in a really professional manner. Service was amazing, staff went out of their way and the food delicious.

I stayed here for 10 days with my family! Initially I was worried that 10 days would be too long, but I truly could have stayed much longer! You’re in your own world in the resort and so well taken care of you feel very at home! The grounds are beautiful, the attention to detail is evident in everything from light fixtures to room design! The service is possibly the best iv experienced in the country! Everyone was friendly, smiling and extremely helpful! I truly loved my stay there and can’t wait to go back! Thank you ocean beach for a magical time!

Ocean beach resort & Spa is the best resort at the Kenyan coast with the best spa in Kenya so far i dare say. With exquisite rooms (suite), excellent staff in a environment best for one looking to relax. We’ll definitely be back.

 Negative reviews on this Lodge :

The Location:
The resort is located in the north of Malindi while almost everything – marine park, restaurants, are located in the south. Hence, one needs to shell out Ksh 1000-1500 every time one needs to move out. One might like to stay in the resort and relax on the beach – but the beach itself is the most muddy we have ever seen. The beach at the resort is very close to the mouth of Sabaki River that forms a delta. Hence, the sea here is very muddy and unfit for plunging into. The situation gets worse when it rains in the upper catchments of the river.

The Rooms:
• The resort has standard and superior rooms and suits. The difference between standard and superior room is Ksh 4,000. We booked standard but the hotel management was kind enough to upgrade us to a superior room. However, the room service lady explained that the only difference between the standard and superior room is the availability of a coffee maker in superior ($ 50, that’s an expensive coffee…!!).
• Contrary to reviews on tripadvisor, none of the rooms, except probably the Room 1 (apparently the suite) has an ocean view. There is a boundary wall running through the resort that blocks the view to ocean from any room.
• We were told at check-in that all rooms are booked and hence they are giving us Room 32. This room is at the end of the resort, and at least 300m from the reception and we ‘enjoyed’ our back-n-forth walks. The walk at night in the resort is pretty ‘adventurous’ as there are numerous crabs all over, and walking without torch would be fun!
• The most surprising thing was the crowd at the resort – we could hardly see anyone, which completely contradicted what we were told at check-in – that all rooms are booked. This was further surprising as it was the weekend between Christmas and New Year, and there was huge tourist crowd at all places in Malindi and flights were overbooked. Hence, we thought of checking with the hotel staff, and got three different responses from three different staff:
o People have left after Christmas and haven’t started arriving for the new year (which meant the rooms were actually empty when we checked-in).
o People don’t normally eat at the resort, all the guests are in the town for dinner…
o At breakfast (8:30am) – people are still sleeping!

The Service
• The phone in the room didn’t work on the first day and hence we had to call the reception from our mobiles every time.
• For two people we were given only one half-liter bottle a day and hence we had to use the mini-bar for water. We raised this at reception, and the lady said that they give two bottles every day and this must be a mistake. Nevertheless, we were still charged for water taken from mini-bar.
• We wanted to book an excursion and requested reception’s assistance. The lady told that she would call up in an hour. When not hearing for the next two hours, we again walked to the reception and found that the lady had already left for the day. We had to request the new staff at desk who arranged for the excursion.

Overall, we were not happy at the resort, and the USD 800+ that we spent for two nights was pinching (added to that I dropped my expensive sunglass in the resort and never found it L, not to talk about the extra money we had to shell for having dinner or going anywhere in Malindi). The local tour managers hadn’t even heard of this resort, and were wondering even if it existed, why we were staying so far.

Lesson from the experience is the strength of advertisement. We went by very strong advertisement campaign on tripadvisor and felt a bit tricked. I have been reading the reviews again upon return and have been laughing at them (and on myself). This experience has also left a small question on credibility of tripadvisor, wondering how they could receive the ‘Travellers Choice’ of the year, when there was hardly any guest in the peak season!

 Kilili Baharini Resort & Spa (view website)

This tropical resort has a private beach along Casuarina Beach in Malindi, and offers air-conditioned accommodation with a private veranda. There are 5 pools, a beachside restaurant and a wellness centre.

All rooms and suites at Kilili Baharini come with mosquito nets, African wooden furniture and tea/coffee facilities. Each private bathroom is stocked with a bathrobe and slippers.

Breakfast is served in the buffet restaurant overlooking the Indian Ocean or on your veranda. Italian cuisine and traditional dishes with fish and fruit are served for dinner.

Guests can undergo relaxing massages in the spa or enjoy the hot tub and steam bath at Kilili Baharini Resort. For refreshment, drinks and snacks are available at the 2 bars.

An airport shuttle to Mombasa Airport can be arranged at a surcharge, and a free shuttle is available to Malindi Airport, a 5-minute drive away. The 24-hour reception staff can also take care of car rentals and babysitting services.

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Positive reviews on this Lodge :

I hardly ever write reviews for places, but this is just an incredible hotel, completely relaxing, beautiful, clean, excellent service. I love how the structure of the hotel gives privacy, including a private pool, and the rooms are HUGE and gorgeous. There are beds all over the beach, so many places to relax, it is a true getaway. I prefer a hotel like this than a resort that houses a bunch of people together in a giant building and it overcrowded with too many people–this was private, intimate, and completely relaxing. It’s also just a 5 minute tuk-tuk ride (at 100 shillings) to Malindi town, where you can walk around, eat delicious local and Italian food, and experience Malindi. I highly highly highly recommend this place. I hope to visit again soon.

One of the few places in Malindi where quality and service actually matches the prices they charge. Great airy rooms with plunge pools all over the compound and two larger pools near the top end spa and the coconut tree lined beach. Good breakfast now served in the breezy dining room. Service staff and guest relations manager very helpful. Overall a great place.

Extraordinary! Eventhough you feel like in the middle of italian beach (90 % of guests are from Italy) the international spirit is there. Excellent service. All rooms with view to almost private swimming pool which we used in the evening after wole day at the beach. Marco – the manager takes care of all guests and train the stuff to highest standards. Private breakfast – unique!

                                                           

Negative reviews on this Lodge :

I’d give this hotel 3 stars if that. The room looked old and shabby. Breakfast had to be ordered to the room, so when you order a fruit platter you get one banana, half a passion fruit and one piece of mango – awful! When Kenya is known for the freshest fruits and vegetables, ordering an orange juice and getting it from a carton is just not good enough. For the same price you could stay at much better places across the coast!!

 

 Diamonds Dream of Africa

Price by booking.com and hotel.com  : 349 $ / night

Diamonds Dream of Africa is located along the silver sand beach of Malindi. It features a beauty center and spa offering views of the ocean as well as a business center.

Each air-conditioned suite has a private terrace with lounge chairs, and a hot tub. It comes equipped with a flat-screen satellite TV, minibar and tea-and-coffee-making facilities. The private bathroom has a shower.

The sit-down restaurant serves a selection of seafood menus and the main restaurant has an open-air terrace overlooking the swimming pool. The pool bar serves fresh fruits, snacks and informal lunches.

There is a daily and evening entertainment program available at the nearby Sandies Tropical Village and a variety of water activities can be arranged at the water sports center.

Free Wi-Fi is available and guests can shop at the fashion boutique on the property. Moi International Airport in Mombasa is a 2-hour drive away.

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Positive reviews on this Lodge :

Our arrival and stay was truly amazing, after spending the prior week in tented camps, flushing toilets (with petals in the water…) air con and huge comfortable beds were a treat.
The hotel is incredibly clean, as is the pool and beach. The all inclusivity was welcomed, with every minute someone available with the biggest smile to help. Even the gardner outside our room climbed a tree and hacked down some fresh coconuts for my children to drink.
the food was great and varied, mixing evening dinners between “off the menu” and buffet style cooked to order, with asian, BBQ and African food nights. 3 course lunches and the open bar for refreshments were all very good.
The staff are what makes this hotel get the rating, 24 hour smiles and attention. The proximity to the beaches, reefs and peace all add to the experience. Loved it

It’s a nice and quiet place to relax and have a good time, whether alone or in a group.

The food was very fresh and fantastically cooked! Loved the bitings provided throughout the day. I swear I grew fatter in those two days 🙂

Rooms are cleaned twice in a day.

<3, loved, everything about it.

The staff are very friendly.
If I travel to Malindi another time, this will definitely be the first place I’ll check in!

We also had the meal on the beach, this was truely an experience and worth paying the little bit extra for. They made arches out of the palm trees and waitered on you all evening bring course after course, to be honest we could not eat everything. All in all what a holiday and what amazing staff.

Negative reviews on this Lodge :

after staying in several of the finest hotels along coastal Kenya I have been most disappointed by this establishment. Customer service reps were rude and failed to explain details that hampered my stay. When I asked to speak to a manager, I was misdirected to several confused employees. Needless to say i will never stay here again.

t is to me a very very very very tiny luxury as can be a 2*, we had a 1 week stay and everything went wrong from the begining.

the Receptionist is unprofessional, reading news paper or playing with mobile phone, you feel like you embaressed to disturb them as they even dare look at you

Room clean and spacious but obviously not renovated, scratched taps,loosing painting jacuzzi outlets, noisy AC, unefficient Fan, snatched mosquito net…

empty buffet room, huge room but small food ,the set a la carte is terrible, always potatoes and pasta, service to the minimum, difficult to get a sincere smile, you can feel theysmile as they only expect tips, you even have to call them to get served.

Bartender unprofessional, always speaking behing the bar with an other staff while you have to wait for your drink for more than 20 minutes outside. And still when you have to go yourself to the bar to ask the ordered beverage you feel again disturbing them…

it is an AWFULL feeling to be a guest, and feeling disturbing the staff every time you ask something. they do not come to you , you have to go to them, you might undestand when the hotel is full staffs are busy but as a waiter said there was only 30% occupancy and staff still not find time to pamper their guests

Wooden beach loungers are extremly old and damage, beach boys so anoyng that you have to stay at the pool, because they never keep calling for morning to late evening, the only time you enjoy the beach is night time or high tide.

what makes me sad and very sorry for this property, is that there is no one to control, supervise or check the staff, i felt they were on their own, i did not have the chance to have a word with the manager in a week. A bit of management could change the place.