Welcome to Hemingways Watamu


Welcome to Hemingways Watamu. This Indian Ocean luxury beach hotel in Kenya is everyone’s favorite and our guests just keep coming back for more.

An iconic tropical paradise on the Kenyan coast sitting right in the middle of the pristine Watamu Marine National Park with its idyllic white sand beach and turquoise waters. The exceptional personal service and sincere charm of this established hotel has come to represent Kenyan coastal luxury to so many travellers for close to 30 years. 

There is so much to do here – learn to kite-surf; get your PADI certificate, take a sunset dhow 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 Maasai 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.

The Area

Watamu – meaning “home of the sweet people” in Swahili – is a small village on the Kenyan coast approximately 120kms north of Mombasa – Kenya’s second largest city. It is also 20kms south of Malindi – Vasco de Gama’s first landing point on the coast of East Africa. Watamu’s shoreline features pristine white sand beaches and offshore coral formations arranged in different bays and sheltered by a reef. The area is protected as part of the Watamu Marine National Park and is considered one of the best snorkeling and diving areas on the coast of Africa. The Marine Park is renowned worldwide for its natural beauty and boasts a diverse marine life from the visiting whale sharks and manta rays to three species of sea turtle.

& weather

The low-lying coast of Kenya creates a tropical climate with wonderful sea breezes. It is at its hottest in March but cools off in July with temperatures ranging between 26C and 32C throughout the year. The monsoons bring two distinct seasons – when the warm air moves south in March, the longer rains follow in April and May. It moves north again in September bringing the shorter rains of October and November. The southeast wind, called Kusi, blows from mid March to November, cooling the waters. The northeast breeze, called Kaskazi, brings warmer, calm seas throughout the months of December, January and February.

Culture & traditions

The Swahili culture of the coast is an exotic mix of Omani, Portuguese and Bantu influences. Built on trade, the coastal town of Watamu was once an outpost for ivory, slaves, spices and shells. Local people are predominantly fishermen and farmers and the coast is rich in exotic fruit and sisal plantations. There is a languid pace to life here, quite different to the hectic rush of Nairobi. Middle Eastern influences are more apparent at the coast in the architecture and religion and both Malindi and Watamu have elements of an Italian feel with great pizzerias and delicious gelato available.



Hemingways Watamu sits just off Turtle Bay Road outside Watamu village. Watamu itself lies approximately 120 kms north of Mombasa and 25 kms south of Malindi. Our nearest airport is in Malindi which is 30 minutes by road whilst the nearest international airport is Moi International in Mombasa.

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