Reviews of Pinewood Beach Resort
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
The perfect spot after a safari
Here again we were all delighted with the overall experience --and the sum of the parts was much bigger than the individual parts scored. Bit of a bumpy ride down an unmade road and quite a way from the little town could mean to some an ''excellent' rating. The beach here is mile after mile of perfect white sand but our party tended to congregate around the well laid out pool and adjacent bar and gym. The rooms were large and had a lovely African Art feel to them, the taps/shower were a bit dated and the layout of the hotel meant that only a very few had sea views. The service from the beach bar was sometimes a bit slow but Moses at the pool bar was a true professional .
All the waiters were superb and all the staff were always smiling and happy to greet you. The GM Pamela was outstanding and had a great sense of humour. She also takes any left over suntan cream to an orphanage for Albinos --but that is just part of what she does to help these stigmatised children.
The New Years Eve buffet on the beach was probably the best spread I have seen. Unlimited enormous king prawns, lobster and countless other fish and every meat on the grill including crocodile. The evening buffets in the main restraint were excellent by Kenyan standards but we all agreed the best thing was the chips served from both the beach and pool bar --they were tasty beyond--irresistible !!
Activities --There was a well organised volley ball game in the afternoons and few other things like a dart completion. Plenty to do but at a price --kite surfing scuba deep sea fishing (we caught a dozen smallish tuna and a dorado which they cooked for lunch for us) camel riding and glass bottomed boat and snorkelling.
Gym was adequate and spa tucked away a bit
Crystal Clear Waters of the Indian Ocean
After a week on safari, this was the perfect place to dust ourselves off, cannonball into the pool, soak in the sun, and splash in the Indian Ocean. That water! Those pictures in the magazines are not enhanced. The water is really that beautiful, and the most spectacular I have ever seen, the color indescribable, the clarity like crystal, the beaches pure white.
The Pinewood was adorned with unique and abundant plants and flowers and trees and provided a lush entrance and oasis for birds and monkeys and lizards and geckos. The bar and lobby area were inviting and comfortable and a great spot to read a book, use the internet or watch the television, drink tea or coffee or order a cocktail, and watch the birds over the koi pond and water features. Food was excellent and varied and there were plenty of options for the most finicky eaters. The staff and chefs went out of there way to accommodate requests, and make sure we were all happy and comfortable.
We spent most of our time at the pool because our two young children wanted to do nothing but swim. The pool was beautiful, clean, and refreshing with plenty of lounges. The pool swim up bar was perfect for the girls daily chocolate shake, daddy's local Kenyan brew, and momma's Kenyan Sling. Moses served them all up with a smile, and a bit of fun with the girls. The beach side bar and grill served up fantastic wood fired pizzas, and a large menu to choose from with traditional dishes, fresh seafood, and burgers. Eat on the patio, on the beach, or in the cozy beach couches.
The weather was a bit strange for this time of year due to El Nino, and we received rain in the afternoon on a daily basis. It did not really effect us too much because the mornings were wonderful and sunny. We had breakfast, we went swimming, and enjoyed a good chunk of the day before the rains came. The rains came late afternoon when it was typically time to rest and get cleaned up for dinner. The rains sort of worked on schedule, came and went quickly, and nights were clear for late afternoon and dinner.
This strange weather pattern, however, brought in an out of the ordinary amount of seaweed up and down the coast of Diani Beach and very low tide, which we were told was very uncommon, and a bit unfortunate timing for us, as we did not swim in the ocean or walk the beach as much at the resort. This was not a resort issue, and simply nature at work. The resort staff worked hard to rake up the seaweed and clean the beach daily, so it was always beautiful. We would not let a silly thing like seaweed stop us anyway, and signed up for a snorkeling tour on a glass bottom boat that took us to a gorgeous atoll where there was no seaweed and the most magnificent white beach and clear water, and a gorgeous snorkeling spot, and a perfect place to swim and splash and play in the ocean. I could have stayed on that little beach atoll for days, it was gorgeous. They had many other water activities to choose from like kite surfing, diving, fishing and more, but because our kids are so young we were happy doing the snorkeling and hanging at the pool.
The rooms were very spacious, clean and comfortable beds with absolutely no complaints. The staff was very friendly and went out of their way to make our stay happy and comfortable and always went out of their way to engage with the kids and joke with them. Pamela, the office manager, was exceptional and spent a lot of time with me talking about Kenya, her love for her country and for Diani Beach, and why everyone should come to the coast. I would return and I would recommend others to as well. It is a perfect place to rest and relax after an action packed safari.
Following an outstanding safari ,Pinewood Beach Resort was a welcome location to relax and reflect.
Sadly due to serious drop in visitor numbers because of the ongoing troubles in the north, all be it no evidence apparent throughout our journey, our family of six made up the total of 24 guests. Great for peace and quiet during the day however couldn't create enough atmosphere in the evenings. No fault of the hotels but with a capacity of 120 ish none the less had an impact.
That aside Hotel was clean well cared for with attentive staff and good food. Our suite spacious but lacking imagination and style.
Beginning to look a little tired. All but a couple of suites had views and only potentially overlooking the beach and sea purely down to the orientation of the plot and densely planted narrow grounds.
One dislike was,the always on, large television sited in the main bar and sitting area outside of the restaurant. A small not very comfortable area at best, sadly not conducive to spend any quality time relaxing.
Overall a pleasant time was had, however, no great wow factor which was hoped for and with that in mind would probably not return.
Bit disappointed in Pinewood
Pinewood didn't live up to expectation I'm afraid.
We hadn't realised it was so far removed from Diani Beach itself and felt very isolated. Given that there weren't many other guests here the place felt very souless.
Lots of irritating little niggles and I know we should make allowances because this is Africa but compared with the 'luxury' places we've stayed in Mozambique and Malawi and most recently Zanzibar this didn't compare favourably.
Our suite was lovely and the grounds are beautiful with visiting colobus monkeys and the food was fine. But we were ready to come home.
Expert Africa comments
We're pleased that the family liked their suite and the grounds at the Pinewood and found the food to be up to standard, but we're very sorry that the hotel didn't live up to their overall expectations. It's a relatively modest but in the past very reliable beach hotel in an area that is usually recommended for the very reason that it is some way to the south of the busy parts of Diani Beach itself. We understand that these travellers did raise some of their niggles with the hotel management and the hotel have offered their apologies for any shortcomings they experienced during their stay.
Disappointed with Pinewood
It may seem illogical to describe Pinewood Resort as disappointing but give it a 'good' rating. The reason is that it wasn't our choice - we were moved here by Expert Africa after Foreign Office security warnings about our previous location in Kilifi.
It's a perfectly decent place which might well suit honeymoon couples or those seeking complete relaxation - gorgeous beach, nice pool, attentive service etc. - but, for us, not nearly as enjoyable as Mnarani Club and in a location that wasn't as interesting or attractive as Kilifi. What we did enjoy was the wildlife - beautiful weaver birds nesting beside the restaurant and daily visits from Sykes monkeys (even though one of them made a lightning raid on our lunch).
Like everywhere we went, guest numbers were vanishingly small and this would certainly have affected the ambiance.
Pinewood Beach Resort review
As before.Read more about the whole beach holiday
Pinewood Beach Resort review
We had some problems in this resort and following discussions with management they were very keen to ensure that they would be resolved.
Rooms are spacious. Breakfast area very nice indeed. Dinner and breakfast very good. Lunch is poor. Very clean. Well maintained. And as everywhere in Kenya lovely staff with great sense of humour.
Expert Africa comments
We understand the Pinewood gave these travellers a free upgrade to a suite on checking in and we have raised a number of concerns with the hotel about the condition of the room when they first moved in, to ensure they are not repeated. The hotel has said the suite did require airing, which had not been done that day to avoid monkeys getting in. The Pinewood has not responded to the comment about lunch, but has assured us they made great efforts to make the guests comfortable and happy.
Relaxing and luxurious in a stunning location
If being honest on the whole we wouldn't usually be inclined to take a 'resort' option, but Pinewood was perfect for us, so I am really glad we took up the recommendation. It was small enough it didn't feel over-populated and touristy, but with all the benefits of a resort including the fantastic pool (which amazed us by being largely empty to swim in, not over-crowded with children playing as we feared), huge choice of food for the main meals and various services, bars etc.
We particularly wanted to feedback on the excellent staff who were friendly and helpful without being overbearing. We had relatively complicated arrangements at Pinewood because we were coming and going, and they were hugely helpful with things like packed breakfast for the early start, looking after luggage while we were on safari, and letting us keep our room after we had checked out until our late afternoon departure.
The food was also great, particularly the evening down on the beach for the BBQ and the swahili food evening.
The beach at Pinewood is obviously fantastic and we were able to take walks without being too deterred by the beach boys along the way! Obviously the Diani 'strip' offers a huge number of hotels, and we felt we were in an excellent choice. It is quite far down the beach road, and is on the rockier part where there isn't a tarmacked road, but we didn't have any trouble getting transport up and down, and it felt a bit more out of the way as a result of being further from some of the bigger resort complexes.
We did a fantastic bicycle tour booked through Franklin at the Pinewood and organised by Diani Bicycles down to Kaya Kinondo then around the village/banana and mango trees, which was one of the highlights of the holiday and an absolute bargain for 35 euros for a half day. Pinewood is in a great location to visit Kaya Kinondo which would probably be walkable from the resort and we recommend to any visitor.
Pinewood a perfect chill out after safari
I can hardly fault Pinewood. The staff were outstanding to a man/woman. They were all easily identifiable and went out of their way to greet you and appeared to take a genuine pride in their work.
The white sand beach was very clean and the hotel pool, beach area and gardens were extremely well kept and staff were always available.
The gardens are a particularly attractive feature of Pinewood and the wildlife they attract especially birds are lovely.
The whole hotel has a very good combination of the perfect relaxed beach holiday atmosphere and a very efficient well managed operation.