We just spent a week in Watamu. We rented a villa in Baobab Village in Mawe. Our party included 2 couples and a toddler under 2 years of age.
What we liked:
- Beautiful villa in a complex with just four villas and beautiful landscaping. The villa is very nicely furnished, and has a great verandah area out in the front where we had all our meals
- Big pool that we were using almost exclusively. Its just steps away from the villa, which makes is fantastic when you are traveling with kids. We spent about 4-6 hours in the pool every day!
- Wonderful staff. Ms. Connie the caretaker is super attentive and keeps the place spotless. Our cook Julius took care of all the shopping, cooking, serving, and cleaning. And produced amazing meals, including seafood, fresh pasta and bread, and Swahili delicacies.
- Baobab is close enough to town (takes about 5 minutes by tuk-tuk) but not too close
- The owner Danielle is incredibly responsive by email and very helpful in making all the arrangements.
A note to groups with small children:
- Beach access is not straight forward if you are traveling with a small baby/toddler. The shorter route through the stairs in the rocks is only accessibly during low tide, which limits its use. We used it only once and it was a bit tricky to walk on the slippery rocks while carrying a toddler. You can take the longer route which takes 15 minutes or so on foot. That would have been fine if we were just a group of adults. With a baby/toddler, it can be tiring. And so we didn't go to the beach as much as we would have liked to.
Some problems we faced:
- We had some maintenance issues in our villa. The hot water heaters in two bathrooms were not working. And the toilet upstairs was not flushing properly. They were all fixed within a day or so of us bringing the issues to Ms. Connie's attention.
- We spent one night with no power. It was the fault of Kenya Power, not the Villa. It went out around 10pm and couldn't be fixed until 12 noon the following day. There is a back-up battery, which allowed us to run the fans from 10pm to 3am. But no AC. And after the battery ran out around 3am, we were all pretty much up for the rest of the night! After breakfast, we were lounging by the pool anyway so it didn't matter as much.