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“Hemingways hotels should learn from Heritage hotels”
Review of Hemingways Watamu

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Hemingways Watamu
Ranked #19 of 26 Hotels in Watamu
Brussels, Belgium
Level 6 Contributor
120 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Hemingways hotels should learn from Heritage hotels”
Reviewed 8 June 2013

What make an hotel a place of excellence, reason of its 5*, is not only the high quality of its public areas, rooms, services and products; but more important, to keep these high standards in both low and peak seasons ... And there you really figure out the level of exclusivity ... I thought slh understood it, Well not all of them.

First when i checked in i was confirmed the upgrade in deluxe That was included in my reservation ( upon availability) .. Quickly figured out that the south wing was closed and That we were in a superior north wing (checked the pic in hemingway.com) Well, no 1 i don t accept staff lying, no 2 it was Holiday, the room was comfortable with sea view so no fuz... But Still, when, for whatever reason, an upgrade is unavailable, NEVER lie to a client it is the most image destructor.

Then the wifi was not working in the room, i was sûre That the code given was wrong, I kept reapeating to Inocenta (guest relation) the issue, She was always repeating "go on the balcony" the issue was not the signal but the code. After repeating 4 Times with in 24h i decided to ask another front desk member and i was correct, one of the lettre of the code was wrong.. So when a guest is claiming somthing, challenge yourself.

The food experience (dinner menu) was great but too european for me, the F&B manager quickly proposed me to do a special kenyan menu the next day... Wow amayzing mini buffet for us with seafood, Chicken, veggies and coconut Rice... That s an slh!!! However, the dinning room is big, dark and there was spider nets in the lamps (never removed in 3 days) ... That s not an slh. In low season, for dinner, you should arrange the 1st floor in a cosy 15 tables dinning room... Desagreable to eat in a huge room with 10 tables occupied among 30 empty. Also the buffet breakfast was poor and not fresh ( pastries were getting dryer every day.. Low occupency ok, low quality no way!!!) hopefully, you have a big and tasty "a la carte" but then, you wait and wait and wait before it comes ... sherry on the cake, some of the staff was serving themselves drinks from the buffet!!! Not acceptable, without notyfying That the service level of some was really low level ... One put my plate with eggs on my plate full of bread as no place on the table ... Well reorganize the table then!!!

Also, the agency is nice and the activity desk staff is friendly and proposes you a variety of fun stuff to do (a bit overpriced but in kenya the prices are as in Europe). However we had a very bad experience with the crew.. We paid 80 eur for a 2 hours boat tour (fun) and 6 eur for the touktouk transfer to the marina (15 min) when we came Back the entier crew climbed on the touktouk without asking us, result, we were 5 in a touktouk for 2 with no day light and heavy rain on a mud road that was looking like a river and then on a hard road full of trafic... Unacceptable ... I notifies the management of the hotel ( the crew is hotel staff) and i received the 6 eur (i asked it for the principal) and the appologies from the manager on duty .... The fact That it was un appropriate is one thing (and I accepted the cash Back for that as a gesture) but the fact That the staff of the hotel put us at risk is simply unacceptable.

Over all I have been desapointed by this slh, the location is really nice and the pool area as the rooms are very agreable... However some renovations are really needed... In public zones you feel in the 90s ... Kind of ok when the rest follows but with the above i detailed, this hotel deserves 3 stars ... And i am not a client Who enjoy destroying hotels images, I just have high excpectations
Reason Why i am travelling in 4/5 stars places using a lot SLH hotels since start 2013 (was my 6th SLH in 5 months)...

Special thanks to Ken at the pool, Ronald at the bar and the F&B manager

Room Tip: Northwing rooms have a direct view on the Beach and are renovated. If you take a tour by boat in mid...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nekeltje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hemingways C, General Manager at Hemingways Watamu, responded to this review, 13 June 2013
Dear Nekeltje,

Thank you so much for your feedback and we have noted your every sentiment.
Confirmation of room: Thank you for your comments which are much appreciated as it is only with feedback that we are able to improve. We are truly sorry that you did not enjoy your stay with us.
We are extremely sorry if there has been any miscommunication on the issue of your room upgrade; however, 100% of the superior rooms in the hotel are in the South Wing. All 26 rooms in the North Wing are Deluxe rooms and thus an upgrade was provided to you.

Miscommunication by the guest relations officer: We can only apologise for this mistake on the part of our guest relations officer. We have spoken to all of our front office staff and asked them to please double check all the possible reasons for a lack of connection in the future rather than assuming the problem is one of connectivity. Thank you for letting us know of this issue so that we could address it for the future.

Dining experience: We are delighted that our F&B manager was able to arrange a menu that was to your liking and we do hope that you enjoyed it. We have tried to make use of the upstairs first floor in the past for dining when we are quieter. However, due to the makuti (thatched) roof, the upstairs area has no windows or view of any nature and the majority of our clients have requested to sit downstairs where they may see outside despite the larger size of this area.
We have arranged for meals to be served in the Main Bar when we have been very quiet and this has proven popular. I regret that this was not arranged for you on this visit as it may have been t your preference.
Again, we have spoken to our waiting staff about service levels and can only apologise that the standard you received was not up to our normal standard. We are also investigating the pastry issue as we bake fresh every day as a matter of policy and we need to see what has caused this problem.

We can only apologise on this matter. It is totally against the policy of the activity centre to have our crews join our clients in their vehicles and the members of staff responsible have been notified of their mistake and we can assure you that it will not happen again.

We truly regret that you did not enjoy your stay with us and we do hope that you will allow us to show you that we have listened to your comments and improved at some point in the future.
Sincerely,

Melinda Rees
Manager
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250 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)
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English first
Canada
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2013

We came to Hemingways after a busy 6 day safari. It is heavenly. Rooms are large, comfortable and come complete with fresh bouquets of roses every day! Quiet, relaxing ambience with a very attentive, accommodating staff. Meals are fine dining. The beach is so beautiful! We went snorkeling and one member of our foursome went deep sea fishing. Boat, equipment and crew were top-notch. The chef served us the raw yellow fin tuna that had been caught as our appetizer in the bar and the 28 kg Grand Trevalley for our dinner. Both were excellent. Able to explore freely around Watamu on our own. They sent us with a driver and van to shop in Malindi and that was an immense help in finding exactly what we wanted. Would go back in a heartbeat. You can fly into Malinda or arrange with hotel for transport from Mombassa

Room Tip: Ask to be in the new section or on 2nd floor of older section for best views.
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Anne235
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hemingways C, General Manager at Hemingways Watamu, responded to this review, 3 August 2013
Dear Anne,

We are glad you had a great time at Hemingways Watamu.

We enjoyed having you stay with us and we look forward to hosting you again soon.
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Beirut, Lebanon
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 May 2013 via mobile

We were a group of 20 people staying for business.
The staff was very pleasant, supportive and warm.
The food was great. Tasty and lots of variety.
ask for an interesting alcoholic drink called Dawa which means medicine. It has honey. lime and vodka. Special taste.

Their fish appetizers grilled and fried are delicious

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mabika
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hemingways C, General Manager at Hemingways Watamu, responded to this review, 3 August 2013
Dear Mabika,

You were such a lovely group to host. The team had so many good things to say about you as well. Thank you for choosing to stay with us.

Pass our gratitude to the rest of the group and we look forward to hosting you again soon. This time round, Dawa will be at the Sudi Island.
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Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2013

Hemingway's is simply perfect. It is quiet, comfortable and the staff are attentive without being obtrusive. Food is first class. A great place to relax, on a sun bed if that's what you like or just sitting and watching the world go by, at a suitably leisurely pace. Deep sea fishing is very much one of Heningway's raisons d'etre, and although a bit pricey it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many people. Beware - it's addictive!

Room Tip: All rooms are air conditioned and very spacious and comfortable, so not to worry.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Melanie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hemingways C, General Manager at Hemingways Watamu, responded to this review, 3 August 2013
Dear Melanie B,

Thank you for the kind words which we have shard with our team.

We look forward to hosting you again soon.

We keep updating our guests on our facebook and twitter pages so please follow us and we shall keep you updated on what is new.

Facebook page: Hemingways Collection
Twitter page: Hemingwayske
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Nairobi, Kenya
Level 6 Contributor
126 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 May 2013

Great weekend stay at a beautiful hotel. The rooms were large and very clean. The staff was very helpful and attentive and several excursions were included in the price such as a trip to Gede ruins, Malindi town, and Watamu Marine Park. The guides we had for the snorkeling trip to Watamu Marine Park were excellent and we were fortunate to see quite a variety of fish. The food was also very good.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jason L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hemingways C, General Manager at Hemingways Watamu, responded to this review, 3 August 2013
Dear Jason L,

Thank you for the kind words which we have shard with our team.

We look forward to hosting you again soon.

We keep updating our guests on our facebook and twitter pages so please follow us and we shall keep you updated on what is new.

Facebook page: Hemingways Collection
Twitter page: Hemingwayske
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beijing, China
Level 6 Contributor
658 reviews
85 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 326 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2013 via mobile

Beautiful resort in Watamu where rates include large comfortable rooms and breakfast/dinner, plus shuttle to various excursions such as Gede, Malindi, old town, and snorkeling. I thought it was much nicer here than Turtle Bay, though a bit more expensive (for residents). Non-resident price is about the same and quite expensive in both places. Restaurant is international style but delicious.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jon1796
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hemingways C, General Manager at Hemingways Watamu, responded to this review, 3 August 2013
Dear Jon1796,

Thank you for the kind words which we have shared with our team.

We look forward to hosting you again soon.

We keep updating our guests on our facebook and twitter pages so please follow us and we shall keep you updated on what is new.
Facebook page: Hemingways Collection
Twitter page: Hemingwayske
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 24 April 2013

The people who work here made my stay fantastic. From the moment of arrival straight through to departure, the staff were 5 star! The rooms were comfy and rather large. The air conditioning almost worked too well. My friend and I had some enjoyable dinners and the dining staff- Hassan, Erastus, Francis- completely stole the show. The pools, the snorkeling and the ocean kayak were perfect enhancements. A few things I didn't like: the bathrobes in the rooms were a bit thin and reminded me of laboratory coats. Also, the seafood pizza left me feeling underwhelmed. No matter, the view of the warm Indian Ocean, the friendliness of the staff and a comfy bed were all that truly mattered. Thanks for a great time.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Franc O
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 
Also Known As:
Hemingways Hotel Watamu
Hemingways Hotel Malindi
Hemingways Resort Malindi
Hemingways Watamu Kenya

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