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“Great Stay”
Review of Hemingways Watamu

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Hemingways Watamu
Ranked #19 of 26 Hotels in Watamu
Nairobi, Kenya
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great Stay”
Reviewed 4 September 2013

I spent 4 days at Hemingways towards end of August 2013. Everything was excellent , top of the list is the Service, food and the sundowner Dhow. A great place to stay with a loved one. The Marine park is awesome as well

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Vmilewa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 September 2013

I can't fault Hemingways. From arrival to departure (I spent a week there in August for my wedding) every member of staff went above and beyond to ensure that our stay was perfect. The rooms were lovely, the food plentiful and the service 5*.
I hoped the wedding at Hemingways would be amazing but what I got was a truly superb experience. Agnes in the fishing centre was able to organise a fishing trip for 8 of the wedding party as well as a safari for 14 to Satao Camp in Tsavo East. Nothing was too much for her. By the time the wedding party had arrived she had our entire week planned for us and everything prepared - she wasn't even fazed when we turned up 8 hours late due to the Nairobi train being delayed.
Mohammed and his crew on B's Nest made a slow fishing day thoroughly enjoyable and Om in the restaurant made sure that the few fish we did catch were prepared and cooked to perfection for our party.
George on reception looked after us impeccably and Erastus in the fishing centre acted as organiser as well as photographer!
We were very pleased with the knowledge and service offered by Vincent (our trainee guide) whilst we were on safari, his bird knowledge was really excellent.
I would recommend Hemingways to anyone visiting the coast, the venue and staff are a completely unforgettable experience. We already plan to return for our anniversary!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lisa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2013

Really liked staying at hemingways.
Very quiet and yet it has everything for a good break. Great food. Superb service and friendly staff- always smiling and ready to help. The pastry chef- very very good . Would recommend this to anyone wanting a slice of the Kenyan coast with very good ambience, service, food etc. etc, etc.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Archana P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2013

Hemingways was a huge disappointment. Without doubt a glorious location and once, in the midst of time, this hotel was probably a fine establishment. However decades of under investment has left it a shadow of any luxury hotel it may have once been.
The staff are very friendly and the general manager, Melinda, keeps this Titanic on the waves as it sinks slowly...however their tremendous input can not hold away the responsibility of the parent company. This hotel needs a multi million pound refit...NOW....not just one wing brushed up.
On arrival we were booked into the older South wing. Stale older bedrooms with liitle pleasant except the outstanding view of the Ocean. Bathrooms more reminscent of a cheap b&b near Blackpool pier is not what I anticipated.

The pool area needs revamping. I'm not sure how the very good and kind George walks over the 1970's crazy paving safely!
Although I sent back the brown sugar as it was an ants nest...the same ants nest was in the same brown sugar the following day. The original bathroom was as stale as the breakfast cereal.
I'm sorry for the staff, we would certainly have checked out on arrival if Melinda hadn't been so good, but as one of my children said, we have stayed in better Premier Inns!!
Personally I just think they need to manage the expectation of the modern international traveler. I had been sold an experience in a 5* internationally acclaimed hotel. Unfortunately this is a complete mis-respresentation of what I actually received.
I would love to go back one day as I really did love the location and opportunity of big game fishing, but only after a complete revamp of this hotel and continuous good reviews on Tripadvisor - as I agree with so many previous comments , especially Loubreak.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Dominic G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Llanarthney, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 August 2013

We cannot praise Hemmingways, Watamu, enough for the wonderful week we recently spent there celebrating our daughter, Lisa's, wedding to Richard. Everybody at Hemmingways went out of their way to give us a truly memorable and very happy time. The wedding was organised by Agnes at Hemmingways Fishing Centre who was fantastic. Agnes was professional, calm, un-flappable and friendly. Her help was invaluable at every stage of our stay.The wedding day itself was magical and very special, thanks to the care and attention lavished on us by the entire staff but especially by Agnes. Agnes also organised a safari for us to Satao camp in Tsavo which was great fun. We saw wonderful wildlife and the camp itself was luxurious and welcoming. Deep sea fishing arranged for us was extremely enjoyable and we would particularly like to thank Mohamed and his crew for his care with the novices and Stewart and his team for looking after the boys. Although fish were caught the day's highlight was being surrounded by breaching, hump backed whales. What a privilege to see such wildlife close to! Our accommodation was spacious, clean, airy and luxurious. The food was excellent.

Our special thanks must go to George, Mohamed in the restaurant and Vincent, who accompanied us on safari.The three were knowledgeable and helpful in their separate fields.I would thoroughly recommend Hemingways, Watamu to anyone thinking of a Kenyan holiday and especially to anyone thinking of planning a wedding! We will certainly return there for another visit! Thank you everybody there! Definitely one of the best small luxury hotels in the world.

Room Tip: Upstairs rooms have an excellent view of the sea. Downstairs possibly better for children and the le...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank AnneYnyslas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2013

It is difficult to know how this can be included as one of the best small luxury hotels of the world. It is so far away from that description that it is ridiculous. Our room had damp on the walls and the smell that goes with it. The windows were smeared where they had not been properly cleaned, the phone was not working. The building itself was reminiscent of my inner city comprehensive during the 1970s in Lewisham, South East London. We were meant to be here to end a luxurious and very expensive Abercrombie & Kent holiday. The people at the hotel were all fine but were all on a more budget type holiday. There were a group of young American lads on our floor who were doing drugs on the stairwell. The evening meal when we arrived was a buffet and served out of huge steel kettles and on a par with a cheap Indian eat as much as you want lunch buffet with the same atmosphere. We had arrived from a wonderful and luxury safari and the thought of spending a few days here was entirely depressing. I could go on as the place was appalling. Ok for a cheap holiday but not suitable for anything really special. There is no way on earth that this hotel has any resemblance of luxury. It needs investment and updating and someone to reinvigorate some flair and care.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Loubreak
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, 16 August 2013
Dear Loubreak,

We are very sorry that we did not have the chance to show you all that we are able to offer to our clients as you choose to leave the hotel within an hour of your arrival.

August on the coast is the middle of our lowest season. We set an extremely low room rate at this time because we are aware that at this time of year our beaches are not at their best due to the sea grass deposits; the strong winds, high humidity and rain showers force indoor dining rather than our normal terrace settings and we have to have wind and rain breaks set up around the public areas which closes us off a bit. We regret that this was not explained to you by your agent at the time of booking.

The salty air and strong winds also requires window cleaning three times a day at this time, quite a time consuming job for our staff and we do apologise that you found some of the windows with a salt buildup.

We did indeed have a group of 17 people staying with us which was comprised of parents and their teenage children. We have had no reports whatsoever from our security guards; nor from any other clients, that these clients have been noisy or involved in drink or drugs at any point in their stay. Our stair cases are actually open to the main public areas and are clearly visible to both managers and security at all times.

I am truly sorry that you did not like the buffet. We alternate between buffets and normal Table d Hote served menus which may have been more to your taste. We are always willing to make something different for our guests if they let us know that they are not happy with our selection as we are aware that not everything is to everyone’s individual taste. We have actually received two letters from clients staying with us on the night in question congratulating us on the standard and quality of the food served that night.

We are truly sorry that we did not meet your expectations and for this reason we agreed to waive the majority of your payment.

We hope that you will enjoy the remainder of your stay in Kenya at your alternative accommodation.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 6 August 2013

We stayed here after a 7 day Safari and what a visit we had. We cannot thank the staff enough for being so friendly, helpful and giving us a great time. To many to name but George(hotel), George(pool), Hudson hope you got some tuna) and the lady in charge of the fishing/travel department we really brilliant and went beyond the call of duty. We arrived late on the Monday evening, tired and grumpy(well I was) but there was a great reception for us and the restaurant was still open so a good meal and and a beer helped. Unfortunately our eldest son had been ill on safari and he kindly passed it on to his brother. No problem, doctor called and medicine given. we were even given an up grade to a suite so we could have an inter connecting door. The fishing trip we had arranged was postponed and would have been cancelled if the boys had not been fit enough. The fishing trip was something from my "bucket list" and Stewart the captain ensured that I and my two sons caught game fish. Cant say enough about the place apart from we will go back and we would recommend it.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Clive T
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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