Planning a trip to Lamu? Nomad team has put together a list of places to stay, for your consideration.
Subira House, Lamu town
Tucked away in a little side street of Lamu town is Subira House, the creation of Paul and Christina Aarts.
The hotel offers well-appointed and comfortable rooms, a roof-top terrace, and small garden. If not staying, stop by for a meal in the courtyard under the stars. Food is slow cooked here with the freshest ingredients from its own garden. subirahouse.com
Lamu House Hotel, Lamu Town
On the edge of Lamu town, this stylish hotel offers quiet seclusion away from the fray. The entrance opens up into a charming open courtyard, small pool, and petal-bedecked seating.
Some rooms overlook the seafront, giving a quite different perspective on a Lamu sunrise. The hotel has its own beach club for guests on Manda Bay. lamuhouse.com
A long-standing favourite for an international crowd, Peponi Hotel is the place to stay in Shela.
It boasts a spacious honeymoon suite above the main restaurant, a pool transformed into a lovely dining area at night, and a fine restaurant serving up crab, lobster, and everything in between. peponi-lamu.com
Diamond Beach Village, Manda Bay
Take a taxi boat over to Diamond Beach, a more rustic restaurant and hotel over on Manda Bay. Fridays are film and pizza night, and the weekly event draws a big crowd of Lamu residents and visitors alike.
The bartenders serve up some of the best cocktails on the archipelago. diamondbeachvillage.com
If money is no object, try taking a dhow for a night for something completely different, Chefs whip up tasty fare in the open-air galley, while guests sleep out on the deck under the stars. enasoit.com
Forodhani House, Shela
Photos barely do this house justice. Its corner positioning – it stands on the spot of the old watchtower – means that guests can enjoy 270 degree views out towards Manda, and down towards Lamu town from its expansive dining terrace.
A nicer spot for a sundowner is hard to imagine (and a sunriser, too, if there were such a thing). There are separate, more intimate seating areas, too, for when your fellow guests get too much. Price from $500.
Betty’s Suite, Shela
It can be tricky finding a small house in Lamu. Sometimes all you want is a romantic bolthole without compromising on views and luxury, and Betty’s Suite certainly offers all that.
The double bedroom opens out onto its own outdoor seating area complete with private infinity pool. Particularly appealing is the bathtub overlooking the sea. Now there’s a view. Sleeps 2. From $250 per night.
Kilamawingu House, Shela
Designed by an Italian architect for the Peugeot family, this is a very special house facing out over the Manda channel. Particularly lovely is the corner master bedroom, with windows facing out on two sides, catching the opposing breezes.
The use of Indian fabrics and large doses of colour reminds you this someone’s private house, lending it a more intimate feel than many places on the island. Sleeps 10. From 400 euros per night.
Beach House, Shela
This private residence is one of Lamu’s most stylish properties. It benefits from being right on the beach, and in a previous era was the location for some of Lamu’s more renowned parties.
The spacious bedrooms with their own verandahs have unrivalled views over the channel towards Manda Bay, and guests can climb to the gazebo on high ground behind the house to catch the sunset.
The pool area is so inviting that you might never feel the need to step out the front door onto the beach. Sleeps 12-14. From $1,200.
Andavelo House, Lamu town
This airy villa at the heart of Lamu Town is an escape in the truest sense of the word. When the town becomes too much, take refuge in this stylish oasis with its own courtyard plunge pool.
The house is filled with gorgeous Lamu antiques, bureaux and high-standing beds. Climb to the rooftop for views over Lamu town and harbour. Sleeps 12. Suites available from $100, whole house from $300.
Pepo House, Kizingoni
A 15-minute boat ride from Lamu Town is the golden beach of Kizingoni, and perhaps the last thing you’d expect is to find on this more deserted part of Lamu is a large private villa.
Pepo, meaning “wind” in Swahili, is a tall, modern villa designed to catch the cooling sea breezes, and exudes Lamu-style comfort with its spacious bedrooms and outdoor dining areas.
It has its own large pool, and the beach is just a few minutes walk away. The house has its own boat for excursions, giving guests the freedom to act on their whim. Sleeps 12.
Ksh40,000 for the whole house. kizingonibeach.com