18 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"We have been coming to Kenya since 1997 & stayed at 4 different hotels but we keep coming back to Turtle Bay Club as it is the best.Kenya Airways are reportedly putting 3 flights a day from Nairobi to Malindi which is 30 minutes from the hotel from June. We love the staff they cant do enough for you.the fact Thompson have pulled out makes no sense at all.we go into the village almost daily and feel safer there than some places at home.anyway we will be back at our second home on the24th of this month and cant wait. "
- Travel date: 13th March 2015
HOME FROM HOME Simon Wells
"From the time you are welcomed by the driver at the airport you feel at home. Even more so when you arrive at the hotel. I have stayed in many of the best hotels in the world but none has ever matched this for the friendliness and efficiency of all the staff. If you have been there more than once they all remember your name and give you a big welcome. the rooms are excellent and very comfortable, The gardens and the beach are lovely. The beach is reputed by Conde Nast to be among the 5 best in the world. It is difficult to dispute that. The food is very good with a wide choice and a very varied menu which is changed every day. The pools are as good as any you will find. I cannot understand the review that says "appalling" (sic). That is totally the opposite of my experience and many friends that have been there many times. It is not far from local bars and the village is not too far to walk even for someone handicapped like me. There are plenty of interesting places to visit nearby. Kenya is a beautiful country with a perfect climate. The safaris are well worth it. I am planning my 6th visit in the near future and am looking forward to going to my second home. "
- Travel date: 9th September 2013
"When we lived in Nairobi, we took the train to Mombasa and arranged a matatu to Turtle Bay. If you go before or after Christmas week, you can avoid the crush of Europeans on vacation. Terrific dservice, excellent food, and a white-sand beach with coral snorkeling!"
- Travel date: 5th August 2011
"We have been home over a week and our feet have still not touched the ground. The hotel and staff are simply the best. The food was good, and there was lots of it. Before we went we wondered why so many people returned to the same hotel year after year and we are alresdy looking at next years prices! Everyone and everything was perfect, we had a room in the main hotel and when we return we will be asking for the same room. Because of the time of year we traveled the beach had a lot of seaweed on it but to be honest other than it did not look quite as pretty it did not bother us. The staff are what make this hotel so amazing, at no point did we feel anything was too much trouble for them, from the bell boy to the manager,everyone had time to say JAMBO! "
- Travel date: 29th July 2010
I have been visiting TTBC for over 10 ye...
"I have been visiting TTBC for over 10 years, and can't speak highly enough of it. The staff are friendly and helpful the hotel has evolved and improved over the years. Its one of my favorite places in the world. I like the Lamu rooms best, as they are not in the main hotel building, but everything is within easy access. In the unlikely event there isn't anything you don't like on the menu just ask, and they will fix you something you like. Enjoy as I have, and am booked to visit again in September 08."
- Travel date: 28th April 2008
An excellent hotel. The Turtle Bay Beach...
"An excellent hotel. The Turtle Bay Beach Club has a relaxed and laid back atmosphere. Unlike some of the larger hotel chains this smaller hotel was spot on in my opinion. The complex was on the smaller side so there was no need for shuttle buses and the like around the hotel. Our room was on the ground floor, spacious and airy! I would say it was a very good 3 star. The staff where the friendliest I have ever come across and I have never felt so at home in a hotel. The food was great. There wasnât a formal dining area as such, just a small open air area by the pool, but I hate the formality of dressing up for dinner, so this suited us fine. The food itself was varied. My boyfriend is an incredibly fussy eater, but he was made up. There was always a carvery and the chef was more than happy to fill up your plate, I couldnât quite believe that you could get such a good roast dinner in the middle of Africa, but we did. The hotel and pool was always clean and tidy. I really canât rate this hotel enough. We did a safari at Savo East, we didnât book with our rep, we got friendly with the guy who owned the bar over the road (The pole pole bar - also definitely worth a visit) He and a friend of his took us on safari, it was all insured and the he showed his permit and the like. I wonât say how much we paid but Iâd say we got a real bargain and it was just the 4 of us in the bus. I saw some buses that where rammed with tourists - not nice at 29 degrees! The safari was amazing and we stayed at the Voi Lodge which was also amazing. If Daniel still owns the Pole Pole bar I would definitely give him a go, but itâs each to their own. Overall I would say that Kenya is a beautiful place with lots to offer. I would recommend the Turtle bay to anyone who likes a smaller hotel."
- Travel date: 5th January 2008
Very friendly hotel, great atmosphere, c...
"Very friendly hotel, great atmosphere, couldnât do enough for you, small, but cosy in it. rooms very nice. Had monkeys living in the resort, which was interesting. Food was basic but very nice, entertainment was few and far between, but it made you mingle with other guests. Hotel was in the middle of know where so you couldnât really go out of resort. Went on safari which was wonderful and I really recommend it . overall great holiday and would consider going back in future."
- Travel date: 21st September 2007
This hotel is one of the best I have bee...
"This hotel is one of the best I have been to.The food was always great with a good choice to suit all, they even have childrens meals. The kids club and the staff are amazing they can not do enough for you The rooms are of a good standard with all you need in them. The hotel its self was very clean and there was always someone round to cater for every need we had. The staff were the best I have ever meet and had a smile no matter what they do. They do not earn a lot, so when we tipped them they were over the moon. The hotel is on the beach where the locals do hang about but they are not allowed on the private bit. They do safaris etc which are fine to go on, as we did and found them great they do start off high, but you can barter them down. It is about 2 hours away from Mombasa airport but the drive is a real eye opener and I didn't mind it at all. I am going back again next year and will more than likely go every year after. A real nice place with real nice people would advise it to any one. "
- Travel date: 15th December 2006
"This was my first visit to Kenya and chose this hotel from reading reviews on this website. We booked throught Somak (who I would recommend). My overall impression of the hotel is that it is the perfect size, not too huge but with large enough grounds to get a sense of space. The superclub rooms have a huge double and a single and are pleasant and clean. The shower was powerful (although this was not the case in my friend's Lamu room). Trees and shrubs make the surroundings pleasant and there is alway a gardener pottering about! The hotel beach area is slightly raised above the main beach and is beautiful with different trees and shrubs. (You have to choose your sun bed spot carefully to avoid the shade). The main beach is lovely. The sand is like icing sugar. I was surprised as in my ignorance I didn't know that the Indian Ocean was tidal. The sea was quite rough but fun for boogie boarding. Sadly there were several days when jelly fish were in the sea and a couple of people got stung (I was told thought that this is not always the case and was due to the wind, tides etc). This meant that I had a 'sea free' hol which was disappointing but a lot of people did still enjoy going in. The main buffet restaurant, bar and entertainment area open onto and border the pool and is lovely at night as the lights reflect on the water. The food was extremely good - much better than I was expecting. The choice was extensive and catered for all tastes. Breakfasts were fantastic. I loved watching the 'egg chef' cook 3 different types of egg dish at once. My only problem with this is that I ate too much! Local red wine was good - white wine iffy - local white rum good - beer watery. Each night there would be a choice of 4 cocktails (2 alchoholic, 2 non). Each one was delicious. Entertainment was there if you wanted it. My daughter and I chose to do the morning walk (about half an hour) along the beach or to the local village. We also did some of the beach games. (Luckily nobody I knew was there to see us do the egg and spoon race!). The entertainment staff would ask if you wanted to take part in things, but there was no pressure. Evening entertainment ranged from karate demos and acrobats to African dancing and bands (I particularly liked the bands). The biggest entertainment though was at the cocktail welcome where the staff are introduced. I still laugh at the thought of the security guards marching in in time to the music and then dancing (along with the rest of the staff) to the 'Jambo Bwana' song)! Anyone who has been to Kenya will know what I mean by this song. We heard it sung by the entertainment staff, the African band, the waiters, the local Kenyan boys and the children at the orphanage. When you get home it is IMPOSSIBLE to get it out of your head! The staff were efficient, always busy and extremely friendly. How do they remember names so well? If you visit this hotel you will not forget the waiter Hamish 'In da house' . You will either love him or he will drive you mad by the end of your stay! Finally, a word about people's worry about being 'pestered' on the beach. Firstly, the sellers here are not pushy. When you say you don't want a boat trip they just go and find someone who does instead. I used to say 'I don't want a trip but I'm happy to stop and chat.' I found out so much information about local life etc. this way. When we were there it was holiday time for the local schools and a walk on the beach ended with a following of local boys keen to practise their English. We felt this to be to our benefit as my daughter made so many local friends and we learned about the Kenyan education system and family life. There was a group of stalls selling local crafts (the usual stuff) to one side of the beach. We went there on the last day and had great fun bartering for our presents. The sellers were not scary at all and some were very funny. All the stall are named after British shops e.g. Harrods and Argos! We got a lot of bargains as we shopped just before they closed at 6pm. Overall the hotel was everything we hoped it to be and more."
- Travel date: 1st September 2006
Superb, family resort, rivals Ritz Carlton for service
"My family of 5 stayed at Turtle Bay from late July to early August 2006, for a total of 8 nights. We booked direct, after reading the positive reviews here on Trip Advisor. Simply put, this is a superb hotel, in a beautiful location, with excellent food, and brilliant "nothing is too much trouble" service from a very friendly team of superbly trained, (but naturally welcoming) staff. Let's start with the staff - Kenyans are naturally welcoming, as has been commented, but this team could rival Ritz-Carlton for their attentiveness and positive demeanour. There are plenty of friendly faces - nothing appears too much trouble and the style is never servile, just "what can I do to help". Unlike many all inclusives, you get drinks, refreshments and snacks brought to your sunbed, your table, your bench as you want them. The team looking after the kids and adult activities were friendly, supportive and extremely good humoured. And (perhaps because there are no room phones), all the transactions are face to face. So when our shampoo ran out the night before we left, and our laundry hadn't been delivered, I went up to reception to chat to them, and the very friendly face took 2 minutes, came back to me and said - all sorted, laundry will be with you in 10 minutes and we'll fix your shampoo over dinner. And they were. The food was brilliant - on our second night, we got beautiful chateaubriand on the buffet - and vegetables were always al dente to my taste, potatoes crisp and fruit deliciously fresh. The menu was oriented towards European tastes but not "steak and chips, fish and chips" in style - and there were lots of lovely touches, like having pancakes - with a choice of lime juice, chocolate or honey, served every day, cooked to order at around 4pm. Two small quibbles: one would be the drinks - wine quality was not great and the draught beer was a little tasteless and the pizza/pasta restaurant was not quite as good as the buffet (although service was friendly and it was nice to get table service) but genuinely, these were minor quibbles in an otherwise great stay. Some of the reviews have commented on the beach not being quite right in August - whilst it looks beautiful - well deserving of its "top 10 in the world" label - there were high breakers, jellyfish warnings and plenty of seaweed at certain points. But the jellyfish were largely benign - I got one foot stung and it went red rather than very painful, and if yyou listened to the staff, they told you when the jellyfish were best avoided. And the breakers were great for body-boarding, using the (free) boogie-boards the hotel lent out. The sand is crystal clean - and in early August, there was always a good sea-breeze, yet the temperatures were nearly always in the high 70s/early 80s - perfect for UK kids! Seaweed not really a problem. The rockpools at low tide are great for seeing Moray eels and crabs, and we organised several excursions, including a great riding trip, with Christopher - who's been selling trips for nearly 10 years to Turtle Bay residents. [NB: we did a Dhow trip, from a point near Mombassa, that Chris organised - relatively expensive - @ Â£60 per adult, Â£40 per kid but reasonable value given quality of entertainment, food served and so on - main problem was that it was more than 90 minutes away and that felt just too long to travel with kids; but do try the riding trip even if you're not a rider - you get a walking tour round the local villages and see very fertile countryside and friendly kids - take a bag of sweets! ] Overall, I thought the UK summer holidays (which is the Kenyan winter of course) as near perfect timing if you don't want mega high temperatures, but do want warmth, great beaches and (pretty warm) seas and a great family venue to boot. There was entertainment every night - generally of good quality including local gospel choirs, the snake farm, maasai dancers and acrobats and so on. But we were generally too tired to stay up too late. I did 2 dives through the very good dive school they had - they were inside the reef (morays, lion fish, crocodile fish, lobsters, rays and perfectly decent conditions) albeit the dive team there say that they were not as interesting as going outside (they have whale sharks in (our UK) Autumn apparently. I was very impressed by the quality of the dive team, and the equipment they have - and if you want to learn to dive, to get your PADI Open Water certificate, think this is a good place to do. I saw 3 people taking their certification course and they virtually had 121 tuitiion. They all passed, first time too. The kids got a chance to help release 2 turtles in the sea, saved via the local sanctuary, and they loved that. We did a hotel organised excursion and walk, leaving at 6am in the neaby Sokoke forest, looking for golden-rumped elephant shrews. Didn't see any of those but did see interesting birds and wildlife. They have just put up the park fees here to $20 per day which makes it a little expensive for single shortish walk. Perhaps better for serious birders although it was very beautiful and the guide highly informative. I guess about half of the visitors to TBBC were from the UK - there were also French, Spanish, Canadian, US and quite a few visitors from other parts of Africa including South Africa and Uganda. As has been commented, TBBC isn't the newest of hotels - the facilities were clearly built more than a few years ago, but all rooms and public places were spotlessly clean. The swimming pool was cleaned every night. We booked beachfront rooms - and could hear the breakers on the beach every night. Rooms are quite basic, so there's not TV, no phone, no fridge, no minibar, beds have poly-cotton sheets, but the things that matter are there - hot water with decent pressure, clean bathrooms, comfortable beds, (hireable) safes in the rooms (although it's a measure of how welcome the staff make you feel that I almost felt like handing back the key to the safe as I doubted any member of staff would ever try to steal anything). There are so many nice touches - from the way they positively encourage the weaver birds to nest in the shrubs near the Pizza restaurant, to the way they sweep the sand off your beachfront ground floor balcony before you wake up - to the more than needed quantity of loungers on the beach - to the plentiful beachtowels (no deposit scheme or room keys here) - all examples of stuff that make your holiday more enjoyable, without feeling that staff are doing it because managers are breathing down their necks. The shop ran out of stamps the day we left and the staff member said she'd post our cards if we left her the cards and the money - needless to say, the cards all duly turned up before we got home. TBBC isn't the easiest place to get to (we got flight from Nairobi to Malindi), but it carries our excellent recco for being one of the best places for a family holiday we've ever been to. None of us wanted to leave, and all of us want to go back. We found the hotel prices extremely reasonable, especially as the hotel offered advantageous discounts for staying an 8th night (which worked out to be cheaper than staying for 7 nights). Total cost for our family, all inclusive, in (UK) peak holiday season for 2 beachfront rooms worked out to be less than Â£155 per night, repeat, all inclusive. And one final nice surprise - I'd withdrawn money on my credit card (you are limited to 20, 000 shilings per day, approx Â£180) - and the hotel had put it through as a "purchase" rather than a cash advance - and the exchange rate was favourable at 135 to the Â£."
- Travel date: 23rd August 2006
Can't stop returning!!!!!!
"We got married here in March 2003 and can't stop going back! Off again in November - although twice a year is a bit greedy but what the hell do you work for? When you go back people remember your names, you have a welcome back meal and feel as good as you did the first time you were there. Rooms are fairly basic but trust me, you won't spend much time there as you will be bowled over by the beauty of the beaches and the friendliness of the staff and locals. Can't forget to mention the food - wow! John Kenya on the beach has some good excursions...."
- Travel date: 31st July 2006
"When arriving at the airport we was very apprehensive about kenya. From the airport we went on to do the Kenyan Encounters 4 day Safari where we visited Shimba Hills, Tsavo West and Tsavo East. We saw some amazing sights and spectacular scenery and loads of wildlife including the BIG 5. The Safari experience was fab and we would recommend it to anyone - we can't wait to do it again! We then went on to Turtle Bay Beach Club for our 10 night relaxation stay, where we recieved a warm welcome from the staff. The entertainment team based in the hotel were fantastic and they got us involved in everthing. They even took us out into the village; Milindi, in their own time to experience how the people live. - keep up the good work! Whilst on our stay at Turtle Bay we was involved in getting together with the local community for mango planting where we was taken to a small island to plant the mango trees. This was arranged by the hotel staff and it is considered as a holiday day and all staff participated. The food was good - buffett style, there was a great selection and pancakes served in the afternoon was a personal favorite. The pizzaria was nice and the a la carte was even better. The service we recieved from all the waiters/waitresses were second to none. - Fab! The staff in the diving centre were brilliant as i was absolutly petrified at first and they put with a panic attack and 3 attempts before me actually doing the dive!! - thanks guys. Overall both my partner and i feel that this was a one in a million holiday that exceeded our expectations. An excellent choice for any type of clientel (as when we travelled we was aged 23 and 24). I can only explain the holiday overall as FANTASTIC!!!"
- Travel date: 21st July 2006
Top traveller tips for Turtle Bay Beach Club
"Relax and enjoy excellent service. You have hardly been served with one drink before the next arrives. See some of the surrounding area."
Turtle Bay Beach Club is also called
- Turtle Bay Beach Club Hotel
- turtle bay beach hotel
- turtle bay beach resort