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“Great place to relax, restaurant service needs improvement” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ocean Sports Resort

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Ocean Sports Resort
Ranked #16 of 26 Hotels in Watamu
Certificate of Excellence
Nairobi, Kenya
2 reviews
“Great place to relax, restaurant service needs improvement”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 December 2013

After a failed attempt to find a decent place in Malindi, we heeded the advice of a friend and headed down to Ocean Sports in Watamu for three nights which ended up being very relaxing! The prices are quite reasonable. The place is right on the beach and has everything you need including comfortable rooms, A/C, pool and restaurant/bar. The beach area in front is wide and good for swimming, but it would have been nice if the place had chairs/umbrellas on the beach, as there was nowhere to sit on unless you bring a towel. Surprisingly, there were not many beach boys. If you want to go into town, it's a quick tuk tuk ride away.

I also tried out the spa - I got a body peel and an hour long massage. The massage was ok, and I think it was a bit less than hour, but the prices were still very reasonable (1500 for the massage) and the experience relaxing nevertheless.

The hotel claims it has WiFi in the restaurant area and internet in the rooms available upon the request. I did not ask for internet in the room, but the WiFi in the restaurant area did not work at all during the stay.

The management is great, as are the front desk staff. I have to say, the restaurant service was surprisingly subpar at best. Breakfast in particular was very slow each morning, and it took about 15 minutes just to flag down a waiter to give us a menu on the last day, even after wildly waving our arms to get someone's attention. Then it took another 15 minutes just for the first course to come out. Mistakes were also made frequently, even after clarifying the order several times. Service next door at Hemmingway's was remarkably better. I just say this because I found the service at Ocean Sports really frustrating, and for a place like this that has a lot of other things going for it, it's a shame that the service is not so great. Otherwise, the food is decent and the majority of staff are friendly and helpful.

So in summary:

The Good:
-Rooms are comfortable and A/C is available
-Decent-sized pool with towels are available
-Beach-front location
-Friendly front desk staff and management
-AquaVentures is onsite if you would like to scuba dive
-Reasonable prices

The Bad:
-Food/Beverage staff is generally subpar
-No beach chairs/umbrellas and the pool is often too overcrowded

Still a relaxing stay and great value for the money!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sarah A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joanne T, Manager at Ocean Sports Resort, responded to this review, 15 December 2013
Thank you very much for your review. It is always good to hear what our guests enjoyed about their stay and also where we can improve.

We will definitely focus on speeding up the service in the restaurant, especially for breakfasts. I'm sorry you didn't manage to get onto the Ocean Sports Wi-Fi. We usually have to register new users at reception, but I will make sure that in future staff inform guests about this.

As the beach is part of the Watamu Marine Park we are unable to place sun beds or umbrellas on it.

We are very happy that you enjoyed your stay overall and that you found it relaxing and the rooms comfortable. Hopefully we will see you here again in the future. Thanks again for taking the time to review us.

Emilie
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187 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    97
    65
    19
    5
    1
See reviews for
54
59
12
5
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 December 2013

Ocean Sport on the beach in Watamu, half an hour drive from Malindi! Easy to get to - fly to Malindi and experience the relaxed, rustic charm of the place with excellent food, whether youre a guest or not!! Florian, also a chef and Emilie, run this establishment and create the vibe that draws people here. I stayed for 3 weeks and felt part of the big family here, with some guests spending 2-3 months of every year here - testimony of the location and current management. Staff are amazing and eager to please to whatever your wish is. The A/C was such a luxury !! I could wait to get to my room after Ben in housekeeping had done the room - always to find a flower arrangement or leaf message on my bed!! Highly recommended also to those who want to scuba dive, snorkel or fish !

Room Tip: Room 5 were I stayed was really spacious but other recommended 12 and 15
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 26071957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joanne T, Manager at Ocean Sports Resort, responded to this review, 14 December 2013
Thank you so much for the review! It was great having you here to stay, and also for such a nice long time. I know Ben in particular loved making up your room every day with more and more imaginative flower displays! Keep in touch and hopefully see you here again.
Emilie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Juba, South Sudan
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 November 2013

Ocean Sports has everything you need; chilled out atmosphere, good food, nice staff and located just on the beach of Watamu. It is perfect for active families, couples looking for romantic hide aways or others who wishes to visit Kenyan coast paradise. A big plus for the nice managers and personal atmosphere they create!

Room Tip: All rooms seem to have more or less sea view, with verandas where you are served coffee or tea each...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jessica H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joanne T, Manager at Ocean Sports Resort, responded to this review, 14 December 2013
Thanks so much for taking the time to write a review of your stay. I'm glad you enjoyed your time here and hope we see you back in the near future for more relaxing!
Emilie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 November 2013 via mobile

Ocean Sports has been here for years. It has its own character and needs no pretension. Under the present management of Emilie and Florien it is blossoming. The hotel seems well organised and the staff are friendly and efficient. The food is great and the location fantastic. E and F really care about their guests and create a warm and relaxing atmosphere. Just like your favourite slippers it gets more comfortable as time slips away. Stay as long as you can.

Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joanne T, Manager at Ocean Sports Resort, responded to this review, 14 December 2013
Thank you so much for the lovely review. We are thrilled that you both enjoyed your stay and found the hotel relaxing and comfortable. 'Your favorite pair of slippers' is a great comparison! We loved meeting you both and look forward to seeing you here again with the rest of the family.
Emilie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kitwe, Zambia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 November 2013

A group of us went to a competition organised at the Ocean Sports hotel. The setting was superb, right on the beach. Although we were mostly there for a fishing competition, there are a number of activities that one can participate in, no doubt their excellent scuba diving facility being a popular choice. Everything was very well organised. The menus on offer changed regularly with enticing offerings. The staff were very good. Would certainly return there.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ndole2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joanne T, Manager at Ocean Sports Resort, responded to this review, 14 November 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review of Ocean Sports. It was great having all of you to stay and we are thrilled that you enjoyed your holiday with us. Hopefully see you back here next year for the next fishing competition!
Emilie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 October 2013

We spent 4 days at Ocean Sports having wanted to get out of Nairobi for some peace and quiet by the sea. The staff team including Emilie and her husband (and adorable son!) were very friendly and helpful and did us a good deal on a room as it was low season. We dived with the on site diveshop and whilst it was not quite the right time of year, we had a nice low key dive on the shallow reef which was good for beginners. The outer reef is only accessible when the weather and current are right (I think from November onwards - check conditions before you go.) The beach is very pretty, and the hotel's bar and restaurant did good quality, varied and well priced food and drinks. The rooms are basic for the full room rate price, but spacious, good supply of hot water and each has their own outside seating area. The bathroom could be upgraded but clean and tidy and the bed very large and comfortable. Tea or coffee brought to your room each morning in a thermos was a very nice touch. The hotel is walking distance from Watamu for a small selection of shops and restaurants, and there is a very good local restaurant (Peli pan?) a short tuk tuk away for a memorable meal. Much nicer place to stay than in Malindi if you are after a more relaxed beach holiday away from the large chain resorts.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JTC80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joanne T, Manager at Ocean Sports Resort, responded to this review, 21 October 2013
Thanks so much for taking the time to write us a review. It's great that you made it to Ocean Sports and enjoyed your stay. I hope the rest of your travels are going well and look forward to seeing you here again one day!
Emilie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
52 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 October 2013

Visited for the weekend and was relieved to get away from the crowds and chaos of Mombasa. Have known Ocean Sports very well but have never had the pleasure of staying. The rooms were basic but clean and the beds exceptionally comfortable. Food was great and the pool very refreshing. Wish we could have stayed longer!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jimmyray38
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Joanne T, Manager at Ocean Sports Resort, responded to this review, 20 October 2013
Thanks so much for the review! Very happy that you enjoyed your stay, we enjoyed having you both! Look forward to seeing you here again.
Emilie
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ocean Sports Resort

Property: Ocean Sports Resort
Address: Mida Creek Road | P.O Box 208, Watamu 80202, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Watamu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#10 Romantic Hotel in Watamu
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Watamu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Ocean Sports Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The plaque on our famous 1952 bar boat states "Ian Pritchard sailed his boat through the reef and staked his claim right here. Cheers Ian!" And so the legend of Ocean Sports was born.Our ambiance is relaxed, friendly and barefoot chic. Frequented by a loyal following of East African residents and savvy overseas guests, many consider this being their second home.Located 20km south of Malindi Airport, within the protected Watamu Marine Reserve, our 30 rooms, suites and self catered cottage overlook Kenya's favorite, white sand beach.Our outdoor, ocean-side deck dinning venue is simply stunning! Freshly caught, sustainable seafood and local organic produce, inspired our French chef, Florian's new mouth watering menu choices. Delicious stone-oven piazzas and a 'daily specials' board, ensure something for all. Nature will nourish your soul! Our 14 acre plot boasts indigenous African fauna and wildlife that includes monkeys, bird-life and night bush babies. Low-tide reveals rock pool aquariums of sea life, crabs and even King George, our grumpy resident Moray eel! Turtles, dolphins and whales are observed further out to sea.Our name reflects our love of ocean activity and adventure. Deep sea fish with our professional charter boats to experience adrenalin hook ups. Blue water dive over sparkling coral reefs, all organized by our PADI scuba centre. Try kite-surfing, kayaking and boogie boarding - the ocean is your playground! Onshore we offer trail-biking, tennis, squash, hokey, beach volley and touch rugby. On weekends our resident DJ entertains all age groups in total harmony.We are "A small, stylish and sociable beach hotel for free spirits and active families in search of Africa" ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ocean Sports Hotel Watamu
Ocean Sports Watamu
Ocean Sports Resort Kenya/Watamu

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