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Hemingways Watamu
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    Reviews (290)
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    126 - 131 of 290 reviews
    Reviewed 24 January 2014

    We stayed at Hemingways in 2007 and had the best holiday ever and had talked about returning for years. We returned in January 2014 and were disappointed on most levels. The rooms had been refurbished and were comfortable and clean, it was great to be able to sit up in bed and look at the ocean, but there was one small wardrobe with 6 hangers in and absolutely no drawers or shelves to unpack onto - subsequently we asked for more hangers ( received 6) and lived out of our suitcase placed on top of a chair!
    I had emailed Omar about a severe nut allergy I have and received an email back assuring me that he had NOTED it, as he met me in reception upon my arrival in 2007 and guaranteed no nuts would be served whilst I stayed in Hemingways I felt very assured that it would be the same this time. I didn't see Omar on arrival and our first evening meal had hazelnut desert on it. The next day I spoke to reception and they took me to discuss it with the Chef, he brought out my email highlighted with the allergy and apologised for the desert the night before, he then told me Omar was away for 3 weeks and didn't know who replied to the email! No nuts were then on the menu but we were very cautious. The food was not as we remembered and to be honest overall it was very disappointing. The highlights were the fish are group caught freshly cooked and served to our table.
    I talked to the spa about a facial and wasn't convinced that they knew which ingredients were in their products - so I couldn't book anything :(
    Everything seemed very tired, the staff were extremely friendly but lacked the polished service of 2007.

    Room Tip: Facing the Ocean with a balcony for the views
    • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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    2  Thank 331Lesley
    This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Fred K, Manager at Hemingways Watamu, responded to this reviewResponded 3 February 2014

    Thank you for your comments and we are truly sorry that you did not enjoy your holiday with us as much on this visit.

    We did indeed receive your email telling us about your nut allergy and this was received and replied to by Chef Omar on the 6th January; he did not go on his leave until the 15th January.

    On the night of the 14th January, your arrival night, one of the dessert choices on the Table D’ hote Menu was a Chocolate Hazelnut dessert, we agree, but there were alternatives on the menu and it was clearly marked as containing nuts.

    Over the course of the next day, 15th January, I personally met you as did our Sous Chef Johnrick Njape. You explained to us that your nut allergy was extremely serious and that you could not take the chance of any cross contamination at all. As such, we arranged to remove all nuts and products with nuts from the kitchen entirely for the entire length of your stay and I personally checked that this had been done and confirmed it to you. I regret that this had not been done beforehand but we did not realize how strong your allergy was and that we would need to completely remove nuts rather than simply indicate items that contained them. I do apologise.

    I do also regret that you did not enjoy our meals as much as the last time and can only wish that you had let me know this whilst you were still here so that we could have addressed the problem. We received extremely positive remarks on our meals from other returning clients during the period of your holiday and I do regret that you did not feel the same way.

    I am also very sorry that you did not find the shelving and cupboard space in your room spacious enough for your needs. We have made a note of this and will see if there is anything we can do to increase the number of drawers and shelves in these rooms for the future.

    Thank you for your comments; it is only through constructive criticisms such as these that we are able to improve our service and ensure that our future clients will enjoy their stay.

    Best regards,

    Melinda Rees
    Manager

    Report response as inappropriate
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed 21 January 2014

    Strange review as we have not stayed yet.
    Booked to stay in January 2014, but had to cancel due to illness. Sent proof and hotel were fantastic in refunding my deposit even though it was chargeable. Thank you so much!
    Will re-book soon.

    Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
    Thank Jack O
    This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Fred K, Manager at Hemingways Watamu, responded to this reviewResponded 3 February 2014

    Dear Jack,

    Thank you for your kind compliments. Sorry about your illness and we hope you are recovering well. We would be delighted to have you visit us when you are fully recovered. Looking forward to your visit!

    Regards

    Report response as inappropriate
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed 13 January 2014

    As the Beach leg of our Kenyan adventure this hotel more than met our expectations. The location on the Indian Ocean is simply stunning and the activities are plentiful and amazing.
    Renown for it's Deep Sea Fishing, the hotel also works for the Non Fishing visitors like ourselves. The Food is excellent, expertly prepared by Chef Omar and the place has a friendly feel that has long since left many other holiday locations.
    Luxury comes as a norm and the chances are you will be rubbing shoulders with someone famous, however the biggest draw for this hotel/resort is the people. Every member of staff is genuinely pleased to meet you and are the friendliest guys and girls we have ever experienced on holiday. To mention any single one would be remiss but we would say that the ship Belinda and Jeff run is a happy ship and one we feel we want to visit again and again.
    Kenya is a fantastic country to visit and this is a fantastic place to stay when you visit!

    • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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    Thank SkeggyItIsNot
    This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed 22 December 2013

    By far the best holiday experience. The staff were extremely helpful and pleasant. We stayed in the deluxe twin rooms which were clean and comfortable. The food was excellent and we really enjoyed the dinners under the stars. The hotel also organized for our trip to the Bio-Ken Snake Park and the Gedi Ruins and provided complimentary transport to these sites. All in all, a place I would visit again and again

    • Stayed: December 2013
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    Thank Visitor_in_Dar
    This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
    Reviewed 3 December 2013

    Watamu first-timers, we stayed here for three nights late Nov 2013 with our 3 and 6 year old kids. We hope to make this an annual trip.

    Highlights from our stay:
    *Location- Hemingways really has the best location in Watamu: smack dab in the middle of the stretch of beach, clear shallow waters and no waves which is perfect for babies and toddlers. We were content to just lounge and stare out at the turquoise blues and greens of the water. There were surprisingly few beach boys (in late Nov) and those who approached us were no problem. Just next door, there’s an outfit that provides a two hour intro to Stand Up Paddleboarding course. It’s very easy and relaxing, especially in the early morning before the sun is too hot and while the water is very still.

    *Food-We were deciding between Hemingways and another nearby resort (more kid-oriented but with a rep for poor food) and we are so glad we chose Hemingways. Delicious, well-presented food and the only bit of buffet we saw was the lovely cold selection at breakfast (try their Hemingways Muesli porridge) and the 4:00pm tea service. The rest is custom-cooked according to your order. A sample of one of the four-course dinners: tuna carpaccio, chicken consomme, pork, chocolate cake, coffee/tea.

    *Amazing lounging areas- two pools, both with fantastic views of the beach, a grassy lawn with lounge chairs, a shady seating area under coconut trees by the bar, all well-attended by pool staff with piles of white cotton towels for us.

    *Family-friendly. Though they may not have as many kid-focused amenities as the family resort two doors down, the staff were very welcoming to our young ones. The restaurant has a special kids menu (grilled fish with veggies, home made pizza) and a children’s dinner hour 2 hours prior to the adults dinner hour. No game room here, but there’s a comfortable TV room and a library of DVDs and board games at reception.

    *Included perks: With our lodging and half board package we also received complimentary Malindi airport transfers; transport to local sight seeing places (Gede Ruins, Ken Bio Snake Farm, Malindi town for shopping); usage of the hotel’s kayaks; and as much bottled water as we needed. We did not try out the deep sea fishing, dhow cruise or spa, but they were all very tempting.

    *No mozzies! We did not see a single mosquito in our room. We’d requested no insecticide spraying in our room prior to and during our stay. Though you can’t tell from their photos, there is a room-length mosquito net ‘curtain’ on the side of the room with the beds.

    Recommendations for management:
    -if it’s not possible to provide guests with drinking water in glass or recyclable containers, please consider handing out larger plastic bottles to reduce the amount of waste generated.

    Thanks for a wonderful weekend!

    Room Tip: We had a ground level room (142) and it was perfect. We didn't have to schlep up the stairs which was helpful as we would go in and out of our room several times throughout the day (pool to room, lounge chair to room, restaurant to room, beach to room....) You may not have a panoramic view that you might get from the 2nd floor, but everything out your window and patio is a 180 view of paradise.
    • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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    1  Thank Rotagirl2
    This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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