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“Great hotel in a beautiful part of the world!”
Review of Hemingways Watamu

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Hemingways Watamu
Ranked #19 of 26 Hotels in Watamu
Certificate of Excellence
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Great hotel in a beautiful part of the world!”
Reviewed 12 November 2011

Hemingways was recommended to us by a friend, and we were not disappointed. Booked through the extremely helpful UK contact, Rosie- we were met at Malindi airport after a tortuous journey from the UK with cold drinks and a comfortable air conditioned van to take us to this wonderful hotel. The service levels were amazingly good- the staff from the MD down were excellent and naturally friendly. The pool area is spotless and the perfect place to relax.You can walk out the hotel onto the beach where you can walk freely without any major hassle from bumsters- yeah ,there are a few but they are friendly and welcoming, and take no thanks for an answer without much ado. There are loads of things to do here and all can be arranged from the hotel. The snorkelling was magnificent. The Dhow sunset trip is a must-do. We visited the Gede Ruins and Malindi, including a visit to the Handicrafts co-operative to buy some carvings. The hotel provided a guide- no cost apart from a tip. The food was overall great- the afternoon tea is the best kept secret- pancakes are exceptional. The half board option is amazingly good value and the drink prices are really low for a hotel like this. We asked to move room as soon as we got there as I prefer a view and a bit more privacy- Om, the operations manager, took care of it personally. They opened the refurbished part early just for us- nothing like opening the curtains in the morning with the bed looking out to the sea!The service here may just be the best we have ever had- nobody had a frown, and there are some real characters among the staff who are allowed to flourish without having to follow some corporate guidelines. Don't come here if you want an all-inclusive experience with crappy entertainment at night- there is none! However, for a truly relaxing stay in a beautiful bit of the world , then you would be hard pushed to find better than Hemingways to provide it.

Room Tip: The refurbished part has nicer rooms and is more private- upstairs have better views
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank jampat69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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251 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (64)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Nairobi, Kenya
2 reviews
Reviewed 4 November 2011

went there with our 10 month old baby and we all loved it! It's a beautiful place with great service. The staff and managers were very helpful and took care of us. Rooms were nice and spacious.
Our baby loved it and she was well looked after too.
Would highly recommend it to anyone..

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sjs_review
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Parker, CO
Level Contributor
491 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 October 2011

Hemingsways Watamu is a beautiful resort on the Indian coast of Kenya. About a 1/2 hr drive south from the Malindi airport, it is well appointed, clean, and the staff are DELIGHTFUL!!!

Rooms are nice with working air conditioning - though you don't always need it. There are 2 pools - both large, warm and very clean. The views are great....it's situated in a cove of sorts with several rock formations not far from shore. They keep the beach nice, and there are showers for rinsing the VERY SALTY water if you take a dip in the ocean. The water is a bit murky, even out at the Watamu Marine Park. Hemingsways has a free boat trip daily to the park, tho you need to pay the Park fee. Snorkeling, again, murky, but saw some GREAT fish including Lionfish, Octopus, and some new friends....as a veteran diver, I've seen a lot...didn't have time to dive, but would have liked to look into it more.

We took 1/2 board which included Breakfast, afternoon tea, and dinner. Mostly a buffer with PLENTY to eat. They do have a dress code, which I was initially put off by, but wasn't bad.

They had sappy entertainment....during dinner on weekend....would have preferred something 'Kenyan'.....

They have a Spa and we did get a great swedish massage for about $35 USD....not a bad price for a good massage.

We also ordered lunch a la carte and the menu was varied and not too expensive for a resort (compared to other resorts I've stayed in). Was a bit disappointed that it did not offer any 'local fare'.

What was also great, was that they had a free 'day room' for folks who needed to check out early but weren't leaving until late in the day....There were lockers for storage and showers...we were able to take advantage of the facitilies most of the day!!

Room Tip: They all seem to all be ocean front, so doubt there is a bad room.
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank WorldTvlerParker_CO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed 27 October 2011

We had such a fabulous time at Hemmingways after a 4 day safari.......the hotel was perfect, on a lovely beach, where you wern't hasstled every 2 seconds by locals as in mombassa....staff were amazing.....100% recommend the kayak tour on the estuary - lots of bird spotting......

Room Tip: The Suites in the older wing are gorgeous - although some come without a balcony, so just check when...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Gemma S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
east africa
Level Contributor
129 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2011

This is a great hotel, great manger, great staff.
I would only suggest they put some kind of carpet under the chair legs in the rooms as when they are moved in a room next door or more so above it is clunky and noisy.
The menu is slightly restricted if you are staying for more than a cople of days but the food is good.
Some good wines at reasonable prices came as a nice surprise.
All in all the best hotel in Watamu / Malindi in my view

  • Stayed October 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kuwinda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derbyshire
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 October 2011

I shall not repeat what previous reviewers have said - only to agree that this is a fabulous place to stay. “Relaxed sophistication ” says the advert and that is exactly what you get.
This is the most friendly hotel have never stayed in both staff and guests. Without exception, the team working there, from managers through to boat crew, pool attendants, room staff and waiters are so amenable and seem to thoroughly enjoy their work. Nothing is too much trouble and will offer a more if they think it will add to your experience.
The reputation of the Fishing is why we booked to go to Hemingway’s and experienced two very successful days in their very capable hands The chef cooked the catch to our liking for our evening meal. It was fabulous.
In addition we joined in on an evening Dow cruise, Snorkelling and a trip to Gede ruins, arranged by the hotel for Hemingway’s guests. These trips too are far from the crowds. I also had a massage in the Spa, which was fantastic.
Drinks, wine and lunches are all reasonably priced, The Spa is also very good value compared to UK prices.
This hotel is a gem on the Kenyan coast and if you have the budget and enjoy a relaxed holiday in a small friendly hotel then this is the place to go. If you enjoy lively, loud “entertainment all inclusive” then maybe, you might want to try somewhere else.

Room Tip: Better views on 1st floor. Ground floor rooms are larger.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Juboash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brighton UK
Level Contributor
50 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 September 2011

From the moment we were collected at the airport to a farewell text message when we finally flew out of Nairobi, everyone at Hemingways made us feel special. It was five years since we'd last stayed there and many of the staff greeted us by name and clearly remembered us. We spiked our stay with two safaris, one to the Mara and the other to Tsavo East, both organised by Hemingways, who also sorted out our internal flights and overnight in Nairobi on the way home – all perfect. Around snorkelling, swimming, shopping in Malindi and the in-house jeweller (bad for the bank balance) and getting great massages plus a pedi and a facial at the spa, we had to do quite a bit of work but free WiFi made it relatively painless – on one particularly busy day, Simon the manager even offered to lend us an extra laptop. Omar's food was lovely and we ate way too much. If you enjoy corporate style, gold taps and ultra-high charges, don't come here. If you prefer genuine comfort and hospitality in a beautiful setting, give it a try. It's excellent value, too.

Room Tip: The old wing, now refurbed and elegant, is more private. In the new wing, the ground floor rooms are...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kate Russell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hemingways Watamu

Property: Hemingways Watamu
Address: P.O. Box 267, Watamu 80202, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Watamu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Family Hotel in Watamu
#7 Luxury Hotel in Watamu
#10 Spa Hotel in Watamu
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Watamu
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Watamu
Hotel Class:5 star — Hemingways Watamu 5*
Number of rooms: 74
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hemingways is nestled on one of the world's top ten beaches and few places can compare for relaxation. Every one of our 74 rooms offers an views of the ocean and the endless white sands of of the Watamu Marine Park. Gentle sea breezes tame the hot equatorial sun keeping the tropical landscape surrounding the gardens, pools and terraces cool and comfortable. Simple yet luxurious this very personal hotel has tradtional thatched roofs, white washed walls and uses bright local materials for decor and furnishings. Friendly helpful service in a relaxed and elegant setting where mobile phones are silent and stress has no place. Our chefs make the best possible use of the abundant offerings of the Indian Ocean, the delicious organic meats and an abundance of home grown fruits and vegetables from our farms. Special diets are happily catered for; let us know what you need. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hemingways Hotel Watamu
Hemingways Hotel Malindi
Hemingways Resort Malindi
Hemingways Watamu Kenya

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