Watamu town, on Kenya’s Coast, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.
The Watamu Marine Park is a recognised UN biosphere and is considered one of the best snorkelling and diving areas in the region.
To attract more international and local tourists to the area, Hemingways Collection recently refurbished its five-star property, Hemingways Watamu.
The iconic property, established in 1988, re-enters the market as a 39-room boutique hotel, along with Hemingways Residences, a privately owned residential development comprising 21 luxury apartments.
Making the announcement in Nairobi this past Monday, Hemingways Collection group operations director Ross Evans said, “We are diversifying our product range based on market demand and new international travel trends.”
Regional competitors include luxury hotels in Zanzibar and on the Indian Ocean islands.
“Watamu has developed slowly and gently and now offers an exciting array of quaint beach bars and restaurants as well as a host of activities that we want guests to experience. To facilitate this, we’re providing electric tuktuks to ferry guests around Watamu free of charge,” he said.
Tourists can visit the Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve, explore the Gede Ruins, and the mangrove-fringed waterways of Mida Creek. They can also see green turtles, coral gardens, enjoy white sandy beaches, go snorkelling and take part in watersports.
It is a birders’ paradise, with more than 100 species of birds found in the town.
Guest areas have been redesigned and refurbished with the exception of the Hemingways Bar, which is being conserved to reflect the character of the original Hemingways.
The restaurants have also been redesigned. The main restaurant will serve à la carte brasserie-style dishes with the focus on fresh seafood; sushi and ceviche will be the order of the day at the al fresco Rock Bar and the Gede Café Bar will serve fresh pastries and light lunches as well as gelato.