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ManFriday's Mida Cove
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Reviews (18)
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Reviewed June 1, 2013

A super special place. It is in a gorgeous spot - a fair drive away from the main road and near no other hotels - so secluded and completely untouristy. You have the lovely beaches to yourself (except for a few local kids and fishermen), and the sky at night is stunning. What Sonja and Papu have built is even more special though, I thought. They have used local materials (lots of driftwood, coral and shells, and beautiful sun-bleached (or so it looks!) stone) to make gorgeous places to stay. They are unique (all unexpected nooks and crannies) but very recognisable as inspired by Swahili architecture. And luxurious! And we found the hospitality incredible. Everyone is absolutely determined that you will get the most out of your stay. We went at the start of rainy season and so were the only people there, so Sonja and Papu upgraded us to their best property (with our own small pool), and gave us heaps of free drinks. They also got a local group of drummers in to entertain us, just because they thought it was the sort of thing we might enjoy (which we did). The staff are absolutely lovely and take great care in their work - we were completely pampered. And Sonja clearly loves chatting with you about what you want to eat - she throws out lots of options, having already asked you for likes and dislikes before you arrive, and everything we ate was yummy. And so much! I put on 5 pounds in 4 days! (though clearly you don't have to eat as much as I did!). All in all, fabulous - naturally and handcraftedly beautiful place, run and staffed by people thoroughly dedicated to ensuring you enjoy yourself.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank lkcLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 18, 2013

Watamu is probably one of the nicest beaches in Kenya. Beautiful location, great for scuba diving but unfortunately getting very popular, particularly around Christmas time.

We found our perfect solution at ManFriday, this is a small, owner operated property and, as it is on the south side of Mida Cove, it is very quiet, which is quite unique in Watamu.
We stayed there around Christmas time and we really had a great holiday. ManFriday is not a 5 star luxury hotel with wifi and air conditioning throughout but we found it to be the perfect place to relax, enjoy the great food. Service is excellent, the entire team very friendly and make you feel very much at home, quite a special experience. Very quiet but a short boat ride away from the big hotels and diving club, excellent combination.

Room Tip: Each room is unique, ask Sonja for advice.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Fundiwandege
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2013

I am fairly new to TripAdvisor and so pleased to find this entry for ManFridays at Mida Cove. My daughter and I stayed there for Christmas, when the family had overflowed at the beach house and Grandma needed a real bed! We each had a room overlooking the cove, very private. Four poster bed with mosquito gauze, large open window spaces for the breezes to flow through and each our own bathroom. Lulled to sleep by the lapping tide just 15 ft away. Exquisite view along the beach (for the most part, deserted) and out to sea. The weather was hot but we had our own sitting area under a thatch canopy, where an early morning tray of tea arrived and a gazebo on the coral point for sumptuous breakfast with a lot of fresh local fruits, anything we wanted cooked and wonderful coffee. It was sheer heaven.
I didn't meet Papu but Sonja was an attentive hostess and even arranged to have special wooden steps built so that Grandma could get down onto the beach easily. She provided us with a magnificent Christmas Eve dinner for our whole family of eight, under the stars by the pool, along with British Christmas crackers. The unspoilt solitude of the place was so rare yet there is plenty to do. Children will love it. ManFridays is unique and wonderful. Busy or lazy, its your choice.

Room Tip: Children love the pool and you can be close by or for quiet the two rooms overlooking the cove will give you solitude and nature watching.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank MacHamilton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2013

My husband and I were lucky enough to stay at Manfridays for the December/January period this year.
It was a wonderful experience and Sonja made us feel welcome long before we even arrived. Our plane had been delayed but she kept the communication going by email and phone until we arrived the following day after the long bumpy drive from Mombasa. Then, once we arrived, the welcome drink, the view and the accomodation was absolutely fabulous. I couldn't believe that she and her partner Papu had created such a paradise. The open plan rooms with fantastic views of the sea and natural furnishings- using materials readily available made it all both beautiful and unique.
The staff were friendly and efficient and nothing was too much trouble. Sonja even lent me her laptop so I could correspond with my son overseas.
There was always something laid on to keep us entertained such as local dancing. The evenings spent relaxing at the bar chatting to our hosts and other visitors was a wonderful way to relax after a day spent looking for rare and fascinating animals and birds in the nearby Arabuko Sokoke forest.
The hosts were friendly and attentive and they made us feel at home ( if home was only half as beautiful!!)
I would thoroughly recommend a visit to Manfridays and we are hoping to be able to visit again soon.

Colin and Jan Mostert
Cape Town

Room Tip: More privacy in rooms closer to the sea ( northern?) side
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Mostertscubed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2013

Manfriday's is paradise. This is a truly wonderful place to spend a relaxing holiday, even with two young and energetic children (ages 4 and 2).

From the moment we arrived we felt like we were in heaven. The resort is small and secluded with Sonja, Papu and team all making you feel like family amongst beautifully designed and very comfortable open-air villas, many areas to relax amongst lovely landscaped gardens and sheltered retreats, delicious home-cooked and customised meals made from fresh, local produce, and endless time to play and relax.

Our children were welcomed and made to feel extra special which of course they embraced but so also did the Papu, Sonja and team with taking them on little walks around the gardens to helping make flower arrangements and sweep the cottage (which they loved), choosing their next meal location and loving cookie treats! If ever one of the kids did take a wander there was always someone who knew where they had gone and was keeping an eye on them. Much effort was made to ensure we were always happy, comfortable and in good care. Even organising another memory stick for our camera after our son deleted all our memorable shots! This level of attentiveness and friendliness is certainly a tribute to all on staff at Manfriday's and to its thoughtful and caring owners and managers, Papu and Sonja.

We enjoyed wonderful, slow down-time with our children with activities planned for us as we wanted (such as Tsavo East safari, elephant watching at the nearby sanctuary, kayaking, snorkelling and a boat cruise). Many more were on offer (including an inhouse spa) but we chose to relax and enjoy the lovely white sand beach, low-tide reef walks, fresh-water pool, the many sitting areas with beautiful views, watching the sun set and star-gazing from a roof-top deck and sun-downers at the gorgeous bar set amongst frangipanis.

The lovely white-sand beach is completely isolated and private with no beach boys at all, just some local fishermen passing by and village boys playing. They are very friendly but also leave you completely alone to enjoy your time.

Most of all we enjoyed playing in the pool where we were nearly always alone, building sand castles, chasing beach crabs, walking the reef at low tide, studying and learning about the local insect and animal life that we saw constantly and relaxing with our children in the beautiful atmosphere, privacy and calm of Manfriday's. If parents would like a break, then Manfriday's can easily organise very affordable nannies.

Sonja also organised a trainer and exceptional karate/defence coach (Eddy) to give us good beach workovers, something we certainly needed to shake off some winter calories and burn up enough to truly enjoy the delicious food on offer.

A few times, we needed to go to town and Sonja and team were very accommodating to have us come along on any of their trips so we could do everything we needed including bank stops, market shopping and anything else.

Two of the very special trips that we made was courtesy of Chengo on staff who welcomed us to his home and children's school where we were treated to an experience of local life, food, customs, and very generous hospitality. It was a warming, heart-felt and eye-opening experience for us all, including our children, and one that will remain with us for a long time.

Some local dance and music performances organised especially for us by Papu and Sonja provided an insight into traditional and ceremonial tribal stories told through colorful and energetic dancing, while accompanied by rhythmic drums, bells, horns and whistles.

The open-air villas are beautifully designed and decorated with comfortable beds for excellent sleeps -- never have our children slept so well! Each villa has its own relaxation lounge and eating areas which were great for our children as a retreat from the sun when needed. It was wonderful to sleep well at night while enjoying the cool sea breezes, the lapping of the ocean and the wind in the palms while not being closed up with air conditioning.

From a parents perspective, it was a true holiday with scrumptious wholesome and healthy meals prepared for us by Mungo and Nixon at any time, wherever we liked and whatever we liked. The local fish was delicious and something we were seeking night after night. And delectable deserts that our children (and parents!) were drooling over each night as well! As well, Papu's Sunday night curry was divine and something we are now desperately craving on our return home.

Thanks again Sonja, Papu and team for such a wonderful and memorable time and for looking after us all so well. We were all so happy to be in such a beautiful resort amongst such hospitable, nice, caring and friendly people. Manfriday's was the perfect break for our family and one of the best holidays we have ever taken.

The only thing we didn't like about Manfriday's was leaving - we can't wait to return.

Room Tip: Each gorgeous and beautifully created villa is different offering the flexibility of various space and bedding options depending on your group size. Manfriday's is also very accommodating to make arrangements for any special needs, such as moving another single bed into our villa when our son decided he didn't want to sleep in a cot any more. We stayed in the one-bedroom Garden Cottage which was perfect for us and offered ample space, it felt like a small home but with the wonderful addition and comfort of open-air sleeping and outdoor covered lounge and eating areas.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank AQU10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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