Turtle Bay is an excellent all inclusive hotel with a superb location offering a wide range of activities for all sorts of holiday maker. We travelled in late November 2006 and enjoyed a sun soaked week on the beach.
The location is superb, on a perfect beach made up of fine white sand and near the village of Watamu. Compared to other locations in Kenya the beach is low hassle with only a small selection of hawkers mostly selling trips out on snorkel safaris. There is a row of shops - all named after a British high street - however they don't approach you unless you wander up to them. The joy of the location is the marine park lagoon which the beach runs down to - this offers a treasure trove of sea life for snorkelling or diving and calm waters for water sports. You're also within easy range of Malindi, the Arabuko-Sokoke forest and the long abandoned village ruins at Gede.
Our room was pleasant and straightforward with a built in mosquito net and clean bathroom. Roomy enough for two and with a third bed for little people, the standard rooms are very welcoming. Superior rooms are closer to the beach and presumably a bit more plush. Air con was as standard and very effective. There are occasional brief power outages - nothing to worry about.
Food and drink service on the all inclusive deal was excellent. There are a wide range of drinks all enthusiastically served by the waiters throughout the day and evening. Food is varied and excellent quality - although the menu is with a British twist so don't expect many local specialities. Plenty for vegetarians to enjoy too thanks to the buffet system.
There is plenty to amuse you at Turtle Bay. If you want to flop on the beach, the sun beds are comfortable and a waiter will appear to top up your cold drink on a frequent basis. If you are into water sports, then the centre attached to the hotel offers sailing, canoeing, boogie boards and wind surfing - just ask for Patrick. The Fun Base team offers darts, pool aerobics etc. and there were also appearances from Watamu Turtle Watch and Maasai dancers. However, if you really want to experience something amazing then BRING YOUR SNORKELLING KIT ! The waters off the hotel are literally teeming with fish - check the tide tables in the hotel and buy Richard Bennett's book on snorkelling for 300 shillings from the hotel shop. Head out at low tide and watch the stunning array of tropical fish. The night life is low key but its easy to head into Watamu if you're looking to paint the town red.
Excursions include safaris, trips to Malindi and a trip on a sailing Dhow. We didn't take any as we were only there for a week. The hotel has the best guided snorkelling trip which is well worth the 2,000 shillings - its better than the trips offered by the beach touts.
Guests at the hotel included a few young couples however mostly family groups and more mature travellers. There was also a party of large, serious Germans who went out on large, serious fishing boats undertaking a complex deep sea fishing competition. All very friendly and all getting on famously with the friendly, efficient staff. The hotel seems to attract a huge number of repeat visitors ( spotted through their "Turtle Bay" t-shirts ) which is testament to its excellence.
Overall, an outstanding venue which offers a great holiday experience.
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- Also Known As:
- Turtle Bay Beach Club Hotel Watamu
- Turtle Bay Beach Hotel
- Turtle Bay Beach Resort
- Turtle Bay Beach Club Kenya/Watamu