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“Great Beach Holiday”

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Ora Resort Watamu Bay
Ranked #19 of 26 Hotels in Watamu
Reviewed November 7, 2012

Been there July this year (2012) and must say I actually enjoyed it. Food was not of the best and the wine was watered down. Other than that, staff were great and the tours we went on were excellent. Great for relaxation and winding down. It is windy but still warm enough to take a plunge in one of the two pools or the ocean. They do however have to improve on their wine, food and TV channels.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Nolan V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7 - 13 of 516 reviews

Reviewed August 12, 2012

Food crap (unless you like pasta and more pasta). TV crap & repeats, beach revolting, nothing to do when it rains and no shelter either. Staff good, management crap, rooms crap. Very, very windy and little shade. Kudu Travel tours crap. We cancel one tour and are still waiting for our money back. Go at your peril. Viv and Linda Nethercott

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Vivian N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2012

great spacious clean rooms. good staff. nice beach. however, the food is a little bit of a problem. especially if you are vegetarian. need to tell them in advance and insist that you get veg food. a 2 types of inclusive packages soft - only soft drinks by glass are included. and all - all local alcohol plus soft drinks all by the glass are included. as it is fairly new, there are some teething problems but they are working their hardest to get everything under way. only thing is it is quite far from the main road.

Room Tip: the rooms in the first and 2nd row are the best choice.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank S0nki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2012

On the beach, windy, staff very helpful, food not good. No water sports at hotel

  • Stayed: July 2012
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3  Thank HomerSimpson2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2012

To get to Watamu Bay you need to drive 10km past the Gede Junction (if you are coming from Mombasa) and you will find a sign for the hotel. You then turn off the road to the right and crive 10km on a marram road to reach the hotel. You will pass Twiga Hotel, Jacaranda Hotel and a couple of other Italian properties before reaching Watamu Bay.

We went during low season and so were not expecting to find many people there. We were welcomed nicely with a warm towel and a welcome drink before being shown to our rooms. The hotel has a childrens club, spa as well as 2 pools and 2 bars. The swimming pools are large and are salt water (much better for you than chlorine and don't make blonde hair turn green).

The rooms are very nice, bult in rondavel cottage style, 2 rooms down and in some 2 rooms up as well. The rooms are modern and have a double bed and a sofa which pulls out into another double bed, they have AC, fridge and most have television with a few channels (CNN, Nat Geo Wild, Sport and a couple of Italian channels). The bathrooms have anice shower, bidet and toilet.

The restaurant offers buffet normally but due to small numbers of guests the hotel had advised us in advance that the menu would be table d'hote. We had a selection of 4 starters, 4 antipasta, 4 main courses and a desert for lunch and dinner. Portions are large and filling. Breakfast was a buffet with a selction of cereals, fruit, pastries, cheese, ham, sausage, beans and eggs of yoru choice - so plenty to satusfy everyone.

The hotel has a promande along the seafront and a beach area located at one end of the property.

We did not find any animation going on but hardly surprising with only 10 people but that didn't stop the kids from organising there own games.

We enjoyed ourselves immensly.

Room Tip: The interior of all rooms is the same, its only the location that determines the price of the room...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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Thank MD_SataoCamp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2012

It is tough to know where to start with the short comings of this property. We had a clear booking that stated All Inclusive which the Hotel refused to honor saying that they only did some kind of soft inclusive package. This meant that even a bottle of water from the bar was charged, and over charged for, which bearing in mind the water from the tap is undrinkable starts to get very expensive. Add to that they have a captive clientele and the prices at the bar were outrageous. The hotel advertises 2 pools and 2 restaurants, 1 of each was closed. The hotel is in the middle of nowhere so even popping out to the shops for a few sundries was impracticable. It did not help that we were the only paying guests at the hotel so the staff couldn't be bothered with us. The stairs to get to the beach were like a mirror they were so slippery, there was no warning of this and my wife slipped and hurt herself quite badly, when informed of this the Manager, Stefano, who I have to say was one of the most arrogant people I have ever met, barely apologized. He also made no attempt to address the other complaints we had about the hotel. The food was quite simply inedible. Breakfast is almost nonexistent with stale cereals, lukewarm coffee made in one batch at 6.30am, almost no hot buffet, (burnt sausage and fried cabbage??) You are obliged to order your lunch and dinner at 9am from a very limited selection, (same selection for lunch and dinner,) and the menu is exactly the same every day for your whole stay. The low point of the trip was being served a chicken curry with raw chicken. Even though we were prepaid for 5 days, things were so bad we left after the 4th day and checked into a better hotel. I was not going to have my holiday completely ruined at this hotel.

Room Tip: Don't even choose a room, go somewhere else!
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank David O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OraHotels, Responsabile relazioni pubbliche at Ora Resort Watamu Bay, responded to this reviewResponded June 14, 2012

Dear guest, thank you for taking the time to write his review. We know that his stay at our resort is not liked, on the contrary, instead of his wife who has given full satisfaction. A particular case a bit her, we did everything to try to please her but there was nothing to do, only now we realize that is not the construction or service that does not comodavano, but the fact that his interest was addressed to a vacation in a place more lively, with more vita.Non moved to a hotel next to what it says in the review, because we are the only open, but in a hotel in Malindi 50 km of distance, as evidence the review you wrote. Anyway, thanks for expressing his opinion, is the regret that a review is unfounded, in sharp contrast to many other guests' reviews. We wish you a good continuation. Alessandro Zanetti

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2012

All in all, I cannot say the hotel is bad but a couple of incidents really spoilt my judgement.

We stayed at Watamu Bay for 4 nights in April. We booked the first 3 nights through Expedia and got very good rates for B&B only, which is what we were looking for as we prefer in general to spend our holiday outside rather than inside the hotel, as lovely as the resort might be. After we left, we had problems with our flight and, since we could not get back to Nairobi till the following day, we called to book for an extra night. We were charged more than three times the price available on the internet but fair enough since we booked last minute and directly with the hotel. Nevertheless, we were forced to take HB even though we arrived at 9 PM and dinner was until 9:30 PM. But as always: “hakuna matata, you have time to have dinner after you leave your luggage in your room”, says the receptionist. So we had to rush through dinner as at 9:30 PM the food is taken away. The following morning, we were leaving at 6 AM to make our flight in Mombasa and when we went for breakfast we asked if they could give us a “breakfast box” (all hotels in Kenya normally provide a “box” if you are outside for one of the meals) and was told it was not allowed to take food outside the hotel. A bit surprised and upset, I leave the restaurant and go to reception to pay for the room and I mention the issue to one of the “directors” who happened to pass by. He answers rather rudely and confirms it is not allowed as people in the past have taken food outside and given it away and it is a policy for all hotels in Kenya. One: the so-called director (Italian, I don’t know his name because of course he didn’t introduce himself and he immediately hid away in a back room) was extremely rude and would benefit from some training in customer care or should simply change job. Two: all hotels in Kenya provide you with a “breakfast or lunch box” when needed. Three: we were asking for a couple of croissants and not 5 kilos of pastries to take out of the hotel and distribute on the street. The other small incident is related to the credit card payment. One: the machine did not print a receipt and, when I ask for one, the receptionist calls Francesca for help who tells me that the printout of the last payment is not ours and that she cannot confirm that we have paid. Luckily, technology serves some purpose and I can show on my phone that my card has been accepted. Two: we were charged a 5% fee on the credit card payment without being warned in advance which might not be a huge issue but is true lack of quality in service. Plus another episode which made me feel that in Kenya, which I absolutely loved as one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited, your money has no value.

For the rest, the structure is well set up. The rooms are spacious with simple though anonymous furniture. The location is great, the beach in front of the hotel is beautiful and perfect for long walks during low tide. Not really possible to swim in the sea. Not a problem for us as there are other beaches but if you are staying in the resort for one or two weeks it may not be practical. The road from Watamu is in terrible conditions, but much better in the other direction towards Malindi (so difficult to believe it is related to the rainy season as indicated in a comment to one of the posts, especially since when we went the rains had not yet started), and make it more complicated to move around. A ride to Watamu by tuk tuk can take up to 20-30 minutes, a bit less by car, and even less by motorbike (which we rented and was great to have!). Something to take into account if you like to move freely in and out of the hotel. The resort is very isolated with a few others along the same road and, also due to the road condition, far from the village. If you need a taxi, try to use a local one and not the one provided by the hotel which is more expensive.

All in all, I think the place might be very good if you have an all inclusive package and if you are very dependent on the hotel to do anything: they organise everything for you. For us, I thought I could go back again but after the last morning I am not so sure. I am just disappointed with the service and the attitude of the Italian staff (the two I met) and in part of the local staff at reception who has never been very helpful.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Mariangela P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ora Resort Watamu Bay

Address: Watamu, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Watamu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Romantic Hotel in Watamu
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Watamu
#12 Family Hotel in Watamu
#17 On the Beach Hotel in Watamu
Price Range: $128 - $339 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Ora Resort Watamu Bay 3.5*
Number of rooms: 150
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Also Known As:
Ora Resort Watamu Bay Hotel Watamu

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