10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
A fabulous and inviting house with warm and welcoming hosts...
"A friend and I went to stay at Lamu House after an 8 day safari trip in Kenya. It was the best decision ever to have the pleasure of experiencing a stay at Lamu House. The hosts, Frank and Marianne, open this lovely house with such warmth and welcome. The food was divine; the courtyard with the pools (!) private, relaxing and inviting; and the rooms all have a personal touch and luxury which will make you feel welcome. All the staff are friendly and extremely helpful. You will be pampered and truly enjoy your stay! If there is the opportunity, don't miss out on one of the dhow boat trips offered by Lamu House as well - it will be a most memorable trip!"
- Travel date: 17th October 2009
A Wedding at the Lamu House
"In December of 2008 we took off for a year long trip around the world. We always knew that we would tie the knot on this journey, but deciding where and when was another story. Looking at destinations in Africa months before we left the States I had discovered the Lamu House hotel. With its Arab elegance it had intrigued me and I knew we had to visit both the hotel and the winding narrow streets that make up Lamu. After corresponding with the new Lamu House owners, Frank and Marianne, we knew we were in good hands. Not only did they respond to our email request asking if we could have a wedding at their hotel on short notice, but they seemed genuinely excited at the prospect. They had so many great ideas and made us feel assured that we would be able get everything organized in such a short period of time. The minute we walked through the doorway and into the hotel we knew that we were some place special. Every little detail seemed to be a labor of love - from the beautiful kikoys that we were presented on arrival to the handmade soap and shampoo in our bathroom, the delicious seafood at the restaurant on the premises, to the surprisingly good wine list. Our room, wonderfully decorated, with it's giant terrace was beyond expectations. We arrived on a Friday and we decided that Monday would be the BIG day. On Saturday I was lounging on one of the comfortable sofas in the courtyard, poolside, with a glass of wine in hand as a talented henna artist applied the traditional bridal henna to my arms and legs. The next day Frank and Marianne accompanied us to the local silver smith who would make our rings, followed by a boat trip to the opposite side of the island to meet with a clothing designer who would make my dress. All this to be done in just a couple of days. Amazingly by Monday everything fell into place and we were ready to go. Walking out of the hotel in my white linen dress, through arched doorways, dhows sitting on the water, a Swahili band playing a traditional wedding tune (a special surprise set up by Frank in advance), incense burning, the entire picture was completely surreal. The boat was beautifully decorated with flowers, palm fronds, and colorful cushions spread out on the deck. Our ceremony was held just a short sail away on an isolated beach, decked out with candles, the band, and the entire staff of the Lamu House there to bear witness and join in the celebration. Without family and friends to join in the ceremony, Marianne even stood in as my maid of honor. Frank and Marianne truly thought of everything and made our wedding day something we will cherish forever. We would like to thank them again for the entire week we spent with them, their hospitality and friendship is something we will never forget. We cannot recommend the Lamu house enough."
- Travel date: 7th October 2009
Lamu Tamu! Lamu house is the best!
"I was in Lamu for one week. I was picked up at the airstrip by the manager of the hotel. Once in Lamu House, I was completely relaxed. The room was amazing with a nice terrace. The hotel is designed by a spanish architect who really made a wonderful place. The interior of the hotel is also wonderful. The staff are very friendly. I would recommend this hotel to everybody who wants to visit Lamu and get the vibe of the island life while you stay in Lamu Town."
- Travel date: 5th October 2009
Style, quality, authenticity, tranqulity, vivacity all in one, one of these hotels you do not often come across!!
"When I first arrived in Lamu, it was like entering a different world. Coming from the busy Europe the Nakuna Matata vibe slaps you in the face and from day one you feel there is no need for worries let alone stress! We were picked up from the airport by very friendly Lamu House staff and after a short boat ride we arrived at shore. The boat stopped in front of the hotel. When reading some of the reviews below I was first astonished a reading that anything could have been bad during their stay, keeping in mind Frank and Marianne obviously find quality a priority and try to give customers the best stay possible! Then I read the date, and all the bad reviews are from before the couple took over management, in February 2009! When entering the hotel we were greeted by the staff and Frank and Marianne, the lovely owners, with some fresh juice. Looking around I could only think WOW!! The place was magical. The buildings are decorated in true Swahili style, high ceilings, dark wood, beautiful vibrant colours, while refined by Marianne's exceptional sense of style! The rooms were lovely, tall dark posted beds, nice linnen sheets, beautifull bathrooms wih open showers and a balcony for every room. Kikoy's offered by Lamu House greeted us upon entry in the room! I instantly knew we would be pampered during our two-week stay! The first evening I had a massage from the hotel beauty specialist, this was so nice! The massage room is in open air in one of the thatched roof tops, allowing a slight breeze while enjoying a relaxing moment, she used amazing scented oils! The food in the restaurant was top quality! The Samosas were delicious as appetiser, the fish was fresh and the frozen chocolate mousse tickled my senses! The hotel is right in the centre which means you are in paradise but there is always something going on in the streets around you and you get to experience the authentic Lamu vibe! There are little shops and pubs around you. Lamu House arranges sleep over Dhow trips. The staff sail you to amazing beached or villages and there cook fresh food and make a lovely bed on the Dhow so you can sleep under the stars, MAGICAL! Lamu House is a very special place, I would recommend it to anyone who wants an authentic Kenyan experience, but values quality and luxury, without pretention!"
- Travel date: 4th October 2009
"We were on a Safari Holiday in Kenya and decided to finish off the trip with a short 4 day stay on Lamu. The hotel was booked through the Travel Package and so we didn't know what to expect. We were certainly not disappointed. We were picked up from the Airport after a short flight from Nairobi in a Dhow and transferred across the narrow strip of water to Lamu. The tide was in and so we were able to land the boat right at the hotel entrance where the owner and his wife were there to greet us. They are a lovely couple from Belgium who had recently taken over the hotel and have renovated it. Some other reviews mention an unfavourable experience with the manager and building work. I can only believe their experience must have been with the previous manager and all renovation work is now complete so no problem there. Lamu itself is a beautiful place to stay with just the right blend of tranquility and hustle and bustle to meet all needs. The rooms were lovely and spacious, each having its own balcony and personal charm. The rooms were a little noisy at night if you went to bed particularly early but then the hotel is right at the centre of a tremendous location. The restaurant was brilliant. Fresh fish and seafood being the speciality and cooked to perfection. The trio of samosas as a starter was exceptional and we had that several times. The crab and ginger somosa was especially good. The whole hotel had a relaxed atmosphere with a main swimming pool and two other lounging pools each set in its own courtyard. All staff were so helpful and happy. You got the impression this was a nice place to work and was apparent from the attitude of the staff. Nothing was ever too much trouble and they all went the extra mile to ensure your stay was the best possible. We are already looking to go back in late winter when we try to get away from the grip of a European Winter and going to Lamu we don't need to look any further than Lamu House."
- Travel date: 24th September 2009
The best !!!
"We stayed in Lamu for 3 months and Lamu House was our favourite. It has recently been taken over by a belgian couple and is by far the best hotel option on Lamu. Their new restaurant opened in June and the food excellent with a winelist to match. The hospitality of the owners really gives you a home away from home. Rooms are delightfull with all the comfort you can imagine and you can also opt for 1 of their dhow boats to spend a few nights on sailing through the whole archipelago."
- Travel date: 4th August 2009
"Lamu House is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and exotic hotels I have ever stayed in. Designed by a Spanish architect to match the local building style, it is presently run by a lovely Belgian couple, who do their utmost to ensure your stay will be a a wonderful experience. I am sure the earlier comment about a "rude manager" did not refer to them. The rooms are simply stunning, the personnel friendly and the food as good as it gets in Kenya. I cannot sing its praise enough, go and see for yourself, you will not regret it."
- Travel date: 23rd July 2009
"Lamu House is definitely the nicest hotel in Lamu. That said, however, be prepared for late nights and early mornings of crying babies and the general hustle and bustle of the street. But if you are staying in Lamu town, presumably that is what you came for. Not all the rooms are the same quality, so be careful when you book. The restaurant food is v. good, but the coffee and tea are terrible, which is almost unforgivable in Kenya - and certainly takes the shine off those crying baby mornings. It is missing some of the accouterments in the rooms that a hotel of this price should have, such as hair dryers, robes, etc."
- Travel date: 15th January 2009
Worth the money and the journey
"We arrived on Lamu via a three-minute heart-stopping speedboat ride from the airport on Manda. The dock was crowded with local people. Most of the men wore colorful kikoys (a wrap worn over shorts) topped with a tee shirt commemorating a non-local team or company. One street vendor wore a djellaba (the traditional arab dress). There werenât many local women on the pier but those present wore an abaya and a hijab( the long black over garment and head scarf of observant Moslem women). It was hot. We followed the fellow who picked us up at the airport along the dirt road that is the main street in Lamu. We dodged donkeys and stepped over donkey droppings. The short walk to Lamu House seemed very long. Finally we walked across a wide stone porch through huge doors and entered the tranquility of an old Swahili house. It was another world with high ceilings, exposed beams, stone walls, a small pool and in the entrance, a carved wooden bench with a beautiful fabric pillow. The hotel consists of two buildings connected across the quiet courtyard; one a restored old Swahili house and the other a modern version of the same. Florence, the manager, greeted us and offered a cool glass of passion fruit juice. She then guided us up steep stone steps to our room on the second floor. We had a balcony that looked over the main street and the sea beyond. I loved being on the balcony. It was a great place to hang out, to read or watch the street and the men rigging the boats in the morning. Our room also had a dressing room with plenty of space for our luggage and the bathroom had a walk-in shower that was long and narrow. The comfortable beds were swathed in practical and gauzy mosquito nets. One of the nicest touches was a brilliantly colored kikoy left on each bed for us to use either as a wrap or a blanket. And we did use them, particularly going out in the evening when it got quite cool. Breakfasts were huge and delicious. Every day we had juice (usually passion fruit), a plate of fresh fruit (whatever was available on the island), eggs, bacon and wonderful pastries. The other meals were just so-so, although Jean Paul, who was in charge of the restaurant, was delightful. We always ate on the veranda but there is also a small, elegant dining area in the courtyard. Everyone at the hotel was very nice and the hotel is beautiful. Florence was amazingly helpful, finding us a dhow, and giving information about where to go and what to do. Our second day there we wanted to walk to Shela. Florence looked out the door, assessed the tide, and told us we could walk there, but might not be able to come back without getting wet. One of the best parts of staying in Old Lamu is the choice of places to eat. If you stay in Shela there are fewer options. We were in Lamu for four days. I could have stayed longer."
- Travel date: 22nd March 2008
"My fiancee and I stayed at Lamu House just after completing a 6 day hike up to Mt Kilimajaro so we were looking for a little luxury. We arrived on Lamu and luckily they had plenty of rooms. The hotel had renovations going on, so we managed a little discount! The staff was very friendly and the rooms were just spectacular! We absolutely loved it and had no complaints! We even had dinner in our room one night. Every morning breaksfast was excellent (it was included) and we were definitely never hungry!"
- Travel date: 20th December 2007
Lamu House Hotel is also called
- isola di lamu
- lamu house
- hotel lamu house