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“old school luxury a little on the expensive side” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Ocean Sports Resort

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Ocean Sports Resort
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Mida Creek Road | P.O Box 208, Watamu 80208, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #14 of 23 Hotels in Watamu
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“old school luxury a little on the expensive side”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2012

we statyed here for a few nights in preparation of a wedding we were attending just down the beach.
the rooms are very nice and largely have great views of the sea. our room was an upstairs flat so it had a particularly good view.
the pool is pretty big with plenty of space for lounging around with a drink, though it's not close enough to the bar to make this entirely convenient.
the staff speak great english and are generally helpful and pleasant and the restaurant food was exceptional (though we mostly had set menus from the wedding party).
the beach is nothing particularly spectacular and i don't think we made the most of the facilities the hotel had to offer in regards to trips, diving etc.
i think for the amount we paid, it's probably a little on the expensive side, especially as our complimentary tea failed to to turn up on at least half the days we were there.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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127 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2012

Allow me to clarify that I did not stay in a room. I visited and had a meal. It was during the lowest of the low season.

They have a beautiful, large porch they have built over the beach with a really great view of the area. When we arrived, the tide was just coming in and we watched it swallow up all the seaweed that accumulates on the beach during low season. Never the less, it was a beautiful view. The deck is elevated, so you don't really see the nasty beach, just the beautiful surrounding area. We just had some basic starter bites and drinks, but everything seemed very reasonably priced and the special for lunch sounded amazing, though I didn't get to try it. Captain Andy's has a small shop there, but they were closed. I called them and visited their main office, bad first impression. I inquired about rooms and services and everything seems very well priced. If you are into any water sports, this is definitely the place to stay. Nearly everything is on site or very close by. The pool was decent. All the rooms have AC but from the outside look as though they might begin to show their age. The grounds were a bit below average, nothing special.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2012

So i bravely took a group of 51 (yes that's 51 folks!) 8 & 9 year old's down to Watamu for a school field trip with my company Savage Wilderness. No I'm not masochistic but i think most people would agree that a trip like this certainly does exhibit some of those tendencies!

Perfomance of the chosen hotel has the habit of making or breaking a trip of this nature. in the case of ocean Sports it more than made it! The hands on approach of the staff who were in constant communication with the team meant nay a snag along the way. they were nothing but efficient, helpful and smiling the whole time.

The food has a real home cooked feel to it. there is plenty of it and it's definately not your standard all inclusive mush!

The decor of the hotel is nice and gives a real family run feel to the place. I believe a renovation programme is now underway so it should get even sharper in the not to distant future.

For those looking for extra stuff to do in the area check out Steve Curtis And his aqua ventures company who offer kayaking, mountain biking and PADI scuba diving / courses.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • 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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Joanne T, Manager at Ocean Sports Resort, responded to this review, June 13, 2012
Customer Satisfaction is our number 1 priority here at Ocean Sports. We are glad to have put a smile on our guests' faces.
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2012

The name of this hotel conjured up visions of lary bare-chested sunburnt Brits sharing diving tips over endless beer.

Not the case.

This is a very laid back family friendly (and couple friendly) hotel which is equally welcoming of guests who wish to do no more sport than the 10 metre stroll to the (gorgeous and warm) water's edge. The bar and restaurant - which are very reasonably priced - look over the beachfront and are a wonderful place to while away a few hours with a cocktail or two in the sea breeze. There is a good swimming pool for when you want a change from the sea - but unlike in Malindi, where the beaches tend to be covered in seaweed, and offer little in the way of coves or visual interest- the sea here is calm, clear and beautiful.

if you do want to do sports the hotel can arrange various activities for you. We went sailing on a catermeran for a couple of hours. There is also a very interesting turtle sanctuary project down the road.

The rooms are pretty simple - but they are clean, and the aircon works and they all have view s out towards the beach. They're romantic in a simple way.

We booked half board - which I wouldn't bother with again. Its easier just to choose from the menu. Their airport transfers are also a bit pricey. If you're in the game of saving money (and experiencing a bit of 'the real Kenya') you can take a matatu from Watamu to right outside Malindi airport for about $1USD each. More money for cocktails!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Jenny B, General Manager at Ocean Sports Resort, responded to this review, March 31, 2012
Hi Veronica, thanks so much for such a positive review! We do try very hard to make everyone's visit as special as possible. We're so pleased that you enjoyed your time with us (and that you discovered a thrifty way to free up more cocktail money! very resourceful!) We hope to welcome you back soon.
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NickCharman
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2012

It sort of depends what you are looking for. Don't go if you want a smart posh Western hotel environment, and no contact with the local population!
This hotel is a very friendly, now slightly worn, hotel from the days when Ernest Hemingway used to do his deep Ocean fishing here. Local (wealthy) Kenyans and South African visitors still do. You can too.
It seemed not to take package tours, so feels slightly more "exclusive", and is not so big as the neighbouring 2 establishments - who are bigger, and look like they rather "stack you in". Having said that it was only slightly more expensive than a package tour to one of the two close-by hotels. The fixtures and fittings are no longer very smart, but everything works, and it is very clean and relaxed. You will sleep in a separate chalet - tea in the morning rising sun, on your own terrace served at 0645, and awaiting you getting up. Poolside beauty therapy - or just dozing in the shade, and best of all an amazing bar/restaurant area, under thatch, cool ocean breezes, waving palms, and good service - you will get to know the friendly local staff, including the ex-pat manager, who are always happy to chat, but equally will respect your privacy if you like. The "campus" feels secure and slightly remote, having good security for the guests.
At night the restaurant counts, for us, as having one of the best ambiences we have experienced - but then the Indian Ocean beating its gentle pulse on the sand below you and the African night stars above are just excellent props for the white table cloths and candle-lit service, with a gentle sea breeze cooling the heat of the day. The food is good - esp the locally caught fish, but not too "ornate", and a quite adequate wine-list. The local fruit and other breakfast stuff is very good!

If you want some adventure - the hotel has a very well run Diving centre, and also the fishing off power deep-sea boats is available, if you prefer to kill the wildlife rather than look at and admire it. Kayaks available for the sea. You can swim in the seawater pool, or of course, when the tide is up, in the gentle reef-protected surf, on the near perfect sandy beach. At low water, the beach reveals old coral rock-pools with amazing local inhabitants (small moray eels/shrimp/reef fish). Great for kids.

Off site, there are things to see and do - local ruins of a Swahili trading city called Gedi. Wildlife (inc Elephants) in the local forest. Local turtle-watch charity. Bird and seashore life at MIda creek eco venture, inc mangroves. Just get reception to arrange it.

Nowhere is perfect, and here the issue is the heat at night for us. We either had a noisy air conditioner to keep cool, or silence but too warm (the mosquito netting stops any cooling breeze) before about 3am, so the nights were slightly disturbed for us. An excuse to do some kipping by the pool in the shade!
As you can tell we're fond of this place. Its a bit of a "find", and far enough off the beaten track to be quiet. To get there ex-UK, try Thomson Hols flight direct into Mombasa - saves an internal transfer flight from Nairobi.

Room Tip: No need - there aren't that many chalets, and all are about the same. If you have kids you migh...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
surrey, UK
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
68 hotel reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
123 helpful votes 123 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2012

We booked for Ocean SPorts in August 2011 for a 8 night stay over Christmas 2011. Overall we paid about $200 per night for all of us - all 8 of us!! *4 adults and 4 children*
For the first 4 nights we had two seperate family rooms
the final nights in the Ocean cottage

Check in was slow, maybe quick by African standards!! No photocopier was working so no copies of my passport or credit card taken. They welcomed us with keys - no directions, instructions or helpers!!

The other part of our party were given a small two bedroom round cottage as their family room. It looked like it needed to be renovated but was practicle and clean
They had a double bed and in a seperate room two singles. All mosquito netted. Main room air conditioned

Now my room was much better - amazing infact. It seemed to be the only one but it was on two floors, with two balconies and overlooking the beach.
The ground floor had a bathroom with bath and walk in shower. The main bedroom which consisted of a huge bed in the middle kinda made from stone and surrounded by mosquito netting. A massive wardrobe and dressing table etc. Lovely air con!
Upstairs was a functional twin room with sofa, fridge, wardrobe and access to balcony. Fan as no air con

The room was well cleaned each day and turned down each night ( netting etc)

We then moved to the ocean cottage for the final nights. A four bedroom cottage right on the beach - beautiful. We had a chef for the duration and ate our meals overlooking the beach.
Two twin rooms and two doubles (one en suite, the other no air con!!) PLenty of room for all of us. The chef has a seperate kitchen for his cooking.

The main areas of Ocean Sports have free wifi. The areas are laid back, family friendly and generally clean

With the run up to christmas they provided plenty of entertainment including santa arriving by parachute!!! a kids party, buffet meals, fishing competition....the list goes on. The staff seemed to get more grumpy the busier it gets! On Christmas day the staff hand delivered each of the four kids a stocking which was a lovely thought

The beach is beautifully clean, white sands. When the tide goes out there are rock pools to explore. There are lots of beach boys to show you around - Lovely Obama showed us puffer fish, massive moray eels, nemo fish. He never pushed us for money and he entertained us and the kids for days....however we did buy wooden souvenirs from him as a gesture of thanks

There was plenty of security to make us all feel safe (especially at a time of increased risk)

The pool was lovely too. In the shape of a turtle with lots of sunbedsa round it. There were two pool boys and a bar. Complimentary towels. The pool was mostly empty of people each day, except for a few dive practices. It was lovely and relaxing.
Only thing I would say is that during our stay in Aug we omplained that the filter to the pool was left uncovered...it remained so in Dec. This is a safety risk especially for kids

Restaurant food was averagely priced and yummy. We had brekfast included with our room which was a buffet including freshly cooked pancakes eggs, fruits and cereals. The restaurant area is beautiful - overlooking the beach and gorgeous sunsets

Not sure what else to say about this lovely hotel - email if you have any questions etc

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Jenny B, Manager at Ocean Sports Resort, responded to this review, February 12, 2012
Thank you for reviewing Ocean Sports for us. I am pleased that you seem fond of the place despite a few mishaps during your stay! Someone at the front office should always direct you to your room, I apologise that this wasn't the case. The filter at the pool has also been covered. Thankyou for drawing our attention to this issue. Otherwise, I'm glad you enjoyed your stay, we will endeavour to improve the consistency of our standards so that your next visit goes without a hitch!
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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2012 via mobile

I stayed here the Friday before Christmas and really wish I'd had more time. The resort is right on the beach and bloody hell - what a beach!

The rooms are excellent value for money, very clean and neat. I managed to break a tap in the shower, but the maintenance man quickly replaced it.

The disco that night was well attended and a really good thrash, with a quality sound system and a trendy disc jockey. I partied like a mofo until 4am.

An excellent variety of activities can be booked through the hotel and you can even learn to scuba dive in the hotel pool.

Watamu is one of the most awesome beach villages you can ever visit, so stay at least 3 nights if you have the time.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Jenny B, Manager at Ocean Sports Resort, responded to this review, February 12, 2012
Thank you for your positive feedback! We are so pleased you enjoyed your stay with us. Do make sure you come for longer next time. 1 night is definitely not enough!
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Additional Information about Ocean Sports Resort

Address: Mida Creek Road | P.O Box 208, Watamu 80208, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Watamu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#10 Romantic Hotel in Watamu
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Watamu
#11 Family Hotel in Watamu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Ocean Sports Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The plaque on our famous 1952 bar boat states "Ian Pritchard sailed his boat through the reef and staked his claim right here. Cheers Ian!" And so the legend of Ocean Sports was born.Our ambiance is relaxed, friendly and barefoot chic. Frequented by a loyal following of East African residents and savvy overseas guests, many consider this being their second home.Located 20km south of Malindi Airport, within the protected Watamu Marine Reserve, our 30 rooms, suites and self catered cottage overlook Kenya's favorite, white sand beach.Our outdoor, ocean-side deck dinning venue is simply stunning! Freshly caught, sustainable seafood and local organic produce, inspired our French chef, Florian's new mouth watering menu choices. Delicious stone-oven piazzas and a 'daily specials' board, ensure something for all. Nature will nourish your soul! Our 14 acre plot boasts indigenous African fauna and wildlife that includes monkeys, bird-life and night bush babies. Low-tide reveals rock pool aquariums of sea life, crabs and even King George, our grumpy resident Moray eel! Turtles, dolphins and whales are observed further out to sea.Our name reflects our love of ocean activity and adventure. Deep sea fish with our professional charter boats to experience adrenalin hook ups. Blue water dive over sparkling coral reefs, all organized by our PADI scuba centre. Try kite-surfing, kayaking and boogie boarding - the ocean is your playground! Onshore we offer trail-biking, tennis, squash, hokey, beach volley and touch rugby. On weekends our resident DJ entertains all age groups in total harmony.We are "A small, stylish and sociable beach hotel for free spirits and active families in search of Africa" ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ocean Sports Hotel Watamu
Ocean Sports Watamu

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