10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
A place with soul
"Hemingways , Malindi Kenys ... what a magical place and wonderful people. It really touched my soul in a profound way; its a place full of poetry.I do hope that you can go there some day as I really can not describe it. I did so many things , reef walks, dhow trip and snorkelling.A big highlight for me was to go out deep sea fishing .We caught 2 wahu which weighed 18 kilos , around 3 stone each and a snapper, which we ate the same evening, delicious in garl4ic butter.The food was very good overall. The fishing competition was great to watch every evening, having drinks and cocktails and high tea, and sandwiches on the front of the ocean ,watching the fish being weighed. The fishermen caught a 650 kilo, about 48 stone shark and tagged it and threw it back in . The rest of the catch was always plentiful and some very heavy tuna , barracuda ,sailfish came back to weigh in . The room , a junior suite was lovely , worth spending more on and very colonial with the mosquito four poster bed ., decked out with roses The staff are darlings all so courteous and friendly and very concerned with being helpful.Of note was a waiter called Fred, and Maggie who were always there for us .The staff are very sweet to children ;. I want to go back and hope that I can return and take my daughter. But this is definately a place for couples,if you are starting a relationship, or in one, the ambiance does make for a very romantic and passionate timeit What they could do diferently? Supply fresh orange juice and play some Kenyan / soul music in the evenings."
- Travel date: 31st October 2006
Dreadful place. Go elsewhere!
"We booked Hemingways for a 5 day break at the start of our honeymoon. Whilst the location is great and there is plenty of room by the pool for everyone, I think the hotel must have been in its prime about 20 years ago. our room was dated, the mattress didn't fit the bed properly revealing a bed frame with dust and hairs on it and the bathroom was from the 1980s with a terribly scratched and uncomfortable bath. The mosquito nets were on a curtain rail around the bed and left a gap by the side of the wall making them completely useless. The rooms also smelled extremely damp which was not acceptable. The hotel staff said it was because of the humidity but as we live in Hong Kong, we are familiar with humidity problems and know that the smell could easily have been dealt with if sufficient effort was made (and the rooms decorated every once in a while!) We complained after our first night and got shown around the other rooms but none of them were the standard we were expecting, especially given the price we were paying and the luxury we were told to expect. Breakfast was also disappointing with flies all around the jam and honey and very little attempt made to get rid of them. We had evening entertainment forced upon us at dinner (two men and a guitar with an amplifier). They were awful and were too loud to enable us to have a conversation. Our travel agent moved us at our request and we spent the rest of the time at the Serena hotel in Mombassa. No damp smell there, well kept rooms and a different honeymoon experience altogether!"
- Travel date: 22nd October 2006
"Having booked directly with the hotel for a special occasion I felt anything but special at this hotel. The hotel rooms were more than a little dated, the bathroom door closed with difficulty and the windows had broken locks, the wardrobe didnt close at all and the lock on the room door broke on two separate occasions during our stay (on one occasion we had to leave the room unlocked all day and prompt staff that it hadnt been fixed). The bed cover smelt sweaty and the lamps had no shades. Not what I expect from a small luxury hotel! We had to continually remind staff to chase up on problems; anything from asking whether we could keep the room on whilst on a 2 night safari (they denied despite the hotel only being half full) to whether our flights had been reconfirmed and when repairs were necessary. The food was fabulous however the service was haphazard to say the least directly dependent on where you were sitting. (Did seem to be more chiefs than indians!) The restaurant manager was abrupt and found it difficult to understand that I didnt want to eat breakfast cereal with a soup spoon. On the plus side all staff were very pleasant and the bar staff and fishing centre staff were exceptional."
- Travel date: 15th October 2006
Go fishing and Upgrade
"Just returned from Kenya having spent a week at Hemmingways pre safari. The hotel is absolutely lovely and the staff could not be more helpful and friendly, food and surroundings were outstanding. Won't drone on as many reviews previously have said it all. But wold add the following tips:- spend the extra money on a superior room as the standard ones are a lttle tired and dated. Definately go fishing. Find others round the pool or on the sundowner ans split the cost but it's a great day and makes for a very nice dinner as well! There is very very little in the way of evening entertainment so if you want a dance about in the evening, this is not the place but makes for heavenly peace and quiet. I notice people moan about the drive from Mombassa but compared to the Nairobi - Masai Mara road this trip is the M1! Thoroughly recommneded, will be returning."
- Travel date: 8th October 2006
One for the connoisseurs
"Hemingways is a delightful, truly 5 star deluxe hotel bursting with character and unique personality on the East African coast about 60 miles north of Mombassa. We spent two weeks here in July 2006 as a family of four interrupted by a three day air Safari and we had a marvellous time. The setting is superb with beautiful beaches, gorgeous open views of the sea which is metres away when the tide is up especially from the cheaper rooms. The cheaper (standard) rooms offer exceptional views but are a little small and dated compared to the newly extended accommodation which overlooks the pool and is spacious and modern. Apart from an idyllic setting the service at this hotel is first class with well trained, friendly and attentive staff. My son got sunburned after applying factor 20 after just an hour in the sun (Beware!). Once the hotel learned of this they visited my son's room to ensure he was well, provided hydration salts (just in case) and offered after sun and medical care and each day for about three days telephoned to check all was well. They seemed genuinely concerned being more than happy to rearrange trips we hade planned to keep my son out of the sun for a few days. The restaurant and food were the unassailable highlight of Hemingways providing delicious and varied menus over the two weeks of our stay. The quality of the food was consistently high as was the service. There were occasional buffets which complied with the definitions of sumptuous and extensive complemented in the main by a menu and table service on most evenings. Guests could select from the set menus which offered a five course option with at least three choices in each. The fish was usually caught that day and presented in a delicious array of dishes. An a la carte menu was also available but we were half board and the food was so good it was unnecessary to deviate from the daily culinary delights. The hotel had a distinctive exclusive feel about it and was definitely for the more discerning traveller seeking quality, quiet and an air of relaxed sophistication. There was little in the way of entertainment short of live lounge music in the restaurant two evenings per week and a snake charmer on one occasion in the bar. Deep sea fishing was definitely the order of the day for many guests who returned at the end of each day with large and plentiful bounty and whilst not for us, all who fished seemed to love it and catch fish of all shapes, species and sizes. The small village of Watamu was a 10 minute walk from the hotel, safe and very interesting. Beach boys were extremely adept at latching on to visitors with very pleasant banter offering comment and advice and staying with you wherever you walked. They expect tips at the end of your walk whether be it to town or to the beach to hunt for crabs and sea creatures in the rock pools, etc. Some people were happy with this though I found it mildly intrusive. A firm "we don't need a guide thank you" usually did the trick. We arranged our three day air safari to the Masia Mara through Mombasa Air Safari (Blue chip) before we left the UK as this was substantially cheaper than through the tour operators/hotel (same carriers and accommodation) and it was absolutely magnificent. We were picked up at the hotel, flew from Malindi airport to Saruni deluxe camp (see Trip Adviser Saruni camp) in the Masai Mara for three days of paradise and then to return. The only notable down side to travelling to Hemingways is the roads from Mombassa airport are terrible and the ride was a bone shaking two and a half hours of misery both ways. This having been said Hemingways was worth every bump and we would definitely return which we never normally do!"
- Travel date: 12th August 2006
"We stayed at Hemmingways for my partners 60th birthday in March 2006 and had a wonderful time. The staff are amazing, especially Humphrey the Manager. It was truly a wonderful experience. We stayed in the older rooms which were furthest away from the main hotel and pools and if we went again I would stay there. The view far made up for the room, which was looking very jaded. The service and cleanliness were second to none and again made up for the food which was on occasion not up to what you would expect from this hotel. (This was only at lunchtimes though). Hemmingways is a magical place especially for couples. My partner went on the fishing trip and had a great time and the Hemmingways Dowh trip was brilliant. We also went swimming with the dolphins and snorkling - again a lovely trip. We booked a safari with Bryan at Allamander Safaris in Malindi (if you visit malindi eat at the Pizza Restaurant near the market (cant remember name but fabulous). We flew out of Malindi to Masai and stayed a night in Govereners camp and a night in Little Governers (much preferred this) Main Governors is like a school canteen, but Little Governors is lovely and intimate - we had fabulous food, and sat around the campfire in the evening - magical. On the safari we saw all of the big five and would highly recommend Kenya, Hemmingways and Little Governors and one day will return."
- Travel date: 11th May 2006
Beautiful resort and incredible fishing
"Spent three days on the property. Rooms were simple yet clean. Property is beautiful. Staff were attentive and friendly. Fishing was excellent (yellow fin and a tagged striped marlin). Dinners were excellent (fresh fish). I would highly recommend this destination for a couple -- gives the woman a beach and the man a fishing pole!"
- Travel date: 21st January 2006
Best holiday ever
"This is a hotel where literally nothng is too much trouble. We asked if there was any goat cheese (given the number of goats in Kenya) and they immediately volunteered to have a selction flown in from France. My husband enjoyed flying back from safari in a small plane. Would he like a flying lesson arranged? They sorted it out immediately, plus transport to and fro. The location is beautiful, overlooking a classic, turquoise lagoon. The grounds are immaculate. The food is excellent â and afternoon tea (part of the room package) is delicious, with pancakes made to order as well as delicious sandwiches and cakes. The rooms are comfortable if a little dated. There are all the usual extras -- shopping and snorkelling trips, diving, spa, which are either free or a fraction of European prices. And they tailor-make the most brilliant safaris. Whatever you want, they do it, with charm and efficiency. And that's what really makes Hemingways stand out. The staff and service would be seven star if the category existed. They really do care whether you enjoy yourself. We are already planning our return."
- Travel date: 21st November 2005
"I agree with the previous review. My daughter and I were quite delayed in arriving (bumped from flight to Malinda, had to fly to Mombassa and drive). We arrived both hot and tired. Our room was not right (one bed for a mom and her 13 year old was not what we had ordered). The day manager was very gracious, upgraded our room, and ensured that we were well looked after--although every guest is well looked after. One caution: the SCUBA diving is not worth the cost or hassle."
- Travel date: 26th May 2005
"Impeccable service, stunning location, delicious fresh food from the hotel's own farms. The view of the Indian Ocean is superb. An outstanding place for a holiday."
- Travel date: 11th December 2004
Hemingways Watamu is also called
- Hemingways Resort Hotel
- hemingways hotel malindi
- hemingways resort malindi