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Following a complete redesign, Hemingways Watamu reopened in January 2018, reclaiming its position as Kenya’s most iconic beach hotel. Located on Turtle Bay within the protected Marine National Park of Watamu, Hemingways Watamu is a tropical paradise for snorkeling and diving among breathtakingly beautiful coral and multicolored sealife.

The refurbishment has transformed the classic and much-loved old hotel into a spectacular property unrivaled on the coast of Kenya. Designed by South African architectural firm DSA, Hemingways Watamu has 39 airy hotel rooms, all with direct ocean views. Twenty one spacious one, two and four-bedroom residences are also available, offering exceptional space and privacy.

In addition to the pristine white sand beach, Hemingways Watamu offers two swimming pools and a brand-new spa. The restaurant is positioned overlooking the ocean and serves fresh local produce with a strong focus on seafood. Returning guests have been delighted to find the renowned Hemingways Bar relatively untouched, continuing as a much-loved focal point in the hotel.

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Everything you need to know before you stay at Hemingways Watamu.


Which properties make up the Hemingways Collection? 

Hemingways Nairobi, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World Hemingways Watamu, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World Hemingways Ol Seki Mara Camp.

What is the history behind the Hemingways Collection? 

The original Hemingways opened in November 1988 on the Kenyan coast in Watamu. Named after the famous author, explorer and fisherman Ernest Hemingway, who traveled throughout Kenya, this iconic hotel has been a favourite holiday destination for many years seeing the same guests return year after year for a hit of the famed Hemingways hospitality. The collection was expanded in 2012 with the addition of a luxury boutique safari camp, Hemingways Ol Seki Mara, and then again in 2013 with the opening of the Collection’s flagship property, Hemingways Nairobi, a first-of-its-kind five-star luxury boutique hotel in Nairobi which is now considered one of the finest hotels in Africa. Hemingways Collection is staffed by a dedicated team of hotel and hospitality professionals who all have the same vision, to be the best luxury boutique hotel collection in Africa.

How long has each property been around? 

2007: Hemingways Ol Seki Mara Camp
2013: Hemingways Nairobi 1988, renovated
2018: Hemingways Watamu

How do I get to Hemingways Watamu?

Hemingways Watamu is a short 30-minute drive from Malindi Airport on the Kenya coast, which is accessible with a one-hour flight from Nairobi.

What activities are there at the hotel?

There is so much to do here. Learn to kite-surf, get your PADI certificate, take a sunset show cruise on Mida Creek, play a round of golf on the nearby world class golf course, Vipingo Ridge; or go on safari for a few days in Tsavo or the Masai Mara. If that all sounds a little too energetic, relax around the pool with a good book as you work your way through our cocktail menu.

What is included in my rate?

Hemingways Watamu is a standard bed and breakfast rate.

What is the signature dish at Hemingways Watamu?

The signature dish is the Hemingways spicy prawns masala.

What makes Hemingways hotels so special?

Once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to engage with wildlife, matched with the incredible hospitality of our Kenyan staff and idyllic locations makes staying at Hemingways Collection properties special.

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