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Papillon Lagoon Reef

8 of 12 hotels in Diani

4 out of 5 from 3 reviews
Papillon Lagoon Reef Diani Beach Mombasa, Kenya
Built in traditional Swahili style this medium class beachfront hotel is set in hillside gardens with stunning Baobab Trees.

3 Reviews

Traveller Rating

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Review Overview

  • Cleanliness
  • Entertainment
  • Food
  • Service
  • Location
Richard Benton
14 years 8 months ago
Papillon Lagoon reef was exactly as required as wanted a small quiet hotel. Food is plentiful at all meal times and a wide selection caters for all tastes. After a busy 8 day safari we were able to relax in this location perfectly located looking out over the the samll wall onto the beach that is a picture post card location. We stayed in room 256 so had a balcony over looking the sea and the pool area and had TV and minibar (no additioanl charge for using contents) so well worth upgrading to superior rooms.

Can't fault the staff who always ready to help and rooms cleaned daily. All hotel areas inc pools cleaned each day including leaves swept from paths and gardens daily.No rains to mention when we were there. Beach towels given out (and signed for) each day. Lounger mattresses put out by staff or collected if additional required. Plenty of sunbeds in the grounds around the pool and on sea front so no need to get up at silly o'clock to get a good location. There are no loungers on the beach but not really needed as so close to it. If you want a loud, large, busy hotel do not stay here.

Poolos reasonable size for the complex and nice to have poolside bar that can be used either wet or dry.

Option at all meal time to eat al fresco under the trees or under cover in dining areas. Breakfast, Lunch and afternoon tea (tea/coffee & cakes) served in the dining area near the pool, evening meal served at upper level, approx two small flights of steps up up. Monkeys can be a pest during daytime as try to steal food from tables (if Security aren't quick enough to shoot them with catapults) but feeding bread to bush babys at dinner was good as much slower and pleasant animals. Also good to see hotel try impose minimal dress code for dinner, no shorts or open sandals for dinner (for men).

Drinks available throughout the day are plentiful and genererally ok. The red wine was acceptable, the white wine not so good and a number of couples nearby returned them and opted for reds.

Animation team invite all ages to partake in activities. Beach volleyball and football were generaly guests and animation team v beach sellers. Entertainment ok during the day and evening. Offer to learn swahili and bar games (pool& darts) for those not wanting to try more active pursuits such as water and beach games.

When walking on the beach at other times the sellers can be annoying but a firm no and they will leave you alone. If you offer to go visit the shops in a few days they will ask that you keep your word and check out their wares so be careful how you decline their offer to sell you things.

Pool volleyball and handball were well supported, the latter being good entertainment for wives & girlfriends as Europe were generaly run ragged by "Team Africa" (animation team) but Africa being outnumbered 2-1 it was a fun games for all concerned.

Evening entertainment was mixed although some interesting local groups. Different acts appeared each night to sipport the DJ who played music for remainder of the evening.


Travel operator: Hayes & Jarvis

Karen West
17 years ago
Stunning location, monkeys on your balcony and a view to die for and well worth the upgrade to the beach front rooms, NO#256 on the first floor is great as you have a frontal view as well as a side view of the pool.
Fabulous location marred only by the 'escorts' ( beach boys )on the beach.

It was annoying as we saw many couples fully escorted as they tried to have a romantic stroll along the beach. Be firm and don't fall for it, they are minted!

Don't forget to take some shoes if you intend to go in the sea, it will be very difficult to go in without them, I forgot and had to buy some in the shop costing me

Travel operator: Panorama Holidays

17 years 7 months ago
We arrived at the hotel at 2am so difficult to gauge first impression. The lobby was large and airy and the night receptionist was welcoming. After a few hours sleep we awoke to rain, however this did not spoil our delight at the rooms and the view from them. We asked for adjoining rooms and we got exactly that. Each room had a balcony/terrace over looking gorgeous lush green gardens on a slop going down to the pool with the sea beyond.

Quite a steep incline in the grounds with different areas on different levels so I wouldn't recommend this hotel for wheelchair users or people with walking difficulties.

The breakfast/lunch dining area is near the pool with tables in and out. Self service buffet style. Breakfast chef cooks up eggs (fried/ommlette/boiled) and pancakes which went down well with our teenagers. Selection of bacon, beans tomatoes as well as cold continental style. Lots of fresh fruit. Waiters all friendly without exception.

Area for table tennis, darts and pool all free.

The pool is well maintained and clean with a swim up pool bar.

Section of drinks on the all inclusive good with Tusker Beer on tap. Branded spirits available and exceptionally the all inclusive wine wasn't at all bad.

Sun beds always available and plenty of space and shade. Only would nit pick on the cleanliness of the lounger mattresses as put away every night and occasionally given a damp one.

There is a waist high hedge between the gardens and the beach which is stunning white sand. At low tide a sand bank exposed called Robinson Island. We booked the hotel glass bottomed boat to go out and snorkel around the reef and the boat boy also took as around the exposed rock pools with a guided 'marine life tour' Lots of sea urchins so beach/swimming shoes essential and lots of sunblock. Saw many lovely different types of fish so well worth it. On the down side beach sellers can be a pain and can be off putting. Whilst we were there the hotel owner was 'in meetings' with the stall sellers who have pitches up the side of the hotel of the beach and was trying to get them to leave the hotel guests alone. Having said that we found that a couple of firm No Thanks you's was enough for them on the walk to the sea and once in the sea they would leave you alone as they don't like to get their shoes wet!

Camels also a couple of days on the beach, positioned right next to the hotel, fun to watch but we didn't have a ride.

Rooms clean and adequate, linen changed every day and towels provided. Every thing did feel damp but we did hit a few days of rain with high humidity. Air conditioning, fan and mosquito nests all in rooms. Only one of us bothered by mosquito bites despite repellent.

Monkeys around the grounds are delightful to watch but they will grab food out of your hands given half a chance. Lots of notices around asking people not to feed them as they can and will bite. Some people left their balcony door open and monkeys got into rooms. Security guards are quick with their slingshots as did see family of rather large baboons saunter through the grounds a couple of times! Another treat was watching sea eagles catching fish from the grounds absolutely amazing.

Animation team of lively young lads kept our teenagers busy with water games (volleyball and pool football) as well as football on the beach and always available to play table tennis and pool with them. Cant fault them. Evening entertainment was ok. Some live acts such as acrobats and magician. The live band were very good once they got on to African music. Also a trio of traditional musicians played a couple of nights just while dinner was going on also very good. Personally I don't like 'disco' music but again the kids enjoyed it. Far enough away from the rooms not to be bothered by it.

We went on a two day safari and I guess this is not the place to review that other than say it was brilliant, once in a life time experience.

All in all this hotel overall is relaxing, friendly and has a very warm feel about it. Some of the guest were complaining and I wonder if they were expecting a five star hotel when this is rated at three star but a very good one at that.

Travel operator: Hayes and Jarvis


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