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“The Pearl of The Lamu Archipelago” 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 #2 of 11 hotels in Lamu Island
Moscow
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“The Pearl of The Lamu Archipelago”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

My wife and I stayed at the Majlis for a week in January 2014. The hotel and staff are outstanding and they go the extra mile to make your stay truly memorable from arranging bespoke excursions, gladly preparing personal dining requests, to whatever. The rooms are fabulous and the food mouth-watering. Being located on Manda gives you the best of all worlds with bustling Shela and Lamu 5 minutes away by boat, whilst the Majlis remains your quiet oasis. This is the third hotel we have stayed at on Lamu, and is the best by some margin.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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61 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dublin, Ireland
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

It was a busy year - two very tired adults and one very active four year old arrive at the Majlis for the Christmas break. We could not have chosen better. Casual elegance and excellent service. The hotel is on the beach and has two pools. The only reason to wear shoes is that the sand gets hot during the day! The only discordant note was that of a four year old being told that he could not eat in the pool, and would have to get out on occasion. You can do as much or a little as you want here, and the food is quite frankly amazing. Quite Italian influenced with a twist of Swahili, but then that was one of our reasons for choosing to stay here.

Thank you to Stefano, Fredrico, Evelyn (now proud girlfriend to a four year old!), Katana, Nelson, Omar, Menza, James, "Captain" Charlie and all the rest.

Room Tip: No. 14 has a double bed and a semi-separated area with a single bed. Perfect for our needs and allo...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
304 reviews 304 reviews
165 hotel reviews
Reviews in 148 cities Reviews in 148 cities
273 helpful votes 273 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2013

The Majlis is in a uniquely beautiful location and is a classic looking hotel. The Majlis does have one of the best ‘Sunset Bars’ in Kenya. The rooms are large (for sunsets ask for #11) and it is safe & quiet. All the rooms have A/C and mine had a great house steward named ‘Pascal’. That said, there were significant problems that should not occur when you pay $500+ a night for your room. Issues: We arrived at the local airport with no one meeting us. I had to go through the crowds outside of the airport asking if anyone was from the Majlis. Finally, I found a man in an old plain T-shirt who answered. He did not know our names but said he was from the Majlis. I made him call get our names and identify himself. He called and confirmed our names. The small airport emptied out while we waited – not a good way to started our stay. Then, we were without internet for a day and a half because we were given the wrong password. We thought it was our computer or the signal. By chance we mentioned this to our house steward ‘Pascal’ and he sought out his friend who figured out the error – “sorry mister they left out a letter”. There are other smaller issue (restaurant service and finally billing) but the most irritating is that everything at Majlis is about money. When you arrive you are in the middle of nowhere, on an island that looks across to Lamu and you are captive to the hotel … unless you pay. Just to across to Lamu is $40. They give you activity sheet with 21 prices list and besides the swimming pool and bar there is not much to do and nowhere to go that isn’t about $$$. Snorkeling is $210, Fishing, Boat rental ½ day $165, reef fishing $210 , ½ day deep-sea $700, etc. Make sure you understand that only a few things are included (kayak, tubing, etc) but really you are there and nowhere else - unless you are a serious swimmer. In short: This property could be worth the price but they have a way to go. Conditionally recommended.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AddisLondon, General Manager at The Majlis Hotel, responded to this review, December 31, 2013
We welcome reviews that represent the truth and are constructive, not those that are used to threaten the property to get discounts on everything. Our room & activity rates are lower than what is stated. The staff at The Majlis works 24/7 to ensure the best experience to its guests. We invite prospective guests to read other reviews to get a full understanding of the property.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2013

From the moment we arrived we were given 5* treatment with a special blend of informality, friendliness, discretion and professional pride.
The most intimate hotel on Manda Island, with the kindest staff who are out to exceed every guests expectations.
We were happy with many things: beautiful large room, amazing view from the restaurant of the beach and the food is delicious and varied.
But what truly made our stay perfect were the owners, Frederico and Stefano who went extra mile to accommodate us, even personally taking us for a sundowner with the drummers and singers who made it amazing, Stefano taking us to enjoy snorkeling and catching us lunch (Octopus), you guys are awesome
Evelyne, Katana, Omar, Lenny, Nicholas and all other Majlis Staff are greatest asset: friendly, helpful and keen to impress
I definitely recommend Majlis; they made our stay in magical Lamu very special
It felt like home away from home and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending it. If you want to chillout, relax in beautiful surroundings this is the place. If there were more places like this, the world would be a much cooler place.

We enjoyed our stay so much we are already planning our return, need I say more.
Majlis is planning yoga festivals on the 13th to 16th of March which I will get to also celebrate my birthday 

Room Tip: sea view rooms near the pool are great,the Royal suite is awesome!!!
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2013

I think i will go right ahead and start with the rooms! The thought put in the designs, totally impeccable! the Swahili inspired intricate designs on the furniture are quite impressive, I felt like taking the bed home with me! if only it could fit into my suitcase! (sigh). They were gracious enough to show me around,the other rooms were equally impressive but the royal suite, it's out of this world beautiful!

When it came to the meals, the chef went out of his way to impress, He takes the trophy for the pan seared Tuna. Which i learnt was a daily catch during the season i was there, i made a point of going fishing, to see if i could also contribute to daily the supply of Tuna, but i caught a barracuda instead, wasn't disappointed, it was also very tasty.

The pool bar is exquisite! I had my fair share of madafu while i was there. The Majlis staff, a very friendly lot, very hospitable.Thank you all, you made my stay there memorable! On my last night, a candle lit dinner was set up on the beach, that was simply magical! talking of the beach, its one of the cleanest beach i have ever seen,pristine! and no beach boys either.
I also had a fabulous time in the water, If you ever go there, make sure their water sports cabin is the first place you check out.

Beautiful resort, Wonderful team! Pristine beach,Fantastic food! and everything you could ask for while on holiday. I will definitely come back!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mombasa, Kenya
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2013

many big thanks to all majlis crews for making the wonderful moments for my clients, the were very happy and feel like home. thank you so much moccia family for the hospitality you had, this is just the beginning expect more to come. thanks once again Federico and Stefano as well

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2013

We were pleasantly surprised on our boat ride and warm welcome from Evelyne when we got to Majlis. The amazing Majlis was like paradise with beauty everywhere. After a cold refreshing welcome drink we were heading to our rooms when Stefano met and greeted us introducing himself. We then dropped our bags and dashed straight to taste the awesome pool by our room. By the way the room was beautiful and spacious with tasteful Lamu furniture and white surface giving a feeling of space and light!
All the staff members were professional, kind, warm and helpful. The outstanding ones included the bar man upstairs, Katana, Lenny, Evelyne, Fred, the chef Ochieng and Omar. I can’t remember everyone by name all I can say is we were thrilled and delighted!!!
Frederico was also very warm and even accorded us a dhow sunset trip with his crew singing jambo bwana, habari gani mzuri sana.
Stefano took us snorkeling, where my son who is 8 was so excited having watched an Octopus getting caught.
The food was delicious. We could not get enough of the catch of the day on each of the meal times during both lunch and dinner. Yummy seafood!!! My 8 year old son Denzel especially loved all the hospitality and unending attention.
For anyone looking for an out of this world vacation I would like to highly recommend the amazing Majlis. My 5 days stay was heaven on earth. The owners and staff angels!
Cannot wait for my next visit during the upcoming Lamu yoga festival in 13 – 16 March 2014 super excited. Wow!!!!

Room Tip: the rooms overlooking the sea are actually the most suitable because one can enjoy both the pool and...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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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Additional Information about The Majlis Hotel

Also Known As:
The Majlis Lamu Ltd Hotel Lamu Island
The Majlis Lamu Ltd Hotel
Address: Ras Kitau Bay, Manda Island | PO Box 502, Lamu Island 80500, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Lamu Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach 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
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Lamu Island
#2 On the Beach Hotel 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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