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Flamingo Beach Hotel

1 of 2 hotels in Shanzu

4 out of 5 from 1 review
4 stars
Shanzu 81443, Kenya
The accommodation offers 138 rooms, all air conditioned, in six buildings around the complex. There is a large swimming pool, piano bar and restaurant. There are quite a few flights of stairs, so its not ideal for guests with walking difficulties.

1 Review

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Review Overview

  • Cleanliness
  • Entertainment
  • Food
  • Service
  • Location
Great experience
6 years 9 months ago
We stayed at this hotel in February 2011. I was worried about the poor reviews given on trip advisor but decided that for the price we paid (£599) it was worth a gamble!

I can only assume bad reviews came from people who had paid a lot more and were expecting a 5* holiday so as long as long as you don’t go there with this expectation, experience you’ll really enjoy it.

Airport pick up was OK, return to airport on double decker bus with no skylights (assume this was air conditioning) was an experience. Mombassa airport is not good but just make sure you have plenty of water and you’ll be OK. We were told visas were 50$ each but were in fact only 25$ each.

Our hotel room was good. We had a corner room (515) which meant we had an extended balcony with sun beds and table & chairs. The bedroom itself was spacious, beds comfortable and adequately furnished.

I wouldn’t pay extra for a sea view room as in my opinion these are not as good positioned as the rest of the rooms! Monkeys were a pain you need to be aware that they will try to get into your room to steal anything that looks like food, luckily I took a box to put snacks into but our friends lost 2 cereal bars to monkeys within the first couple of minutes!

To get hot water you had to let the system run for about 10 minutes but in a country where water is scarce and you see women & children walking miles with water containers on their heads it seems a crime to let it run for that long so we took showers in luke warm water which was perfectly fine given the heat out there. The water was salty but this didn’t really affect washing, they do give you a jug of bottled water each day which I used to rinse my hair as we bought out own bottled water to brush our teeth etc... 5Ltr = 75p from the local shop (do not buy from hotel as 5 x more expensive).

We experienced very few power cuts, probably about 6 or 7 during our stay and they were all for less than a couple of minutes. I have to say that power cuts of longer time occurred at the bars in the village outside the hotel.

People were complaining that their air con wasn’t working but don’t think they were aware that it only comes on 5pm-7am. Ours worked well but the air con in our friends room, although working was not quite as cold.
Our towels and bedding were changed every 3 days which is ample. There is high humidity out there so even though we hung them over the balcony in full sun they usually felt a bit damp.
We were unable to get any beach towels for the first week, as there seems to be a shortage of them and when we did eventually get them they were in poor condition so I would suggest taking your own beach towels.
There is a safe in the room payable. Internet connection payable and at dial up speed! You can take your own laptop and pay a one of connection fee for wireless.

The staff were very pleasant & helpful. We had heard the stories about them not getting paid and thought maybe it was a ploy to get more tips but on returning to the hotel one day there was a BBC film crew at the barrier doing a story about this. I asked a member of staff why they worked for no pay and they replied that the tips they get give them a living, if they left they would have no way of earning any money and they get nothing from the government so would starve. They said they protest every few months and get paid a small amount of what they are owed and then it goes back to nothing.

Would suggest you sign for all the drinks, not much gained by paying cash!!
Take Euros to pay bar bills at the end of the week many complaints about rates when converting euros to shillings then onto credit cards. Our bill for 2 weeks was about 90E just for drinks.
Entertainment in the hotel was OK, something on most nights.

Would recommend to eat outside of hotel sometime, The Ocean Hotel, turn right and it’s at the very end of the row of shops down the driveway at the side, the bar has a thatched roof, very reasonable and lovely food. Also Safari Bar ok as long as you don’t mind sitting in a brothel! Pistachios also OK.
Further afield try THE MOORINGS (£60 for 4) and LA MARINA (£120 for 4) they are both on the riverside & good but a bit more expensive and they will send a car to pick you up and bring you home if you contact them. You’ll need a torch at both to read the menu.

Went to Halam Park by Tuk Tuk, 300 shillings return for 2 people (£2.50), about £8 each to get in. Not too many animals to see but nice to walk round and also can feed the giraffes. Tuk Tuk into next town about 150 shillings but suggest go in daylight as no lighting at night so it’s a bit intimidating unless you know where you’re going.

For trips, especially Safari, can highly recommend www.wildlifesunsafaris.com Norman & James. Turn left as you come out of hotel and it’s on the corner of the first alleyway. These guys came recommended to us and they give excellent service, can tailor make any trip you want i.e. cutting out all tourist wood carving & souvenir shops if required. Safari’s seem to be the same price everywhere except hotel where they are a lot more expensive and don’t include park entrance which is about $60 each.

We bought souvenirs from the local shops outside the hotel supermarkets have fixed price goods if you don’t want to haggle. You could also buy from the beach boys outside the hotel beach who will hassle you like mad for the first few days but just be firm and say you’re not buying and they go away. Don’t let them take you on any beach safaris or to see crocodiles etc, as they’ll try to get a lot of money from you. If you feel intimidated by them just walk past the barrier into any hotel beach and they are not allowed to follow you.

Just remember if anyone shows you the way or offers to help you they will expect to be paid, it’s just the way of life out there.
Overall we had an excellent holiday and fully intend to go back.
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Recommended

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