Outrageous - This is, by far, the most ridiculous hotel experience I ever had in Kenya! I spend my new years vacation (2013) here with my wife and my mum, and we surely won’t be coming back. Don't expect to be treated as a guest at Kazkazi, but as a prisoner, and for this you will pay 220 USD per person/night (per person not per room!)
Upon arrival, during a 30 minutes monologue, the owners kept us longing for our rooms and some level of privacy, as they were busy informing us how wonderful their place is and how nicely they engage with their staff and local communities. Having finally been allowed to settle in our rooms, the owner informed us of his plans for our new year's eve, which included a “private” dinner with the Norwegian couple that owns the place and a (friendly) family of four (the only other visitors at the time), after which we were to drink a glass of champagne by the beach. This all sounds good, had it not been because it wasn't by choice! We had planned to head south to Diani (20 km from Kaskazi) to meet some friends at a beach party after dinner, but quite simply the Norwegian owner prohibited us from leaving his premises, saying that he was not willing to pay ransom when we would be car-jacked! I have lived in Kenya for more than 3 years, and while there are serious problems with crime in Nairobi and other places, the risk of being car-jacked in Diani is only real to someone affected by fencing himself inside a remote beach house. In effect, we were forced to hang out with the owners all night. This wouldn't have such a disaster had they been a friendly and accommodating couple. But they are not. Especially the husband constantly portrays himself as "the Kenyan expert" - including attempting to lecture my wife, who is born and raised in Kenya, how the country works. He expects all guests to listen and agree with his colonial-style narratives; if not, it will be perceived betrayal of his “hospitality” and you will be treated accordingly.
Even worse, don’t expect that the owners will stick to what has been agreed upon booking: We were informed by email ahead of confirmation that free transport to Diani was included in the price. However, when on the night before leaving I asked how we were to utilize that part of the package, we were told that there was no car available for us since the owners would be using it going on a full-day trip with the other family staying at Kazkazi and that, in any event, the free transport to Diani deal was not applicable to us since we were not flying out of Diani. In other words, the owners would be busy using the car that according to a written agreement should have been used for our transport, and the car may only be used by guests who fly out of Diani, not those who may wish to be taken to Diani and have other travel arrangements from there!!!! This essentially meant we were trapped at their premises, having to bet on a local taxi from Diani being able to find the remote property (fortunately, the taxi driver eventually did so)!
There are many other examples of the outrageous treatment we received at Kazkazi, but one deserves mentioning: My bank had by mistake transferred an additional 440 USD to the actual costs. Prior to arriving, I had accepted the owners’ proposal that they would refund the amount in cash when I got there, rather than doing a bank transfer back to my account. As I asked for the refund on our last night (and thus the last time we would see the owners before they were going on their trip), I was first informed that this was “not their issue”, but that I should speak to one of their staff. I did so, and he told me that he would go get the cash, but he never returned with the cash. Instead the owners came to see us during dinner, and told me that since they were the ones who had first discovered the higher payment, I shouldn’t start believing that I could have them refunded when I asked for it!!! At this point, I honestly had enough of their ridiculousness, and told them to leave us alone for the remaining of the night. While the staff ultimately did make the refund the next morning, it was self-evidently a very unpleasant experience to have my money withheld.
To be fair, the rooms, gardens and pool area are all nice, but all of that doesn't really matter when you are constantly being monitored and ordered to comply with the bizarre orders of the owners.
Stay at Kazkazi if you are happy being treated as a prisoner, not if you are looking for a place where you are actually treated as a guest.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC