Review by: Ramsey Johnson & Laura McDonogh

Overall Impressions

Shooting star lodge was a bit below expectations and one transfer was missed. The giraffe centre was not worth visiting, especially after seeing giraffes in the wild. It was like a tiny zoo with 1 enclosure. Too many tourists at a time and $11 entry! I don't remember it being made clear to us at the time of booking that we'd have to pay entry on arrival. Our transfer from so a hotel to JK Nairobi airport didn't show. This caused a bit of a panic but thankfully the hotel staff were able to drive us there and get andbeyond to pay them. We had previously met with Elijah (The man who was supposed to make the transfer) and he was fantastically friendly, but we would like an explanation as to why he didn't show that day.

Countries Visited

Kenya

Very friendly people with exceptional standards of customer service and good English. We loved Kenya.

Tanzania

We only visited zanzibar. The salesman on the beach were suffocating and the culture of some locals seemed a little sexist. There seemed to be a language barrier since English isn't the first language. This resulted in things like paying far more than expected for some drinks and meals, not getting some of the things we ordered at all etc. The 'hakkunah matata' nature of the lifestyle can be nice but not when they don't put the customer first. Jozani forest was a good visit but very expensive.

Accommodation Visited

Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp

Exceptional in every aspect. We wished we'd stayed longer. We left substantial tips to most staff whom dealt with us. We were made to feel totally comfortable at all times and every day was an adventure with new surprises. We'd love to come back in future.

Eka Hotel

Beautiful hotel with very friendly staff and a nice honeymoon touch to the room including wine and rose petals. The buffet lunch and dinner is crazy overpriced at $28 each for a pretty standard selection of food. They have a sort of grill place out the back with more reasonable prices. I just wish that place was advertised more clearly to us when we checked in.

Shooting Star Lodge

As previously mentioned, the language barrier was tricky to work around at times. I am usually very good at speaking to non fluent english speakers, but staff generally didn't seem to care as much as in the previous places we'd stayed. There was a $5 cocktail happy hour at the beach bar (advertised at the hotel bar), so I ordered cocktail after cocktail at the hotel bar assuming I'd get that price, I got the bill for $8 per cocktail. Even after explaining that I misunderstood and it wasn't clear they didn't amend the price. One night we asked for a cup of tea and 30 min later no service. Then when we reminded it was a further 15 min. The room had a foul small at times and it smelled like a drainage problem in the shower.

Staff Review

Claire worked well with our budget demands and we were happy on the whole. I may have liked to compare the all inclusive price of shooting star lodge to the half board (which we had) because we ended up eating lunch there every day and probably ended up spending more. And as above, the giraffe centre was a poor choice which ended up costing us more than expected and more than we felt it was worth. Nonetheless, we came back feeling like we had a proper honeymoon, one that was better than what we'd ever expected. Thank you