Hemingways Collection has announced that Hemingways Watamu, the star of the Kenyan coastline, will re-launch in January 2018 following a multi-million-dollar transformation. The hotel will reveal a full refurbishment that cements its position as the leading property of its kind in the country.
With a stellar reputation, and guests who have visited year-in-year-out since Hemingways Watamu first opened in 1988, the hotel will retain its original spirit – whilst adding a new touch of African flare. The new look maximizes the hotel’s idyllic setting at the heart of the Watamu Marine National Park – home to turtles, barracuda, whale shark and wonderful coral reefs.
The re-designed Hemingways Watamu will re-open with 39 bedrooms – including 13 brand-new deluxe ocean view rooms – and 21 Residences, offering 1, 2 or 4 bedroom apartments that will be available for purchase and as part of the hotel inventory. The project has been led by South African firm DSA (The Saxon, Johannesburg, Maia Luxury Resort & Spa, Belmond Mount Nelson); the result will be simple, clean and elegant.
Interiors will be characterized by plantation shutters, diaphanous-draped four-poster beds, and a laid-back modern coastal vibe. Colours of the sea and sand come together with touches of driftwood and local materials. Rooms will be spacious inside and out; every room and apartment will have a private balcony with a jaw-dropping ocean view.
This new accommodation will allow Hemingways Watamu to meet the demands of every traveller; couples and honeymooners will be wowed by sweeping ocean views from the new suites, while families or groups will love the apartment-style living with all the services of a five-star hotel at their fingertips.
The restaurant concepts have also been re-designed. The main restaurant will serve delicious à la carte brasserie-style dishes with a focus on fresh seafood – signature dishes will include Crispy Lamu Crab Claws, Bahari Calamari and Heminways’ famous Prawn Masala, while sushi and ceviche will be the order of the day at the al fresco Rock Bar. The Gede Café Bar will be the go-to for fresh pastries and light lunches as well as delicious gelato. The renowned Hemingways Bar is now completely open to the view and sea breeze and retains its legendary spirit – and the Dawas will continue to flow freely.
A new botanical swimming pool alongside the spa and modern gym will transform relaxation for guests on the Kenyan coast. Treatments by Terres d’Afrique, an African skincare company that takes inspiration from the traditional uses of African plants, will help guests to fully relax into the Watamu pace of life…
For the more adventurous, spend a morning snorkelling over the coral reef, master kite-surfing, learn to dive or take a sunset dhow cruise on Mida Creek. As a founding member of the Watamu Marine Association, Hemingways is at the forefront of protecting the future of this tropical paradise. For wildlife-lovers there is deep sea fishing, humpback whale watching and the extraordinary Sokoke Forest – the largest, most intact coastal forest in East Africa, home to some of Kenya’s rarest mammals, elephant, brilliant butterflies and saltwater mangroves.
Room rates will now be on a B&B basis to encourage guests to explore the new wave of restaurants, beach bars and local hotspots that are putting Watamu and Malindi on the map. Hemingways electric tuk-tuks will be on hand for hitching a ride to explore this beautiful coast.
Hemingways Watamu completes the Hemingways Collection*, and includes Hemingways Nairobi and Ol Seki Hemingways Mara, allowing travellers to touch the three best corners of Kenya – beach, city and safari.