The Charming Lonno Lodge, AKA The crowning jewel of Watamu

Lonno Lodge Watamu kenya coast
It has been about five years since I was last in Watamu on a family trip and the thought of going back had me a little anxious albeit utterly excited. Five years is a long time. Depending on where you are in Mombasa for instance, the town can be a cautionary tale on the overdevelopment of small towns and I just could not stand seeing yet another delightfully unmarred coastal town go down this route.
Before you think I’m just being dramatic, as someone who loves to share their travels online, it is no secret that I love being by the ocean and the more I get to escape to our wonderful bleached white seaboard, the more I demand in terms of privacy and largely unspoilt beaches. In a coastline that’s becoming more and more populous, I am glad to report that the little laid back gem that is Watamu has retained much of that unpretentious charm that made me fall in love with it in the first place.

Lonno Lodge Watamu kenya coast

Wearing: Kamba Vest by Chichia London, available on ichyulu.com

Lonno Lodge Watamu kenya coast
Wet, humid and salty from the annual May rains, Watamu oozes life, warmth and an unhurried pace, a welcome change from life in the capital. Quaint restaurants and lovely gelato spots are dotted along the main street leading down from Malindi, vibrantly coloured tuk tuks bustle up and down the main street, friendly residents animatedly wave and politely hail “ciao!” to any caucasian visitors presuming them to be Italian; If Malindi is Kenya’s little Italy, Watamu is its younger, beautiful and arguably more charming sister.

In a largely sleepy town, your best bet for accommodation would be a chic, luxury, boutique hotspot where you can wine and dine with the owners, be on first name basis with the staff and intimately integrate into your surroundings much like a local. Upon getting to the rough golden stretch of Kanani Road, cast your eyes to one such place, The Charming Lonno Lodge which straddles Watamu Marine National Park.
Lonno Lodge Watamu kenya coast

Lonno Lodge Watamu kenya coast

Wearing: Pana Luxe Maxi Dress by Chichia London with Tinga Tinga prints designed by Oliver Goddard

Lonno Lodge Watamu kenya coast

Wearing: Stonetown Vest and Mkia Trousers by Chichia London, available on ichyulu.com

It is May and I am oddly overwhelmed with feelings of romance so pardon my cheesiness but stepping onto the lounge area of Lonno was every bit like stumbling onto the set of an enchanting Woody Allen movie, and I half expected to see a curly-haired Jesse Eisenberg in character as nerdy architecture student Jack saunter out of the bar sipping a Limoncello on the rocks and waxing lyrical about his life’s woes to no one in particular. The architecture channels the neighbourhood’s ethnic Swahili charm with chalk white walls and Makuti thatched roofs, and yet, much like the owners, the excellent menu is distinctly Italian. Here, we would wine and laugh and indulge in the finest cuisine while trading stories with one of the lodge’s personable owners, Bruno Piarulli and his wife. What did I tell you about the intimacy and beauty of luxury boutique lodges?
Lonno Lodge Watamu kenya coast
Lonno Lodge Watamu kenya coastLonno Lodge Watamu kenya coast

Lonno Lodge Watamu kenya coast

Loved these bar stools!

We checked into the spacious Top Tower Room, the highest point in the lodge whose impressive patio offered breathtaking panoramic views of the property and the sea a little further beyond. With accommodation sprawled across eight towers, there is bound to be something to suit every taste. Our room was decked with a kingsize bed, dark beamed ceiling, a mini-bar and kitchen for anyone who would opt for self-catering complete with minimalist Swahili decor which gave it a touch of understated chicness. I love an unhurried retreat, particularly if it comes with good WiFi!

PS: Check out this pretty cool 360 degree photo of one of the rooms on the lodge here.
Lonno Lodge Watamu kenya coast

Lonno Lodge watamu kenya travel

This is one of my favourite combination of outfits from ichyulu! Baw Port bag by AAKS, Pop Caven African Doll T Shirt and skirt from Chichia London.

There are a lot of activities that you can set up from the lodge, but we took what Bruno refers to as the “do nothing tour”. Lounging by the saltwater pool, milling by the beach during low tide and sipping bottomless dawa cocktails. Well, at least until we started feeling like we needed some action, at which point we took Lonno’s on-site bikes on a cruise around Watamu. We did however have only a short time but when you head down, here are some interesting  activities to consider:
Lonno Lodge Watamu kenya coastLonno Lodge Watamu kenya coast
Snake Farm– Largest Collection of snakes in East Africa.
Watamu Turtle Watch– Runs the only sea turtle rehabilitation and rescue centre on the East African coastal strip.
Dhow sailing, snorkelling and other water sports- you will technically be in a marine park after all!

More photos from Lonno Lodge:

Lonno Lodge Watamu kenya coast

Candle-lit dinner with Bruno and his wife.

Lonno Lodge Watamu kenya coast

The lodge has about 5 friendly resident dogs. All very excitable, friendly and from what I saw, well trained.

Lonno Lodge Watamu kenya coast

Chichia London is undoubtedly my favourite designer on Ichyulu.com which stocks luxury pieces by African designers.

Lonno Lodge Watamu kenya coast

*insert Cheesy The Weeknd song here*

Lonno Lodge Watamu kenya coast

This is the perfect spot to take in the sheer beauty of the seaboard!

Lonno Lodge Watamu kenya coast

You know what’s the best way to meditate? Floating gently on your back in a salt water pool!

Lonno Lodge watamu review

We were lucky to get a full day of sunshine given that it’s the rainy season.

Lonno Lodge watamu review

Dancing to no music.

Lonno Lodge watamu review

Entrance to our room.

Lonno Lodge watamu review

Blue me away!

Lonno Lodge watamu review

Breakfast setup.

Lonno Lodge watamu review

Baw pot bag by AAKs from the balcony of our Top Tower Room.

Lonno Lodge watamu review

Till next time, Watamu!

OUTFITS: ICHYULU.COM

CONTACT HERE

FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, TWITTER

———————————————————————————

TO BOOK YOUR STAY AT THE CHARMING LONNO LODGE WATAMU

WEBSITE: WWW.LONNOLODGE.COM

OFFERS: HERE

CALL: +254 726 226292 OR WHATSAPP: +254 726 226292

EMAIL: info@lonnolodge.com

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