The Charming Lonno Lodge
What We Love
- Daily breakfast is included in the Jetsetter rate
- Stunning architecture that blends Swahili style and Italian design
- All rooms are equipped with a kitchenette and a balcony or patio overlooking the Indian Ocean
- Wines served at the restaurant are imported from Italy
What To Know
- Italian owners provide a very warm welcome
- Rooms feature international electrical outlets, so no need to pack an adapter
- It's a quiet resort with just eight rooms; don't expect a party scene
- Staff can arrange excursions, guided tours and game drives
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Located in Watamu, a fishing village on the Kenyan coast, Lonno Lodge is a petite beach retreat with just eight guestrooms. Built from native materials including coral limestone, the property combines Swahili style and Italian design flourishes — the creative vision of owner and architect Aldo Calegari. Stone archways, carved wood doors and imported furniture dot the resort, and palm-shaded walkways cut through the gardens, linking the open-sided public areas to the guestrooms, which are in an observation tower. There’s access to a private white sand beach, and the restaurant serves Italian and African cuisine under a lofty thatch roof. Solar panels and wind turbines boost its eco credentials.
Bed and Bath
The guestrooms are dominated by individually designed kingsize four-poster netted beds, which are topped with imported Italian linens. Built-in daybeds and antique Somali sofas are scattered with cushions and pillows covered in Maasai prints, and African carvings and artwork decorate the walls. All rooms feature a kitchenette and come with a balcony or patio overlooking the ocean and coral reef. The spacious bathrooms feature Italian porcelain fixtures and African soaps and bath products. Flat-screen TVs, DVD players, free WiFi, Italian coffeemakers and water dispensers come standard.
The breezy restaurant overlooks the pool and the ocean beyond and serves top-notch Italian cuisine. A five-course menu includes such traditional dishes as risotto with asparagus and pumpkin ravioli. African dishes incorporate fresh fish and ingredients bought at the local market. Spend leisurely days around the pool or lounge on the gorgeous stretch of white sand just in front of the resort. There’s no spa, but massages are available in a raised thatch-roofed hut, and the staff can arrange ocean and land excursions, from snorkeling adventures to game drives to Kilimanjaro treks with experienced guides.
In the Area
Lonno Lodge is within easy reach of Tsavo East National Park, home to the Big Five (elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard and rhino). The historical ruins of Gede, once a thriving Arab seaport, are a 20-minute drive away; there you can learn about the area’s Swahili origins and the Kiswahili language, still spoken today. Additional excursions include a guided trek to Mount Kilimanjaro, an expedition to Amboseli National Park, which is considered one of the best places in Africa to spot elephants, and the Maasai Mara national reserve. Closer to the resort you can stroll out on the seabed at low tide to see normally submerged islands, or explore the Mida Creek lagoon in a canoe.
How to Get There
We were looking for a quiet location to destress in comfort and style. This was the perfect location to get out of Nairobi and be spoilt by a beautiful location and wonderful hosts. The rooms were spacious and private and decorated in traditional style. If you are looking for a boutique hotel on the otherwise busy Kenyan coast this is the place for you. We were spoilt from the minute we arrived and all our needs were catered for. The food was delicious. Silvia and Aldo were exceptional hosts and we particularly enjoyed their dogs which kept us company but were super well trained.
This was the second time I’ve stayed at the Lonno Lodge and I am already looking forward to my next visit. It really is perfect and I mean that. You get an overwhelming sense of peace and calm when you arrive. The beautiful pool looks over sea, which is so close you can fall asleep feeling the breeze and listening to the waves. You are treated to four course evening meals which you can’t wait for as everything is fresh and homemade. The hosts (the lovely Silvia and her husband) make you feel so welcome as do all the staff. It’s total bliss. I highly recommend you go as soon as possible. I guarantee you will be back.
What a fabulous long weekend we had at Lonno Lodge, an immaculate property and extraordinary experience. The service, the food, the ambience, and the quality of the space were all top notch. We couldn't have been more pleased to discover such a fabulous spot.