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“It's the details that make the difference”
Review of Hemingways Watamu

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Hemingways Watamu
Ranked #19 of 26 Hotels in Watamu
Reviewed 4 April 2014 via mobile

Hemingways provide everything you need when you stay with them. The service is excellent with friendly, attentive staff who always greet you with a warm smile. We were travelling with our six month old and the attention we received was fantastic - right down to the rubber duck in the bath on arrival. We stayed in the spacious Papa suite with views of the ocean. The room was serviced to an impeccable standard. We couldn't rate Hemingways highly enough - you must, must, must stay here!

Stayed: April 2014
Thank Roger N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fred K, E-Commerce Executive at Hemingways Watamu, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2014

Dear Roger,

As you rightly stated, It's the details that make the difference. We are excited that the effort we put into detail culminated in giving you a great experience. We shall continue striving to be better so as to make your next stay one that will evoke wonderful memories for a lifetime. Welcome again!

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99 - 105 of 266 reviews

Reviewed 30 March 2014

We spent a long weekend at Hemingways in March. The setting is fabulous, the snorkeling great and dolphin watching an added extra. The rooms are well appointed with good firm beds - the mosquito net however would not have stopped a blind one winged mozzy - a good three inch gap between the floor and the net. The staff were cordial and the water sports well organised. Food and menu was disappointing.

Only complaint would be the rules - long trousers for dinner, no mobile phones signs everywhere. Perhaps this is why the average age of the guests was around 70, and the internet connection so poor..

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Banking0nlife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2014 via mobile

Awesome as ever. This was our honeymoon hotel in feb 2007. Brought our two daughters for lunch while on holiday at Whitesands. Did notice a lot of changes. The food is still as good as then. The staff are very professional. Shame we didn't get to see Chef Omar and our best waiter George.
Overall, even though we didn't spend the night, we had a good day spent with the girls as they enjoyed the good food and awesome beach and even got to see a marlin brought in for weigh in after a fishing trip. We will be back this time to stay. Regards to Gary Cullen.

Stayed: March 2014
Thank jagem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fred K, E-Commerce Executive at Hemingways Watamu, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2014

Dear Jagem,

It was very nice of you to drop by for lunch. It gives us pleasure to note that you found our service as excellent as it was during your last stay. Chef Omar and George will probably be around on your next visit and will be thrilled to host you again. You are most welcome to stay longer with us next time.

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Reviewed 22 March 2014

A gorgeous hotel and wonderful attention to detail. This is my fourth trip to this coastline and first to Hemingways and it is by far the best hotel along this strip of beach. The rooms are spacious and comfortable. The food is delicious and plentiful and the service amazing. The whole complex is kept immaculately clean and the staff are considerate and blend into the background until needed. Having lived in Kenya for two years now this is by far the best service I have received anywhere. I also used the spa and the massage was amazing. I would thoroughly recommend it and am hoping to go back very soon.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank 332JaneM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fred K, E-Commerce Executive at Hemingways Watamu, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2014

Dear Jane,

Our greatest joy comes when we have a satisfied guest. Thank you for your kind review and recommendation. Looking forward to hosting you again!

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Reviewed 9 March 2014

We just spent a weekend at Hemmingway's, and overall had a wonderful stay. The stay are extremely welcoming and work to make sure you have a relaxing time. The food is very good in comparison to many other hotels on the cost, the rooms are spacious and very well appointed. And with the resort overlooking a fabulous bay in the Indian Ocean. This also means that there are plenty of activities such as diving, snorkelling, deep sea game-fishing and the ubiquitous dhow trip ready on hand.

My only gripe are the many rules that are posted everywhere and a couple that took the shine off our stay. Once we arrived we were told that the dress code for men at dinner was trousers, a shirt with a collar, and closed toe shoes. If I was in London or even Nairobi I could understand this, but on the coast it was a little odd, and we were not given adequate warning. We thought we would be able to bluff our way in, but no, we were absolutely not allowed to sit with other diners, in an open air environment, as I was wearing a t-shirt with flip flops.

My other peeve was that checkout was a hard and fast 10am, late checkout would incur a 50% room fee. considering this is a resort where many guests from Nairobi leave at 1;30pm to catch the 3:00pm flight on a Sunday this seemed a little odd.

But these things aside it's still a lovely place to visit and relax, just remember to take a collared shirt and closed toe shoes!

Room Tip: The junior suites are well worth the extra money
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank michaelmoulsdale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fred K, E-Commerce Executive at Hemingways Watamu, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2014

Dear Michael,

Thank you for your review and we are delighted that you enjoyed our location. I do apologise for the fact that we need to give some rules as I know this can be a little irritating. We do ask our guests not to use their mobile phones in the main public areas but to step away so as to keep the quiet and relaxed holiday feel of the hotel for our other clients. With the reception we get in this area quite often mobile calls require quite a loud volume!

We do also ask our guests to change from beach and pool side shorts and t-shirts to trousers and a shirt with a collar (polos shirts are fine) for the evenings. Sadly we have found that some clients are quite content to come to dinner in the same somewhat grubby clothes that they may have been fishing in all day and so we do ask that everyone changes for dinner. However, you should have been informed of this before your departure from home and I do apologise that you were not made aware of this before you arrived.

Warm regards

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Reviewed 9 February 2014

We arrived at Hemingways, Watamu, in January for our second visit in two years, having enjoyed our previous visit very much. We were not disappointed this time either - everyone was so welcoming and friendly. Our room was clean and of a good size and the large mosquito net meant that you did not feel claustrophobic (not that we saw any mosquitoes)
We enjoyed swimming in the two pools, relaxing on the front looking at the wonderful view and snorkelling on the old reef just in front of the hotel where there are plenty of beautiful fish. We also went out deep sea fishing with skipper, Steve, and were very successful, with plenty of large fish and also a sailfish. We would recommend this trip to anyone keen on fishing even though it is expensive.
The food was of a very high standard, with afternoon tea included. Evening meals were a mixture of waiter service and buffet meals. The buffets were excellent with plenty of choice, and it was wonderful to sit outside for our evening meals with excellent local bands providing music to entertain us.
Thanks must go the George for managing to change our flight to Hemingways Ol Seki in the Masai Mara from Mombasa (with a 4a.m. start!) to Malindi (with a more civilised 8a.m. start!
We would like to thank all the staff for making our stay so perfect, we'll be back!

Room Tip: We've only been in the ground floor rooms on the south side and they are very good.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Kathy N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fred K, . at Hemingways Watamu, responded to this reviewResponded 11 February 2014

Dear Kathy,

It is our joy that you enjoyed your stay with us and would even like to come back. You are most welcome. Steve is an excellent skipper and we are glad that you managed to have a successful fishing experience.

We guarantee that your next visit will be equally as rewarding, if not better!

Warm Regards

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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
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  • 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

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Additional Information about 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:
#4 Family Hotel in Watamu
#9 Luxury Hotel in Watamu
#10 Spa Hotel in Watamu
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Watamu
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Watamu
Price Range: £207 - £207 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Hemingways Watamu 5*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hemingways Watamu is an iconic tropical paradise on the Kenyan coast sitting right in the middle of the pristine Watamu Marine National Park with its idyllic white sand beach and turquoise waters. The exceptional personal service and sincere charm of this established hotel has come to represent Kenyan coastal luxury to so many travellers for close to 30 years. There is so much to do here - learn to kite-surf; get your PADI certificate, take a sunset dhow cruise on Mida Creek, play a round of golf on the nearby world class golf course, Vipingo Ridge; or go on safari for a few days in Tsavo or the Maasai Mara. If that all sounds a little too energetic, relax around the pool with a good book as you work your way through our cocktail menu. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hemingways Hotel Watamu
Hemingways Hotel Malindi
Hemingways Resort Malindi
Hemingways Watamu Kenya

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