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“Great place!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of JamboHouse

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JamboHouse
PO Box 131, Lamu Island 80500, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 28 Lamu Island B&B and Inns
1 review
“Great place!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013 via mobile

Can only recommend this hotel to anyone going to Lamu. Nice rooms, nice breakfast and great service. Simply excellent, especially if going to Lamu for the first time since the owner, Arnold, really gives you tips on things to do and places to see, and not to forget, the best resturants to eat.
Hotel management can set you up with all kinds of activities such as boat trips, guided tours or massages, among some things.
We stayed for 8 nights and enjoyed every minute of it!


/ william & camilla

Stayed January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Giriama, Owner at JamboHouse, responded to this review, January 27, 2013
Dear Camilla, Dear William, thank you for staying with us. We are happy you enjoyed you stay with us, you enjoyed Lamu and the different activities you booked with us. We hope to see you again in the future and wish you all the best.
ARNOLD
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109 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    77
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

The welcoming that we received from the owner, Arnold, made Jambo House a place to remember. What do tourists like to do while traveling? EAT! Arnold explained the best dishes and pricing at about every restaurant in town and gave some great recommendations, with a map. The rooms are simple but very clean. The staff is also very friendly and prepared a great breakfast. I would also recommend spending some time with the tour guide, Ali Ancle*, but the hike across the island through the sand was a little much for me. Thank the lord Ali brought donkeys for us to ride back. We were a little bit nervous that the location didn't seem to be in the heart but it is within a short walk to everything. I don't have any Lamu hotel in the same price range to compare it to but if I ever head back to Lamu I will be giving Jambo House a call.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Giriama, Owner at JamboHouse, responded to this review, January 16, 2013
Thank you for your review.
We offer different walking tours, the walk to Matondoni is the longest one. As we know, walking on soft sand is a bit difficult (if you are not used to it) we also have this option to use a donkey on the way back (optional we could also arrange lunch for you in Matondoni). We also have shorter walking tours. Our guests enjoy these tours because you get another interesting view of Lamu. And riding a donkey (we call them "Lamu Taxis" ) is an interesting experience in this environment.
We hope you could make it again to Lamu and we are looking forward to be your host again.
Thank you, and all the best!
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dublin
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

We stayed here for week in July and had a lovely time. The guesthouse is located in Lamu town and was only a 10min walk to all the restaurants, attractions, pier to get boats. The guesthouse rooms were very clean and there was a lovely roof terrace to relax on with WiFi available. I think the main attraction to it was the staff. They were excellent. Arnold - the owner, provided us with lots of recommendations on what to do,see, eat etc. The breakfast was also really nice with yummy fruit juices. It is very reasonably priced and I would defiinitely recommend it if you want a safe, relaxing place to stay in Lamu town. The trips that Arnold recommended were also great especially the Dhow trip.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Giriama, Owner at JamboHouse, responded to this review, August 14, 2012
Hi & thank you for your review. I remember, first you booked only for three nights and then you extended your stay. We are happy you enjoyed your stay at JamboHouse and also the activities you booked through us. I follow your travel blog and I see you are enjoying your whole trip. Enjoy & you are welcome again. ARNOLD
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Ningbo, China
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2012

Just a quick review to echo the others here. We had a wonderful 4-night stay at Jambo House in April 2012. Arnold's hospitality and attentiveness are really what set this place apart. We stayed in two different rooms: one with private bathroom outside (for a slightly cheaper price), and one with private bathroom inside the room. The furnishings were simple, but adequate and tasteful, with those special extras (such as bedside lamps and soap dishes) that make life just a little bit more comfortable. Both rooms spotlessly clean, as was every area of the guesthouse (including the breezy roof terrace), and they were cleaned every day by Arnold's extremely courteous staff... A true rarity in budget-priced accommodation! We felt right at home in Lamu, and even ended up extending our stay.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Giriama, Owner at JamboHouse, responded to this review, August 6, 2012
Thank you for your review. We are happy you enjoyed your stay at JamboHouse. We try to make the stay for our guests as enjoyable as possible. Also, a big thank you to my team, Damaris and Adam. All the best & we hope to see you again at JamboHouse, Lamu.
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The Woodlands
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2012

I spent five nights at JamboHouse in June 2012. As other reviewers have pointed out, Arnold, the owner really sets this place apart. Upon arrival he sits you down with a drink for an orientation. You are given a map on which he has circled the best restaurants including places popular with the locals. Every one I tried ranged from good to superb.(try the Olympic for seafood) He also offers very good prices on all the tours and dhow trips available in Lamu. I was traveling alone and was talked into taking a dhow trip with another traveler I met. We spent a long time bargaining hard with the dhow captain and ended up paying about what we would have payed going through Arnold but we got a less comfortable boat. I recommend the Swahili dinner with a local family Arnold offers. The people Arnold deals with are ones that his previous guests have rated highly.

JamboHouse itself may not be a five star hotel but it is a fantastic traveler's guest house. My room was clean, safe, spacious, and well maintained. Some rooms apparently have attached bathrooms. My room had a private bathroom just down the hall. Sheets and towels are changed regularly unless you tell them it isn't necessary. The bed was big and comfortable with a heavenly ceiling fan that made the mosquito net unnecessary. I slept beautifully here. The breakfasts on the roof terrace were just as good as others here have mentioned and the terrace was a great place to have a beer after a hard day of people-watching and wandering around town. (Water, beer, and soft drinks are kept in a cooler on the roof.)

JH has been knocked for its location. It is back away from "main street" and the waterfront but Lamu town is so compact that nothing is far away. It is less than a five minute walk to the waterfront. For me the location was perfect. It was well-removed from the often-annoying touts and beach boys on the waterfront. The people you meet walking back away from the more touristed parts of Lamu are among the friendliest you'll ever run into. It was really amazing how often they would smile and say "Jambo", "karibu", or "karibu sana". And if you get lost in the maze of alleys someone will always either accompany you or point you in the right direction. If you forget your torch after dark the alleys are dimly lit with light bulbs and you don't have to worry about being mugged in Lamu town. I'd love to go back.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Giriama, Owner at JamboHouse, responded to this review, July 29, 2012
Thanks a lot for your detailed review.
I'm in Lamu since 4 years now. All the locals I work with I know them since at least 3 years (most of them even from the beginning). For me traveling is very important so I do not want to spoil the holiday of our guests by organizing something which is not good.
My policy is to have fair prices with a good value. I'm happy we also have Kenyans as our guests but also backpackers, volunteers, round the world travelers, pilots, doctors,...
We hope to see you again at JamboHouse and on Lamu Island which is a unique place!
ARNOLD
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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2012

JamboHouse was a great place to stay in Lamu, and as I hope to return to Lamu in the future, I'd definitely stay there again! I stayed for 3 nights, but would have loved to extend my stay had I not needed to go back to work. Arnold, the owner, was incredibly helpful organizing tours and suggesting restaurants. Despite staying in Lamu during Ramadan I never had trouble finding places to eat because of his numerous suggestions. JamboHouse was clean, incredibly accessible (less than 10 min walk to Lamu Fort, and very convenient for exploring Old Town), and very affordable. Highly recommended if you want to feel like you're staying in Lamu and not just a typical tourist passing through.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Giriama, Owner at JamboHouse, responded to this review, July 29, 2012
Thank you for your review. Lamu IS a unique place and we help our guests to have a great experience in Lamu. Also myself, after four years now, I still like Lamu so much. Lamu is also a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of Nairobi (easy to reach by bus or by plane). We are looking forward to have you as our guest again. All the best & see you soon again. Greetings from JamboHouse-Team.
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World trip
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

JamboHouse is a great guest house on Lamu. The owner is extremely friendly, the guest house is nice and small (only 5 rooms), breakfast is great, the rooms are clean, and the rooftop is a great place to relax. The wi-fi connection is a great plus, as internet is not widely available on the island.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Giriama, Owner at JamboHouse, responded to this review, July 19, 2012
Thank you very much for your review. I realized you really enjoyed your stay at JamboHouse and on Lamu Island. We wish you all the best and do enjoy your trip (I'm really jealous!!). Best greetings from Arnold, Damaris and Adam.
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Additional Information about JamboHouse

Address: PO Box 131, Lamu Island 80500, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Lamu Island
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 28 B&Bs / Inns in Lamu Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In JamboHouse we provide in our 5 friendly in Lamu Style furnished rooms an enjoyable stay at reasonable rates. All our rooms (with mosquito net & ceiling fan) have private bathrooms. JamboHouse is ideally located to explore the Old Town of Lamu. From there it’s just a three minute walk through narrow lanes to Town Square with Lamu Fort. When you book JamboHouse we wait for you at the airport or at the bus terminal. ... more   less 
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