Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Club
North Road, Diani Beach, Diani 80400, Kenya
Diani Beach, Best Hotel
I stayed at the IOB between 27 November and 14 December 2006.
I recommend this hotel for the reasons set out in 'Unique Qualities' below. In brief however:
This hotel I would class as 4 star by Western European standards and exudes a certain rustic charm. All rooms are located in small 2 story cottage blocks scattered around the gardens and beach front. Interconnecting paths lead to the main building where most of the restaurants, reception and shop are situated. Also to the pool area and poolside bar.
All rooms have effective airconditioning, celing fan, bathroom, mini-bar and the bed(s) have the benefit of mosquito nets.
The pool is clean and well kept and fronts onto the beach as are the various plunge pools near to the cottages. The gardens are extensive and well kept.
The service is excellent overall.
Pleasingly there is ramp access to most levels for anyone with walking difficulties.
Unique Quality: This is a peaceful hotel perfect for relaxation. The staff are very welcoming and the service they deliver is excellent. The restaurants serve a wide variety of food whether it be buffet or a la carte. They will even serve items not on the menu if requested and remember the next time you visit. Nothing appears to be too much trouble.
The poolside bar services both the pool and the immediate beach areas and drinks/snacks willl be brought to you if required. Otherwise a seat at the bar makes a refreshing change. There is another more rustic bar at the end of the beach.
Cottage rooms are serviced daily, including the mini-bar and the mosquito nets are lowered in the late afternoon.
There is little nightlife at the IOB. Evening entertainment is limited to, perhaps, a piano in the main bar with maybe a trio or combo in Spices restaurant. Occasional local (tribal) dancers perform in the paved pool area. This is not a criticism but a welcome change from more lively and noisier hotels.
There is a small shop adjacent to the reception area selling mainly local ethnic items. There is also a small hut at one end of the beach where the hotel allows local traders to sell their handicrafts. This arrangement keeps hawkers away from the beach area and appears to work well. Haggling over price is the norm and expected.
There are a variety of safari excursions available from the hotel. I experienced only one of these and it was to Shimba Hills Lodge for an overnight stay and 2 short game drives. Only 3 of the big 5 are there and the main building overlooks a 'waterhole', floodlight at night. The lodge is clean, with good restaurant and bar, neat bedrooms and mostly communal bathrooms but as there are only a few rooms there is no waiting or crowding. No evening entertainment.
Whilst the IOBC is a haven of tranquility, getting to it from the airport it is gruelling via the not to be missed ferry crossing experience at Mombasa. The roads are terrible.
I will go back and recommend this hotel.
Directions: Coastal province, Diani Beach, south of Mombasa via the ferry. Taxi or tour operator's bus recommended.
More about Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Club
Our beautiful honeymoon!
"A wonderful holiday following a wonderful day!"
We had done much research into this trip as this was going to be the 'big one' our honeymoon! We chose the Indian Ocean Beach Resort as my husbands sister had been there and around the same time of year and said it was great. It was quite a long drive from the airport and we also had to take a ferry. When we got there, the actual room they gave us was not what we had expected. We had paid for a sea bungalow and although there are about 3 or 4 rows going back of these we more or less got the one at the back opposite another bungalow which some work was going on with it. So we pointed this out the concierge and they said they would move us to a more appropriate one later in the day which they did. The one we did move into was gorgeous! the only view facing it was - the ocean!
The resort was clean but had several dip pools that could have been cleaned more regularly. I noticed that not many people used them and usually because it had debris from the trees and sometimes some insectss floating around. There were also showers on the beach that you could rinse off under which was perfect as the weather was hot hot hot!! There was a beautician on site and hairdresser. I went to the hairdresser and had my hair plaited which took about 4 or 5 hours! i chose a day that happened to be rainy. (there were about 2 1/2 days in total that rained throughout the holiday which wasn't bad at all as you needed it!) but my husband did get a little bored - poor soul! There was a main dining room upstairs where breakfast usually took place and some mornings little monkeys would climb through the windows and swipe food off your plate so beware! if you don't like that sort of thing stay away from the windows.
There was also a restaurant downstairs for lunchtime and sometimes dinner. Everything was in close proximity to each other. In our bungalow there was a huge bed with netting which got a bit annoying but well needed! A nice bathroom and seperate toilet.
The food...erm...the food. Now this is where the resort went wrong. They had ond traditional night each week (we went for two weeks) and that was when the best food came out. Other than that it was pretty average and bland and monotomus (sp?)
And with every single dinner there was a sorbet. It wasn't to our taste at all. But the lunchtime menu was nice as you got to choose what you wanted. ie. steak or burger and chips or prawn and advacado salad. That was nice. I must also confess we did get a little lazy and order food from our room so we didn't have to move from our little bungalow. That was a charge of approx £1. well £14 spent! haha!
Trip to Mombasa
I am planning a rip to Mombasa and am lookong to stay in a good hotel - Diani or similar standard - any advice on best time of the year to travel - was thinking of maybe Jan 05.
Also would like to do Safari to Tszavo any advice ?
Re: Re: Trip to Mombasa
There are hundreds of hotels, but the better beaches are south of Mombasa, with less seaweed. Having said that, you won't be lying on the beach anyway, but (if you like sunbathing) on loungers within the hotel grounds. I have stayed at the Traveller's Beach Hotel on the north coast, which is fine and medium priced.
The Indian Ocean Beach Club is fantastic as well, I stayed there and had the best time.
You have selected the best time of year for the weather, so prices will be higher. The long rains start in late March/April and before that it is hot!
Tsavo is vast, the largest game park in Africa, so you want to select a hotel that is near a waterhole. At that time of year the grass will be brown and chewed right down, so game viewing will be better, but I have still driven through Tsavo for hours and not seen much game compared to Amboseli or the Mara. If I had to choose, I would select Tsavo East as the better viewing experience. Hilton has some nice properties there, although pricey.
Good luck and enjoy.
Re: Re: Trip to Mombasa
thank for your advice - sounds like I have lot of planning to do
Re: Trip to Mombasa
January Mombasa is very very hot with around 33 degrees centigrade. The heat is there upto around march. August onwards upto November would be better, just before the high season when hotel raise their charges. Diani (on the south coast) is fantastic as well as the Alliance Hotels . On the North coast, Whitesands would be ok.
I work and live in Mombasa. You can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more info
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Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Club
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Hotel
- Jacaranda Indian Ocean Beach Club Hotel Diani
Address: North Road, Diani Beach, Diani 80400, Kenya