Reviews of Fundu Lagoon
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Fundu Lagoon review
Excellent overall - in terms of:
The suite - by far the most magical room of the trip - imagine Robinson Crusoe meets a feng shui designer - really something special!
Everything is built using local materials and chic barefoot luxury pervades the entire resort
Loved the sandy walkways between the main area and all the rooms - it really does feel like the ultimate island getaway
The jetty bar - watching the sunset over the Indian Ocean - so good we did it as often as possible - cocktail in one hand camera in the other
The shop with full internet access - made a change from the previous places we stayed
Snorkelling and relaxing on Misali island - amazing !
But certain areas need improvement
The service - definitely the most average/poor from our trip - English was limited, service often came across as sullen rather than upbeat and everyone we met raised the same comments so it wasnt hard to detect. When we checked in there was no mention of how one was supposed to order things for the room (eg different drinks to those stocked in the bar) and for the whole stay we often felt a bit in the dark in this regard (people we met told us they had "found" the number to call for drinks on our penultimate day - nothing like this was made clear and it should have been upon check in).
The food - portions FAR too small - for all meals. At breakfast for example, if you wanted an egg with more than one piece of toast there was no way of requesting this except to learn (from other disgruntled guests) you had to say"two toast" or "three toast" - there was no mode of actually getting a portion of toast delivered to your table. We met a few guests who found the lunch portions so small that they would eat lunch at the main restaurant and then go up to the pool side bar to have a second one! We all took this tip on board by the end
Honeymoon package - badly handled from start to finish. We met some friends at the resort who had got the honeymoon package which included a dinner on the beach. It had initially frustrated us that despite the hotel being ALL INCLUSIVE if you wanted dinner on the beach you had to pay a further $80 per couple. So we asked the manager - who then informed us two days before we were due to leave that actually he had checked the booking and we WERE entitled to the honeymoon package - but had to rush to do the beach dinner that night, and he then remembered we also had a massage included - so again we had to rush to book this on the last day. None of it relaxing or easy. He gave us some champagne as a thank you but really the whole situation should have been handled in a more slick fashion (and the hotel should realise on a separate note that charging $80 for a beach dinner regardless in an all inclusive resort does not engender goodwill from guests).
Feedback form - from the above you can see that certain things irked us but we despite checking with the manager (when the above honeymoon issue arose) and being assured a feedback form was given nothing was actually offered to us on check out. We checked on the boat and nobody else was given the form - so no wonder there are the above issues as nobody can submit their feedback!
Expert Africa comments
We put the above comments to the manager at Fundu, Hannes. He responded as follows:
Unfortunately those guest arrived under extreme bad weather conditions and were absolutely soaked and freezing cold when they arrived here at Fundu. I tried to make it as comfortable as possible and offered them to go straight to their room to have a hot shower and a change of clothes, which they happily accepted. I said we could do the check in later, when they had settled in. They did on the evening of their second day.
The first language of our Staff is Swahili, with English spoken widely as a second language, but is by no means perfect.
I do believe we have a great standard of service, so I'm a bid surprised about the rating of average to poor, but of course will take it on board to improve the service. The guest did mention to me in a private conversation, that they weren't very impressed with the overall standard of service in Africa and found in particular irritating, that people didn't know when to step back. Our staff are trained not to hover around at the dinner tables and to step back at the bar if necessary. But to be certain, I reminded all my staff. Ms L did comment to me that so far we here at Fundu got the best balance.
We do serve a light lunch, with smaller portions, which goes done well with most of our guest. We do understand that some people have a bigger appetite, so all our guests are made aware of the possibility to order as much as they like.
We do have different offers and packages and some include a private dinner, others not. We do offer private dinners at a cost of US$40 pp, if not incl. of the deal. We did make a mistake with their honeymoon package, but I apologised with a bottle of Champagne and still had 2 full days time to arrange for a private BBQ and His and Hers massage. The fault was certainly ours, but the problems have been solved. On another note, those guests made it clear to me, that everything should be incl. for honeymooners.
We do not have a feedback form, but we do have a guest book at our reservation desk and do ask our guest to leave a note or a comment. For your information, here what they wrote and some other comments of guests leaving the same day.
Thank you for the most stunning end to our honeymoon.
The location is gorgeous, we loved the drinks at the Jetty bar and our suit was something special. Can't wait to come back. H & D.
Hannes, Fundu's manager, then followed this with several other glowing comments from their guestbook. In Expert Africa’s view, such brief glowing tributes reflect the type of comments that are always left in lodge guestbooks … and don’t necessarily indicate the full depth of their true feelings towards a place!
Fundu Lagoon review
We stared well with an up-grade to a superior beach room but wondered how we could possibly do justice to the space !
The room was extremely comfortable even if it did get very hot during the night when the electricity cut out and the fans gave up. It was lovely being able to walk straigjht onto the beach and into the sea although the walk into the sea did get longer and longer as the Spring tides turned to Neaps.
The food was excellent and served with great charm, and the coktails were, well, something else!
Snorkelling from Misali Island was terrific and Simba who acted as a snorkelling guide a couple of times only made the experience more enjoyable.
Dinner on the beach (three times during our 8 night stay) was lovely. We took ourselves into the neighbouring village where we were ably shown round by two boys who climb trees to fetch fresh coconut and introduced us to their school. It was a great place to crash out -- and get active when it was not too hot.
Needs major investment and a complete rethink - looks tired, feels tired.
New management now in place for a few months and have evidently been doing bits and pieces but din't appear to be thinking radically enough, Food depressing - no serious attemt to make use of all the fresh produce and fresh fish around.
Coffee really awful - any restaurant which gives you fake cafetieres at breakfast by pouring coffee from a thermos into a cafetiere really has no business surviving.
A big wake-up call to owners and managers alike if Fundu is to compete, which it ought to be able to given natural advantages of location, diving etc. Contrast with the recently re-done accommodation at Sand Rivers, which we had just come from, really brings home how far behind Fundu has fallen.
Expert Africa comments
Fundu Lagoon replied to these comments, asserting that that these views were not typical of the positive comments that they generally receive.
They commented that they are in the process of upgrading all of their rooms – 10 out of 12 have been done already. They apologised that these guests did stay in one of the two old tents which had not been upgraded, and hence were “not as crisp as the new ones”.
Fundu assured us that their menus are diverse and change daily. They commented that they always have fresh fish as an option, as well as vegetarian and meat selections – and also that they host a weekly beach BBQ with plenty of seafood options.
Fundu did agree entirely with this traveller’s comments on coffee. They assured us that they have already ordered a couple of new Italian coffee machines, which should arrive at the lodge within the next week. They have already removed the flasks in the restaurant and purchased kettles, to provide fresh heated water for any teas.
They apologised, and assured us that they have many repeat guests who are very happy – and hoped that over the next couple of months they would be able to improve our services to an even higher level.
Expert Africa will continue to monitor developments at Fundu: call us for our latest observations.