Pinewood Beach Resort is located on Galu Beach, south of Diani.
Pinewood Beach Resort: Our full report
This Mediterranean-style resort hotel is on the quiet Galu Beach – a stretch of beach south of the main Diani Beach area. It first opened in December 1991 and since then has remained a reliable mid-range option with a couple of different restaurants and room types to suit various modest tastes.
We most recently visited in February 2012 and found Pinewood Beach Resort, as ever, looking well-tended and gently buzzing with activity and a good number of guests. With 130 staff and a max of 116 guests – the service is attentive and well managed but not over the top in anyway.
Pinewood‘s main areas are not spread over a vast amount of space – though it certainly seems to absorb all its guests into various corners so as not to feel congested in anyway.
The main focus of Pinewood Beach Resort is around its rather large curved swimming pool that has plenty of sun-loungers with shades too. In addition there is a fun bar alongside it, where guests can order drinks from within the water. Whilst on the other side people can stay firmly on dry land to have one too. The pool bar open from 9am to 4pm and there is also a jacuzzi here.
Adjacent to the pool is Pinewood Beach Resort’s well-equipped gym - its inside in an air-conditioned room with soft padded flooring and plenty of mirrors on the walls. There are a good variety of weight and cardio machines for people to use.
Down a few steps from the pool is the stunning beach. Here guests will find the fun and rustic Jahazi Bistro and Beach bar set beneath shady palm trees. With simple wooden tables both under a thatched roof and also outdoors, Jahazi serves food at lunch, and drinks into the evening. It is open to the public who also often stop by and add to the buzzy atmosphere. We enjoyed fried calamari with salad and chips when we were here - it was very tasty indeed. With the natural shade of the trees and the cool sea breeze this is a very pleasant place to eat.
Near to here there are also a number of sun loungers and further shade is offered by little thatch umbrellas. These look really neat and blend in nicely with the palm trees that line the property. From the beach it all looks really nice and natural. The energetic might make use of the volleyball net just in front.
The more formal Bahari Restaurant at Pinewood Beach Resort is set up for breakfast and dinner. Whilst the Peponi restaurant is an informal spot by the beach only ever used on themed nights – such as barbeque night or Swahili night.
Near to the Jahazi Bistro by the beach is the well equipped water sports centre - also open to non residents. Here you can arrange snorkeling trips, scuba diving, kite-surfing, wind-surfing and sea Kayaking all of which are an extra cost.
For those who prefer to pamper themselves the Amani Spa offers a variety of beauty treatments, also at an extra cost. The hair salon does wash and blow dries, you can get a manicure of pedicure. There is an extensive menu of massage treatments which take place either in the single or double massage rooms and they have a hydro bath.
Pinewood Beach Resort also has a tennis court and a squash court for people to use – rackets can be borrowed for free.
The 58 rooms at Pinewood are quite large, modern and simple with locally made furniture throughout. The bright cream tiles, white washed walls and blue painted furniture appear quite stylish in their simplicity – it’s a very clean, crisp and uncomplicated finish that we really liked. All of the rooms have WiFi, air conditioning and a ceiling fan, a mini-bar, tea and coffee making facilities, a safe and telephone. They have a balcony for some outside space and mosquito nets around the beds. However there are some differences too and so the rooms can be broken down into the following categories:
- Deluxe Rooms of which there are 36, are a sizable 45 sq metres and are located on the first floor with a view of the gardens (not the sea). They have nice ensuite with toilet, single sink and a shower. Hairdryers are available on request from reception.
- The two Executive Rooms are the same as the Deluxe but located on the first floor which allows for lovely views of the sea.
- There are then 18 Suites which are 90 sq metres, located on the ground floor with a large veranda and lounge – these have a view of the garden and not the sea. They also have a kitchen, where your own chef is on hand to prepare you a private dinner each night. The ensuite has a double shower and a hairdryer is in the room too.
- Then finally the two Executive Suites are the same as the Suites above but have sea views instead of garden views and also have a bathtub.
Our viewWith its pretty gardens, busy and helpful staff, water sports and a beach where you can walk relatively unhassled by beach boys, the Pinewood is a popular destination, especially with British guests. We have visited this well-managed hotel several times and rate it highly for its good value. We haven't yet had a chance to stay, but plan to do so soon.
Ideal length of stay: 6 nights+
Directions: Pinewood is a fifteen-minute transfer from Diani Beach (Ukunda) airport. If you're transferring to or from Mombasa, the Likoni ferry crossing, linking Mombasa Island with the south coast mainland can sometimes add significantly to journey times, especially at rush hours. For Mombasa airport, allow two and a half hours.
Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Half Board
Food quality: We only stopped by for lunch at Pinewood Beach Resort but found our meal to be tasty and fresh. It was not world class gourmet, but the menu looked varied, hearty and delicious.
Pinewood Beach Resort do a have a vegetable garden that guests can visit with the chef to pick fruit and vegetables. The rest they buy locally which explains the freshness.
As we understood it from chatting with the manager, breakfast is usually a buffet served in the Bahari Restaurant. Lunch is then a la carte and served on the beach or by the pool. Dinner is either in the main restaurant or in the suite.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £10-15
Drinks included: Drinks are not included, but prices are reasonable - well below UK pub prices.
Further dining info: Pinewood Beach Resort can also offer b&b and full board. Ask us when you enquite about this hotel.
Beach holidays: Pinewood Beach Resort is located at the quiet, southern end of Diani Beach, known as Galu Beach. Enjoy your beach holiday in peace and maybe take the opportunity learn to dive at the neighbouring Aqualand water sports centre.See more ideas for Beach holidays in Kenya
Attitude towards children: Children of all ages are welcome at Pinewood Beach Resort.
Property’s age restrictions: There are no restrictions.
Special activities & services: Pinewood Beach Resort are able to arrange child-minding from house keeping whom you would pay direct. Though please note that they are not specifically trained in childcare.
Equipment: Pinewood Beach Resort has baby cots and high chairs that guests can use.
Generally recommended for children: Yes.
Notes: Children are the responsibility of their parents at all times and must be kept under supervision.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Power supply notes: Pinewood Beach Resort has a generator back up, which allows for power all the time. The power points here are three UK-style square pins. Multi plug converters are available at reception.
Communications: WiFi is available in the lounge and rooms at Pinewood Beach Resort. There are also two computers here if guests do not have their own devices. Cell phone coverage is good all over the hotel.
TV & radio: There is a TV in the lounge.
Water supply: Mains
Water supply notes: In addition to the mains water, Pinewood Beach Resort collect rain water in a tank under ground and also have well water – this is used for watering the gardens and lawns.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: A doctor from the excellent Diani Beach Hospital is on call for more serious cases. Though there are first aid trained staff members on site for less serious issues.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: Watchmen patrol the grounds by day and night.
Fire safety: Fire extinguishers.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge
Accepted payment on location: All major currencies are accepted. Mastercard and Visa credit cards are accepted with a 4% surcharge.