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“Heaven”

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The Charming Lonno Lodge
Ranked #1 of 26 Hotels in Watamu
Certificate of Excellence
Nairobi, Kenya
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Heaven”
Reviewed October 16, 2011

Undoubtably the most exquisite place I have travelled to in a very long time. The accommodation is simple, rustic and and as good, if not better, than any 5 star hotel I have ever stayed in. The staff are very warm and if your are lucky to bump into the owners Aldo and Sylvia, they promise to make you feel just at home. From a mix of Portuguese architecture and Arabic influence, rises this true diamond in the rough. The meals will have you wanting more and more. The meals are mainly European cuisine with an influence of African flavour. Keeping in touch with friends and family is absolutely possible with Hi-speed wireless internet available within general areas, but restricted within the rooms. But then, why are you really wanting to use the internet, when you can spend your afternoons walking along the white sandy beaches. If your looking to get away from it all and want good piece of mind, look no further for Lonno Lodge offers this, and so much more. P.S. If your nice enough to Aldo, he might take you to his secret ice-cream spot!!! Enjoy your memorable stay. Nic Alexander

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled on business
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Thank Nicalexander
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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302 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (59)
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English first
Venice, Veneto, Italy
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2011

This hotel has the most wonderful rooms, food and service I have ever experienced. The only thing I cannot work out is why it does not have 6 stars. The key to its success is the wonderful personal service provided by Aldo and Silvia. Aldo has done a wonderful job with designing an exceptional property and Silvia has guided an amazing culinary restaurant experience and both of them provide exceptional attention to detail. After staying for two weeks with our two sons of eight and eleven years, we consider Aldo and Silvia as friends. And what can we say about the dogs, who we miss enormously? This is an ideal place for people with young children or without children who appreciate quality and fantastic service. Moreover, we combined local experiences of snorkelling, exploring beaches and marine life with a one-day safari from the hotel then a two-day safari. This was a great combination of enjoying Kenya's lovely coast and amazing safari. We recommend this hotel without reservation.

Room Tip: book well in advance because this place is the best and you don't want to miss out.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Dominic S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2011

Firstly we have to say that Trip Advisor gave us the first insight to Lonno Lodge and it was unusual to see such an array of excellent reviews .... none of them were wrong !!
We arrived at the Lodge and were met personally by Aldo and the dogs ( which are fine !) from that moment it was Aldo and Silvia's attention to detail that made this holiday exceptional
The top Tower room is lovely, the views stunning and so it turned out that the rest of this beautiful lodge were the same. Everything practically hand built by Aldo and his team of Kenyan labour showed how Italian style could be mixed with local culture and materials to produce a holiday location quite like any other we have been to anywhere is in the world

And then there was the food .... being Italian ( well half anyway ) it was a real treat to arrive at lunch and dinner to sound of the small bell, to be met by antipasti, pasta and main dishes, usually Italian , but all freshly produced from local ingredients sourced that day from local markets .... Silvia has crafted a small local team to produce fantastic food to such a degree that by the end of the week when we were the only guests it was like being with family and we have to say very fortunate to have the land rover working so that we could do a personal jeep safari with Aldo and Silvia and lunch on the beach at Che Shale to round off an amazing vacation

If you throw in 3 days on the Masai Mara reserve ( and we would recommend the Mara Rianta Camp by Exploreans ) and a must do trip to the local snake farm Bio Ken then you have a vacation that promised so much but actually delivered more than we ever hoped.

If you a thinking to visit Kenya, then for sure you will not find a better spot than on the top of the beach at Lonno Lodge in Watamu and definitely wont find better friends than Silvia and Aldo who go that little extra distance to make you feel at home !!

To Aldo and Silvia ...Mille Grazie per tutto !!! ... Katia and Paul ( Dubai )

Room Tip: All the rooms are good but just for the views from the roof terrace, take the top tower room is simp...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Paul_Haslam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hobart, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 11, 2011

I picked Lonno off the internet because it looked like it would be nice. My daughter & I were not disappointed. We arrived in the evening to be met by Aldo & Sylvia with hot freshener towels and a long cool fruit drink in their delightful thatched banda. Being at Lonno is a bit like staying with good friends or relatives in an interesting and lovely coastal mansion where they make sure that you are made welcome and are well looked after. It has very much a family atmosphere where you are treated more like a welcome friend than just a paying guest. There are only eight guest rooms. Aldo designed and built the place and has built in all kinds of eco friendly features including a self contained solar power system and his own water desalination plant. This puts less strain on the limited resources from the local community and ensures that the lodge always has clean water and enough power for basic functions. I'm not sure what you'd call the style, perhaps something between an Italian and Moorish mansion linked with traditional East African coastal architecture. Interesting! The end result is very impressive. The lodge is situated at the less well developed nothern edge of Watamu where the small beach in front of the hotel is only accessible at low tide. At low tide it is a short walk to the more extensive Watamu beach. The place is fairly new and in good repair , safe within an extensive gated compound, the staff are friendly and competent and the food was excellent. Be prepared for 5 course evening meals! All in all, if what you are looking for is a nice friendly, quiet and relaxing place to stay on the coast this place will I think suit you well.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank GMHobart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sydney
Level 5 Contributor
33 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2011

We stayed for five great days at Lonno Lodge in July and enjoyed every minute of it. The hotel building is beautiful and Aldo and Sylvia were fantastic hosts - happy to help and make sure we were being well looked after.They upgraded our room and treated us to a bottle of champagne which was a lovely touch, especially as we were on honeymoon.
The room was amazing,the decor had a perfect culture mix with a slight rustic feel, plus we had all the mod cons needed including a cold water dispenser, mini bar, tea and coffee facilites and also fantastic views of the stunning sea.
All of the staff were really friendly and welcoming to us, and the food was absolutely out of this world, Sylvia has trained the kitchen superbly in Italian cusine, we adored the 4 course lunches and 5 course dinners. There was also an excellent, well priced wine selection and outstanding expresso's.
We miss relaxing on their beautiful large day beds, looking out to sea and chilling in this beautiful part of the world which is still so secluded and peaceful.
Aldo took us on a snorkelling trip which was great fun, the water was so warm and the water was packed full of interesting and colourful sealife.
We had an amazing stay and would highly recommend it to anyone, Thank you again Aldo and Sylvia, we can't wait to come back with our friends and family.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank fremontSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 1, 2011

We visited Lonno Lodge in February 2011. After reading the other reviews our expectations were very high, however we were not disappointed in any way. The property itself is stunning with Aldo's flair for design and attention to detail evident everywhere. We stayed in the one of the smaller rooms but it was absolutely perfect; although Silvia later showed us the others ones and they really were incredible. All rooms are clean, functional and beautifully decorated. They have great views and very large comfortable beds with mosquito nets; although we stopped using ours as I don't think we ever spotted an insect in the room. They also have safes which probably aren't required but add to a feeling of total security along with the masai guides and four friendly dogs.
The food is as good as everyone says, the only problem is that there's just too much of it! We found it almost impossible to eat both the full lunch and dinner every day. The staff are fantastic and do everything possible to make you feel welcome, as do Aldo and Silvia who are always happy to talk to but also give you plenty of space and privacy if thats what you want. You really do begin to feel like valued guests in a friend's mansion.
We went on one great trip to Mida creek on the speed boat where we saw lots of flamingos and other bird life followed by an even better trip up the coast in Aldo's land rover where we even saw hippos on the beach.
In the middle of our stay we went on safari trip for 3 days and Aldo and Silvia were very happy for us to leave everything of ours in the room. In all the trip was a perfect break from England in February, and although I always like to visit and discover new places I am now very tempted to come back again next year.

Room Tip: Top tower, stunning views if a few stairs are okay
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  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank tomlwright
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kampala
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed May 29, 2011

One of the best places I have ever stayed in. I went to Lonno lodge over easter break for a week to rest and catch up on reading. Couldn't have asked for better. From the spacious, comfortable, extremely well decorated room, to the fantastic pool, juice, drinks, FOOD, and sights, everything was perfect. It was hard to even want to leave the hotel although there are many great things to do in and around watamu bay. Mida creek was a lovely, the snorkeling a real treat (wear alot of sunblock) and guede ruins really worth it. My favourite was taking walks along the coast through to watamu beach during low tide. The sights are just breathtaking.

At the end of the day what truly makes lonno lodge so special are its hosts. Aldo and Sylvia and their staff make you feel at home from the moment you step foot in the hotel, and it truly feels like old friends welcoming you in for a fun weekend.

Recommend to everyone!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank paulasimas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Charming Lonno Lodge

Property: The Charming Lonno Lodge
Address: 390 Kanani Road, Watamu 80202, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Watamu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Watamu
#1 Luxury Hotel in Watamu
#1 Family Hotel in Watamu
#2 Romantic Hotel in Watamu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Charming Lonno Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Charming Lonno Lodge Watamu 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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