Papillon Lagoon Reef

Mombasa, Kenya

The hotel

This popular hotel is fantastic value, and it's a very relaxing place to spend a week after the thrills of a safari. The centrepiece of the resort is the lovely freeform swimming pool, complete with the all-essential swim-up bar. Surrounding it are colourful tropical gardens that lead to the famous Diani Beach, considered to be one of the best along the Mombasa coast. Why not watch the sun go down with a drink from the beach bar which is open until late! The kids will also be happy with the selection of activities available, such as table tennis, pool, board games plus beach football and volleyball. You can enjoy a game of tennis and try your free sample scuba dive in the pool.

Amenities

  • Bar
  • Swimming Pool
  • Children's Pool
  • Babysitting service
  • Evening Entertainment
  • Internet Access
  • Beachfront location
  • Tennis
  • Restaurant
  • Scuba Diving
  • Snorkelling

Where is it

On Diani Beach, south Mombasa. Transfer time from Mombasa Airport: 1 hour 30 minutes.

Hotel information

110 Garden, 16 Family and 24 Beachfront Rooms. All with balcony/patio, air-conditioning, ceiling fan, telephone, safe*, hairdryers and mosquito nets. Family Rooms with garden views, sleep maximum 4 adults or 2 adults and 2 children.

All Inclusive of: buffet breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Local alcoholic drinks including beer, spirits and house wine, soft drinks and selected cocktails served by the glass (there is a charge for premium wines, spirits and à la carte meals). Tennis, plus a free pool scuba demonstration and regular evening entertainment.

Garden Rooms are en-suite with shower only, 1 double bed or twin beds and sleep maximum 3 adults or 2 adults and 1 child.

Beachfront Rooms are closer to the sea with lovely views, 4-poster bed, TV, stocked mini-fridge, kettle, shower and bath and sleep maximum 2 adults.

  • Honeymooners: couples receive a bottle of sparkling wine and a fruit platter in their room on arrival. 

Bistro Bar & Restaurant (poolside restaurant offering buffet breakfast, lunch and evening barbecues), Baobab Restaurant (open for buffet dinner). Pool bar and beach bar. Freshwater swimming pool and separate kids' pool. 2 tennis courts. Beach volleyball. PADI dive centre*. Evening entertainment. Indoor kids' play area. Ngutuni overnight safari excursion available*. Laundry service*. Babysitting*. WiFi is availabile in the lobby and guest lounge.

3 nights at all times.

*Denotes local charge.

Ngutuni Excursion option - Price from £150 pp.

Day 1: After an early breakfast depart Papillon Lagoon Reef at 5:15am and drive to Tsavo East National Park. Enter at the Bachuma Gate and proceed on a game drive along the River Circuit to Ngutuni Game Reserve and Ngutuni Lodge. Lunch and then return to Tsavo East for an afternoon game drive returning to the lodge at dusk. Dinner and overnight stay at Ngutuni Lodge. (B/L/D)

Day 2: Early morning game drive in Ngutuni's private 10,000 acre game sanctuary. Return to the lodge for breakfast and then continue to Papillon Lagoon Reef arriving in time for lunch.

Dress code: smart casual for dinner. Men must wear collared shirts, long trousers and shoes in the evening. Breakfast and lunch is casual but modestly covered. Sleeveless t-shirts, vests and swim wear may not be worn, however please feel free to wear t-shirts (with sleeves), shorts and beach wraps.

Rating summary

  • Location Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Sleep Quality Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Rooms Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Service Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Value Image of the Tripadvisor rating
  • Cleanliness Image of the Tripadvisor rating

Traveller rating

  • Excellent (350)
  • Very good (280)
  • Average (75)
  • Poor (22)
  • Terrible (18)
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Just an " okay " stay

Apr 23, 2019 samar14 London, United Kingdom

We stayed for 1 day before our safari and 4 nights after, and to be honest that was enough for us as in this time we had 3 different rooms. The first night we stayed in a Garden room which was quite dark and very dated. The water in the shower was just a trickle , so had to shower in the kids room. Mentioned this to staff so that we didn't get the… Read more
We stayed for 1 day before our safari and 4 nights after, and to be honest that was enough for us as in this time we had 3 different rooms. The first night we stayed in a Garden room which was quite dark and very dated. The water in the shower was just a trickle , so had to shower in the kids room. Mentioned this to staff so that we didn't get the same room after our safari. On our return after much debate , we were upgraded to sea view rooms. We realised quite late that the aircon did not work and the overhead fan was not over the bed. But we were too tired and it was quite late so just went to bed and had a very restless night. By the way the phones don't work in the rooms and if you need anything you have to keep trekking back and forth to the reception. We mentioned the aircon problem 5more times throughout the next day and were reassured it had been fixed each time but it had not . The aircon is switched off from 9am -5pm everyday,We were finally moved at 10.30 pm that night after much arguing to a room with aircon. Having stayed in both rooms , i would recommend upgrading to the Seaview rooms as they have more light , spacious and have a fridge. The 3 meals were good with a variety of European and African/Indian dishes and a hot station.Restaurant staff were lovely and always stopped for a chat asking how our day had been. BBQ night ( i think it was Friday ) was fantastic with a large selection of meats. Drinks were not good, there is a choice of around 6 spirits , juices, beer ,soda and filtered water. Everything is warm , even the juices in the fridge . The soda dispenser served cold in the morning only and most of the soda was flat. there are no diet drinks. You need to ask for ice and this instantly melts in the 40 C heat. There must be a better way to keep the drinks cold. Dinner is served in a different restaurant from breakfast and lunch . We travelled just before Easter where it was 40C during the day and around 30C at night and the humidity felt like 80%. The complex does not have aircon in any public areas and maybe only 2 fans in the large restaurant , but they insist men wear long trousers for dinner whilst women can wear vest tops and hot pants! This is a ridiculous one sided rule . We like to dress for dinner, but could not enjoy our meal as we were sweating so much. The grounds are large and lush and we were always able to find loungers and position them in the shade. There is a beautiful white sand beach and crystal clear water and the beach boys did not bother us too much.There are a few monkeys around so you need to keep an eye on your drinks etc. Wifi was terrible in the lobby and non existent in the rooms I wouldn't stay here again as there needs to be some cool areas to escape the high temperatures. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Family of 15, three generations.

Apr 22, 2019 PaulA4881

Hugely friendly resort with staff prepared to go far beyond just an extra mile. Food always good, sometimes excellent, spacious rooms with very usable bathrooms (water pressure sometimes on the low side, but hey ho). Our fourth trip to Kenya and what marks this place out is the outstanding value for money (in real terms less than our first trip in… Read more
Hugely friendly resort with staff prepared to go far beyond just an extra mile. Food always good, sometimes excellent, spacious rooms with very usable bathrooms (water pressure sometimes on the low side, but hey ho). Our fourth trip to Kenya and what marks this place out is the outstanding value for money (in real terms less than our first trip in the early nineties). Naughty monkeys within the hotel grounds (hide your peanuts, as my nephew discovered) and baboons (probably not friendly). Evening entertainment is predictable African stuff but is timed well to not take over an entire evening. A wonderful family holiday for three generations, some of whom were born in Kenya / Tanzania. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Wonderful Holiday

Apr 22, 2019 SueR960 Woking, United Kingdom

Just arrived home from a truly wonderful 2 week holiday with large family group consisting of adults, old and young, teenagers and kids - 15 people in all. The resort is lovely. The staff can’t do enough for you. Food is good. Never a problem getting sun beds. The sea is warm, beach beautiful, what more could you want. Special thank you to Razik… Read more
Just arrived home from a truly wonderful 2 week holiday with large family group consisting of adults, old and young, teenagers and kids - 15 people in all. The resort is lovely. The staff can’t do enough for you. Food is good. Never a problem getting sun beds. The sea is warm, beach beautiful, what more could you want. Special thank you to Razik (Restaurant Manager) for arranging decorated table and birthday song by entire kitchen and restaurant staff for Nicola’s special birthday, Henry, Ali and Eric for looking after our every need at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Wish we were still there! Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Great Family Holiday destination

Apr 22, 2019 TimAngus Addlestone, United Kingdom

We stayed at Papillon Lagoon for 14 nights during April with a family group of 15. The accommodation comprises of 2 or 4 bed apartments in a single room with either 1 or 2 bathrooms accordingly. The rooms are basic and some are in need of some TLC but everything works and are kept clean daily. If you are into pristine, immaculate finished… Read more
We stayed at Papillon Lagoon for 14 nights during April with a family group of 15. The accommodation comprises of 2 or 4 bed apartments in a single room with either 1 or 2 bathrooms accordingly. The rooms are basic and some are in need of some TLC but everything works and are kept clean daily. If you are into pristine, immaculate finished suites this won’t be the place for you but if you just using as a base they are more than good enough. There is one large pool (and a toddler splash pool) which is a fair size but can be cloudy, this is due to the way it is heating by the shallow water on the patio area and draws in some debris but this really wasn’t a problem and the pool attendance were vigilant in keeping it clean daily. The pool is warm so ideal for kids and there is a swim up bar which they’ll love. The food is varied and of a good standard, as per usual with all inclusive it is cyclical so same stuff will appear over a couple of week holiday but it is all well presented in a clean dining/serving area. Fresh fish and varied meats are always on the menu along with salads & veg dishes. There are themed nights with the bbq night being one of the best. As a large group we asked a lot of the waiting staff and they were excellent in looking after us and were always chatty, polite and would accommodate almost any requirement. Henry and Ali were great as the waiters and Derek and Ben were a cheerful duo as part of the kitchen team. A big highlight is the kitchen guys singing ‘Jambo Bwana’ on a guest birthday night bashing pots and pans and trays or whatever comes to hand! All the other staff are always friendly and love to chat, thankfully for non Swahili speakers English is widely (and very well) spoken. If you do try a few words in Swahili they really appreciate it and are keen to teach any budding linguists so easy to learn some basics. I would recommend excursions are booked through bonafide travel companies. It may cost a little more but the quality of the experience will be worth it. The local breach traders will organise trips and most can be trusted but things like insurance and numbers on excursions are not guaranteed. The beach can be a bit daunting as tourists will be approached but they will leave you alone if you are direct with them. Overall budgets considered it is very good value for money and I would recommend if you want an authentic (and not perfection) experience of East Africa. Read less
Image of the Tripadvisor rating Perfect holidays!

Apr 11, 2019 Ada S Poland

This hotel is suitable if you want to relax. It's surrounded by a nice garden with many monkeys. The beach is beautiful. There is rather no chance to lay on the beach but it's perfect for walking (don't be afraid of beachboys). Pool is clean, there are enough sunbeds around and what's important to me- no music. You can take part in many activities… Read more
This hotel is suitable if you want to relax. It's surrounded by a nice garden with many monkeys. The beach is beautiful. There is rather no chance to lay on the beach but it's perfect for walking (don't be afraid of beachboys). Pool is clean, there are enough sunbeds around and what's important to me- no music. You can take part in many activities during the day- volleyball, boules, water areobics etc. and special shows in the evenings. The food is good...maybe not the best I've ever had but tasty and enough;) The best rooms are with the seaview- keep in mind while booking. I need to say I didn't expect such a good service- everybody is very friendly and helpful- receptionists, waiters, bar service, animation team...I really recommend this place for peaceful holidays! Read less