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“Beautiful hotel in an amazing spot” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Majlis Hotel

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The Majlis Hotel
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Ras Kitau Bay, Manda Island | PO Box 502, Lamu Island 80500, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 11 hotels in Lamu Island
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Beautiful hotel in an amazing spot”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013 via mobile

Even though the power wasnt constant, I still have to say that this was a wonderful place to stay. The staff were all very helpful and accommodating, we were upgraded to a suite which was gorgeous overlooking the beach and pool!
They have bikes onsite for a little adventure, great place for a few night of R&R.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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68 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, IL
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

Our visit was just before closing for the rainy season and we expected crowds and staff ready to go home. What we got was super-attentive service, delicious meals, and almost no-one to share it with (all the better for us!). The layout of the property is spread out so that you might be at one building with a pool or have a short walk to a pool... but there's plenty of room for everyone. The pool by the entry and bar is picture perfect, but the more distant pool (by our building) was private and perfectly fun.

Food was delightful -- really, I can't say enough about the care and thought (and love for local fresh foods) that went into preparing each of our meals. I was full from the previous meal going into each next meal, but it never stopped me from eating everything that they brought out!

I enjoyed a massage, and it was quite nice, but one must be prepared for it to be a little noisy during regular season because the massage hut is along the pathway between buildings and opposite the water sports "center".

One can book a boat our Lamu tour with the hotel front desk staff -- they jumped to accommodate our every question and request... terrific!

Don't book less than two nights there -- it's not worth it to take a boat out, get unpacked, and rush to repack and speed back across the water.

Room Tip: The buildings all have lounges either in them or very nearby. There is limited internet access, so...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Mpumalanga, South Africa
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
62 hotel reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2012

Majlis means a place of sitting or gathering in Arabic, the language that has heavily influenced Kiswahili, the lingua franca of East Africa, in particular the coastal region.
It is difficult to judge a hotel when you are the only guests, as happened to us during a visit in early February 2012. But going by appearances, this is a lovely resort. And the meals, with a wide choice of seafood, were superb. The staff is well-trained and very, very friendly. They go to great lengths to make your stay enjoyable.
Unfortunately tourism to the Lamu area is still in the doldrums after two incidents involving suspected Somali terrorists quite a few months ago. All we can say is that we felt perfectly safe and we had the distinct impression that the Kenyan authorities are on top of the situation, although we saw no sign of military or police presence.
The Majlis resort is not cheap but comes with high standards. The 25 rooms are spacious with Middle-Eastern touches. You can undertake various sea-based activities, including a visit to small, car-free Arab-style Lamu town. But we would not recommend it for a long stay. However, it is a perfect hideaway to relax after the strains of a safari to the game parks.
Do not expect a Bounty-island feel with a coconut palm-fringed beach. But the beach is wide and blissfully free from pesky hawkers. Unfortunately, the beach has eroded in front of the hotel, but they are busy fixing it. There are two lovely swimming pools.
Upon arrival at the tiny airport with regular daily flights to the capital Nairobi we were met by a lovely hostess for a 10-minute boat ride to the hotel that is situated on an 800-metres wide stretch of Indian Ocean with a view of, among others, a villa belonging to one of the Monaco princesses.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nyack, New York
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2012

Spent a week at The Majlis Resort, and I must say that it is the perfect place to enjoy a rejuvenating holiday in a beautiful setting. From beautifully designed and clean rooms, to a multi-cuisine restaurant and pool and terrace bars, it offers everything one needs for a perfect holiday. I can’t wait to visit again.

Room Tip: Corners Side Rooms have a Good View of the Location
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Isle of Man, United Kingdom
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2012

The welcome was very good and the location and the Hotel was fantastic, however the service was at snails pace. The following day at breakfast our groups order was coming at such a slow pace and not in orderly way, bits and bobs e.g if the toast had come then no cooked breakfast or Tea to go with. My breakfast after waiting for nearly three quater of an hour they got me one part of what I ordered. I was frustered and asked to see the Manager. The Manager was called, a young French man, not even apologetic informed us that not much he could do as the chef has gone.Very proud, arrogant man. Obviously he didn't know much about running a Hotel as he had inherited. Under the circumstances one can employ a well trained Manager. The staff too were not well trained for a 5 star hotel.
We moved out of the hotel and went to Pepponi Hotel across on Sheila beach. Had fantastic time and enjoyed lovely food and one night we had swahili dinner- highly recommed.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Majlis-admin, Manager at The Majlis Hotel, responded to this review, January 23, 2012
Please disregard this review as it is fraudulent. We notified Tripadvisor and will pursue the matter with their legal department. We accept good and bad comments, but not reviews that are made up to hurt our business, our staff and our community !
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2011

We stayed with the Majlis for 3 nights. Our stay was wonderful. The hotel has a sharp eye for art and design, gourmet dining, beautiful accommodations, and an extremely attentive staff. We could not finds any faults in our stay.

But to top it all off, on the day of our departure, our flight with fly 540 was suddenly cancelled (for no obvious reason) leaving us stranded on the dock at night near the airport. Fly 540 threatened to put us up in a hole in the wall hotel in Lamu. We were able to contact the Majlis through a local police officer, and the hotel returned to collect us and other guests, and allowed us to stay the night until the next available flight in the morning. I don't know what we would have done without Stefano, Peris, Evelyn, and the rest of the hotel staff. Its treating your guest like special persons that really sets this hotel apart.

Room Tip: Choose a bright room with easy access to the pool.
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  • Stayed September 2011, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2011

Living in Nairobi, we go to Lamu about once a year - and this time had decided to try out the Majlis on Manda right across from our usual spot Peponi in Shella. Then of course, school break was only a few weeks after the incidents on Kiwayu, on Manda, and up in the refugee camp next to the Somali border.

After having spoken to Stefano (Moccia, owner manager of Majlis), to various security units and intelligence experts, we felt assured security had been upgraded to a point where no rational commercial kidnapper or ideological terrorist (and these are soft target unsophisticated cowards) would try another attempt. Upon arrival - all promised security arrangement were as we had been told - including armed police right outside both Majlis and Peponi across the canal.

Thus, we had a fantastic vacation, because Majlis is extraordinary. If Peponi is all charm, Majlis has larger and better rooms, better pools and facilities, equally good staff and service, and a great sunset. It is still not fully finished (the beach was being "repaired") but soon there. The only two minor issues would be food, that is good but not great, and prices for extracurricular activities. 50 Euro for a massage is outrageous by local standards - as is Euro 30 for rountrip to Lamu town.

But overall, a great and safe vacation

Room Tip: Fantastic family rooms
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Majlis Hotel

Address: Ras Kitau Bay, Manda Island | PO Box 502, Lamu Island 80500, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Lamu Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 11 hotels in Lamu Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Majlis Hotel 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Idyllic, luxurious, stylish, unique, …the Majlis resort is a privately-owned luxury beach hotel on the north coast of Kenya in the Indian ocean. Designed and built to reflect Lamu’s heritage tradition, The Majlis combines 25 superbly appointed luxury air-conditioned suites built with Western comforts and local tradition. State-of-the-art facilities include two bars, a gourmet restaurant, two swimming pools and an activity center which graciously co-ordinates a wide variety of full day experiences for you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Majlis Lamu Ltd Hotel Lamu Island

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