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“Really beautiful place, but overpriced!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Kijani Hotel Lamu

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Kijani Hotel Lamu
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   PO Box 266, Shela, Lamu Island 80500, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Shela
Geneva, Switzerland
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
58 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
“Really beautiful place, but overpriced!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2011

Kijani is a beautiful place with a lush green courtyard around the pool and the sea at the doorstep. Also very nice rooms, very quiet, very clean. All in all recommendable! My favourite treat was the transfer to the airport by dhow and not by motor boat!

But: Compared to other places in Lamu/Shela it is hopelessly overpriced, not only the rooms. Lunch for 1,700 Shillings / dinner for 2,200 excl. drinks is just extortion.

If you don't need a pool but just a nice place to stay, we recommend having a look at the Baitil Aman guesthouse in Shela - we had lunch there one day and were shown around, and it seems to offer a more culturally authentic experience at a MUCH better rate for both accommodation and food!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    60
    19
    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brooklyn, New York
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2011 via mobile

Lamu island is like nowhere else in Kenya. It is a strongly Muslim culture that shares more with Zanzibar than Mombasa.

Kijana was a well-run establishment with truly lovely gardens and setting. The decor was authentically Swahili and tasteful, and the rooms very comfortable. I enjoyed the pool and also the food, which was incredible (best food I ate in all Kenya) - seem to have a decidedly French influence, but also quite seafood heavy, delicate and carefully flavored.

Shela village is a bit more clean and safe compared to Lamu, which has more hustle and liveliness. But both strike me as authentic and rich in culture. The bar on the water at Peponi hotel is a 5 min walk and the open, wild Shela beach offers endless sand dunes after another 5.

Check out Fatuma's Tower in Shela for a truly magical experience- mazes of structures, gardens and pools... There yoga every day at 5pm and Regina can get you a great massage.

Skip Lamu museum, it's pretty dusty and not that exciting. Of course a dhow ride at sunset is lovely. I heard great things about taking a trip to manda island but I had to save something for next time.

  • Stayed July 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Cambridge, UK
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2011

We stayed with 3 kids aged 12, 12 and 10. From the moment we arrived we were made to feel welcome by Pierre the owner and his team. This is a REALLY tranquil place - the staff are lovely and the rooms were atmospheric and comfortable without being flashy. The food was simple but delicious - and the breakfast about the best I've had anywhere in the world. It poured with rain for much of our 1st day but with the huge veranda outside our room overlooking the sea this really didn't matter - we just played cards, swam in the lovely pools, ate some more and chilled.

Shella beach is 5 minutes walk, Shella village s on your doorstep and Lamu town a 40 minute walk or a short boat ride away. This is Lamu made easy - but without losing the quintessential tranquility of the place, and (unlike so many places in Lamu and Manda) without being so 'western' as to make it feel pointless having made the effort to visit this very special part of Kenya.

Room Tip: great for couples or families in need of a relaxing break
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Oslo, Norway
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2011

Wonderful hotel with a lot of service providing the little extras. Lovely atmosphere within the hotels walls and great rooms. Close to the beach and everything else you need. Also, Shela is a much nicer place to stay than in Lamu itself.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2011

We chose the Kijani after other arrangements for our Easter getaway from Nairobi proved unacceptable. Though very busy during the holidays, the staff went to great pains to accommodate the 6 in our family which included 2 seniors and a 5 year old, even to special food requests for the child. They were life savers! We had a lovely three nights. The 2 pools, surrounding rooms, and open restaurant/bar are set in a wonderful peaceful garden with terraces and private verandas that have lovely views of the ocean. The comfortable,exceptionally clean rooms are all a bit different, beautifully decorated in traditional Lamu style. Rates were much more reasonable than other similar Shela/Lamu facilities.
Be prepared, it can get hot there and no one has air conditioning. But there are fans everywhere and of course, the ocean and the pools are the best ways to beat the heat. Transportation is by boat, foot, and donkey since autos are not allowed on the island. If you want 4 star American style chain hotel comfort, Lamu is not for you. But if you enjoy out of the way, charming, new experiences, the Kijani on Lamu is a wonderful place to be.

Room Tip: The higher rooms get more cooling ocean breezes.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
the Netherlands
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2011

We needed a break from the hectic life & European winter weather. Lamu & Kijani hotel was exactly what we were looking for: good food, nice decorated & quite rooms and very friendly staff. Our Room (nr 5) was very nice, whit a beautiful view on the ocean. We spend 6 nights at Kijani, starting the days with a lovely breakfast, a stroll trough the charming village to the empty beach. In the afternoon back to the village for a simple but very nice lunch at guesthouse Baitil Aman and after that relaxing in the hotelgarden at the pool. We really enjoyed the food at the restaurant of Kijani (lovely Lobster, Tajines, fish) but for a change it is also nice to go to the restaurant at Peponi as well. For a drink in the evening the Peponi hotel is nice, but we prefer to stay at Kijani because it is smaller & more intimidate. There is enough to fill the lazy days at Lamu, a 40 minute walk to Lamu Town, spend a day on a dhow etc. We loved this Island with it’s friendly people and certainly will come back to Lamu & Kijani hotel.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Overland Park, Kansas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2011

Just a wonderful wonderful wonderful place.
Kijani hôtel is well maintained, romantic and feed you so tastyfully.
It is quiet, near the seaside, in a lovely swahili island with long and blond beaches.
You should stay there as long as you can....
All your life, maybe...

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kijani Hotel Lamu

Address: PO Box 266, Shela, Lamu Island 80500, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Lamu Island > Shela
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Shela
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kijani Hotel Lamu 3.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the village of Shela, on the island of Lamu – just off the Kenya Coast – Kijani Hotel offers a unique accommodation with its 3,000 sq. metres of tropical garden. Located directly at the sea front with two fresh water swimming pools. Kijani Hotel Lamu has 10 rooms spread throughout the garden into three small separate traditional Swahili buildings which formerly were private homes. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kijani Hotel Lamu Lamu Island, Kenya - Shela

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