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“Little heaven on Earth”
Review of Hemingways Watamu

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Hemingways Watamu
Ranked #19 of 26 Hotels in Watamu
Certificate of Excellence
Mombasa, Kenya
Level Contributor
78 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Little heaven on Earth”
Reviewed 15 August 2014 via mobile

Wow. This exquisite hotel is built on heavenly property. Wonderful facilities, no tv so you can enjoy the views, the beach, the sea etc.
The rooms are very cosy with high quality furnishings and linen. Enormous bathroom and with high quality toiletries.
very polite, well trained and experienced staff. Check in and check out was quick.
Ill be back very soon.
We had a very good and tasty 5 course dinner in a very pleasant restaurant.
You have to experience this part of heaven.

Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank M_Bajaber
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
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Barrington, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
33 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2014

We loved the room we were in. The beach in front of the hotel is amazing (though the one just north in the cove is even better). The grounds are well kept and the service is generally pretty good. Our big disappointment was in the food. There were some meals that were good, but I can't call any of them great. For the cost of staying at this resort, I expect better.

My big problem with this place is that it is so isolated from the surrounding area. If you just stay in the resort, you feel more like you are in Europe than Africa. If you do decide to stay here, I encourage you to get out and see some of the local sights. The Gede Ruins are wonderful, Hell's Kitchen is worth the trip, and spending time in Malindi is fun (make sure you go to the fair pay cooperative where they make tons of carvings).

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Summertravelers_05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Walton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2014

We discovered this gem several years ago and just have to keep going back. Its position overlooking the beach is just stunning with magnificent views from the majority of rooms. It is not to everyones taste though. There is no TV in the room ( brilliant ) phones are not to be used except in designated areas ( wonderful ) and guests are encouraged to keep their children to the separate pool for them (fantastic)
. Because of its age, there are some small areas where it is getting a bit worn in the old block, which to us, just adds to the charm of the place, and is more than compensated for by the friendliness and efforts of all the staff to make your stay a pleasant one. The more modern block is superb.
The standard of the food and service are generally excellent with the odd blip, but it is Africa, so things don't always go smoothly and they will go out of their way to rectify things.
If your husband is a fishing nut and out on the sea all day, this is the place for you to chill and relax, the spa offers wonderful treatments, you can go out and explore with excellent guides, or just soak up the sun in a fabulous setting with wonderful staff making you feel safe and welcome.
We are 'Hooked' on the place and will keep going back for as long as we can.

Room Tip: The majority of the rooms have a good view of the sea except the ones immediately behind the pool ba...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AnnieM57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2014

I visited the Resort this year in April, was totally impressed with the hospitality , food , service and the ambience and revisited again this August .
Low season right now but the service, ambience, hospitality , food still the superb quality. Two swimming pools, and two bars,fridge in every room well stocked. Room service is excellent. All staff very pleasant and always willing to assist.
They offer free shuttle from airport to the hotel and back, and also free shuttle to Malindi with a guide. All rooms face the seafront.
Keep up Hemingways with your five star service.

Room Tip: Deluxe Room.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Behal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2014 via mobile

Hemingway's Watamu occupies a fantastic location on the beach. Being one of the older hotels in Watamu it has a significant beach frontage that affords great ocean views in most of the rooms.

The hotel itself is slightly dated. The plaque in the lobby indicates that it was opened in 1988. Some areas of the hotel seem to show its age and could do with some renovation. The decor is... interesting... Lots of large plastic fish trophies adorned the lobby and bar area. I guess this is an ode to the big game anglers who seem to be regulars at the hotel. Not to my taste personally.

The atmosphere in the hotel likewise reflects an old style of hotel service and travel. Breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner are all included. It has a very packaged tour feel about it although there were none there when we were visiting (low season). You get the impression that this is a place that people tend to come back to regularly as evidenced by the elderly British couple who had been back every year for the last 22 years.

Our room (222) was large and clean and had a great balcony overlooking the water. I believe that generally the second floor rooms in the hotel are the best solely for the view.

From a service perspective we were disappointed. While the staff were generally friendly, particularly the bar/restaurant staff, the smile was not matched by efficient service. Despite being low season with few other guests we were regularly waiting longer than expected for drinks and food service. The tours/activities desk was particularly disappointing as the staff did not appear particularly knowledgable (or were indifferent). For example when told that the hotel car (complimentary for guests) was not available to take us to the Gedi Ruins they suggested we catch a tuk tuk which would cost 1000ksh return. Thinking this was expensive we found one ourselves for 250ksh one way.

Overall, the hotel is nice. I personally wouldn't stay here again over other options downed the beach however this is largely attributable to personal tastes rather than anything particularly wrong with the hotel.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Declan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mombasa
Level Contributor
52 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 July 2014

I was there for only a night to attend a function. Really nice room. Spacious modern clean bathroom.stunning view right on the sea front. Clean and large pool with friendly staff. The meals were also very good esp breakfast with a very wide selection. The function I attended was a Chaine De Rottiseur dinner and I give it full marks. The GM personally supervised the event. I will not hesitate to recommend Hemingways to a visitor looking for a nice beach resort.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mombasahotelier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 June 2014

What a beautiful location and hotel. The staff were incredibly friendly and the childcare very cheap meaning we could relax as a couple whilst our four year old daughter was well looked after! The food was excellent and we had many relaxing evenings together, which are far and few when we are at home.

Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Tom L
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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