Gathering Speed

Date published: 15/02/2017

The demolition is almost complete and now the stunning new structures are going up and starting to take shape. Whilst some of the facilities are staying roughly in the same place as they were in the original Hemingways, there are a number of totally new structures together with substantial improvements to existing facilities which, when combined together, will create a fabulous new experience for all our guests with better views, more light and fantastic finishes.

With the total demolition of the old reception area, there will now be a panoramic view of the Marine Park from the main entrance as soon as you enter the hotel grounds and arrive at the Port Cochere. The new reception and cashiers office is going up closer to the car park area and all the old offices next to reception have been removed. We are also revamping the security entrance.

There will now be a lovely covered walkway flowing from the discrete reception area down through landscaped gardens and a Gede inspired garden cafe before arriving onto the main seafront terrace area. The main restaurant has also been demolished and is being rebuilt in a different shape allowing more light, better air flow and views over the main pool and new water features towards the sea. These water features will soften the terrace area and add to the wondrous view as you look out to sea particularly at night with some very creative lighting effects. We hope to have the new restaurant almost complete by New Year.

The Bar has been opened up with better views of the beach and sea but, don’t fret, the iconic Hemingways Bar remains and will be ready for when everyone comes back.

In the North Wing, the thirteen new deluxe rooms on the second story have been constructed. The tiling of the rooms and bathrooms has now started and is expected to be finished in early January. Improvements are also being made to the existing North Wing rooms. These 39 rooms will form the basic Hemingways Watamu boutique hotel.

Concrete is being poured for the new botanical pool, which lies behind the North Wing; in the old drop off area; and we will now have a beautiful, landscaped pool to use during the windier months when the seafront pools are a little chilly. It will also complement the beautiful new Spa, which is located behind the new botanical pool which is having the foundations put in as we speak. The new Spa will feature the same treatments and therapies as our brilliant spa at Hemingways Nairobi, along with a fully functioning gym, and will be a great addition to facilities at Hemingways Watamu.

Along with better views and more light, the hotel will be much greener with new garden landscaping being planted throughout the hotel. There will be lovely garden areas to explore and to use to find shade during the heat of the day.

Work on transforming the South Wing into the Hemingways Residences is also progressing extremely well but of course this is not planned for completion until October 2017. We expect to have a showroom apartment ready for viewing by Christmas/New Year this year.

A significant piece of construction work is currently well underway; the reinstatement of the sea defences. Our old vertical concrete wall took a hammering in the El Niño storms of the last two years assisted by huge tides caused by loss of beach sand due to littoral drift -movement of sand up and down the beach. The new sea defence scheme is a very modern design that fits together like Lego. Design has been undertaken by the leading sea defences consulting engineers in UK and involves the use of synthetic reinforcement in the gabions aligned at 45° as opposed to a vertical structure. The structure is being built within our own boundary with the footings being on coral, which gives a solid structure capable of being in place for the next 50 years at least. Government authorities are very pleased with the design and have asked us to allow the use of this design on other problem areas along the coast where coastal erosion is prevalent – a major environmental win for Hemingways.

Currently, we are on target to open the 39 hotel rooms for repeat guests by mid February 2017, however construction will still be on-going in the rest of the site. We will keep you updated.

We do very much look forward to welcoming you all back to us once we do reopen and please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like more information or just to say ‘Hello’

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Further reading…

General development update

We are pleased to advise all interested parties of the progress on the proposed Hemingways Watamu 2017, including the development of 21 new luxury apartments.

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Completion dates

We expect to re-open the hotel for a soft opening around Easter 2017 with the entire construction project being completed by October 2017.

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