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Hemingways Hotel, Watamu, Kenya

Hemingways is an intimate, privately owned hotel built right at the edge of the beach - the ocean can be seen from most rooms.

The impression is one of pristine whitewash and spacious stone terraces. There are two sparkling blue swimming pools and a multitude of tall palm trees. The hotel exudes a certain upmarket elegance and is popular with British Kenyans and overseas visitors alike.

The bar, dining room and reception are huge white rondavels with dramatic soaring roofs. Hemingways places an emphasis on dining and the elegant dining room has starched white tablecloths, fresh flowers and lots of candles. The sundowner ' bitings' are particularly popular - small spicy snacks that go perfectly with an early evening drink.

Hemingways has rooms in two wings: the original sea-view wing which has double rooms, and a newer 'superior' wing which includes triples and suites. The bedrooms of the older wing are fairly small in size however they are quieter, close to the ocean and have superb sea views. Those in the new wing are larger and more luxurious and have views of the sea beyond the gardens and swimming pools. All were fully refurbished recently, and the rooms are all very comfortable.

The beach at Hemingways is long and sandy. The sea is actually part of the marine park so there is good snorkelling nearby. Hemingway's does get a great deal of seaweed from June to August. It is still present in September but in a lesser amount. It tends to be totally gone by October.

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    Alternative places to stay nearby

    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.

    Experiences while staying here

    The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.