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“Rare combination between highly luxurious and easy going.”

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The Charming Lonno Lodge
Ranked #1 of 26 Hotels in Watamu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 25, 2012

We arrived at Lonno Lodge after a 4 day safari at Lake Nakuru and Masai Mara (especially the latter highly recommended, check our review of Royal Mara Lodge). We just wanted to relax for a few days with our family as this was a one week break. Well relaxing at Lonno Lodge is easy!

The place looks almost too good to be true. The design of the grounds, the gardens, the rooms. Everything is just perfect. The attention to detail from the owners (former architects in Italy) is outstanding. We also loved the large and beautiful pool.

The food is great too with the Italian roots clearly visible. It is all prepared by the African staff and they surprised almost every time with great starters, fantastic pasta's and lovely main courses (often fish).

Aldo and Silvia do everything to make your stay to your liking. They arranged our next hotel and the transfers and went out of their way to make sure everything was as we liked it without being "in our way".

The rooms are fantastic too - great architecture again and every detail is thought of. Our 2 room, 2 stories suite had a great balcony where we could relax once the kids went to bed.

As for the location: note that while the lodge is right at the sea - there is no private beach (well there a small strip is but you wouldn't want to lay or swim there because of the heavy sea weeds.) We went to the beach after a low tide hike across the reefs and found it busy and unattractive and didn't mind spending our time at the Lonno pool instead.

Getting there: we arrived from Malindi airport (we flew with Fly 540 from Wilson Airport, Nairobi: a cheap way to get there). From Malindi it's only 25 minutes with the very comfortable Lonno Lodge car (seating a family of 5) arranged by Silvia and Aldo. When we left we went to Mobasa - 2.5 hours.

All in all we had a fantastic time and would certainly recommend this lodge to anyone going to the area.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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Thank thijsvanschadewijk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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194 - 200 of 322 reviews

Reviewed February 21, 2012

We wanted to stay somewhere by the coast in Kenya which was a little extra special for our honeymoon and Lonno Lodge was absolutely spot on! Small, with it's own personality and excellent attention to detail by the hosts it is a truly wonderful find.

We stayed in the Top Tower Room with its own private rooftop with stunning views - We would book this particular room again of we are ever lucky enough to go back.

The food and staff also require a mention as again, both were outstanding.

A little more expensive than we usually go for, but well worth it and a real treat for our honeymoon.

Magical.

  • Stayed: March 2011
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Thank MarcusandSallyJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2012

We were very impressed by all the attention to the details. The food was phenomenal - the best we've had in Kenya. The environmentally conscience architecture and design was very impressive and we really enjoyed the infinity salt pool. The owners and hosts were wonderful and they went out their way to make our stay special. We will be coming back soon.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Maxy2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2012

We were blessed with good luck finding this gem in Watamu. A unique and memorable place and atmosphere! While there we had a chance to visit other lower end (but equally priced) venues along the sea front near Watamu and had lunch at "Hemmingway's", who pride themselves on their exclusive entrance policy. Back in the day it probably was one of the top spots but now very much mass tourism with no privacy.

This made us appreciate both the tranquility, style and quality of the housing and delicious food at Lonno. It is the only place that I would want to stay or would recommend to friends on this part of the coast. What really made us feel special was Aldo and Silvia, the Italian owners, welcoming us like their family and not clients, sharing tips – always helpful – and interesting stories with us about the region, the people, the culture. I felt guilty taking their time to hear their wonderful journey, shutting up shop as architects in Italy after 20 years to pursue their dreams abroad. There is also a very non commercial feel about the place, and unlike most hotels, they do not like 100% occupancy all year round. You don't feel you are trying to be sold trips away either and there is no obligation to have every meal there - in fact we mainly survived on just the 3 course breakfast and 4 course dinner with a banana on the beach while Kite Surfing!

My only mixed memory and not a fault of the place but was one person not respecting the intimacy and peace of the place - using Skype in public and dining area - the owners were too polite to tell them not to…we very nearly did.

There are four beautiful dogs that make you feel at home and they are so well trained at only staying in non guest area and give you extra peace of mind as back up to the 7 Masai security guards...just in case they are napping at night when an intruder enters. Africans are also terrified of dogs!

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Flinner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2012

My husband to be and i had a pre-honeymoon at Lonno Lodge and we cant wait to go back. Everything about it was absolutely perfect, serene, romantic and very very comfortable. Sylvia and Aldo were excellent hosts and after staying for 5 days we consider them as friends,along with their adorable dogs who we miss terribly. Sylvia has trained the kitchen superbly and we thoroughly enjoyed the 4 course meals.
Sylvia and Aldo and the staff at Lonno Lodge, we would like to thank you very much for your kind hospitality and we hope to see you at our wedding very soon.
Ahmed and Maria

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Marrirri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2012

Our stay at Lonno Lodge was a perfect finale to a month in Kenya with our children. We stayed for eight nights, the rooms and beds were excellent and every mouthful of food was a delight. Sylvia and Aldo are gracious and welcoming hosts, making the stay seem more akin to staying in their own private house rather than a hotel. With only 8 'rooms' there was never a rush for the breakfast buffet and the superb staff were always there just when needed, but never in the way. We took the 'Two bedrooms suite' which meant a double room, a bunk room for two of the children and a single bed in the spacious living area on the ground floor. All the rooms were ideally suited to our needs. Nothing was too much for Aldo and Sylivia, we had excellent advice on where and when to go on excursions locally and rides in Aldo's lovingly restored Landrover into the village. We'll be back.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank Andrew B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2012

We recently spent four exceptional and relaxing days at Lonno Lodge. My wife and three kids enjoyed ourselves immensely. Sylvia and Aldo are excellent hosts and made us feel right at home without being overly intrusive. We enjoyed the meals a lot (probably ended up putting on some weight). The lodge, the garden, pool and surroundings are very beautiful and peaceful- a true paradise!! I have not felt more relaxed in a long time.

Our activities included a walk to town during low-tide and a nice lunch at a pizza place. We also went to Turtle rescue center, which was a nice educational experience for our kids. Most of the rest of the time was reading books, swimming in the very nice pool, and relaxing.

We look forward to returning soon!!

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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Thank skaps1
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

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 Luxury Hotel in Watamu
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Watamu
#1 Family Hotel in Watamu
#2 Romantic Hotel in Watamu
Price Range: $280 - $359 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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