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“Paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lonno Lodge

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Lonno Lodge
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Kanani Road, Watamu 80202, Kenya   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 22 hotels in Watamu
St. Albans, United Kingdom
1 review
“Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

Before travelling to Kenya, we did a lot of research and came across Lonno Lodge via Trip Advisor. We read all the reviews and wondered if such a special place really existed. Well it does! From the moment you see the smile of the Massai warrior at the gate, to the warm welcome from the owners Aldo and Sylvia upon your arrival, you realise that Lonno Lodge is a very special place.

Our journey brought us to Kenya from London via Nairobi and then a short flight to Mombasa. We arranged transportation from the airport via Sylvia and Aldo, and on exit from the airport departure area our driver was there to meet us displaying an easily identifiable Lonno Lodge sign. The two hour journey from the airport was comfortable and interesting as our driver spoke about the areas and villages we passed through along the way.

We travelled with two teenagers for seven nights from 27 October 2012 and stayed in the two bedroom suite. The suite was comfortable and spacious, with subtle African, Arabic and Portuguese architectural influences and adorned with African masks and sculptures. Aldo, who is also an architect, deserves full credit for this stunning design.

There are set menus and meal times, but these are not onerous and the food is a good mix of Italian and local cuisine and changes based on what Sylivia finds fresh from her daily shopping in the local markets. If there is something on the menu that you do not eat, then Sylvia will happily arrange something else for you. We asked to change some menu items for my daughter, and rather than just choosing an alternative, Sylvia took the time to speak with her about what she likes and always delivered a delicious alternative.

When the tide went out, we explored the tide pools and walked along the shore to Watamu, which is slightly challenging but great fun. We took a tuk tuk back to the Lodge. We also visited the Gede Ruins, and the kids went quad biking. The Lonno Lodge is conveniently located for an overnight stay in Tsavo East, which is enough time to get a taste of the safari experience. With our guide, George, we enjoyed the 2+ hour drive to the park and were fortunate to see 4 of the Big Five during our 24 hour stay! Trips were arranged through Sylvia and Aldo, who were very helpful. Aldo also took us to some very special places where we were able to see the true Kenya. Thank you Aldo.

Aldo and Sylvia and the entire staff make Lonno Lodge a place where you will want to visit time and time again. The way they instantly make you feel at ease and the excellent level of personal service are truly memorable.

Thank you Aldo and Sylivia for a wonderful stay!

Clinton, Devonee, Alex and Stephanie

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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153 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
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English first
Berkshire
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

Had 9 nights here back in November and it was without doubt one of the most relaxing holidays I have had.
The driver in the very luxurious people carrier was waiting for us at Mombasa airport and drove us safely on the 2 hour transfer to Lonno Lodge. Malindi is closer but the flight times are not as good so as to make the most of your time at Lonno.

Aldo & Silvia are the most fantastic hosts and their attitude to guests is one of the reasons everything works so well here. They are always around to offer advice on what to do, where to eat and the hundreds of other question that will get asked.


We stayed in the top tower room and yes, there are a lot of steps up to the room but just remember not to forget something you need by the pool. The views were fantastic and I can recommend this room especially now Aldo has had a day bed built to sit on the top terrace. There is no AC but with the sea breeze and the fan you don't really need it.

The staff were all very friendly and would provide anything you wanted. We were the only 2 people here for 8 nights so no doubt we were spoilt!

Food is of a very high quality, but as a set menu there is not much choice. If you want a substitution Silvia will arrange it for you.

Everywhere is spotless with lots of gardeners, pool cleaners, maids etc ensuring that nothing is ever out of place.

There is a spa there, which is not advertised on the website. We never used it as it would have been to much effort to prise ourselves out of the hammock!

There is nothing new that I can add to whatever has been said before, except that there is only one place we return to (Ulusaba) and we have now added another one. Lonno Lodge was so relaxing and perfect for our needs that we are returning for 11 nights in February.

So thank you to Aldo, Silvia and the staff for such a relaxing time.

Mark & Anne-Marie

Room Tip: Top tower room is excellent, the rest of the rooms are lovely as I was shown most of them.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangalore, India
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

Lonno is definitely the most beautiful and charming hotels/lodges I have ever stayed at. And the amazing thing is that the owners are the architects and your hosts.

We stayed there as a family of 4 (2 adults, one 3-year and one 7-months old children). Sylvia and Aldo are the owners and they run the place. They've made us feel at home and provided excellent service throughout. Food was of the finest Italian quality you can ever dream of and all the hotel employees (driver, servers, cleaners, etc.) were very friendly and warm.
We simply had a fantastic holiday and will go back again.

Room Tip: There are only 8 rooms in the whole lodge and they're all excellent! If it rains while you are t...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

One sure thing we felt as soon as we got to Lonno Lodge is : time to relax and rest. This is the first lodge and hotel in Kenya to ever make us feel like we were really disconnected.

From the amazing Arabic and African décor that meets you right from the reception, to the warm smiles of Sylvia and Aldo who made us feel at home, to the meticulous interior designs in the rooms... it was already enough to assure us that we made the right choice.

We were blown away by the delicious food that was prepared, we were never late for lunch nor dinner! Hats off to the chef and not forgetting, with good food come great service to Phillip, Jacky, Jacob and Petronilla who were there to our every beck and call. Great service guys!

Lonno was a jewel on the cliffs of Watamu. It was an amazing stay and we will definitely be back and also will recommend to friends and family.

Not forgetting Sam, Black, Paco that also kept us company, be good dogs!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kenya
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

We spent 3 nights at Lonno Lodge and loved every minute of our stay. Sylvia went out of her way to make sure everything was taken care of for us and our baby. Never did she make us feel like we were asking too much of anything. She and Aldo also insisted on making my husband's birthday special, while we tried to insist otherwise. We were so grateful for their sincere hospitality. All the other staff were really friendly and attentive while being discreet at the same time.

The hotel is small and intimate, really well designed - loved the the use of white stone. The rooms, grounds and pool are all really well kept and clean. Great food too!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

Unfortunately I only got to spend 1 night here but Lonno Lodge and the staff made a real impression. Very friendly and thoughtful staff, exquisitely designed hotel and a great atmosphere around the place.
Rooms are large, modern and extremely comfortable. The pool is very large and well kept with lots of sun beds allowing plenty of privacy.
Food is excellent too.
I hope to come back and stay longer next time!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

I spent 6 nights at Lonno Lodge after 7 days safari with (adult) family. It was the perfect end to an amazing holiday, to relax and chill out.

Lonno is an easy 20 minute or so drive from Malindi airport. The drive off the main road to Lonno is a little daunting as you are unsure where you are going, along a very bumpy road! Lonno is then a lovely, secure oasis at the end.

We were greeted on arrival by Aldo and Sylvia and their four dogs. I am very pathetic about dogs and am scared of them, but the dogs are kept under control, well trained and are not frightening at all! Aldo and Sylvia were very welcoming from start to finish; friendly, thoughtful, helpful and accommodating.

The hotel itself is lovely; a fabulous design, small and intimate and with a lovely vibe. Everything is just right! The rooms are comfortable, clean and modern, the pool and sunbed area well kept and beautiful, the food was delicious and varied, the cocktails super, and a great, relaxing music playlist at all times! The staff were all unobtrusive and very pleasant.

We were a little surprised at how windy it was during our stay. It was no problem and was pleasant to have the wind, but take a jumper for the evenings just in case. We did not really use our Rooftop Terrace because it was a bit too windy. The wind meant we did not see any Mosquitos or other bugs, so worked well!

As others have mentioned, this is not a destination for those wanting to spend time on the beach. Lonno is on the waters edge and when the tide goes out, you can wade around in the water but the tide does not go out far enough to make a beach.

We walked to Watamu one day along the 'beach' but it is quite hard work! We easily got a tuk tuk back.

We went to Hemingways one day (10 minute taxi journey) as friends had stayed there; but we were very pleased to have selected Lonno!

Some of our group went to the Snake Farm one day and enjoyed that; some went to the town of Watamu for a look around. Apart from that we just stayed at and enjoyed our time at Lonno. It is probably not the place to stay for people who like to be 'out and about' constantly, or chatting to new people. It is probably not suitable for children for more than a few days (?). It is perfect for those wanting peace, tranquility and relaxation.

We certainly did not want to leave and recommend Lonno!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Lonno Lodge

Also Known As:
Lonno Hotel Watamu
Lonno Hotel
Address: Kanani Road, Watamu 80202, Kenya
Phone Number:
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Watamu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Watamu
#1 Luxury Hotel in Watamu
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Watamu
#1 Family Hotel in Watamu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Lonno Lodge 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lonno Lodge is a luxury hotel on the sea side of the Watamu Marine Park, Kenya. Its secluded structure, with nested private tiny beaches, is the optimal spot to relax and indulge on the white beach of Kenya. Despite the proximity with the sea, a huge double swimming pool with salt water is available for our guests. Guests whose presence is limited in number to provide everyone with privacy, silence and top quality service. ... more   less 
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