Freephone an expert 01306 744 656

Send Enquiry
Opening Times
10am - 6pm
10am - 6pm
10am - 6pm
10am - 6pm
10am - 6pm
10am - 2pm

Call 01306 744 656 or

For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in Kenya

Hemingways Watamu: the boutique beach hotel in a UNESCO reserve

Hemingways Watamu showcases stunning views of the Indian Ocean and is set in a protected biosphere reserve…

By Victor Muthama
Hotel Manager, Hemingways Watamu

All of the rooms at Hemingways Watamu showcase stunning views of the Indian Ocean, which is home to diverse marine life. All you need to do is open your balcony door and you can feel the sea breeze. When our chairman, Richard Evans, opened the hotel in 1988 it was the only five-star resort on the Kenyan coast and it still remains the best. We’re named after the famous author Ernest Hemingway, who is thought to have established a camp in this secluded beach oasis in the 30s.

We’re set right on a reef-protected sandy beach within the Watamu Marine National Park, which is a UNESCO-listed Biosphere Reserve. That means we have incredible wildlife right on our doorstep, including the Marine Big Five: dolphins, whales, sharks, sea turtles and billfish. It’s one of Kenya’s top snorkelling and dive spots, where you can see over 600 species of fish and go on dolphin watching excursions. If you visit between June and early September, I’d highly recommend a whale watching trip to see migrating humpbacks.

Hemingways Watamu has been recently refurbished with a simple yet elegant design, combining a mix of subtle Swahili style with clean, classic lines. We offer a selection of rooms and apartments suitable for both families and couples. There’s a spa with native plant products and treatments, yoga sessions and a quiet pool where adults can relax, away from the kids’ pool. We’re well-known for our exceptional service, which is delivered by our dedicated team, 90 percent of whom are from the Watamu region.

Most of all, guests rave about the ocean views at Hemingways. Our restaurant and bar also face the water, so you can feast on fresh seafood while looking over the ocean. To end the day, enjoy sundowners on a traditional dhow sailboat on Mida Creek, which is just a few minutes from the property. The mangroves here are home to wildlife such as storks and kingfishers. Birdwatchers will also love the nearby Sokoke Forest, which is the only place in the world where you can spot the Clarke’s weaver.

To help keep Watamu beautiful, we organise regular beach clean-ups, which guests can take part in, and we’ve introduced eco-friendly features at the hotel. We have a large solar power farm to produce clean energy and a bio-digester that treats our waste water. To help the community, we also hold annual fundraising events to support projects like the local maternity clinic and we run food drives when people are struggling. For instance, we supported over 500 families with food for four months during Covid in 2020.


  • Places to stay
  • Unwind
  • Wildlife

Available in these itineraries…

Alfred & Victor Muthama

Victor Muthama was born in Kenya but has extensive experience in the global luxury hotel industry, having worked in the Middle East, West Africa and Asia. He returned to Kenya and joined Hemingways Watamu in 2018 as Hotel Manager. Victor loves to interact with guests on the ground and is passionate about providing a supreme stay.
Victor Muthama, Manager, Hemingways Watamu

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Becky, who's travelled extensively in Kenya. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the safari rangers, local village chiefs and camp managers you'll be talking about for years to come. Start planning today, call us, email an enquiry or arrange a phone or video appointment for ideas and advice.

Freephone an expert 01306 744 656

Subscribe to Newsletter

Let us inspire you with holiday ideas, exclusive event invites and travel offers from our network of contacts around the world.