13 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Good Hotel, no choice of food
"The hotel is really nice,beautiful scenery,good environment ,spacious rooms,beautiful gardens and all what one would be looking for in in a hotel in terms of relaxation. The staff are very friendly,warm smiles starting from the ladies at the reception,room staff all the way to the kitchen.However,one disappointing thing is that there is no variety of food one could choose from.Having paid full board ,we expected to eat and enjoy ourselves.Lunch time,there is no buffet ,you are only given a menu that comprises of either chicken or fish with no other variety. Buffet is only during dinner time which still has no other variety apart from beef and fish with either rice or chips only! unless i don know the meaning of buffet. come to breakfast ,VERY DISAPPOINTING indeed,no fresh juice, no bacon, very limited fruits,and limited sausages. In case of kids who will always want more,and get like all other bog hotels,SHOCK on them! For your info, Even the very small restaurants all over DO serve fresh juices and have at least bacon for breakfast.In case you are considering costs,why not load it in the package other than disappoint your guests for the sake of minimizing costs,if that is the case.I would rather pay more,get value for my money,enjoy after all ,this is the VERY reason why one goes to hotels to enjoy and relax .I would say it is a good place for bed and breakfast .LUNCH and DINNER I would say a BIG NO! "
- Travel date: Fri 14th of October 2016
I only returned from Scorpio Villas on W...
"I only returned from Scorpio Villas on Wednesday and thought I would give my review while still fresh in my mind. The hotel itself was immacutely clean and the cleaners always had a smile on their face and a cheery 'jambo'. The pool attendant, gardeners, waiters and bar staff were all fantastic characters and nothing was too much trouble for them.
The rooms were spacious and, as I said, immaculate and staff came round every night to spray the room with mosquito repellant.
The three swimming pools were large and there was never a problem finding sun beds. They were, however luke warm most of the time, however, therefore not very refreshing.
The food was plentiful, if a little bland and it was a real treat to have breakfast on our patio without getting dressed to go to the restaurant.
Despite the positive things about Scorpio Villas I have two complaints about the hotel which spoilt the holiday for me. One was the extortionate prices of the drinks. You are unable to bring drinks in from outside the hotel (the security guards often check bags you are taking into the complex) and one elderly couple even had two cartons of juice confiscated. Because of this you are forced to pay the hotel prices. A bottle of water outside the hotel costs aprox 30 shillings but in the hotel they charge 150 shillings! A small diet coke outside costs 30 shillings and inside 170 shillings, the price of a small vodka and orange was nearly five pounds.
My biggest complaint by far, however, was the way prostitutes are allowed onto the complex with guests and allowed to wander around the hotel, use the pool and eat amongst us in the restaurant.
Finally, one last thing. Be aware that when booking trips (safaris etc) the Cosmos Rep charges three times the amount that the Malindi travel companies do.
I end my review by saying that go to Scorpio Villas by all means, but go with an open mind (and a fat wallet) and be prepared to share your holiday with prostitutes.
- Travel date: Sat 10th of November 2007
Great place to relax
"Great place to stop, clean and well presented. Entertainment 3 - 4 times per week and local music the remainder. Food good - the menu repeats itself every week though. An average breakfast is juice, cakes, fruit, bacon, scrambled eggs, sausage, fried potato and in addition the chef will cook omlettes, pancakes or fried eggs. You can have breakfast on your verandha/balcony at a time of your choice (they wake you up - any time from 8 am to 10:30 am at a time requested by you) Evening meals usually start with baked/fried vegetables, a soup course followed by a pasta dish all served at your table by the waiters before going to the chef for 2 - 3 meat dishes, 2 fish dishes and vegetables, Sweets include cakes, profiteroles and fruit. Saturday or Sunday (can't remember which) is fish night - prawns, crab etc was really good. Alcohol in the hotel is cheap - litre bottle of water 100ksh, beer 110ksh, bottle south african wine 980ksh. 3 separate pools. Management are quite strict on bringing in drinks bought elsewhere. It does have a high number of italian guests although we did meet lots of people from Britain. Justin from the animation team is fab - so helpful - worth his weight in gold. He organised beach walks, reef walks (even going out to buy me a pair of shoes at a bargain price so I could go on the reef walk), wood carving tours, trips out to local attractions, evening trips to bars in Malindi (take plenty of really small change if you can get hold of some) - it made a nice change to staying at the hotel - although I don't think I would do the busier bars on my own - we did wander 100 or so yards out of the hotel up the main road to some local bars and had a great time. Rooms very private due to layout and vegetation wth fully working fans and a/c. Be aware of the mosquito's - we were only bitten twice but others were bitten lots more. The beach boys do make life a little difficult - they will accept a firm 'no'. Safari's can be booked through the rep 'Elvis' - they are very dear though. I would recommend using Lenny/Omar usually found near the beach entrance or at the front entrance. Although they don't advertise it they have a book that clients put their comments in - if in any doubt ask to see it. We had a fab time after booking a safari with them - Â£400 for 3 days/2 nights flying to the Maasi Mara and stopping in the Kitchwa Tembo Tented Camp - sheer luxury. Wesley our tour guide found us cheeta and lion kills, pythons, giraffes, wildebeest, elephant, vultures, hyena, hippos, croc's, zebra, antelope of all descriptions, black rhino's in fact everything apart from Leopard (notoriously hard to find). It is worth paying extra for the air safari to the maasi Mara - whilst at Scorpio Villa' s we heard some horror stories of 8 - 12 hour drives in small mini buses down some terrible and very uncomfortable roads to amboseli/tsavo etc. The Kitchwa Tembo Tented Camp has proper landrovers seating 6 with full open sides so all have views. My favourite memory from the safari? Sitting at the side of the Mara river at 10 in the morning after the first part of the safari eating breakfast (sausage sandwich, yoghurt, orange juice, fresh fruit, dried fruit, muffin, cheese, buscuits and hot chocolate/coffee/tea) with hyena on the opposite bank and crocs and hippo's in the water not 10 feet away. You cannot beat that. Anyway, back to scorpio villa's - the souvenier shop is not that dear - bartering is the norm here - we went to craft consortiums and local shops and in the end still bought from the local shop.
I can thoroughly recommend Scorpio Villa's - there is only one downside that I can think of.....thats the 2 - 3 hour journey from Mombassa to Malindi on appauling roads - it is worth it though."
- Travel date: Tue 27th of March 2007
While on a prolonged stay in Kenya, I vi...
"While on a prolonged stay in Kenya, I visited Scorpio villas for a short break, Malindi itself is probably not for the faint hearted, there is a lot of poverty in Kenya, but you need to see past it, tourism is needed in Africa, and your pound helps.
Staying at Scorpio was a wonderful experience from the breakfast served on your veranda to the high roofed restaurant where you can eat dinner. The villas are whitewashed and built in the traditional style you can wander about the grounds between the villa's and come upon small swimming pools much needed to cool off in the heat.
Visit the wonderful marine reserve at watamu, and either dive snorkel or just take a trip on a glass bottomed boat. Take a taxi into town and visit the local bars and restaurants (The hotel will arrange this for you). There are ruins to visit too but I did not have time (Only stayed for 4 days). If you are looking for a relaxed holiday its well worth a visit.
- Travel date: Sun 25th of March 2007
"Can recommend the scorpio villas. it was clean and the staff were very friendly and helpful. My husband, myself and my 10 year old son stayed for 1 week in feb half term and i can honestly say we will be going back in the future. I was worried after reading the few reviews it has had but the place has obviously had a makeover, full marks to the hotel owners! My only complaint would be that everytime you left the villas you were harrassed. Dont get me wrong everyone in malindi is friendly enough (in fact theyre lovely people) but theyre so poor they all want money. The beach is not what you think it will be its only a sandy stretch when the tides in and it can be brown because theres a river running into it.
I will say that the safaris and other trips from the hotel were expensive (Elvis the rep - and no he cant sing) will tell you not to book with the beach boys but we did. If you go down to the beach from the villas just ask the lady on the first stall for Jeffrey (youll know who i mean when u see her, big lady that says looking is free) book with him and also do a snorkelling trip to watamu with him. So all in all fab villas, fab place, great food, great weather, will be going back but just as a relaxing holiday by the pool with a few trips thrown in, dont think well leave the complex because cant stand the hassle.
P.S. Dont forget a good camera and binoculars!"
- Travel date: Fri 9th of March 2007
nice place to much hassle
"I know its a little late writing this experience but if nothing as changed i can only assume there running the place down. All the gardens were lovely and the pools were well kept neat and tidy allthough the bench and chair covers were very tacky so allways take your bath towel to cover them who knows what lurkes inside the sponge filling. The cottage style rooms were very dated and the gap under the door easily lets the giant millipedes under the door so ram a towel there to stop them coming in. The pool staff are wonderfull, infact everyone his very helpfull there is a nice array of meals served to you in the evening allways with a smile. Afternoon cup of tea is left in thermos flasks at 4.00 and you help yourself to cakes or biscuits, this is left next to the restauraunt. There is a small area is put aside for you on the beach this area is usually surrounded by locals who do try your patience sometmes, infact you dont sit there for long. A walk on the beach is not so relaxing as you contine swerving around people trying to sell either their goods, take you onto the reef, boat rides, everything you name it. This really does ruin your holiday, so most of the time you stay on site, and theres not a great deal to do there. The best thing to do is go every were by taxi and if you can use the same taxi driver ,we did it was smashing. Visit the carving factory but take your time dont be rushed, go two or three times. Malindi is nothing special and the journey from Mombasa about 75 miles is awfull. Hope this is helpfull.."
- Travel date: Sat 30th of September 2006
Beautiful Gardens and Great staff
"Four of us stayed here for 2 weeks in August 2005 and we loved it.
It was our first trip to Kenya and we went mainly for a safari - which was out of this world. If you want to go to the Masai Mara make sure you book early, we left it fairly late and could only go for 1 night as opposed to 2 :( because it was during the migration and it got fully booked very quickly.
By the sounds of things the accomodation seems to have had a revamp since we stayed. When we were there the decor may have been a bit dated but all rooms were a great size and were similar to what you'd get in Spain or Greece anyway. I had to get used to our room-mates the ghekos - but once I found out they ate the mosquitos I was more than happy for them to be there. Mosquitos were a problem - so make sure you take DEET and apply it as soon as the sun starts to go down - you can never get enough of it and the mosquitos seem to stay away when you wear it! But note that DEET ruins clothes and takes the colour out of things - so posh leave your Prada at home!
We loved the pool and the pool attendant Mannuel - all staff were very friendly and grateful for anything you give them. The pool side bar service was really good and if they haven't got what you want (like some crisps) they'll send someone to get some for about 10p extra! Drinks are also really cheap and the food was ok - nothing flash, but plenty to choose from. I had fresh fish everyday which was always nice and looked nicer than the meat alternative.
It's important to remember when you go to Kenya that the local people working in the hotel really do have nothing compared to those of us in the West so they appreciate anything they can get. We ended up giving away some old clothes and shoes to staff - which were very much appreciated by them and not missed by us. Things like pads of paper and pens were also things which went down well, especially if they have children - they especially love books as they can't really afford them themselves.
The only thing which might be a problem (although this might have changed now) is that some male residents were partial to the odd prostitute! I wouldn't have even noticed until one of them approached my boyfriend and offered him a "service"! If you're single we heard from locals that it's not uncommon to be asked by the manager if you would like an "escort" for your holiday. Having said this we found the manager to be very friendly and hearing the stories of being offered such a service came as a bit of a shock to us. The frequency of local prostitutes actually didn't effect the enjoyment of our holiday at all, and as I said it would have gone unnoticed if my boyfriend hadn't told me about his encounter! But if you have children and you feel it might bother you then I wouldn't advise staying here. If you can look past this (I've probably made the place sound awful - and it really isn't at all!) then Scorpio Villas is a very relaxing and pleasant holiday location -and I would stay here again.
The locals that hang around the beach and outside the hotel can be annoying as they do find it very difficult to take "no" for an answer. But I get the impression it's like this anywhere in Kenya and not unique to Malindi. My best advice is to show no interest at all and shrug them off on the first encounter or they will pursue you. Sometimes you have to be very blunt to get through the them which feels cruel, but we found this was the only way to get free of them. If things like this don't bother you then it shouldn't be a problem.
If you go to Kenya you have to go on Safari - it's not a cheap thing to do at peak season but it's an unforgettable experience which I would love to do again. We booked with an agent in town, can't remember the name of the office (I think it might have been alamanda safaris?) but we dealt with an English guy called Brian who was very knowledgable and helpful and gave us an honest price. He knew most of the camps and told us which ones to avoid - so even if you don't book with him he's worth speaking to about where to stay.
If you go to Kenya - do a safari - it's worth every penny and be prepared for mosquitos (DEET really is a lifesaver) and don't let the hassle from the locals get you down."
- Travel date: Fri 1st of September 2006
Very good and friendly hotel!
"In July 2006 I have visited the Scorpio Villas Hotel in Malindi. When I arrived they had just reopened the place because of renovations and it looked absolutely fabulous. They have renovated and redecorated the place. The tropical garden is very nice, the bed is suberb and the swimming pools are nice and cold! In fact even the food was great. Every evening there was a five-course meal so if you book the hotel I would definetely book a halfboard.
In the lonely planet and in current reviews I read that not everybody was very satisfied about the friendlyness of the staff. But I can say (maybe because they just opened), that the whole staff was very cooperative and kind. We were definetely welcomed with a smile.
There is one thing though that might be up for improvement and that is the beach. When I visited Scorpio there was a lot of sea weed in the water and on the sand. It was not possible to swim in the ocean. Not only because of the sea weed but also because of local sales people that won't take no for an answer. This is a problem in Malindi in General.
Enjoy your stay,
Marloes van den Berg"
- Travel date: Mon 17th of July 2006
In need of TLC
"Stayed at the Scorpio Villas in January 2006 after a fantastic week of Safari. From the discription in the brochure we expected a high standard of accomodation and elsewhere on this site there have been some really good reviews. Unfortunately the last few months have clearly shown some problems with this accomodation. The food was (at best) mediocre and frankly appalling on some days. There were limited and sometimes no vegetarian options, the pasta was served out of a mixing bowl and literally slopped onto your plate, the service was appalling and they were obviously short-staffed. The staff that were there tried their best but there were just not enough of them at mealtimes or any other time for that matter. We did find out that they have not been paid for 2 months so its hardly surprising! The pools are in need of a damn good clean, the steps to one pool were so badly damaged they looked dangerous, the poolside furniture was disgusting - the matress covers were worn and torn, the towels threadbare and many of the matresses were infested with ants.
Its such a shame, it is clear that this has been an excellent site that has been left to disintigrate - we spoke to many people who had been going for a number of years and they all said how much it had gone downhill. The gardens are lovely, the rooms are spacious but again the basic maintainence has been left untouched and so it looks tired. Our fan was literally swinging off the ceiling, the bathroom cabinet had seen better days and there were exposed wires above the cupboard where the lights had been put in. The toilet seat was cracked and dirty and in need of replacement, the air conditioning unit leaked so much on the outside that the steps outside were an absolute hazard.
The beach is a short walk but you get hassled by the sellers all the time and the beach itself is not very inviting - the tide goes a long way out and it is very rocky. There were a lot of problems with jellyfish and sea urchins when we were there.
Malindi is NOT a safe area. There were several shootings of tourists when we were there and you certainly did not go out walking at night - even in the daytime when we went into the town we were offered drugs and trust us, we are in our mid 40s and 50s and hardly look like a couple of crack heads!
The journey from Mombassa is around 2.5 hours on unmade roads which can be hard on the bum, though after a week of Safari on even worse roads it didn't really bother us!
All that aside, most of the people were lovely, the weather was boiling hot, the pool by our room was warm and inviting and with just a bit of attention this could be a really nice hotel. I love Pizza was a nice restaurant and The Old Man and the Sea comes very highly recommended - both are in easy walking distance but it is far too dangerous to walk and so you must get a taxi from outside the hotel who will also arrange to pick you up after your meal (cost around Â£5 for a return journey which you pay AFTER they have dropped you back safely!) On balance we wouldn't stay there again and were very disappointed with both the hotel and the area."
- Travel date: Mon 30th of January 2006
"Visited Scorpio Villas first 2 weekss January 2006.
This hotel is badly in need of refurbishment.
Our bedroom was OK but the aircon was so noisy we could not use it at night.
The bathroom area was frankly the worst I've ever seen.
The food was plain and repetitive. We ended up eating out even though we had paid for half board.
The pool areas were nice albeit in need of some repair but the gardens were superb.
The staff were lovely but sadly had not been paid for 2 months.
Worst of all this hotel was a haunt for prostitutes not the sort of thing for a family hotel.
Do not venture out at night even for the shortest trip unless by taxi it is very dangerous in Malindi.
(3 murders and numerous muggings whie we were there)"
- Travel date: Sat 21st of January 2006
"We stayed at the Scorpio Villas in September 05 and had a great time. The hotel is very spacious and all the cottage style rooms are set in amongst the fauna. The staff are really friendly and helpful & love to teach you a few swahili words. Food was lovely (put on about half a stone in a week!) with mainly Italian influences. Drinks are also really cheap (about 50p for a bottle of coke, Â£1.50 for a glass of wine, Â£1.50 for a beer, etc.)
Pools are great as well and when we were there, we often had one pool all to ourselves! Be sure to find the resident monkeys who like to visit Pool No. 2!!
We went for one week, which was ok for staying at the hotel, but if you want to do Safari then I would recommend going for two weeks. When you arrive, your rep (if you have one) will inform you about the safaris but you will find there are local companies who will offer the same packages for cheaper prices and you can avoid having to go via other towns (some have to go via Mombassa which can add about 3 hours onto your journey). Although we didn't do Safari, we spoke to others in the hotel who had and had organised it locally & they were very happy with their guides (with Lenny), including 2 young girls, so I think it is safe. But it might be worth asking if anyone else in your hotel has been with them & getting a personal review first.
As one of the other reviews says, it is a good idea to bring some things for the locals which are either unavailable or too expensive for them but are peanuts here - books, especially for schools, colouring pens, sweeties, toys, nail varnish etc. will all go down well."
- Travel date: Mon 24th of October 2005
Fabulous time, fabulous hotel
"We were a family of 5, this was a trip of a lifetime! All the staff were so friendly and helpful. The hotel was very clean. Staff were working all day every day to ensure this! The entertainment staff were great. Most days we ended up on the hotels own beach, where we could order dringks and lie in the shade of the palm trees. there were security guards all round to ensure that you didn't get hassled too much. Our children used the beach from there and again, th security guards made sure that they were OK, and told us if they thought they were wandering too far away. We would return, It had everthing we required. The beachboys were great fun.
We took some of the childrens outgrown clothes with us and these were snapped up by the locals. Next year we will take some toys, books etc, these are things that the local children will never have!!!!! Our children even gave their trainers to some of the local children on our day of departure. Although the locals semed to be poor, they were very happy, you just feel that you should help a bit as we have so much more than them.
Our children made friends with both locals and people in the hotel, it was wonderful to see them all mixing so well. The locals arranged football matches Kenya versus the rest of the world - nearly every match Kenya won!!!!!"
- Travel date: Fri 14th of October 2005