Papillon Lagoon Reef

4 out of 5 stars4 Stars

Diani Beach, Diani, Kenya
Papillon Lagoon Reef
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Satisfaction Excellent
Very Good

Value Score Average Value

Similarly priced and rated as other 4 star hotels

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Good For Solo
  • Families84
  • Couples87
  • Solo94
  • Business50

More about Papillon Lagoon Reef

Best hotel on Diani Beach

by joolssss about Papillon Lagoon Reef Hotel

Our stay here was fantastic, we wanted for absolutely nothing. It was clean, beautiful and friendly. The service was second to none in all aspects. We were treated like royalty for the whole of our stay. There was entertainment every night, more delicious food than you could ever eat. Everything is being cleaned all the time! I can't think of anything that I wished was here that they didn't have! I would thoroughly recommend this hotel to anyone of any age and with families or friends The food here was briliant, loads of choices for all 3 meals each day, all cooked to perfection, all highly tasty . The staff are absolutely wonderful, they love to help and exchange a few words. The wildlife here is brilliant, there are Colubus monkeys roaming around ( so don't leave your doors open!) monitor Lizards, and beautiful butterflies. The pool is great snd the pool bar means you can be really lazy and not even have to get out when you want a drink! The views of the Indian ocean lapping on the brilliant white sands are phenomenal. There are a few seated areas overlooking the ocean where you can sit and drink the delicious fruit punches, or of course your Tusker beer!

sarongs and soapstone

by joolssss about street sellers

We had a row of market stalls ext to our hotel (papillon lagoon reef) on Diani beach, but there are similar stalls to these all over. There are a wide variety of crafts to buy at a good price if you are prepared to haggle ( go on - its fun!) Most tings are hand made, and anyway they deserve the sell rather than the hotel! We bought 3 sarongs, some masai warriors carved out of wood, a masai club ( from the masai village) wooden animals, soapstone animals and some hand carved keyrings tin the shape of animals with our names on. Oh yeah and a beautiful candle holder the sarongs were 400 KSH (£3), small soapstone animals 150 KSH ,Small wooden animals 200 KSH, masai warriors 500KSH, candle stick 600KSH, keyrings differed from free to 200 KSH

Kenyan Paradise

by evillee about Papillion Lagoon Reef

Beach front hotel complex with the all inclusive option in fantastic landscaped gardens and traditional buildings. Swim up pool bar always a good feature as well as activities throughout the day such as beach volleyball, water polo etc.

We loved it!

by TripAdvisor Member Caz70

We have just returned from Papillon Lagoon Reef and had a fab holiday there. We stayed in a beachfront room which was cleaned to a very high standard with fresh towels every day. The bathroom could do with updating, but so long as it's clean, what does it matter! Ali, the guy cleaning our room couldn't have been more helpful and friendly. In fact we found all the staff from reception staff to gardeners all very friendly, smiley and chatty.

The grounds and public areas are well maintained and the pool very clean. The thatching and architecture of the reception and dining areas are very impressive and exactly what I would expect to see at a Kenyan hotel. The food was excellent, always hot with plenty to choose from. I personally would have preferred slightly more traditional African food, but the hotel has to cater for all guests and they did this well.

It's true that there isn't too much else to do within the hotel itself, other than get involved in the daily activities, but it only takes a bit of initiative to find out what else is around by talking to the guys working at the hotel..Most are happy to advise you of things to do outside of the hotel and welcome this kind of chat.

On the whole, other guests that we spoke to were happy with the hotel, though it was mentioned on more than one occasion that the owner (who was there during our stay) was rather strict, but then again she is trying to make positive changes to the hotel to raise the standards.

Overall, I would definitely stay at the hotel again. It had everything that we needed - clean room and bathroom, good shower, hot wholesome food and friendly staff!

Our third time here and still so wonderful

by TripAdvisor Member JoyBarnet

We have just got back from our Third time staying at Papillon Lagoon Reef and already I'm wishing myself back there. This time we stayed over the New Year and what a fabulous time we had. The hotel is really lovely, the rooms have been upgraded since we were last there and now all have marble floors and showers. Our room was kept spotlessly clean. The staff in the hotel work very hard and everyone including room boys, bar staff, waiters, chefs, animation and even the gardeners will go out of their way to help or assist and are so friendly. We even took christmas presents for old friends that have been there for the last two years. The food is lovely, maybe not to everyones taste but you can always find something that you like as there is a wide variety (try the cottage pie its to die for !!) The stir fry on a Wednesday lunchtime is great too.

For anyone going soon, firstly I'm very jealous but secondly if you have time book a trip to Halla Park where you can actually feed the giraffes - what an experience, there are lots of other animals too that you can see close up - hippos, crocs, buffalo, monkeys and giant tortoises. You can do a half day trip for around $40 per person. We booked with Dr James Bushman on the beach (ask anyone on the beach for Dr Bushman or James and they will point him out. He runs a bona fide company and gives a good service and good value for money.

Finally, I have to say, as always, the monkeys roaming the hotel made it for me, they are so comical. If you don't like monkeys then maybe this isn't the hotel for you.

Our holiday at Papillon was first rate and unforgettable and we will certainly be going back in the future for the 4th time.

Joy Peck Barnet

Nice hotel but not a lot to do!

by TripAdvisor Member Lezza

We have just arrived back from 2 weeks at The PLR hotel. We booked a Garden view room with First Choice holidays. The hotel grounds are very nice and the room we were given was fine (double bed, A/C, ceiling fan, safe and balcony). The hotel is situated in a very secluded area with not much around. The shopping centres were a 10-15 minute drive but even then there is not much to see. We found ourselves to be very restricted to the hotel (very boring) and the beach. The beach is beautiful but it is let down with the fact that there are NO SUN LOUNGERS ANYWHERE and the annoying beach boys. I have never been on holiday where I have looked forward to returning home!

This hotel is not suited for young people or people who like to go out and explore or snorkle in the sea!!!! The ocean was nice and clear but the seaweed that gets washed up onto the beach is disgusting and there were too many sea urchins.

The food was good but did get repetitive towards the end of the 2 weeks and the alcoholic drinks they offer are crap! Only a choice of local spirits (Safari brand). I usually drink vodka but their vodka was not very nice and after the second day I went onto the whisky as I couldn't stand the taste. They only open 1 bar at a time (pool bar during the day) which was a pain because we had a lot of rain whilst there and as there is absolutely nothing to do everybody tries to gather around the tiny pool bar!!!!

If you want bottled drinks they are not included in the AI package and therefore charged to your account.

Whilst there we had the pleasure of having the owner of the resort staying there. She is very unprofessional and treated the staff like slaves. She would talk to guests about other complaining guests and told me that the hotel has a standard letter saying " if you do not like the hotel then find another destination and dont come back!"

She was very strange! She didnt allow the staff to talk to guests which was a real shame as they were all so lovely and helpful. The service of the restaurant staff was excellent.

I would only reccomend this hotel if you enjoy flying 9 hours for staying within the hotel grounds and sundbathing as there really is nothing else to do.

We went on a 2 day safari to Tsavo East which was fantastic but wished we had done a longer one and we also did the Pili Pipa Dolphin Dhow trip which was really good and the seafood lunch was amazing, and of course seeing the dolphins!

I would highly reccomend the Ali Barbor seafood restaurant, we fancied a change so we went there for dinner and the restaurant was in a cave and above you could look up at the sky night. The food was fantastic.

Whilst there the hotel was receiving a few complaints from guests about the rooms (we had room 226 and it was fine) and also learnt that First Choice and Cosmos are not featuring the hotel anymore in their brochures!

As I said the hotel was fine but only if you are only there to sunbathe and I would only reccomend 1 week as 2 weeks was too long.

I hope this helps anybody thinking about booking this hotel. It was nice to experince the Kenyan life but it is a destination that I would not return to!

OK for Lager Louts

by TripAdvisor Member bruno911

We have been to Africa now 5 times and love everything about it.

We booked this trip for my husband's 50th birthday and took our 2 sons aged 22 and 24 (their 1st trip). On arrival the hotel looked fabulous, very african feel and the welcome staff are superb. We were offered a cold drink, but unfortunately not a warm towel as is often the case in Africa.

We were shown to our rooms that were very dimly lighted. As a result it was not obvious straight away that the floor was filthy and was not being swept daily. The towels as soon as you used them began to smell dirty, so were clearly not being laundered properly. The sheets felt damp.

The staff were frightened of the lady who owned the hotel to the point that they would not ask her to turn some lights on and I had to approach her myself! My husband was told off by a member of staff for taking his cup of tea 10 yards from the coffee spot to sit and drink it whilst we attended a Swahili lesson "because the lady who owns the hotel will be cross with you"!

We went on safari for 3 days in the first week and although this was our second time it was still as magical and thank god to get away from the hotel as by now there were a group of people who had breakfast each day and then went to the bar at 10am and that is where they stayed all day. They did not have lunch or dinner and their language was foul.

The staff were typically friendly as are all Africans, the food was very good, but by chance we negotiated a transfer to Travellers Club, a little bit modern and lacking the African feel, but at least it was clean and people did not abuse the free alcohol all day.

That said I would still go back to Africa tomorrow only not to that hotel unless I heard it was under new ownership. It has huge potential, the rooms are spacious, the grounds very interesting, a good beach front, and excellent staff and very good food. I believe talking to the rep that the owner pays very poor wages and I think we as guests suffer, we certainly did not get what we paid for and I think in comparing with other hotels in Africa we have stayed at it does not deserve a 4* rating.

However, do not be put off there are plenty of fabulous hotels in Africa please visit some others and enjoy the ambiance of both the people and the country. It is fabulous.

excellent hotel

by TripAdvisor Member jambosambo

me and my now husband and three children went and we loved it at papillon,we got married there,and they pulled out all the stops for us,myself and carl were over the moon when we saw how lovely our rooms were we had evrything we could of asked for,they made sure that my youngest daughter had freash milk every morning,the food was nice but not enough choice,the grounds was out of this worldand you could walk straight on to the beach,we would recommend this place to any one,we will be going back december 2008,

Generally excellent

by TripAdvisor Member black-cat-79

Just got back from a 2 week stay at Papillon and have to say that we really enjoyed ourselves!

The food was really good, although as with previous reviewers, we found it starting to get repetitive by the end of the fortnight.

The staff were all very friendly - we spoke a lot to a waiter called Dixon who was very interested in life in England.

The room was basic but clean and had everything we needed, no more, no less. The only thing we would mention was the toilet which did smell every time you flushed. Apart from that it was good.

The grounds were lovely - the pool was fantastic and the animation team was probably the best part of the hotel. My husband joined in most, if not all, of the activities on offer - pool volleyball, beach volleyball, water polo, football, etc. The team work really hard and they are great at what they do!

The monkeys were more of an entertainment rather than a nuisance - although the baboons made me nervous due to the size of them! I ended up taking loads of photos of the monkeys. We also saw all sorts of other creatures in and around the hotel - geckos, lizards, beautiful dragonflies, and a toucan paid us a visit one afternoon!

We did a few excursions arranged by the tour operator - a dolphin dhow trip, which was excellent, the Mombasa by Night tour, which was a dhow trip followed by sound and light show at Fort Jesus and a 5 course meal!

Our main trip was the Safari though - we did the 1 night 2 day trip to Voi Wildlife Lodge in Tsavo East. Thoroughly recommend it to all - the lodge is fantastic, we saw lots of animals (although no rhino or cheetah, which is to be expected, apparently). We saw the 6-week old baby elephant, which was really cute, plus a pride of lions which was my personal highlight of the safari. Our guide and driver, Alfie, was excellent, although a little crazy on the roads!

Overall, an excellent holiday, an excellent hotel, which we are recommending to others!

Beautiful Hotel

by TripAdvisor Member Goonermick

This hotel is fantastic! Beautiful, very well cared for tropical gardens with streams and pools with tropical fish. The rooms are not sparkling but cleaned daily and the staff will do anything they can to help with no fuss. We had a four poster with mosquito net, air con, ceiling fan and a balcony with a beautiful view (see photo). The monkeys are an asset to the hotel and a joy to watch and be around.

The swimming pool is big, warm and clean, fun sports and with the swim up bar a perfect place to lose a few hours.

The beach is amazing and the beach boys will hassle you. You can ignore them or talk to them and buy a few souvenirs if you want. Check prices elsewhere before you buy though. They are freindly and they showed us many things in and out of the water of interest we would not have known. It's not for sunbathing though as they would irritate you but for walks is fine.

All the dining areas and bars have lovely settings, are clean and well laid out. The food is good and although usually grilled steak or fish there are sauces and the meat is good quality. There was also roasts with gravy and some African dishes aswell. We could have lasted all day just on the breakfast. Bacon, egg, beans etc.
There's always some sort of evening entertainment aswell which was good.

I was surprised at the drinks and was expecting poor quality but was pleasantly surprised. The beer was 'Tusker' which is the one and only Kenyan beer and very good. I've had a lot worse spirits in Spain and Greece. Thought they were good too.

The staff were brilliant. Always happy and ready to help in any way. They all greet you and are very cheerful and freindly. They also very much appreciate gifts as well as or instead of tips - t-shirts, shoes, pens, paper etc.

You must do a Safari. We stayed at Tsavo East, West and Amboseli. All very different terrains with the most spectacular sights at Amboseli. All lodges excellent.

You must appreciate the fact that there is a lot of poverty in this country and to moan about minor things in my opinion is an insult to them. It's not going to be the standard of a Mayfair hotel but does have excellent standards with genuinely freindly people.

This is a once in a lifetime holiday - amazing - I'm going to try and make it a twice in a lifetime holiday!!!

Forum Posts

Papillon Lagoon Reef - Mombasa

by richard6470

Have any of you intrepid globetrotters stayed at the above hotel. I might be going in May so a little info would be apreciated.
Many thanks

Re: Papillon Lagoon Reef - Mombasa

by lindacole

stayed there last year. its pretty good, clean comfortable, loads to do, good food, nice pool. staff are great. bear in mind it is a resort hotel and therefore full of package tourists, ferried in and out every week by coach.

its located at the end of Diani Beach so feels quite out of the way compared to the other resort hotels. beware the many beach boys/hawkers that lurk about by the steps down to the beach. they are a total nuisance (especially if you are a female traveller). they made spending any time on the beach a bit of a nightmare. the hawkers will not leave you alone until you have purchased something, therefore my advice something on your first day. i foolishly left it until almost the end of the holiday and got hassled every time i went near the beach. once i had purchased something they didn't hassle me, just smiled and left me to enjoy the beach (unfortunately the beach boys are not so easy to get away from). the hawkers are very well organised and word will get round once you have spent money with them and they wont hassle you.

if you like monkeys then you will love the Papillon. there are loads of them! if you leave your balcony door open you will definitely get monkeys in your room...and they will wreck it. i was laying on the bed one evening and a monkey came into the room, sat on the sideboard and stared at me whilst rifling through my bag! there are also loads of baboons too, they live mainly out by the road and its fun to go and watch them arounf 4pm as they scuttle to and fro.

if you want any further info then message me

Papillion Lagoon Reef

by newton2195

Anybody stayed there?

Re: Papillion Lagoon Reef

by dreams200

we've booked there in four weeks time. did u enjoy it?

Re: Papillion Lagoon Reef

by kayr

Wonderful resort - I'd recommend this to anyone. Beautiful site, lots of character and first class food. Every single member of staff couldn't do enough to make us welcome and confortable and never passed without a smile and a friendly greeting.


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 Papillon Lagoon Reef

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Papillon Lagoon Reef Diani
Papillon Lagoon Reef Hotel Diani

Address: Diani Beach, Diani, Kenya