North Coast, Kenya
The redesigned Hemingways Watamu combines the classic aesthetic of the luxury hotel collection with sleek, contemporary amenities, all set to the backdrop of the Indian Ocean’s turquoise waters.
A double room starts from Ksh 15,750, Bed & Breakfast
Positioned for a perfect view of the Indian Ocean, both the rooms and long-term residencies are filled with bright, airy décor that is neither gaudy nor dated. Each has an incredible view of the Watamu sunset.
Guests also have access to an array of activities that are perfect for water lovers and cultural aficionados, from deep-sea fishing to private dinners on the beach.
The quiet, serene atmosphere and lack of child-friendly spaces makes Hemingways Watamu less than ideal for families with small kids.
Style and character
The ongoing renovation at Hemingways, now a combination 39-bedroom hotel and 21-unit long-term residency, has boosted their Watamu location into the ranks of one of the most high-end accommodations in the area. Simple luxury is at the core of Hemingways Watamu, which feels more welcoming and comfortable than the colonial-styled Nairobi location.
Water lovers have direct access to pristine, white sand beaches as well as two new swimming pools that are surrounded by immaculate gardens, an outdoor restaurant, spa and the iconic Hemingways bar.
Hemingways Watamu is located on Turtle Bay Road in Watamu, a small village on Kenyan’s Indian Ocean, approximately 120 km north of Mombasa and about 30 minutes’ drive from Malindi airport. The hotel sits on the protected Watamu Marine National Park, which many consider as one of the best snorkeling and diving areas on the coast of Africa.
Service and Facilities
Guests are welcomed by a group of smiling staff offering fresh juices for wary travelers before being swept away to the hotel or apartment wings, located on opposite sides of the plot.
Notable amenities include:
- Restaurant and bar/lounge
- Café and Gelato Bar
- Tennis court with equipment and coach
- Two outdoor pools
- Business centre
- Airport shuttle
- 24 hour concierge and in-room dining
- Baby-sitting services
Hotel rooms and apartments are decorated in bright and crisp colours that reflect a modern Swahili style. Wide balconies overlook well-manicured gardens and the Indian Ocean. Deluxe rooms provide the most luxurious experience, each containing marble tiled en-suite bathrooms and four-poster beds.
Apartments are located in the south wing of the property and offer 1, 2 and 4 bedroom configurations. All residencies include a lounge room, dining area, modern kitchen, en-suite bathrooms and lockable storage area. Apartment owners can opt to enjoy full access to all hotel facilities or be completely self-sufficient if required.
Food & Drink
The al fresco restaurant offers guests their choice of freshly-caught seafood with a Swahili twist or imported beef and lamb from South Africa. After dinner, guests can end their evening sipping cocktails at the iconic Hemingways Bar just a few steps away. There is also a small café that serves fresh pastries, paninis, pizza and ice cream. A seasonal bar near the main swimming pool serves light bites.
Value for money?
Hemingways Watamu provides an unparalleled experience in Kenya – if you can afford it.
While Hemingways Watamu does offer babysitting services for an additional cost, the complex is more suited for a romantic getaway or long-term residency than for families with young children.
Reviewed February 2018 by Katie G. Nelson