11 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"we have been to diani beach many times before first time at this hotel spent the first 3 days trying to get the hotel to serve us food that was hot and at least appertizing this was an anniversary holiday for us and friends we spent several hundred pounds between the 4 of us eating in other restaurants or buying food at the local supermarkets even though we were half board because the food was disgusting the hotel tired and grubby we were offered to move to beach front rooms for an additional fee but thought we had spent enough extra the staff came very quickly to repair the toilet we tried to use when we arrived in the room only to be called back twice more again they were very quick when our in room safe decided not to let us into it SEVERAL TIMES then the food we gave up after this and just waited until it was time to go home be warned the smokers amongst us there is no smoking almost everywhere here even by the pool you are expected to go up onto the beach but you are allowed to smoke in the rooms just not in bed i would have thought that if you were a nonsmoker it would have been better for people to smoke by the pool and ban it in the bedrooms after all they have patios or balconies let me know what you think of my room pictures i am still waiting for Thomsons response "
- Travel date: Mon 27th of October 2008
Lived up to expectations
"We have just returned from a 12 night stay at the Indian ocean beach club and we can only express our delight at the hotel living up to previous reviews. The hotel itself, the staff and the food were all of an excellent standard. The staff couldn't have been friendlier and their professionalism was exemplary. We had a few problems one of which was the shower stopped working but within 30 mins the problem was sorted. Nothing was too much trouble. We left on Friday 3rd of November and can not wait to return."
- Travel date: Wed 8th of November 2006
Relaxing and enjoyable
"Having read many positive reviews about this hotel, we had high expectations and weren't dissappointed.
Our stay of seven nights was the second week of our honeymoon. As a honeymoon couple we received a bowl of fruit on arrival, fresh flowers on our bed every morning, a champagne breakfast and a meal at the seafood restuarant, where we eat lobster which was washed down with a complimentary bottle of wine.
This is a relaxed place, somewhere to unwind. All the staff are friendly and attentive, nothing seems to be too much trouble. Evening meals are mainly table service and involve six courses. Sometimes a pianist plays in the cocktail bar whilst you eat. The food was very good, if a little repetitive towards the end of our stay. We went on half board which we found to be fine. At breakfast you can eat as much as you like and the evening meal is very filling. You can always buy lunch for around 350 - 750Ksh each and it can be brought to you on the beach!
You are told not to go outside the hotel grounds (even the beach) after dark, so really the hotel is your base day and night. Entertainment is put on every evening (acrobatic show, african dancers etc). Most people seemed to have their meal, watch the show and then head to bed. So nightowls might find this hotel a little too quiet.
Days are spend soaking up the sun. The beach (which is public so expect to see fishermen, camels, people selling various items walking past) has lovely white sand, but the water is quite choppy. Security guards keep the beach boys away from the hotel guests. Venture past the hotel part of the beach and you will be befriended by beach boys -who are only trying to make a living, but do get a little annoying after a while. Still you can learn a lot about Kenyan life from them.
The hotel rooms are kept very clean. Every morning the mosquito net is hung up, bed made and room cleaned. By evening your mosquito net is hung down. This is a low rise hotel, with the rooms more like seperate white washed little houses. It all fits in very well with the natural surroundings.
The main swimming pool never gets too busy, plus there's several plunge pools, volleyball, table tennis, pool, tennis and a daily activity programme put on by the hotel to keep you entertained. There's also a diving school. Although most people simply sunbathed.
If I had any negative comments (and this is being picky), they would be that our sea view room was hardly sea view, (the sea could just be seen between several building and the volleyball court) and that the exchange rate at the hotel wasn't very good.
Overall, an excellant hotel which we would recommend."
- Travel date: Sat 4th of November 2006
Loveliest Little Spot...
"We spent our honeymoon at IOBC and we must say that its the lovliest little spot on the south coast (if not the entire coast). We sought a private chalet-like resort to say in and this was it.
IOBC isn't the ubiquitous high rise, over populated, disco & casino polluted & beach-boy infested type of hotel dotting the North Coast.... It was definitley built with honeymooners and romantics in mind.
The food and service was excellent and for this the General Manager and her taem must be congratulated. As locals, we never felt treated any different from visiting tourists.
The rooms were lovely...built in old Lamu style, spacious and private.
If you're looking for service, comfort and a bargain then this is the right spot, more so for that romantic holiday!
Brian & Anne."
- Travel date: Mon 11th of September 2006
Nice place to stay
"We stayed in this hotel as part of our honeymoon - our second week was in Mauritius.
We stayed for one night on arrival, then had three days out on safari and then came back to stay for a further four nights.
Our first impressions of this hotel were lovely. We were greeted with a cold drink and a wet towel - great when you have been travelling so long.
The accomodation was lovely - nicely decorated and very clean. The staff were absolutely wonderful - very friendly and helpful. There was nightly entertainment and things to do during the day.
Overall, we really liked this hotel and felt it was of a very good standard.
However, there was one aspect that we were quite disappointed with and that was the honeymoon package that we should have received.
We had fresh fruit, flowers in the room and round the door on arrival - this was nice, but we were only in the room from around 3pm until the following morning as we then went on safari and had to check out. We did not get it again when we returned so we did not feel as if we benefited from this.
We were not sure what benefits we were entitled to in the honeymoon package as we had not brought the brochure. We received a champagne breakfast, but had to ask for it. On reading the brochure when we got home, we were also entitled to a romantic dinner for 2 - this was never offered to us and so we missed out.
We were also entitled to a free upgrade to accomodation right next to the beach. On checking out before going on safari, we asked if we could be upgraded on return for the remaining 4 nights. What we actually got was a down grade!! We were put in accomodation that was further away from the sea than the one we stayed in on the first night!
When we went to complain about this, we were told that the hotel was fully booked and so we could not be moved, but they would see if there was anything in the next couple of days- they never got back to us. What was really frustrating was that guests arriving after us were put in the beach side accomodation and a lot of them were definately not on their honeymoon!
We did not feel as if we were made to feel special on our honeymoon which is what I would have expected as this is what we got in the hotel in Mauritius. However, there were plenty of couples on honeymoon who received the full package and upgrade so I guess we were just unfortunate!!
I would definately recommend to have a safari during your stay as you cannot really leave the hotel grounds on your own and so are kind of stuck in the same place. For this reason, I would also recommend going all inclusive - we made the mistake of going half board.
Apart from the disappointment with the honeymoon package, we could not find any fault with the hotel. The food was lovely with a different buffet each night and there was always a really chilled out relaxed atmosphere."
- Travel date: Sat 2nd of September 2006
"We booked IOBC for our honeymoon and we've just returned from a 2 week holiday out there. The hotel was beautiful with amazing views of the ocean. The staff are amazing, they want to do anything for you and speak perfect english.
The staff obviously work very hard to maintain such high standards for this hotel, and it really doe pay off.
Plan to return as soon as we can afford it - was really amazing. We don't normally go back somewhere as ther are so many places to see, but this place really was special.
We went all inclusive which you do need care over what is included but our final bill was hardly anything considering.
The other downside was that it was not advertised as family hotel, but quite a few families were there with children. Barely noticed them. Hotel also catered for everyone entertainments wise - was excellent.
Bahari cove was amazing,
The food was delicious and they really try to give you anything you want.
Would recommend this to anyone."
- Travel date: Wed 9th of August 2006
"We have just return from a 12 night stay at the Indiam Ocean Beach Club. Lovely hotel. You cannot find anything to fault this hotel. The service is excellent, as is the food and accomadation. They really go out of the way to make your stay memorable and a little bit special. Touches like bringing round iced towels and fruit to the sun loungers and just having to raise a flag if you wanted service on the beach made it that bit different. The special themed food nights are also really magical.
The only negative we found (as this is probably beacause we have not been to Kenya before) was that you really were stuck to the confines of the hotel, because of the hawkers and so forth outside of the grounds. As previous reviews have mentioned there are no problems with traders what so ever in the hotel. As the hotel is quite small be sure that you are looking for a holiday that does not involve much more than a bit of water aerobics, laying on the beach and dinner. We noted that alot of people seem to do a few days at the IOBC then a few days safari then back to IOBC which I think would be a good way to break up the time here.
All in all you cannot fault this hotel but I would not suggest more than about 7 nights in one go !"
- Travel date: Sat 8th of July 2006
Best Kept Secret in Mombasa
"We stayed here at the end of May. We were looking for a quiet, peaceful getaway, with good accommodation and food. We knew that the beaches in Mombasa have hawkers and were prepared to be able to see the beach rather than anything else.
What did we find: We booked the ocean front cottages at Â£5/night extra and they were well worth the money. We literally were 10ft from the beach. The hotel has excellent social and environmental policies. The hotel understands that the 'beach boys' have to make a living and they have given on reputable group a stall at one end of the beach. The people selling there have ID's from the hotel. They do not come to you, if you want to buy you go and haggle with them. This way the people earn a living and the tourists get to use the fantastic white sand beach.
The staff are very friendly - nothing is too much trouble and everything is done efficiently and with a smile. We met the ownersâ daughter who runs the hotel and she is very committed to what she does.
The hotel also does a lot of environmental work and we were impressed with the butterflies all over the place and the weaver birds.
The rooms were great with TV, air con, four-poster beds etc. Rooms were immaculate - very clean and very comfy.
We enjoyed the food especially the grill and afternoon tea - I miss the sorbets.
We were there in low season and very lucky with the weather. The hotel was very quiet and probably wouldn't suit anyone wanting to dance the night away.
We saw a wedding while we were there and it was fantastic. The wedding party was Scottish and the men were in kilts. There were traditional Kenyan dancers and musicians too which added and real contrast. The hotel doesn't have a lot of weddings and as the hotel was so friendly, we had all got to know each other and both staff and guests were invited and went to wish the couple well. A lovely ceremony and reception.
Would recommend this great hotel for a laid back romantic getaway."
- Travel date: Thu 15th of June 2006
Want to go back now!
"My wife and I returned from our honeymoon at the Indian Ocean Beach Club last week after two weeks in Kenya. We spent our arrival date and the next day in IOBC, then had a two and a half day safari before returning to IOBC for the remainder of our stay.
We arrived on Tuesday 2nd May at the tail-end of 5 days of torrential rain. We were exhausted after the flight and the 1 1/2 hour trip from the airport and were a little troubled by the fact that we were greeted by porters with umberellas! However, the staff soon showed their worth, bringing cold towels and fresh mango juice while the reception staff came to us to check us in.
The detatched feel of the place and the separate apartments, while a definite plus in the sunshine, looked a little drab as we splashed through puddles under umberellas. However, after a rest and a chance to take in the scenery we began to be really impressed. I had a last-minute lunch and the waiter came up to our room afterwards because I had forgotten to sign for it: this really set the tone of the staff throughout the week; they were really on the button for you and we only had one evening where we were not thoroughly impressed by the waiter/ess service (and we saw that particular waitress get a dressing down afterwards!)
The room, while basic, felt homely after the two weeks and was valetted twice daily with thoughtful touches such as letting the mosquito netting down before sunset, shutting the windows and leaving flowers on the bed. We got into a regular routine of breakfast, beach, lunch, beach, afternoon tea, volleyball and then the evening and there was not a time when we were left wanting for anything.
On the beach someone would bring us a mattress and a towel for the sun-lounger; waiters would pass regularly to bring you drinks; the entertainments team would come round to let you know what was happening and the beach-sellers were kept away by the security guards.
The food was fantastic, from the buffet breakfast (with eggs cooked to your liking in front of you), through the lunch menu, afternoon tea under the Baobab tree with fresh crepes and coffee through to the evening which would be mostly in the Spices restaurant with a table D'hote 7-course menu or a Kenya or continental night elsewhere in the grounds. I especially enjoyed the vegetable bajis, the calamari and the fish.
We were all inclusive and were pleasantly surprised at the range of drinks and meals available with that. We just had to watch out that the cocktails we had used 'all inclusive' ingredients but these were clearly marked and were also very nice! I also got quite a taste for the local Tusker beer and every day after water polo became 'Tusker O'Clock' according to Wayne, who we met there!
The entertainments team were great - perhaps a bit cheesy in the evening entertainments - but we got to know them quite well and got on with them. There was water aerobics and water-polo every morning in the pool and Volleyball on the beach in the afternoon. The local beach-sellers came to join in and added a bit of flavour because as soon as the game had finished they tried to get you to go to have a look at their shop on the other side of the beach. This irritated some guests but in the end we were just firm with them and told them that we had no more money left; haggling is a way of life out there and part of the culture you visit. It got to the point where I quite enjoyed the haggling and started ridiculously low to get a good price - just remember that they won't let it go without their getting a profit and you won't get duped.
I have tried to look for some negatives so that the review is balanced but have struggled to come up with anything that will really go against how good the time was there. I suppose the negatives might be that the shower water and tap water was a little salty (you get a litre of water in your room every day for drinking and teeth-brushing). You need to check which drinks and food are all inclusive and I would have expected the mini-bar to be all inclusive as it was stocked with just the same as the bar drinks. Finally, it was a little frustrating with the beach boys after you at the end of volleyball but like I said, if you are firm with them they appreciate it. Finally I suppose if you go expecting a Western five-star experience you might be a bit disappointed with the little things, but remember that this is African five-star - not the Ritz!
In conclusion I would thoroughly recommend the Indian Ocean Beach Club and my wife and I both want to go back there. The food was great, the service was excellent and the accomodation superb. Unless you have exceptionally high standards, I struggle to see that anyone would not enjoy there time there."
- Travel date: Sun 21st of May 2006
"We returned from the Indian Ocean Beach Club Hotel on 2 May 2006 & thoroughly enjoyed our two weeks there. The staff were very friendly and helpful and our room was an oceanfront room right beside the beach, which was beautiful. Every night there was entertainment; traditional dancers or acrobats and these were all very good. The food was very tasty with a mixture of self-service via way of a hot and cold buffet or table d'hote menu, with dinner amounting to seven courses. The hotel was not very busy whilst we were there, between 41-61 guests, there was 100 rooms in total, so service was particularly good. Each morning the white beach was groomed by the gardening staff and the gardens were well kept and pretty. Nothing seemed too much trouble for the staff. Would highly recommend this hotel after a safari."
- Travel date: Mon 8th of May 2006
can't wait to go back fantastic
"we have just returned from indian ocean beach hotel. It was fantastic, our room was fabulous really does deserve 5*****.Staff were really friendly. we walked out of our room on to beach. They gave us a flag to raise if we needed anything on the beach ie. drinks food. Evening food was 6 courses served to us, not bad for half board, food was wonderful."
- Travel date: Wed 3rd of May 2006