UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2015
HEMINGWAYS is now closed and will re open in December 2015. DoinDubai will keep you posted about What’s New! But if you still want to visit Kenya then check out these links:
Hemingways is hip – in a laidback kind of way !
Our family went Deep Sea Fishing at Hemingways at 6.30 am as part of a beach holiday in Watamu. Sea sickness pills, snacks, fishing equipment and local knowledge of where the big fish live – all supplied courtesy of Hemingways fine and experienced crew. Five hours later and a triumphant team returned with a 6kg Dorado Falusi fish the colour of iridescent quicklime and 3 yellow fin tunas with piercingly bright eyes dripping with blood. Order your sashimi here on the gantry and look forward to eating it at lunch or with evening drinks at the bar. Whoever said beach holidays are boring was wrong.
We visited Hemingways in Malindi during the recent Easter break but it is from November to March that’s best for Billfish, that’s Black Marlin and Sailfish to the unitiated! Despite being there in April, plenty of Dorado Falusi, Yellow fin tuna and Wahoo were evident throughout our stay. The African Billfish Foundation works to promote and protect the species and Hemingways follows it’s guidelines.
The Dhow Cruise
The older members of our party (grandparents) accompanied us on a Dhow Cruise through the mangroves in the evening in the Mida Creek area of Watamu, a much more gentle boat ride this time with a feast of expertly prepared seafood cooked fresh to order. Drinks of all kinds are included; the local Dawa cocktail made from a Kenyan liqueur, lime juice and brown sugar seemed the most popular.
We also took a morning out to explore the fascinating old town of Malindi which still retains some of it’s Islamic influence and reminded me a bit of Zanzibar. Buy exotic vanilla pods, colourful kikois and Malindi Mozzarella while you’re there..Hemingways has a free shuttle service from the hotel.
Back at the hotel
Watamu is based on the edge of a marine park and boats go out to Snorkel everyday from Hemingways jetty (a 30 second walk from our room) Guests only pay the $15.00 marine park fee (kids are $10.00) to take the boat. Snorkels and masks are on board so you don’t have to buy or bring your own. Be amazed at the variety of life in an underwater world called the Coral Gardens about 15 to 20 minutes out to sea from your door. We saw striped sergeant fish, translucent angel fish and a myriad of other species. Apparently the predatory lion fish was lurking low but I didn’t see him ! The corals themselves spread out like loose meringue mixture that seems to be overflowing from an ocean bowl!
The hotel has a small herb garden which is regularly raided by the head chef who can spice up salads with mini pili pili chillies full of fiery heat or temper pasta sauces and salads with sweet marjoram and bulbous fennel. A beguiling number of plants with exotic blooms are also grown in a mini forest like area next to the herb garden. Ask at reception for a behind the scenes garden tour.
Hemingways was opened in 1988 and we have visited many times over the last 15 years or so and still haven’t tired of the place. It seems a couple of employees can’t bear to leave either, both George and Benson have been there since the hotel opened ! While all the staff are exemplary and do everything to help make your holiday special, Hudson really does live up to his namesake (from Upstairs Downstairs), with no request seemingly too awkward to deal with. Go to Hemingways for some peace, nature and fresh fish served by caring staff in delightfully charming surroundings. It’s not 5 star luxury as we know it but you can expect a hugely relaxing holiday in a gorgeously natural setting.
Click here for what you NEED TO KNOW about holidaying at Hemingways and do mention Monica from DoinDubai when you book !