Shanzu-Paradise Beach Hotel
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Historical Traveler Reviews Harmony Ii London
Kenya is fantastic and everyone got a great deal!!!!
I arrived back from Kenya on the 27th May and would just like to say how amazing Kenya was. I know there have been a lot of bad reviews regarding Shanzu Beach Resort but I thought it was fantastic, you just have to know how to make the resort work for you thats all. I think the managment at the Swiss hotel are rubbish and treat their staff very badly, but I think they love working there as the alternative is a lot worse.
Everyone I met during my stay at Shanzu managed to get a very cheap deal so even tho the food was not its best, you could easily afford to eat out every night for around 500 shilling, so for around £4.00 you can get a decent meal. I cannot believe any one could moan about Shanzu considering you cannot get a week to Spain for the price of two weeks in Kenya.
The hotel was very clean and if you tip well you will get a good service. I did hear of a few stories about things getting stolen but I think in one of the instances this couple were lying just to get the insurance money because they left all there cameras and camcorder in the room (not in a safe) and went on Safari, I mean why wouldnt they take their camera and camcorder on Safari for gods sake!!! I think if they weren't pulling a fast one then they were very stupid in not getting a safe. I do know that a camera and camcorder was taken on the way back, probably from Mombasa airport so I would advise that you keep all valuables with you at the airport and not in your luggage, but to be fair theft happens everywhere not just in Kenya.
I would also just like to say that the guys on the beach are quite honest and reliable and I would advise anyone who does want to go on safari to go with the beach boys rather than a company, you can get a better price and if you are a really good haggler then you can pay nothing until you arrive back from safari so your not actually handing any money over before your trip, this way you know your'e not going to get turned over!
Lastly I can say that this was one of the best holidays my daughter and I have ever been on, I met some fantastic people both English and Kenyan and I would recommend Kenya to anyone as trust me they could really do with the tourism! Katie
African safari club never again
we have just returned from shazu beach hotel andwas not sad to leave. t here is no way this hotel is four star.On arrival we had to wait three hours for our luggage to arrive ,we weretold to go for breakfast while we waited, the dining room was disguisting , flies were queing up to go on the bread and the fruit was placed in direct sunlight with no covers on, most people refused to eat in there and chose toeither eat out or in a different hotel,this was much better cleanliness wise but the food was still terrible,fortuanately they did make nice soup , so it was soup and a roll for two weeks.The rooms were very basic but clean,although not everybodys was,everytime you walked through reception someone was complaining,and to be honest ASC management really did not care. This hotel is the first hotel we have been to where you have to pay for sunbeds,water and even eggs.the security was very poor we know of at least three guests who had cameras etc taken from their rooms.This is our fourth visit to kenya and are already planning our fifth but needless to say not with african safari club. kevin & julie plymouth
Good Hotel and Safari (Shame about the Airport)
This is a Swiss owned hotel and is run like clockwork. The strange thing is, though, we didn't see a clock anywhere.
The presentation of the hotel is good. It's kept very clean and the restaurant and bar area, which are near the beach, have been built with interesting timber roofs. (However, there are many steps back up to the main hotel buildings)
We found the food to our liking, there being a good selection of fresh fruit and veg. If you're a chips person, you may not be so happy. The plates are now crockery.
The beach has white sand and is good for swimming at high tide.
The pool is quite large and kept very clean.
The bedroom was O.K. but the furniture was a little spartan. The air-conditioning was efficient but a little noisy.
We found the salty fresh water O.K. for washing, but it's nice to return to cold fresh English water.(but not the winter weather!)
We had a couple of minor room problems, but these were dealt with within minutes.
Of course, the main attractions are the safaris. We took a 3 night special taking in Crocodile Camp, Lake Nakuru with its flamingos, 2 nights at Masai Mara Buffalo Camp and one night at Kimana (Zebra Camp). This included 5 flights in a Twin Otter 20 seater plane and 7 game drives. Quite tiring, but exhilarating.
The camp facilities are very good, even if the water pressure varies according to demand.
Without doubt, the Masai Mara trip is the best, where we got very close to the animals. It's incredible how many species live in harmony. Do visit a Masai village if you have the chance.
Now you do have to fly to get to the best game parks. I believe that guests who travelled by road had a long and sometimes uncomfortable journey. However, the flights can also be fun??, especially when there are afternoon thermals. Also, our guide had to clear the airstrip of zebras before our return flight from Kimana!
The pilots are very good though.
When paying for safaris, you get a much better rate of exchange by paying in Euros or a Euro credit card, since other currencies are converted twice. Prices range from about 500-1000 Euros including game park entry fees (Check on the ASC website). Not cheap, but well worth the experience.
To conclude, the African Safari Club runs a very well-oiled package. Trips and meals were always on time and we saw no significant problems either in the hotel or on safari. You do have to sign for absolutely everything, sometimes even to say you're awake! (Some safari days start at 5.00 a.m.)
Unfortunately, there was a sour note at the end of our holiday. An expensive camera was stolen from our suitcase (with most of our safari pictures) at Mombasa Airport after check-in. (We think that someone was using the security scanner to identify items worth stealing.)
Some other passengers were also being asked for money by the security staff.
We also heard of a visa scam where someone was delayed from returning home by 5 days and had to purchase a new visa. I would therefore recommend that anyone travelling through this airport should hang onto all items of any value (both ways) even if this exceeds the hand luggage weight limit, double check the details on the visa entry card and don't offer any bribes.
Don't Knock ASC-they ain't so bad!
I was a little nervous a few days before flying to Mombasa due to stay at Shanzu Paradise Hotel to read some online reviews-it has taught me to take them with a pinch of salt and wait and see for yourself.
Shanzu Paradise was located on a beautiful setting, beautiful grounds and gardens, super staff full of smiles, rooms were basic but clean with towels and sheets changed daily and a patio overlooking the fabulous pool bar. I think some people's expectations of a 4 star resort are a little high and do not account for the fact that Kenya is a third world country. ASC get knocked for everything from being over controlling and over priced. Prices etc. are generally made known to you before you travel and at the end of the day, for a very good price ASC gets you to beautiufl Kenya where it is up to you then to see and explore the culture and people beyond the resort gates-as any keen traveler would want to do anywhere. We thought the meals were excellent, fresh produce and fish, daily.We booked our safari with a local company STT and had a wonderful driver Julius-we met some wonderful locals in Shanzu, the local village and were glad that ASC enabled us to get to discover Kenya while remaining well looked after and safe in their resort when we chose to be there.
I must admit to being utterly embarrassed by some Westerner's obsession with standard of food-when you go to the local villages and see how little the Kenyans have themsleves.
My first time in Kenya and I would certainly go back and to this resort.
We were lucky
we have just returned from a 4 night stay then followed by a 11 night cruise on the msroyalstar.
I think we were just lucky with our room it was clean and tidy and we had clean towels everyday (due to tipping first day).
but alot were not so lucky, drains flooding there rooms, holes in towels and some smelt like they had never been cleaned!!!!!!!!!
I would not stay there again but would go on the msroyalstar the food was good and you would never think it was the same company.
Kenya is lovely but this hotel not one of the best.
A Disgrace To Kenya
We have just returned from 4 days in Shanzu followed by a 11 day cruise on the MS Royal Star. The Royal Star was pretty good but the Shanzu...words fail me.
The only plus side I can find is the general staff were friendly.
On the downside -
- Food cold and in cases inedible
- Breakfast - pay extra for eggs!!!!
- Management - poor and unwilling to take any responsibility for errors, mistakes or accidents.
- Guest relations - rude and unhelpful.
- Rooms - dirty and in very poor repair.
- Security - ask the 2 couples who had their rooms broken into and the hotel were not interested.
- Organisation - Don't make me laugh!!!!!
This is our 3rd trip to Kenya and we love the country and the people and would cruise again with MS Royal Star (also African Safari owned) but never never never if we have to stay in Shanzu before or after.
African Safari Club
In September this year we went to Kenya for two weeks. We booked a flight/hotel combination with Africa Safari Club. Our 4-day safari was booked locally (much cheaper and just as good as anything you would get elsewhere).
The hotel itself is not bad. It is located in a large tropical garden. The short walk to the beach is nice.
The two pools are nice as well and were never crowded during our stay.
The restaurant is a beautiful building, centrally located. Too bad that they messed it up by putting cheap plastic furniture in. Plates are also plastic!
Rooms were ok, though the beds could have been better and the shower did not work. No one told us in advanced that the hotel showers have salt water...we didn't mind too much but would have liked to know in advanced.
Big LET DOWN was the poor service of African Safari Club. Our 'host' was unfriendly and was everything but enthusiastic about Kenya.
Second big LET DOWN were the prices...they make you pay European prices on the premises - no wonder they try to discouraged people to leave the club.
Kenya is worth seeing...we will definitely return - only never again with ASC!
If you are intersted in some photos or have any other questions, just visit my website at www.travel.vanderschaaff.com
Great Value for money
We stopped in the Paradise beach hotel for 4 nights prior to our 6 night safari and for a further 3 nights afterwards, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
We arrived after a basic but pleasant flight, and a 1/2 hour transfer, it was still early morning and the room was not ready yet, but as our luggage was arriving separately this did not matter and we went for breakfast, within 30 mins our room was ready and we were very happy with everything, we had a lovely view and the room was clean and well kept, with a shower big enough for a hippo! Everything ran very smoothly ( including the safari we booked with them) and the staff are so friendly.
The grounds of the hotel are beautiful and the pool area is big enough never to feel crowded, everything was always kept spotless. The monkeys that have been so badly reported were not a problem at all, it was lovely to see them playing in trees at the front of the hotel, you just have to be sensible and not feed them, (or wave a banana in their faces-!!) The beach area was stunning to look at and because ASC have a private area roped off you don't get bothered by the beach boys all that much.
You sign for everything with African Safari Club which means you don't have to carry around cash which we thought was a great idea, it never caused us a problem at all ( although it is best to carry some small notes around for tipping), I know it has been reported that ASC are out to rip you off but I can honestly say I never felt once that that was the case. A 1 litre bottle of water was 70 or 80 cents (euro) and yes you can buy it cheaper outside the hotel but only slightly and I have never been to a hotel that doesn't inflate the prices. You knew exactly how much things cost and it's your choice. We were advised before departure that all prices were in Euros so we made sure we took enough to cover the bill, this stops you worrying about what exchange rate your getting, as everybody knows these are always worse in hotels than in banks so by taking enough you don't stress yourself and others out. Cocktails were also much cheaper than we have been used to and we felt that everything was very reasonable priced. The whole holiday was considerably cheaper than any others we had looked at, and the facilities were just as good.
We found the food to be good but I am sure it could get repetitive after a while but as we were on safari for six nights there wasn't time for this, the fresh cooked pasta at lunch was great, and we made the most of large pots of tea and coffee in the mornings for breakfast.
In all it was the perfect place to begin and end our trip.
We would return.
This hotel was very nice the rooms are on 3 levels very adequate. I took my own coffee and kettle to make in the room. Alot of people did the same thing.
The food in the resort was alot of like stewy meals. Some are very spicy. There is plenty of it. It could do with being a bit hotter in heat not spice.
The swimming pool is really nice and plenty of sun bathing area and loungers. The trips are a bit expensive but the Safari we went on was really worth it. That was the Red Elephant. I hope this helps a few people to go there.
Hotel is Owned by African Safari Club, located at the North Coast in Shanzu Beach. The beach itself is nice clean turquoise water, the staff, hotel cleanliness and entertainment is above average. I visited Mombasa in Mid June so it was still the rainy season, which meant rough seas, lots of sea weed and thunder storms, the best time to visit Kenya would be December to February. The advantage of going in the rainy season is few tourists, cheap deals and both the beach & pool side is empty.
The hotel is very secure, if you are not staying at the hotel you can't enter it, security guards patrol all entrances and exits so if you have friends who want to visit you then you have to arrange it with reception in advance.
ASC have their own 12 seater cessana aircrafts, the private airstrip is 5 mins away from the hotel, so we flew to Tsavo national park. The aircraft lands right next to the lodge called Crocodile Camp, which was very luxurious. It takes you 30 mins to fly to Tsavo National Park or 6 hours by car, so flying is a very good option, costs approx £120pp.
Mombasa itself is 15 min drive away from the shanzu beach, I hired a car with a driver for £50 a day, he showed us around town, basically places where tour operators wouldn't go.
I has a fab time in mombasa, the safari was amazing, will definately go again.
TripAdvisor Reviews Harmony Ii London
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