Dolphin Hotel African Safari Club

Shanzu, Kenya

1 Review


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    A group of hotels


    Seven hotels in a group, all of them next to each other along the shore. Different categories of hotels, but we, unfortunately, booked the last category. Everything was ok except the food. It was unbelievable bad. We didn't expect too much out of such a hotel, but when you cannot find anything to eat for breakfast, each lunch and dinner you get nearly the same, bad food ... is a nuisance. Coral-Palm is the name of that hotel. Next time we would book the next better category and be happy to stay there.

    Unique Quality: As there are seven hotels next to each other, you can use the whole space of about 200.000 square metres for your day. You don't need money with you, tell the hotel and room number and sign the paper you get when you order your drinks, that's very comfortable.
    There is also a shuttle bus between the hotels ... but don't expect that it is on schedule all the time, you are in Kenya though.

    Directions: 18km north of Mombasa

More about Dolphin Hotel African Safari Club

A Fabulous Holiday Thank You African Safari Club

by TripAdvisor Member Soldonkenya

This was the holiday of a lifetime for me all aspects exceeded my expectations! I did have some concerns after reading comments on this website, and wished I hadn't read them. However my experience was one of excellent service from African Safari Club, all members of the Dolphin staff and Leopard Lodge where I went on safari.

I would comment to those who complained, if they had read the comprehensive booklet sent out by African Safari Club with your invoice, most of the issues were addressed.

I was travelling alone and was unfortunately ill at the start of my holiday, this was rather a frightening experience but the hotel management were fantastic very caring and attentive, they arranged for the Doctor to see me he arrived within 20 minutes, he treated me and returned 2 hours later to check on me. Members of the hotel staff visited me every couple of hours and made sure that I had everything I needed. I cannot commend them highly enough.

I went on safari to Kimana/Kilimanjaro it was incredibly exciting and I would recomend it to anyone. Our driver/guide was experienced, knowledgeable and very amusing. The accomodation was very clean & comfortable.

The Dolphin Hotel is a relatively small hotel with beautiful gardens and easy access to the magnificent beach. The rooms are of a good standard cleaned daily, towels changed daily and bedding every third day. I found the food to be better than expected, good choices though a little repetative.

All of the African Safari Club hotels to which we had access had shops where it was possible to buy souvenirs. I would recommed that you leave the hotel and go to the shops in Shanzu,( just outside of the hotels) where you can buy with a more extensive choice, cheaper and to support the local community. To anyone wishing to buy pictures go directly to an artist called Moses his work is fantastic and sold in many of the shops, it is worth visiting his studio/shop and he will sell to you explaining all about the pictures, I wish I could have bought more ! Having made your purchase go to the Safari Inn for a drink and wonderful atmosphere whatever the time of day. One evening we visited there was Masai dancing (not to be missed).

Overall I consider this to have been a great holiday and excellent value for money.

african safari club what a load of rubbish

by TripAdvisor Member zarawestyorkshire

well what can we say from booking this hoilday to coming back today 7th may 2008 was a disaster. we go twice a year has we have a school orphanage out there in mombasa . we didnt get any tickets at first so we phoned them told us they was on way then the next day got a letter by post saying contact us straight away when we did asc had changed our airport flight and hotel with 1 wk to go we was fuming . we only booked with them has they said it was a straight through flight but we ended up going to nirobi then another flight to mombasa wasnt happy. we got sent to dolphin hotel which was ok rooms was basic but clean the food was horrible we arent fussy but that wasnt nice at all. you carnt pay for your drinks or anything they make you sign then pay at end so we didnt bother to drink in hotel we found a nice pub called safari inn just down the road there food was 100 percent lovely and the drinks was half price day after only 3 days we got told our dinner room was closing and we had to have our meals in flamingo hotel next door we said ok cud be worse it cud be the hotel closing so guess what the next day another letter saying the dolphin hotel was closing and we had to pack all our stuff up and move by 3pm the next day couldnt believe it at all.the rooms was very basic but the water in the shower was salt water they did give us bottle water to clean teeth with but again the food wasnt nice at all. all the kenyan staff was scared to talk to us has they hadnt been paid for 4 months but they had to come to work or lose there jobs we couldnt believe it . we dont stay in the hotel has we do alot in our school painted it new roof and ceiling buying food for a month extra extra we do have a website called . we did enjoy the hoiday but not the way asc treated us ,the last thing they did to us was coming home should of been from mombasa to gatwick straight through guess wot we had to pick 273 passengers up from
luxor aiport then drop them all of at manchester then go back to gatwick even thou our car was at heathrow should of landed at 8.15pm on 6th may we got back in our car on 7th may at 6am we could of got a cheaper holiday if we wanted to go the long way round never again would we go with asc .we spent a extra £300 a pound on food and water even though we had paid for full board . we are claiming back against them for what has happened in future we will stick to travel agents who we know .

ASC Hotels: Dolphin at Mombasa

by Myndo about Hotel Dolphin

The "Dolphin" is the second-last (geographically) in the row of the hotels which belong to the "African Safari Club" right north of Mombasa. This was the hotel we lodged in 2003.

As for comfort I have to say I had expected a little more (from a so called 5 star hotel), but on the other hand, this is Africa, so what?
It is o.k. to stay, the rooms are clean, all air conditioned, there are several types of restaurant you can choose in wich you want to dine. The normal one (which was included in the price) has buffet every day, the others are "a la card" (there you have to pay).

There is a smaller pool in front of the hotel. The whole area is well maintained and park-like. You have walks to the Flamingo next door. Directly in front of the hotel is the beach.
The beach is clean, the water warm, but swimming is not always an option, because there are the tides.

At low tide you can walk out to the reef, which is about 2km away.
At high tide you can snorkel. It is amazing how many fish and seastars etc you see... and morays.

Great value for money

by butcher3577 about Shanzu Paradise Beach

We stayed at this hotel for 4 nights at the beginning of our holiday and for 3 nights at the end of our holiday. The hotel itself is run by African Safari Club who have had a lot of bad press lately, but I can honestly say that we thoroughly enjoyed our stay here, we encountered no problems, and we would return.

We arrived after a basic but comfortable flight and it was still early so the rooms were not quite ready, our luggage was arriving separately so this was not a problem and we went for breakfast. After about 30 mins our room was ready, it was comfortable and spacious and we had a lovely view, the shower is big enough for a hippo or two, and although the water was slightly salty we really didn't notice.

We found the staff to be very friendly and helpful, and the whole hotel was well kept and extremely clean. The pool area is large enough never to feel crowded, and the beach is beautiful, with an area roped off so you can get some peace and quiet, we never found the beach boys to be a problem.

We found the food to be of good quality ( although it may get a little repetitive if you were there for two weeks solid, but as we were on safari for 6 nights it didn't have time to )

On the whole we found it was the perfect place to begin and end or kenyan adventure.

Tented Luxury

by butcher3577 about Twiga Tented Camp

We stopped in this hotel for the last two nights of our safari with African Safari Club, and it was just what the doctor ordered! The camp itself was the only tented camp that we stopped in and it was by far the most luxurious. The tents were beautifully decorated and extremely comfortable. The staff were all incredibly friendly and very helpful. The food was delicious the best we had in Kenya. The surroundings were very picturesque with the camp being set on a stream, we would have quite happily stopped here without going on safari! The camp itself is set on a stream which leads to a large Hippo pool which is full of Hippo ( about 28 altogether ) When we arrived we were all very tired and worn out from the all the traveling, and a slightly bumpy flight, none of us really wanted to go out on the road again, so when we were told we were doing a short walking safari instead we were all delighted. We were taken down to the hippo pool with a masai guide who showed us the crocodiles we had walked straight by without noticing and of course the hippos, who all came up to the surface of the water and sang a chorus ( the only way to describe Hippo noise) it was fantastic. The hippos also come up to graze on the grass around the camp at night, as my husband found out at 3 in the morning with a large hippo munching away at the side of the tent! Various other wildlife also come to the stream to drink especially at night we saw many buffalo, while sitting around the camp fire, hence the guides always escort you back to your tents. The birds are also worth a mention here we saw kingfisher and many brightly coloured birds that I can't remember the names of but truly spectacular to see these in the wild. Bird watching paradise.

The thing I will most remember about this camp is the early morning champagne breakfast set by the hippo pool a perfect way to end your safari!

Great Start To Our Safari

by butcher3577 about Crocadile Camp

We stopped in the Crocodile camp run by African Safari Club on the first two nights of our six night safari. We really didn't know what to expect having heard various reviews of this company before we left, but overall we found this camp delightful. We had a very long and bumpy drive out of Mombassa to Tsavo East, we drove to the far end of the park and entered through the Voi gate and then drove all the way through the park to the crocodile camp which is set just outside. This was the only leg of the journey that we drove and when we return we will fly straight to the crocodile camp and start our safari there, as it was very tiring, although we did see plenty of game while in the park. When we arrived at the camp ( all very tired ) we were told that unfortunately one of the generators had broken down and had gone for repair, and therefore there was no hot water, to be honest some people were not very happy but we all just got on with it. We were in a banda and it was beautiful inside and out, overlooking a wide part of the river with elephant drinking on the far side. I had a shower ( which was surprisingly luck warm ) and we soon settled into the safari lifestyle. We found the camp itself to be very well run, the food (all bar one dodgy packed lunch on the 2nd day) to be very good and the atmosphere superb. The only thing that slightly let this place down was the transport that was used while on safari was quite run down, it felt perfectly safe just not the most comfortable that we used. The camp is not called crocodile camp for nothing. Every night the crocodiles get called for dinner, and you can watch them feeding from the safety of the bar area.

Also the pool is very refreshing after a hard game drive I would recommend getting back to camp a bit earlier so you can have a relaxing swim.

While we were in camp we also had an elephant that decided that the grass was definitely greener on this side of the river and he came in every night for a good feed. It was great to watch and the staff handled the situation very well getting people out of the way when needed and not upsetting a very large elephant. Some people who stopped in the tents were a little unsure of the situation but no problems were encountered.

A great experience.


by TripAdvisor Member jambojamboUk

This is now our 13th trip to Kenya but our first with African Safari Club. We found the company to be first class from booking our trip, flight and then to a superb resort in The Dolphin Hotel. The staff at the hotel were excellent and are just there to help and assist and desperately want to make sure that you are having a good time. Would I travel with ASC again - Yes

Afican Safari Club Dissapointing

by TripAdvisor Member Kayakand

We initially booked the Dolphin Hotel. The first room we were given was very poor even to African standards. It clearly had not been cleaned as there was hair from the previous guests on the bed and furniture. The toilet had not been cleaned and was filthy. On the whole the room was to a very poor standard and dirty throughout. We requested a different room and were given one that was cleaner and had recently been painted. I had to take the under-manager to the room to show him the problems. For three days there were power cuts and frequent bouts of no water this meant no showers air con and no flushing toilets. This we though was typical of African utilities until we found out that other parts of the hotel had continual service.

On questioning African Safari Club (ASC) Reps we were told that the problem had been rectified, which it had. For 3 days that is! Another day of no water was the final straw and after 3hours of waiting to get a response from the management we were given a room in the Flamingo. This is the Sister Hotel on the same beach and is effectively part of the ASC complex. The room was better and lasted us to the end of the holiday. The reps seemed to be under considerable pressure from the moment we arrived till the moment we left as there was much dissatisfaction from many of the guests.

Other things that added to the overall dissatisfaction with ASC were.

Vegetarian food was not available unless previously booked at lunchtime. Very often we had to eat very basic carbohydrates because we had not been at the hotel during the day. There is also a problem where food is billed as vegetarian however is made with beef stock. In general they do try to accommodate but have a tendency to let you down on the basics. Be prepared for plenty of files which during the buffets are not kept a bay from the open food. Quite a lot of the guests eat in the small village just outside the hotel food is good and more importantly the Beer is half price that of the hotel.

Another problem which I found very concerning is that the hotel shop sells water which is out of date. At 1 Euro per ltr this if like us you drink 2 ltrs per day each in this climate you will spend 56 euros minimum on your holiday for water that would not be sold in the UK.

I would also recommend that to go on Safari it is far more economic to use one of the many travel advisors (lads) on the beach. Initially there is a mass scramble to talk you into buying anything from key rings, boat trips and carved figures. Once you find an official “travel agent” this can get you a Safari that will cost half as much as the hotel and take you to some of the most wonderful locations in many of the parks. We took two trips from lads on the beach and all they said would happen did. Negotiation is the key and both Michael and (BIG) Jimmy did come up with the goods.

One final thing I would recommend is a brief visit to the Girl Guide Centre which is just out of the hotel and a short walk towards the main highway. Clearly sign posted. This center provides work for disabled girls in the local area and they make garments and items which they sell to support the centre. I am sure they don’t get a lot of visitors and would appreciate anyone who could give them a small donation or buy something from the shop. I learnt signing which caused a lot of laughs.

In general my holiday was a good one despite the poor show from African Safari Club. The people and the location is great and Kenya is a fantastic place to holiday. Generally the “working staff” at the hotels are always pleased to help and provide a good service. I would say “do go”, but with minimal expectations, prepare to complain and budget to spend a lot more than you expect. Kenya needs tourism and it’s a shame that ASC didn’t get their act together at a time when these people need it most.

And last but not least try and get a sail with Sayeed. Wind permitting his Top Cat Catamaran will out sail any of the boats on the beach. Worth knowing as the Arab Dhow’s tend to zig zag a lot! He is a charming man to chat to and will take you to many of the quieter spots or even to the public beach which is well worth a visit.

Excellent staff

by TripAdvisor Member TravelerSlovenia

We (my wife, 8 years old daughter and me) have returned from Dolphin Hotel in Mombasa. We stayed there for 14days.The hotel is on very nice position at beach, but it obviously needs some renovation. As i talked with other guests, we were quite lucky to get well preserved room. Anyway, rooms are clean, mosquito nets have no holes and i must say that staff is excellent. They are always ready to help you with smiles on their faces. They maybe need some more time, but you get everything you want.
The pool is nice and surrounding of the hotel is just lovely. Beach boys are not allowed to come close to hotel, but if you want anything from them, they can arrange you almost everything. They are not so cheap as it seems, but if you are good in bargain, you can get nice souveniers and arrange great safaris or other trips for good price. I rather buy from them ,then give money to African Safari Club that owns hotels , pick lot of money, but do not invest in hotels or pay staff as they deserve.
Food is good, better thenin other hotels in neighbourhood.
Overall we were satisfied and i can recommend Dolphin Hotel.


Hotel Dolphin, MombasaHotel Dolphin, Mombasa

Forum Posts

African Safari Club - Flamingo Beach

by daftpunk

I know there have been sevaral posts about this recently but has anyone been to the Flamingo in the recent past? Any comments/observations/recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,


RE: RE: African Safari Club - Flamingo Beach

by daftpunk

Hi Monika, thanks for your response!


RE: RE: African Safari Club - Flamingo Beach

by daftpunk

Kwalel, thanks for your response but I think you answered a different question!

RE: African Safari Club - Flamingo Beach

by butcher3577

Hi i'm not really answering your question I just want to know if you have been yet and did you enjoy your stay we are going to the paradise beach hotel but there seems to be loads of different reviews about asc but not many about this hotel!

RE: RE: African Safari Club - Flamingo Beach

by daftpunk

Just returned on Saturday and had a great time, although we didn't visit the Paradise. The Flamingo was nice enough and it is true that you get what you pay for but we had a really good time there.

Let me know if you have any specific questions.


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