“Enjoy an ultra 5-star luxury experience at Hemingways Watamu, located in Talamanca which is a short stroll to Watamu Town. Relax at the spa and wellness centre, enjoy a private art tour, dive with a marine expert or sip cocktails under the stars. Rooms and suites are spacious with lots of little details, for that personal touch, and boast picturesque views of the Indian Ocean. The food and drink experience here is second to none, with exquisite and varied dining options served throughout the day; from a light bite by the pool to a more formal and artistic experience at the restaurant. I recently stayed here so read on to discover more.”
BACKGROUND AND CONCEPT
Hemingways Watamu is a paradisal 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 have come to represent Kenyan coastal luxury to so many travellers for close to 30 years.
Hemingways Watamu sits just off Turtle Bay Road outside Watamu village. Watamu itself lies approximately 120 km north of Mombasa and 25 km south of Malindi. The nearest airport is Malindi Airport which is 30 minutes by road whilst the nearest international airport is Moi International in Mombasa.
- Watamu Beach – 1 min walk
- Prawn Lake – 18 min walk
- Mida Creek – 7 min drive
- Malindi Airport – 30 min drive
Sharing its shores with the pristine waters of the Indian Ocean, Watamu is a tempting destination for honeymooners, solo vacationers and families, my room at Hemingways Watamu offered an exquisite panorama of the ocean.
ROOMS AND SUITES
Choose from an ocean-view room; a one or two-bedroom ocean-view apartment or a four-bedroom ocean-view penthouse. The rooms are bright and airy, sleek and minimal decor with clever use of design to ensure optimum convenience and minimal fuss.
During my stay, I had one of the hotel’s ocean-view rooms. Located on the hotel’s second and third floors these rooms boast a beautiful picture-postcard view of the Indian Ocean. Furnished with a modern design, equipped for relaxation and unwinding.
They come complete with queen or twin beds, a separate shower and bathtub, Smart TV, a Nespresso machine and a large balcony and seating area.
FOOD AND DRINK
While there are plenty of excellent restaurants on the doorstep, the first-class culinary offer within the hotel is likely to encourage you to stay. Begin your day with a Swahili breakfast that’s eaten on the terrace; more than a decadent buffet spread, this is a lavish gourmet spectacle which includes brunch cocktails made to order. Hemingways caters to the eating preference of every visitor, so expect a lot of flavours and dining options on the menu!
At lunchtime, take a table at the Gede Pizzeria cafe which offers a lighter, more casual setting for guests and has a glorious view of the Indian ocean. The menu includes homemade pasta, delicious wraps, sandwiches and sharing platter, a variety of grilled meats, and seafood along with healthy salads plus you can create your own pizza
During dinner, this is where you spoil yourself. Candlelight, starry skies, gentle breezes, your favourite tipple and a superb range of fresh seafood with a Swahili flavour.
The iconic Hemingways Bar is located right on the seafront and offers stunning views of the Indian Ocean and Watamu Beach. With an extensive wine and spirit list and a variety of fresh, tropical cocktails there is simply no better place to enjoy the traditional Kenyan sundowner.
WELLBEING, SPA & POOL
For enhanced wellness and the ultimate in relaxation, try the Spa experience at Hemingways Watamu. Therapeutic treatments including massages, take place in individual cabins, on a terrace in the open air, or in a cabin designed for couples. I would suggest you go for a Terres d’Afrique after indulging in a full-blown excursion, as the spa hits differently after a long power-packed day!
For all you fitness freaks out there, the gym at Hemmingways will surely motivate you to work out more!
Two sheltered pools cater to both adults and families. A large pool with a wooden bridge over is kid-friendly, while a smaller, separate pool provides a peaceful, child-free ambience. Both are flanked by palm trees and wooden sunbeds with plush padded cushions to provide day-long lounging comfort. And the adult pool includes modern daybeds for couples’ time together.
There are many other activities the concierge is only too happy to arrange; Fishing, whale and dolphin watching tours. You can find out more and book your stay at Hemingways Watamu here.
As I mentioned above that Hemmingways is situated in the middle of the Watamu Marine National Park, the hotel is renowned for hosting several championships and fishing. Deep-sea fishing is one of the famous recreational sports in Watamu and I would recommend it. The variety of marine life in Watamu waters is thrilling and tempting! While you can always sit back and enjoy the activity if this doesn’t entice you much. However, getting a first-hand experience is a better option, just saying!
Another extravagant option that Hemmingway offers is Whale Watching, Just set your eyes on these majestic sea creatures and you would witness time slipping by! There’s some truth to the saying that watching fishes swim calms the mind. And while most of you wouldn’t be aware of this, whales are as special to Watamu as the Big Five are to Kenya! The fun-filled tour becomes very informative when you go whale watching as several facts are revealed about these unique creatures. Well, a quick fact now, whales migrate from Antarctica to the Coast of East Africa every year in June. So, expect a sight of whales in Watamu while you are simply binging on some regional snacks!
Meet the friendly creatures of the sea as you make a trip to Watamu. Being a safe space for marine life, Watamu is home to happy dolphins that can be seen playing, feeding or simply having fun like humans. These super friendly creatures are protected by the Malindi Watamu National Park and Kenya Wildlife Service, so just be sure to know about do’s and don’ts when going for Dolphin Watching at Watamu, Fortunately, Hemmingways ensures that safety standards for both guests and dolphins are taken care of. While safety precautions are taken by the staff, one thing that you must take care of is being in the boat and not acting intrusive in their environment.
The Mida Creek reserve is formed of extensive mangrove forests, warm shallow waters and large areas of mud flats at low tide. This area hosts not only many local birds, such as greater flamingo, yellow-billed stork, great white egret and malachite kingfisher but is also the winter home of many migrants such as the crab plover, curlew sandpiper, whimbrel and sanderling. The osprey and African fish eagle are often overhead. The Creek is used by the local population for subsistence-level fishing. Many small, dugout canoes will pass as you cruise in the creek. A bird-lovers paradise, Mida Creek is also the spot to watch the spectacular African sunsets whilst sipping an icy cold Dawa aboard an old Arabian dhow at the end of an active day.
Hemingways Watamu is the ultimate in beach luxury, blending modern design, with relaxed and on-point service, plenty of incredible food offerings and stunning rooms. I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would want to be in Watamu
Below are some activities you can do while in Watamu to make your stay more enjoyable