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“Best Hotel ever......” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lonno Lodge

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Lonno Lodge
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Kanani Road, Watamu 80202, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 23 Hotels in Watamu
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Best Hotel ever......”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

We spent 6 nights at Lonno Lodge in January. This has been voted by our family as the best hotel ever and we've been about a bit! Small hotel with only 8 suites, amazing pool, delicious italian food and perfect hosts. We are independent travellers with a 6 year old child. Aldo and Sylvia were on hand to answer any questions but most of the time you wouldn't even know that they were there. You can walk straight out on to the reef and we never saw a beach boy and barely even a tourist. Our son learnt to snorkel in the shallow pools and then Aldo took us to a beautiful spot a bit further out where we saw a host of fish and reef life. The food at the hotel was superb but we felt very comfortable making arrangements to eat out in Watamu - where Sylvia's recommendations were always spot on! There was lots to do in and around Watamu including snake farm, Mida creek and Sokoke forrest and it was great to come back for a couple of hours around the pool afterwards. Thanks Aldo and Sylvia we will definitely be back.

Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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169 reviews from our community

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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 (20)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

We just came back from a week-end get away at Lonno Lodge in Watamu. We recommand it to every guest who wants to relax in a nice and welcoming environment while enjoying delicious italian food.
The view on the sea from the pool desk is charming and wild. Long walks can be done on the beach when the tide is low.
Furthermore, the lodge is small (8 rooms) and the welcome by the owners is friendly and warm, what we really appreciated in comparison to the usual huge and busy resorts found on the Kenyan coast.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hockley, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

We spent Christmas and New Year at Lonno Lodge, when I say we it means 8 of us. My husband and myself along with friends arrived first at Malindi airport via Niarobi, we were met at the small airport by the Lonno Lodge transport which is a luxury people carrier (very comfortable and airconditioned). About 20 minutes later we arrived and were warmly greeted by the owners and fantastic hosts Silvia and Aldo. After a cool flannel to freshen up and a greeting cocktail we were checked in and promptly shown to our rooms. We both had Suites which comprised of a downstairs kitchen and lounge area and upstairs bedroom and bathroom with balcony (which made best use of the view). The other 4 arrived the following day into Mombasa and were also promptly met by the Lonno Lodge transport, they were kept entertained by the driver on the approx. 2 hour journey as he was telling them all about the villages they were passing through and local information.

The property itself is stunning, the rooms were perfect and very comfortable, the pool area is top class, infact I think its the nicest pool I have ever been in.

Although the property was full it was like having it to ourselves, many people are out sight seeing during the day and you never have to worry about getting up early or bribe a pool attendant to save you a sunbed as there are plenty, infact most days we had the pool to ourselves it really was an exclusive residence, we mostly spent lazy days sunbathing and swimming and sipping cocktails.

My husband is a keen fisherman and as always when in Kenya he spent 5 days deep sea fishing with a local professional skipper (Aldo can always put you in contact but be warned book early for your fishing as people come here from around the world just to fish.) He was rewarded with a large Shark, Sailfish and a Marlin along with lots of smaller varieties like Dorado and Tuna both of which we brought back to Silivia for her chef to prepare for dinner.

The food is all locally sourced and very fresh and all home made (even the pasta). Two of our party don't eat fish and each day Silvia would discuss with them an alternative. To be fair after a couple of days we gave up eating lunch and opted from the snack menu instead because we were just eating too much! Breakfast is a very casual affair, turn up when you like up till 10.30 and be greet by the lovely Jackie and choose from fruit, yogurt, cereal, pastries, toast, or a full cooked breakfast.

Evening meal was 8pm and we would meet a bit earlier for drinks on the comfy day beds and test Philip on his cocktail making ability (I can testify that he makes a seriously good cocktail, but to my discredit I can't remember much of New Years Eve!!)

Seriously though, we have stayed in many hotels along the Kenya coast and have stayed in Hemingways many times, in 2011 we stayed there for Christmas and also had a wedding but after staying at Lonno Lodge for Christmas 2012 I doubt if we would return to Hemingays, value for money, service and the property itself don't really compare the only plus that Hemingways has is the beach.

We love to swim in the sea which you can easily do from Lonno down some steps, there are lots of rock pools to explore at low tide and if you feel energetic you can go for long walks along the nearby beach but Lonno Lodge doesn't have an actual beach itself, and to be honest I didn't miss it as much as I thought I would. One day Aldo took the men snorkelling to a local coral reef and they were amazed at the beauty of the coral and the sea life they saw.

The property is very secure, and entry is only through a large gate guarded by Masai Warriors who also patrol throughout the night, they are very friendly and always on hand to shine a torch on the footpath in the evenings.

Silvia and Aldo are the perfect hosts, every time you arrive or depart the property they are there to greet you, they are first up in the morning and the last to bed. Nothing is too much trouble for them and they will arrange anything from a Safari to a table at a local restaurant.

Sorry if this is too long but I felt that a shorter review wouldn't do Silvia and Aldo the justice that they deserve. Please don't have a second thought if you are condisering booking this property you will have a truly wonderful time.

Would we go back...........YES in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed December 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.
Riga, Latvia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

I booked this wonderful small hotel for 10 nights to celebrate Christmas and New Year's eve in relaxed atmosphere.
Everything was excellent right from the very beginning!!!

TRANSFER: When I arrived to the airport the driver, organised by Silvia (owner of Lonno Lodge) met me in the waiting area with the sign board with my name - right on time and smiling. The transfer to the hotel by very comfortable and clean minivan took about 2 hours. In the hotel Silvia greeted me personally and after fresh and tasty welcome-dring she invited me to show me my room.

ROOM: I've booked TOP FLOOR ROOM with private terrace and ocean-view. This room is fantastic!!! Very well decorated, perfect size, clean and cozy, with small kitchen, french balcony and wonderful views! Every morning you can start your day with fantastic african sunrise view over the Indian ocean! The terrace is REALY nice! Big and with lovely sun-bed! Paradise!

HOTEL TERRITORY and POOL: I can say one word - PERFECT! Aldo, the owner and architect of Lonno Lodge, made a great job - the territory in very well organised and groomed, everything is green and blooming! The POOL is with clean ocean water, perfect size with the view to the ocean; entrance to small private beach is only few steps away; very professional waiter/barmen Philipe all the time was somewhere around ready to bring us cocktails, water or some snacks. One more very important thing for me - sun-beds were very-very comfortable!

RESTAURANT: for BREAKFAST I've got everything I wanted - fresh fruits with yogurt, crispy home-made croissants with jam, delicious vegetable omelette and mango juice! 100% satisfied!!! DINNER - fantastic home italian food: big portions, different types of raviolis, pastas and risotto, fresh fish or shrimps and, of course, the glass (or two) of red/white wine. Serviss was great! I was absolutely happy! :-)

EXCURSIONS: Don't worry if you don't have specific plan for excursions. Silvia and Aldo will suggest you where to go, what to see or where to stay during your trip, they will help you to choose the right option and will arrange everything for you! They were very helpful and arranged for me 2-days SAFARI trip to Tsavo East with comfortable Land Rover, with good driver/guide and booked for me a night in very nice design camp. If you like SNORKELLING - ask Aldo, he will show you the best places for it! One day we went together for snorkelling and I enjoyed it very much - almost 2 hours of colourful underwater life! :-) If you like snakes - there is SNAKE FARM 5 min away from Lonno Lodge - you can touch and play with snakes (if you want to) - worth to visit!

Lonno Lodge is defiantly the place there I'D LOVE to COME BACK and the place I will suggest to my friends! I miss these wonderful days in this lovely and hospitable place, I miss our dinners and talks with Silvia and Aldo!
Silvia & Aldo! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!
You made my vocation PERFECT! :-)

Room Tip: Book TOP FLOOR ROOM if you want to have a private terrace with fantastic view.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 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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Rome, Lazio, Italy
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

We went at Lonno during Christmas time and it was absolutely perfect! Silvia and Aldo spoiled us with their excellent service, fresh home made food and genuine courtesy. The location is amazing and it's the perfect place to rest and relax. We really appreciated the intimate atmosphere that allowed us to meet very special people coming from all over the world. We had a lovely Christmas dinner with all of our new friends and that's something that I will remember for ever. Moreover Aldo gave us lots of advices to organize at best our excursion and our trip to Masai Mara. Absolutely reccomended!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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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St. Albans, United Kingdom
1 review
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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Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
49 helpful votes 49 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.
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Additional Information about Lonno Lodge

Address: Kanani Road, Watamu 80202, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Watamu
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 Luxury Hotel in Watamu
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Watamu
#1 Family Hotel in Watamu
#2 Romantic Hotel in Watamu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Lonno Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 8
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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Also Known As:
Lonno Hotel Watamu

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