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Barracuda Inn
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Reviews (1,164)
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Reviewed 29 October 2012

The first thing to know is that this is Italian owned and run. All the guests are Italian, the food is Italian, the Kenyan staff speak Italian and all the information is in Italian. So if you are not Italian, you may feel out of place. Rooms were quite nice, with nice terraces, and A/C was good. Food was a bit disappointing, less than you'd expect at an Italian place. Staff were mostly nice and there is a nice sundeck and pool. The beach was covered in seaweed, as were all beaches in Watamu, so sunbathing or swimming is best left to hotel pools. And the beach boys are ready to pounce as soon as you step off of hotel property.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled solo
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Thank trebex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2012

We chose the Barracuda Inn because of its location overlooking the Blue Lagoon. We also wanted to be able to swim at any tide. The comfortable, air-conditioned room had a sea view. The food, unsurprisingly given this place is run by Italians, was amazing in its quality and choice. At one end of the buffet table there were groaning boards of fresh salads. For example every night there was a platter of grilled aubergines and next to it a huge dish piled high with sliced avocados; nearby was one with tomatoes sliced thin layered with mozzarella. In the middle of the table were freshly baked focaccia, pizzas and pasta. Breakfasts were equally opulent. In the afternoon tea and coffee were served in the lobby accompanied by these delicious Italian biscuits.

What I didn’t like about the hotel was the fact that we had to settle our bill daily. This involved a 10-minute walk to the ATM in the village. The cost of Wi-fi was quite steep, and there was a separate charge for each device.

In general I wished we hadn’t stayed here for more important reasons. I don’t think the employees were treated very well. For example, staff members told us they often worked 13-hour days and that they were laid off for months without pay when the hotel was slow or closed. To be fair, this appears to be a common practice among the Watamu resorts and perhaps elsewhere in Kenya. The service was attentive to the point of servile, which made us uncomfortable.

We also learned that foreign developers had bought up prime beachfront locations from impoverished residents and then made the beaches private so the natives couldn’t use them. We didn’t find out about these things until the day before we left so it was pointless to move.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Uplyme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2010

I was there in the Barracuda Inn Hotel with my family and my friends.

The hotel itself is beautiful, clean and pleasantly quiet, and the people there made a very nice atmosphere.

we did with abdul (a beachboy) a three-day safari tour. They were very honest and reliable. It was a big and interesting adventure. The many different animals, lions, elephants, zebras that we have seen, were very admirable.
The ride with abdul and our driver Ali was very entertaining. I felt like in the movie the lion king! :)

The animators in the hotel david, nesta and haron entertained the guests day and night with their special African and interesting art. It was really funny.
About the service, georg was a very very entertaining and nice person, for the animation he would be really good. Even Narris the cook was so sweet and nice.
I could list many more names, with positive aspects, because they have all this special friendly art.

It is certainly not my last visit in Africa and in the Hotel Barracuda Inn!
We thank everyone for the good animation, the wonderful meals every day and mostly for unforgettable time!

Julia, Simona, Ketrin, Manuel, Leya, Zekya

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank JuliiK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2010

My husband and I came back recently from our beautiful trip to Kenya. We were at the Barracuda Inn for 12 days. The location of the hotel is wonderful, crystal clean warm ocean water, calm and beautiful bay, the sand is clean and powder like, you can actually walk all the Watamu coastline from this location, enjoying all the beauty between land and sea, beautiful native palm trees, small green islands in the in front of the coast. Watamu is the best area to stay in, we had family stay in Malindi and although their hotel was great, the water there is brown because the river flows directly in that area, so the water is always murky and it is open ocean there, so if you are planning to stay in Kenya, I suggest Watamu, or, I also heard that Diani beach is also beautuful (in mombasa). The Barracuda Inn was a great disapointment, especially since we selected this hotel from the reviews in trip advisor, we travel 4 to 5 times per year and always use trip advsisor and most of the time, 96%, the reviews are right on, however, this time it was different. The hotel is VERY poorly run in all aspects, the food was terrible, in fact new year's eve several people including us got really sick, I was sick for 5 days from the food at the hotel, as a matter of fact we ended up eating out every night. They recycle all of the food, so whatever you do not eat at noon they will mix it and re-mix it with something else the next day and the day after that. The service is very bad, the poor africans who work there are basically training themselves, the manager of the hotel was always out with his family on the beach, or at the bar of the hotel, he was just another tourist with his entire family enjoing his vacation", the staff was running around not knowing what to do, or doing nothing at all. Every time we would come to him and ask something or complin is answer was that he is only 50% owner and that he could not make all the decisions. If you wanted to eat at the bar, there was nothing to eat except old pizza and fish with chips, everyday the same thing. The common areas of the hotel were quite dirty. The staff at the front desk, compleatly useless, we ended up having to go outside of the hotel to ask around, and we had to get our own cell African cell phone to call taxis and make reservations to restaurants since they would not do them at the hotel, when they would recomend a place to eat and make a phone call, they did it because they would have an agreement with the owner of that particular restaurant regardless of the quality. The rooms are big, which is nice, but very outdated, everything old. The bed mattress was warn to the point that it would sink in the middle. The room was always very clean though. The AC did not work, although they changed it ( a miracle) but it was so old that the noise made it hard for us to have it on. Everything you eat at the hotel is old, and is always the same, as a matter of fact, the last day we had our breakfast I had some milk with my coffee and the milk was so old it had rotten, I took a picture, we could not believe it! The manager obviously was nowhere to be found. A better quality hotel (not great, but at least better) is the Aquarious hotel next door to the Barracuda. The other hotel we saw was nicer and well recommended by the guests was the Hemingway Hotel. Kenya is wonderful, lots of poverty and people asking for money every minute of the day, as you walk on all beaches you will be asked for money 24-7. That is the way the country is and it was ok for us, but the hotel, being the place where you eat and sleep and enjoy since there is really nothing else because it is s very undeveloped country so your hotel is the main source for many of your daily activities unless you are on tour somewhere. By the way, DO NOT buy the safari trip or any other activity from the hotel agency, they charge between 50 and 100 euros more for bad service, you are better off using the "beach boys" or agencies outside the hotel. I highly recommend Paparemo Beach, you have to make reservations in advance if you are there in high season, they have a great restaurant on the beach, with sun bathing area, very well serviced, beautiful beach on Crystal Bay, next to Watamu, a 10 min. taxi ride from the hotel. Hope this info helps--

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank KarlotaItalyandLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2009

As 2 independant travelling UK ladies, we chose the Barracuda Inn as our last stop off point during a recent tour of Kenya.
What a haven this turned out to be!
The bungalow rooms were fabulous, the comfy beds were massive with lovely clean linen. Everything in the bathroom worked a treat. House keeping was very vigilant and a safe in the room was marvellous!
The location was just idylic, blue seas and sand so white!
The front of house staff were just brilliant and helpful in all respects.
The food is mainly Italian, as it seems to be a big destination for the Italians and a well kept secret.
After a hectic and whirlwind tour of Kenya, Our stay here was just not long enough!!

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with friends
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Thank heater103
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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