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Recent guest reviews

Ths staff were friendly and always willing to help. Although the hotel is old but it has been modernized beautifully. The food at the buffet restaurant was great and the menu was changed every day. The internet in the rooms needs to be improved as it was non functional in the bathroom and when laying on the bed. The loud music that was played at the Coco beach in the evening will keep you up at when trying to rest from a long trip.

Sarova Whitesands… it is one of the most breathtaking places in Mombasa that we will never forget! We were there to celebrate our birthdays and Sarova team made it unforgettable! Food and drinks were great, really wide selection of international cuisine as well as Kenyan delights, the service team was good and helpful. Our table was with the view of the ocean that was really amazing! Cool breeze from the ocean made us feel relaxed! Palm trees above us hide us from the sun and Lido bar waiters made us feel that we are welcomed here. They are super friendly!!! Fantastic cocktails! Strongly recommend to try Smoky Mary and Amaretto Coffee Tini in Lido Lounge. Absolutely gorgeous place and it is the place just to be!!

My expectations about the resort was met and surpassed too. Lovely staff who did everything from according me early check in after travelling for close to 24 hrs. Great food and a lovely ambience. A great place to be if you want quiet and serenity.

Beautiful resort. the rooms were large spacious and comfortable. not sure why we were not allowed drinks from the fridge when we were all inclusive? The restaurants and buffet area had a great selection daily. Minazi restaurant was wonderful, the staff were very polite and food superb. the pools were lovely and always plenty of sunbeds, enjoyed the daily visits by the cheeky monkeys who entertained everyone. Cocos beach bar was the place to hang out in the evenings. The bar tenders Ian and Esther were attentive funny and always friendly. Even the resident cat Keekee kept us amused. LIdo restaurant was ok but very dark when the sun went down, difficult to see menus and food without a light. lovely waiter Jimmy was always very attentive and very eager to please. Only criticisms are Evening entertainments not good enough and certainly needs improvements and being made to sign a waver when checking in made us feel very uneasy. would highly recommend this hotel

Jambo ! We stayed for 13 nights in Sarova Whitesands early Sept19 – booked with Mercury Holidays in the UK and flying from Manchester using Ethiopian Airways. Mercury and Ethiopian were a pleasant surprise and we would have NO hesitation using them again ( although transit in Addis Ababa was not particularly pleasant. This was our second trip to Mombasa area – this time “just” a beach holiday and Whitesands was a great choice of hotel although I would only book All Inclusive. I always hunt for deals before booking anywhere and found the Mercury/Ethiopian combination £100s less than UK companies using the same selection criteria. I also contacted Whitesands direct and found they were most expensive of all (!!!!!! ) and do not offer/quote All Inclusive which was sad despite their price promise. What we found difficult to establish in advance was what the AI did and did not include and we suspect different travel agents negotiate different deals, so I thought it could be useful to reveal what we found during our stay. GUEST SERVICES Were always pleasant and helpful. Particular thanks to Jolinda ( AI contact ). It was surprising the hotel does not offer a travel desk to book excursions or tours – surely this is costing the resort and whole Sarova group substantial revenue ? ROOM We booked a garden facing room – however they did allocate us a UK second ( their 3rd ) floor room facing the quiet pool – this was ideal  The room was large and had all amenities you would expect, was cleaned daily and we did receive daily water in the room. For the first couple of evenings, we had an evening “turn down” and mosquito net set-up service. We do not tip the houseboys till the end of the trip, so maybe they decided to cancel our evening service ? Whilst on the subject, there are surprisingly few bugs and mosquitos on site – maybe due to regular spraying and constant cleaning of the grounds and water features. We did take malaria meds but were NEVER bitten and even tho there was seaweed on the beach, no issue with sand-flies. I suspect we were lucky with time of year so don’t assume you would have the same pleasant experience. BARS Even tho we are not big drinkers – AI meant we could drink hot and cold drinks till midnight in every bar and restaurant - no worries about receiving a big bill at the end of the vacation. Whilst we were limited to those drinks on their special AI list, they were more than adequate for us – especially with a bit of imagination - for example a Shirley Temple ( non-alcoholic cocktail ) with added Malibu is a refreshing cold drink. We never had any issues or queues getting served in any bar. RESTAURANTS. PAVILIONS is the main buffet restaurant. We were disappointed at first as it is by no means fine dining and did not offer the sumptuous spreads we had seen on the internet. Maybe this was the fault of our too-high expectations but it was extremely noisy ( more like a canteen than a high class restaurant ). Luckily after the first few days we lost this feeling, there is a large choice of dishes and the staff, especially the chefs, were always helpful and keen to talk and even prepared a special item for us as it had not appeared so far. THANK YOU Mr Benson….. MINAZI - in contrast, Minazi restaurant far exceeded our expectations  It is open 24X7 and we were able to order ALL items from their extensive menu including, for example 16ox T-bone or ribeye, mixed grill, pasta, pizza, all day breakfast – all freshly cooked to order. The only minor niggle being a repeat failure to deliver small changes to menu or more than one course ordered at the same time – possibly due to not writing the order down at table prior to passing to back of house. LIDO - is their flagship seafood restaurant and a mixed bag. We were given the restricted AI menu – which does not include seafood ???? At lunchtime this was very very good ! We were advised by Guest Services that our AI package included one “special dinner” with a bottle of wine. Before we booked this, we verified it three times as I didn’t want to clock up a substantial bill. On arrival for our evening booking, we had to summon and discuss with the manager before she checked and accepted our package. She then recommended their “Shellebration” seafood platter which we ordered. Unfortunately this turned out to be the worst experience of our whole stay – I had to get a torch from our room to be able to read the menu and see what we were eating. The seafood platter, whilst beautifully presented, was AWFUL  - massively overcooked and probably past it’s sell by date  Funnily, we ate jumbo shrimp and crab from the Pavilions buffet a few days later and these were infinitely better !!! WATER SPORTS Whitesands do not have a dive centre any more although there is choice from hotels nearby. At this time of year, even these were reluctant to venture outside the reef. We had use of Whitesands non-motorised water sports equipment and one free boat trip to snorkel at and visit the exposed reef at low tide. The water sports guys are good ! All visitors to the reef have to purchase a Marine Reserve permit from the nearby Wildlife Service kiosk before being allowed on the boat – this is $17US per day ! I snorkel nearly every day where possible and this would have been a big cost. Actually, the reef is a good hour’s swim out – so I only managed to get there ( and back ) once under my own fin power and once with the above AI trip. The reef itself is still pretty but under barrage from visitors - there were lots of boats on the reef including ones from the nearby public beach and we never saw anyone checking if passengers ( or boat crews ) have purchased permits – I suspect many don’t. ENTERTAINMENT There is a large team of enthusiastic animators – it’s a pity the entertainment package is poor or patchy at best– which I blame on ( lack of ) management. There is a display in the foyer which should show today’s offering but scrolled away after four seconds whilst the TV channel in the room was stuck on the entertainment program for a date 3 months ago. Despite repeated comments, these simple issues were not addressed. Entertainment in the afternoons often did not happen or lasted 10 minutes, the evening entertainment varied in quality and often was very short. Maybe Sarova assume they are mainly catering for clients of their safari lodges who just want to relax after long days in the bush ? I strongly recommend Whitesands bring in someone from outside short-term to set-up a new entertainment program or at least send one of the team outside for a short spell to see the art of the possible and then own the improvements. Such a shame to waste the obvious skill and enthusiasm of the team  GYM AND SPA Even tho our package included 1/2hour massage, we did not use these facilities but they did look to be of a high standard and equipment. BEACH The beach is nice white-ish sand with some weeds brought in by the tide and you can walk miles in either direction along the beach and a long long way out at low tide with a certain amount of attention from beach boys and ladies – although sometimes frustrating, never unpleasant. If you do engage with beach sellers ( or taxis and tuk-tuks ) you should haggle haggle haggle firmly but pleasantly – offering say 20 percent of the start price. I work on the theory, if they are still talking to me, they may well accept my offer but will try to get a little more. If they let me walk away, I could try someone else or come back later. I tell them I don’t take “old clothes” on holiday or take clothes I don’t want ( and if I had would give to more “deserving” people ). The security at Whitesands is very evident yet always cheerful and friendly, guards at every entrance and within the grounds and a big dog and handler patrolling the beach at night. Whilst we never left the immediate vicinity during darkness, we had no issues or concerns getting about by foot or tuk-tuk during the days. We found in the hotel and outside everyone spoke English yet really appreciated simple attempts at Swahili. I would suggest you learn the following – Hi, Hello, Good, Very, No Problem, Yes, No, Thank You, Please, Welcome, Goodbye, Expensive, Friend which you can string together and repeat to huge response and effect. OVERALL This review is intended to provide some of the information we wish we had beforehand and some constructive suggestions which could easily improve an already very good product with at little or no cost. The resort is beautiful in location and internally, the people were invariably helpful and welcoming and work SO hard on maintenance and service. Would we go back to this hotel ? IN A FLASH !!!!! which says it all…… ASANTI SANA SANA……..

The short stay was worth it. Thank you Khadija for an amazing joyful extremely fast check-in. Luke, operations manager thank you too. Special thanks to Chef Benson, Fred and Martha and the F&B team for the service accorded to my ailing husband. The Spa is a great treat and Fridah and the girls are welcoming and great masseurs. Our enjoyed our stay although brief.

Thank you John on the Concierge Desk for going the extra mile for a happy guest, posting a lost hat of sentimental value all the way back to the U.K. That was a great thing to do. We had a lovely holiday too! Best wishes, Humphrey

Staff were all great and very friendly. Particularly jimmy and Timothy at the lido bar, in fact everyone there was great, always happy to see us and engage in good conversation. Wish I could have stayed even longer.

We had a fabulous time at this hotel. The staff were all so friendly and nothing was too much trouble. A special mention to Timothy and Jimmie at the Lido bar who always served us with a smile and were happy to have a chat. The grounds are beautiful and I would 100% recommend this place to others.

Stayed at this fabulous hotel for six nights at the end of our safari. Hotel and grounds are beautiful and very clean and tidy, garden staff are always working hard maintaining the grounds everyday, they do a fantastic job. Food choice was excellent at the buffet and restaurants , good choice of branded drinks on all-inclusive package. Our room was very clean cleaning staff did an excellent job. All the staff are excellent and very friendly,they couldn't do enough for us. A big thank you to Justus who put our pool towels on our sunbeds every morning. Also a big thank you to Benard,Joel,Francis and Lawrence who all gave us excellent service around the pool, they all made our stay a pleasure. All your staff are a credit to you. Would definitely recommend this hotel and will return one day.

Malindi Road, Bamburi Highway Mombasa

Hotel highlights

  • Walking distance to Bamburi Beach
  • Free buffet breakfast
  • Free WiFi in rooms and public areas
  • Free parking

Located within a 5-minute walk of Bamburi Beach, Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa is within 2 miles (3 km) of Nguuni Nature Sanctuary. This 335-room, 4-star hotel welcomes business and leisure travelers with 5 outdoor pools, a full-service spa, and 3 restaurants. Located centrally in Mombasa, it's connected to a shopping center and also close to Leisure Golf Club and City Mall.


Dining

Free buffet breakfast is included with your stay and awaits you each morning from 6:30 AM to 10 AM. This hotel is home to 3 onsite restaurants, perfect for a quick bite to eat. Order from 24-hour room service to satisfy your hunger without leaving your room.


Rooms

An LED TV comes with satellite channels, and guests can stay connected with free WiFi. Memory foam beds sport premium bedding and the bathroom offers free toiletries. Other standard amenities include a balcony, a minibar, and a coffee maker.


Property features

Guests of Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa have access to a full-service spa, 5 outdoor pools, and a children's pool. You can take advantage of free parking, along with an airport shuttle (available 24 hours) for USD 30 per person one-way. The 24-hour front desk has staff standing by to help with luggage storage, tours or tickets, and dry cleaning/laundry. Other amenities at this beach hotel include a fitness center, a spa tub, and a steam room.

Room options

Pool Facing Room

Full 1 | Twin 1 | Sleeps 2

Sea Facing Room

Full 1 | Twin 1 | Sleeps 2

Garden Facing Single Room

Full 1 | Sleeps 1

Pool Facing Single Room

Full 1 | Sleeps 1

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

80.0% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 1693 reviews

Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa

Malindi Road, Bamburi Highway, Mombasa, 80100
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