Papillon Lagoon Reef

Address: Diani Beach, Diani, Kenya | 3 star hotel
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This 3 star hotel is located on Diani Beach, Diani.
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    Historical Traveler Reviews Papillon Lagoon Reef Diani

    Very pleasant hotel


    If you know in advance what to expect from this hotel by reading reviews on different website as we did, you won't be disapointed.

    The hotel has superb gardens and the pool is great.The hotel is on the best section of Diani's beach .

    Standard Rooms are quite large, clean and with some character but very basic, particularly the bathroom.I don't think they should be agreed 2 stars in europe .

    The food is good but there is not very much choice but it's kenya isn't it?

    The staff is very kind and efficient the atmosphere is very quiet and relaxing.

    Should recommend for couples but not for families plus family rooms are on the bad side of the hotel.

    A bad point anyway some activities advertised, even in the hotel directory as free, like snorkelling, are not.

    Avoid the glass boat anyway the lagoon is totally dead except a few bunches of coral just facing tne hotel.

    Tired and run down ,lovely beach


    We stayed a week at this hotel following our safari. We were in a beachfront room, the rooms need allot of work they are quite run down with mould growing on the wall and ceiling especially the bathroom.

    The gardens and pool area are lovely, sun lounges were always available, the beach and ocean are lovely, all the water sports were at a cost: snorkelling you had to pay for the boat to take you out to the reef, there was very little to see allot of dead coral and hundreds of large sea urchins, I would advice reef shoes, wind surfing was available however you had to pay for tuition.

    The food and drinks at this hotel were very poor, breakfast and lunch very repetitive and the evening meals where not really worth having, cheap cuts of meat, and not a lot of it. And the only thing I can recommend would be the bread rolls, which I ate for most meals. The drinks were very limited, coke, sprite, orange juice, water and beer. There was also local spirits, and awful cheap wine.

    The only redeeming feature for this hotel is the lovely staff that tried to be friendly and helpful as long as the boss was not around. Otherwise she would be harassing them with her "busy busy chop chop"! How many stars would I give this hotel? Two at most, three and a half stars is laughable.

    Kenyan magic - thanks to this website


    My boyfriend and I have just got back from a brilliant trip to Kenya. We checked everything out on this website before we went and we weren't disappointed.

    Papillon Lagoon Reef Hotel - Diani Beach

    This is a really nice resort - clean, friendly, and the best pool I have ever seen. The swim-up bar is the best bit! It's not too busy here, the pool is always almost empty - apart from 3.30pm every day when the 'animation team' lead a group into water polo! I lazed happily on one of the many sun loungers reading my book, but my boyfriend played every day and loved it. We also met loads of people - something I wasn't sure would happen as we were travelling as a couple.

    The hotel is right on the beach, and though the beach boys are annoying, there really aren't many of them, and the beach is BIG so you can walk alone quite happily. Just ignore them and they get the message. Any hint of friendliness and they won't leave you alone.

    The beach itself is gorgeous - the soft white sand is like velvet and the water is clear and warm. ALTHOUGH there are jellyfish, and my partner and I both got stung. It's not life threatening though.

    The food is good, fresh fish, rice and vegetables every day, as well as the usual pizza, pasta etc. The free drinks aren't great - really beer is the only decent thing, the tonic in the gin and tonics is flat and unsurprisingly the wine isn't that great, but we weren't that bothered. If you walk 2 minutes down the beach there's a great little bar that serves big cocktails.

    We chose Papillon after reading reviews on this site so thanks everyone!


    We went with D M Tours, after so many people on this site said how good they were. I'm SO glad we did our research, as everyone else we passed on safari were in big old minibuses, whereas we were in a group of 4 only, in a 4x4 with 2 roof hatches. Our guide 'Kenya' was also fantastic.

    The 2 lodges we stayed at whilst on safari were also great (and - you guessed it, we picked them after reading reviews here!) Galdessa is stunning. From the minute you arrive, dusty and parched from a long drive and they give you a cold drink and fragrant wet towel, we knew we'd like it. Then we saw our hut. A sumptuous cabin with four poster bed that looks out over the river, which a family of elephants frequent. Oh and a hippo. I barely slept for excitement, listening to the hippo splashing around that night. The food's delicious too.

    The other 'luxury tent' lodge was Severin camp. I didn't like this one as much, though it was fine, but my partner actually preferred it. It is populated with friendly squirrels, and there's a floodlit watering hole and campfire to sit around at night, listening to the masai tell tales.

    All in all, thank you TripAdvisor!

    A Great Holiday!


    My wife and I travelled to Kenya to celebrate our first wedding anniversary and I can say that we were not disapointed. We stayed for 10 nights, 7 at the Beach and 3 on Safari.

    I'll start at the beginning and try to be as short and sweet as possible...

    Before travelling I'd read mixed reviews of Kenya Airways but I can say that the flight was as comfortable as any other 7 hour flight I've ever had. Plenty of drinks and food, service good, and good selection of in flight entertainment to pass the hours. We connected in Nairobi to catch internal flight to Mombasa, a reasonable experience so long as you are booked to go straight through to Mombasa and can head for the transit lounge, if not you have to clear immigration, pick up your cases, then go to another nearby terminal to catch the domestic flight. This didn't take long but I'd suggest you try to book a connecting flight that is soon after the arrival of the main flight, that way you'll avoid the hassle.

    Arrival and transfer was smooth apart from a brief breakdown of our bus when we dropped off another couple, apparently this is not unusual, and not suprised given condition of the roads! H & J along with at least Virgin and Manos use Rhino Safari's as the local tour operators. They met us at the Airport and transferred us via Safari Bus to our hotel. Takes about an hour to Diani Beach so long as you catch the Ferry right. (You have to catch a public ferry to get to the South coast which is an experience itself, it's no holds barred to get a place but thankfully your driver is always well versed in this crossing)

    First impressions of Papillon were good, check in prompt, staff helpful and informative, and plenty of porters to carry your bags even if you don't want them to!

    We had booked a Beach Front room which had an excellent view of the Beach. Room complete with Four Poster Bed + Mosquito Net, stocked Fridge (contents included if you are A.I.), Television, and Safe. Rooms comfortable and well maintained throughout the stay, gladly left the room boy a 500 Ksh tip at the end of the holiday.

    Food at hotel is good. Not excellent, but good. Reasonable choice at every meal, certainly enough for 3 courses at every sitting! Dinner requires long trousers as it's held in a different resturant to Breakfast and Lunch. Generally Dinner dress code is casual so long as you have those full length trousers. Drink is plentiful and measures good. Local beer and spirts all good too, tastes just as good as any UK branded alternative.

    Hotel Gardens are lovely, well maintained and plenty of space for beds, room in the sun for sun worship and room in the shade for the more pasty among us. Beach towels provided by staff situated next to the pool, one per person per day at no cost. Pool is great, swim up bar very handy if you can manage to fight your way through the resident Germans! Animation Staff are friendly and put on a good program every day in and out of the pool. They get plenty of participation in most things, young and old join in which is a testament to the team.

    Our Rep Juma was helpful but as I said he works for Rhino and looks after several UK holiday operators clients so he does get busy. Be patient is best advice I can give.

    Beach is beautiful, just a shame it can't be enjoyed without hassle from beach boys and traders. Whilst it is possible to ignore them, they are pretty persistent so be prepared. Tip if you want to buy anything from them is start your bids very low as they tend to start very high! They thrive on the negotiation, and it can be fun if you are in the right frame of mind.

    We pre-booked our Amboseli Safari so had to check out of the hotel during this. This is no problem and hotel look after your luggage whilst you are off site. Safari was great for animal and non-animal lovers, a real experience. Be prepared for early starts and dusty days. Generally this pales into insignificance when you settle for a beer watching over the waterholes in the evening. We stopped at three lodges, Kilaguni Serena, Amboseli Serena, and Ngutini, all were excellent but preferred Kilaguni and Ngutini as they overlooked Waterholes ans so had lots of animal visitors thoughout the day and night. Food at lodges is equally as good as at Hotel but choice is probably wider.

    In summary I'd say that this hotel and Safari combination was good value and I'd reccomend it to most.

    Our wedding at the Lagoon Reef


    We stayed at the then Lagoon Reef back in September 1992 with my parents and friends. We were married at Fort Jesus, and celebrated our wedding day at the hotel, with a lobster meal in the beachside restaurant in the evening. It was a fantastic holiday. Everything about it, from the beautiful meandering gardens down to the pool, to the monkeys that frequented our balconies every day. We loved the hotel and staff, especially the entertainment team who got us all involved in volleyball, keep fit and anything else they could think of in the pool each day. I cant believe it is 16 years since I was there. We swear we will get back there when we are 25 years married with our children. It looks just as beautiful inthe photos now as it was back then. Thoroughly recommended. (PS is Rasta Bob still the resident taxi driver? long dreadlocks, about 35 years of age?)

    The one place to re-visit!


    well what can i say about the papillion?

    apart from the fact its paradise, i loved it so much ive now been about 5 times!

    its not just the sun and the sea that will make you return to kenya, but the people and the atmosphere are so unbeleivable you will never want to leave.

    i personally think the papillion lagoon reef hotel is by far the best hotel on diani beach the service is fantastic the people and staff are so friendly the food is out of this world it certainly is a once in a life time experience!

    so when you write your list of things to do before you die make sure a visit to kenya is somewere on that list!

    Papillon Lagoon Reef, Diani Beach October 2005


    It was a nice clean hotel, but seemed to be the last on every collection and drop off. Great pool, gardens, sun bathing area and pool bar and the lads who organise the pool sports are excellent, worth getting into if you are getting bored.

    The Hibiscus cottages are stuck right out the back of the complex, whilst they are fine it would definitely be worth getting a room that overlooks the pool or beach. Beach Hawkers are a real pain, but you can swap pens, socks and polo shirts for goods if you want.

    Ali Ba Ba Caves restaurant was a really nice meal out, they will pick you up and drop you off, don't walk the road is a bit iffy at night. There is a local cabby in a silver car who waits in the hotel, he is great and will take you to the best shops (no hassle) and wait/advise why you buy stuff. Snorkelling trips from the hotel are good value and you see loads.

    We liked it-I'm sure you will too


    Much has been written about the hotel, complaints about the staff; the large number of German guests and the food.

    Well, we found the staff to be fine, helpful and polite. If I had to criticise it would be that they pour too large measures of alcohol which is generous but tends to spoil the taste.

    There were during our visit roughly equal proportions of English, French and Germans who all seemed to mix well and play nicely together, it certainly wasn't a problem except everyone speaking in pigeon.

    The pool is beautiful and very clean; the food very good and varied; the rooms fine although a little dated and not overlarge; the entertainment varied and good; the gardens again are lovely.

    The beach is beautiful and whilst the boys can be a pain they are not that bad, certainly not keeping most visitors off the beach. You can really walk for miles without problem.

    One unusual item I noticed was that sleeved shirts and trousers were required for dinner. Nearly all complied with this and I thought it was a nice touch, some guests dressing very well.

    All in all a wonderful location for a holiday-we would certainly go back. Last time we did Club Sun and Sand which was fine but the beach is not nearly as nice and the boys there were really a pain, keeping us off the beach.

    The Great Papillon Lagoon Reef (Kenya)


    Am really lost for words. Papillon Lagoon Reef hotel is way cheap and has the best services ever.

    I have been to other- even better and expensive hotels in Mombasa-Kenya but the saying that cheap is dear does not apply anywhere near this hotel. Their standard of cleaniless is excellent.

    Am planning on a visit again there sometime in June this year.

    If you havent tried this hotel, please make sure you do the next time you visit Africa and the Carribean as well.


    Invasion of the German Kind again!


    The hotel Is very nice and I found the food excellent , the staff wonderful But the biggest problem is that this hotel is manly used by the Germans and it is true about the laying of towels on the loungers. I caught them in a photo at 6.15am before we went on a trip

    TripAdvisor Reviews Papillon Lagoon Reef Diani

    4.00 of 5 stars Excellent

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