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“Great stay, will definitely come back!”
Review of Marijani Hotel

Marijani Hotel
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Marijani Hotel
Ranked #15 of 28 Watamu B&B and Inns
Reviewed 7 February 2013

I read some of the negative reviews on this guest house before we booked it, so I was prepared for the worst. But we had no bad experiences and I really enjoyed the atmosphere and our whole stay.

The rooms are very pleasant and it's so great to have the option of cooking your own meals and having a fridge to cool the Tuskers :-) The location is perfect, just a 2 minute walk to the beach in one direction and the shops and restaurants in the other.

The room was clean and the staff was great about cleaning our room and changing the bedding throughout our stay. (We stayed for about a week).

All in all a fantastic budget option for friends, families or couples. I would recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank MissTravelFiend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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7 - 13 of 35 reviews

Reviewed 25 May 2012

Location was great 2 mins to the beach, 2 mins back to centre of town, gardens were lovely, room was clean with big bed and mozzie net, bathroom was fine and place felt very safe and friendly. Tortoises in the gardens were so cute. More of a bar or sitting out area on the roof would have been good.

Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Bethan J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2012 via mobile

Second time visiting Watamu, and a bad experience with dirty room at another guesthouse made me search for something else. That's when I found Marijani which offered us a good price when we come as a big group. What I really like with this place was the feeling of privacy and staying in a house instead of a resort. The whistling parrots amaced me time and again with new tones and sounds. They really were talkative, but could also be silent. I don't know if the owner him self is always around, but if he is, and you would like to have some disco at the house, he easily stand in as a DJ.

If you like, you can chose to make your own food, or you can ask them to make it. They sure got more practice in serving and making food for many people after our visit, but I'm sure it goes more smooth when it's just a few people.

Not all the room has a lock, and some share bathroom. Though, I really felt secure staying there, since they only allowed people staying at the house to enter through the gate.

  • Stayed: March 2012
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1  Thank HopeForLife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2012

Usually I don't like to write negative comments, but in this case I think it's necessary to give my honest opinion. Please note that I am NOT a picky traveller, I am a backpacker and have seen many hotels in Kenya, and this one was my least favorite of all.

Let me start by saying that indeed, the location is great, the rooms are spacious and have just great balconies, and that the breakfast is really good, so no complaints about that.

What bothered me the most was the (lack of) staff. The people with whom I was arranging our stay, I have never even met.

When I sent the money through my phone to the manager, after a while I received it back. When I called the guy to ask what went wrong he said: 'Oh sorry, I was too busy this week to accept the money.' How can you be too busy to accept money from your clients?

And when we arrived, the manager was not there, so instead there was another guy, one of the most annoying people I've met during my 5 month stay. During the day and the night he invited his friends over to hang around at the hotel and just sit there.

Also, he asked my divorced mother where the father was, and why he was not travelling with us. That's none of your business!

He also asked me if he could marry me. I see that he meant this just as a joke, but you just don't say such things to clients.

And then he just hung around us, took a chair, and didn't seem to notice that we preferred to be by ourselves.

I could go on for hours about this guy, but I think I have made my point clear.

This was my main point of critique. Besides there were some smaller things, like:

- the fan really made so much noise that you couldn't go to sleep, and nobody came to fix it

- when we asked for toiletpaper in the morning, the guy promised it would be there in the evening, but it wasn't, because he was probably too busy hanging around with his friends.

- the Yu-Gi-Oh pillowcase gave me the impression that the owner uses her children's old bed linen and towels (which smelled really bad by the way) for the hotel

- there were white (!) stains in on my bed linen

- there is no drinking water available at the hotel, not even for sale. I've seen cheap backpacker's hostels where cold drinking water is offered for free.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll never return (in fact we left earlier than planned), but I realize it's the cheapest you're gonna find in Watamu, and if you're on a budget there might be not many other options.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank DeBommie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2012

Nice and friendly atmosphere with staff who has a personal and warm style. Safe and close to the beach and the village. Very good budget option and reasonably priced. We are a family with two children, 7 and 10 years. We spent 11 nights at Marijani. We had two spacious rooms next to each other on the second floor (room number 6 and 7). The veranda outside the rooms served as an "extra outdoor room", with comfortable daybeds to relax in. Both rooms were equipped with large double beds and mosquito nets. Our ceiling fans did not work well but we had a floor fan in one of the rooms. If you are sensitive to heat make sure before booking they give you a fan that works. Rooms are large and for budget travelers it works fine with extra beds in one room. Some of the rooms on the ground floor is dark and not as airy as the rooms we had. Own safety box in room.
Breakfast was boring, except the fruit, but acceptable because the price is so low. It's fine to ask the staff to purchase special request at an additional cost.
Well-kept garden and really close to the charming village beach, where locals like to swim. Watamu is a nice village and all the beaches are great. Unfortunately, sex tourism and tourists sexual-abuse of minors occurs and the extreme economic disparity is sadly clear. Apart from this dark side, the village is very charming, with many good places to eat and safe even during night time.
Check rates with several actors before you shop, book boat trips and excursions. You have to bargain! Prices are lower farther from the beach and main streets.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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Thank EmmaJanke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2012

We stayed here for a few days over Christmas and had a really lovely time. The guys who run this place are extremely helpful and friendly; they made us feel very welcome. My 4-year old son loved the pet turtle, dogs, cats and dancing parrots and had more than one giggle with the staff.
The rooms were simple, great value for money and kept clean all the time. Breakfast was delicious and they even offered to organize any foods we thought were missing such as yoghurt.
Organizing our stay with the German owners was a piece of cake with very prompt responses.
There were lots of mosquitoes, so do make sure you bring your bug spray. The nets provided were great, and the staff brought us a second new one within minutes so one of us could sleep on the balcony.
The location is great; a stone's throw from the beach and still close enough to shops etc for convenience.
They also helped us to arrange snorkeling trips with Carlos - a very lovely and caring man who made it his business to ensure that we had a good time and that we were doing what we wanted to do as opposed to following some sort of schedule. If you're ever in Watamu, I highly recommend asking around for Carlos if you're interested in doing any trips.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank onceinabluemoonmoi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2012

We stayed at Marijani for 5 nights in December just before Christmas. We arrived after a very long bus journey and our room wasn't ready but they kindly let us use another room to have showers and freshen up. We found the hotel to be very secure, there was always someone watching the gate. The staff were really helpful and friendly, we made some good friends there who we even spent the evenings with. We stayed in the budget room which we found to be clean and comfortable. The staff cleaned our room and changed bed sheets and towels every other day but would have done it everyday if we'd asked. We also hired bikes from them which was a great way to explore the area. The breakfasts were great, especially the fruit platters! If we had any questions there was always someone to ask. At one point we had a problem with our bank account and they were really helpful with this matter.
The hotel is so close to the beach and also to the village so excellently located for whatever you want to do. The only thing that is a shame is that perhaps the owner who isn't there too often could put more effort into the upkeep, although it's a brilliant place to stay it has even further potential. Also if the website were updated business would probably improve greatly. Thank you to the staff for making our stay here so enjoyable.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank esr2505
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Marijani Hotel

Address: Watamu, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Watamu
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 28 B&Bs / Inns in Watamu
Price Range: £36 - £38 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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Also Known As:
Marijani Hotel Kenya/Watamu

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