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Hemingways Collection reopens Watamu hotel

Barry Silah @obel_barry

Hemingways Collection has reopened the Hemingways Watamu in the North Coast after an 18-month long closure for a Sh1.2 billion redevelopment. Established in 1988, the property re-¬emerges into the market as a 39-roomed boutique hotel along with Hemingways Residences, a privately owned residential development comprising 21 luxury apartments —consisting of one, two and four bedroom apartments on sale from Sh45 million to Sh140 million. The main hotel has undergone a full refurbishment that cements its position as a leading property of its kind at the Coast.

Making the announcement, Hemingways Collection Group Operations Director Ross Evans said; “We are diversifying our product range based on market demands and the new international traveller trends.

This investment will go towards improving our guest experience to meet the dynamic demand of the modern luxury traveller.” All guest areas of the hotel have been redesigned and refurbished save for the Hemingways Bar, largely maintained to reflect the charm and character of the original property.

This bar is now completely open to the view and sea breeze and retains its legendary spirit. The restaurant concepts have also been re–designed with the main one focusing on fresh seafood while sushi and ceviche will be the order of the day at the al fresco Rock Bar.

A new botanical swimming pool alongside a new spa and modern gym targets to transform relaxation for guests. Treatments by Terres d’Afrique, an African skincare company that takes inspiration from the traditional uses of African plants, will help guests to fully relax into the Watamu pace of life.

With the relaunch, Evans said, the Hemingways Collection intends to position the property as a strong competitor to luxury hotels in Zanzibar and the Indian Ocean islands aiming to attract international tourists and domestic travellers to the Kenya Coast.

He said there is need to showcase destination Watamu, a recognised UN biosphere with the Watamu Marine Park on one side, the Mida Creek Mangrove Reserve on the other and the Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve stretching along the edge of the Creek.

“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 which we want guests to experience. To facilitate this, we’re launching with electric Tuk Tuks to ferry guests around Watamu free of charge,” he said.

With the relaunch, Evans said the Hemingways Collection intends to position the property as a strong competitor to luxury hotels in Zanzibar and the Indian Ocean islands aiming to attract international tourists and domestic travellers to the Kenya Coast. Other Hemmingways properties include Hemingways Nairobi and Ol Seki Hemingways Mara, allowing travellers to touch the three best corners of Kenya – beach, city and safari.

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