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“Lovely setting, beautiful hotel, great food” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Peponi Hotel

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Peponi Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Box 24, Lamu Island, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 11 hotels in Lamu Island
London
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Lovely setting, beautiful hotel, great food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2011

We had a lovely time at the Peponi. The setting is amazing, in a beautiful little village just by a gorgeous 14km stretch of deserted white sand beach. Rooms were comfortable, and well spaced out along the waterfront grounds. Food was incredible, especially the crab. Definitely the best option in Shela (we had a nose into other hotels and were not as impressed). Only fly in the ointment were the noisy children staying at the same time, who were noisily playing, whooping and screaming in the gardens from 7am every day thus waking us up - was surprised a boutique hotel like this did not request parents keep their children under control (especially so early in the day!)

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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152 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    109
    26
    5
    6
    6
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26
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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 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Toulouse, France
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2011

This hotel is perfect for winding down after safari! The rooms are large, airy and simply furnished with large Lamu beds. Our room had a Lamu swing bed on the terrace too which was great for afternoon naps. I was worried about the lack of air con but it seems that air-con is not all that common in hotels in Kenya and the sea breeze and large ceiling fan kept us cool at night. We loved watching the dhow sailing boats going out to fish first thing in the morning (they sail right past our terrace) and then watching them come back in whilst having sundowners on Peponi's bar terrace. The food was wonderful - we particularly enjoyed the Swahili dinner. The setting is perfect - Shela is a quiet village - full of character and with amazing photo opportunities around every corner! The beach outside the hotel is ok but if you want to see one of the most beautiful beaches in the world then just walk 10 minutes along the beach and around the corner is a white sand beach, miles long and almost empty! There is a flash looking hotel on the other side of the bay but it is Peponi that we would always return to - we just felt so relaxed and well looked after here and were very glad not to be in Lamu town. I would not take much notice of the negative reviews - most are written by people not even staying at the hotel and it is right that hotel guests should get priority over people who just want to have a drink or eat. We will be back very soon Peponi!

Room Tip: Upgrade to superior room.
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  • Stayed April 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2011

Peponi is the classic old hotel on Lamu with stories that date back 30+ years.
It is in the heart of Lamu, a very colorful town. This is the kind of place where rock stars hung out in the 60's. Funny, some of them are still here, except they are not stars anymore.

The hotel architecture is beautiful, classic, white Moroccan. The rooms are basic at best, bathrooms are small and rooms are quite small. You do have a balcony with very comfortable hammock and views. One will enjoy this.

Shela beach is around the corner, but you will have to fight off the beach boys that will hassle you (which is a huge pain in the bum).

The food is very good and the restaurant has a varied menu. The atmosphere is very 60's cool and quite a bunch of "characters."

If you are looking for a hotel with an edge/attitude this could be the right choice for you.

I personally prefer a much more luxurious, peaceful, relaxing, clean, private beach/hotel.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 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.
Solana Beach, San Diego, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2011

This was our second trip to Lamu and Peponi, but our first with the children. It is a wonderful place and a true gem made by the owners, management and great staff and location.

Owner properties are hard to find these days and should be treasured. The hotel is quirky and full of character.

Some of the old negative reviews are very extreme and were written by people who never stayed at the hotel but popped in for a meal or drink. The hotel really protects and pampers its resident guests so you have your own bar, a private restaurant and gardens. This keep you away from the busy local bar. Those visitors probably felt shut out, I guess they should have paid to stay.

It was 10 years from our first visit, to our second and if anything it was even better the second time. How many hotels and restaurant can be that consistent?

If you want uniform rooms, with numbers on the door and a chain hotel, that gives you mileage points and bland food and ambiance, this is not the place for you.

It you like unique, different, exclusive, adventure and remote unspoilt locations and fantastic fun and a friendly hotel then you have come to the right place.

We cannot wait to go back and we rarely go back to the same place.

.

Room Tip: Superior Rooms are worth the extra
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  • Stayed February 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
    • 3 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.
NH
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2011

I last visited Lamu--and stayed at Peponi-- in 2007 with my wife and kids which was a fantastic stay. This visit in November 2010 was with my 86 year-old father. I re-read my review and found it almost possible to just write "ditto". From the greeting at the airport, to the motorized Dhow ride to the hotel, to the personal greeting and sitting on the veranda with a complimentary drink discussing our needs while at the hotel, it is a warm welcome feeling. Again, the never aging Carol (owner with her husband Lars) is on top of every detail and quietly made sure that our needs met. We opted for the water front room--hours in the hammock listening to the waves and dhows go by. meals on top under a full moon--still the best crab dishes in the world are here-- slow walks to the beach and into Shella town, the island still does not disappoint even though it has become a bit of an international "must see"--and a long way from the hidden gem it was on my first visit in 1983. Large developments across the bay with lights blaring all night a reminder that not all development is good development--yet Peponi has kept its magic. Months later there are days I dream of just sitting on the veranda or overlooking the pool. That should say it all!

  • Stayed November 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2011

You cannot beat Peponi when it comes to ambiance, view, location, lounging and eating the best food in Kenya. We love Peponi and our meals and evenings at the bar there are always lovely and memorable. You will not be disappointed!

Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2011

After two weeks on Safari my husband surprised me with a a three day retreat to Peponi's. We changed our flights home and stayed a week. Everything was perfect and fell in love within our first five minutes of arrival. Sitting on the balcony sipping our drinks and indulging ourselves on sashimi and oysters we felt like we could never return to our lives...and we live in the tropics in an area that many call paradise. Our room was incredibly clean and the bed was more comfortable than mine at home. Waking to the morning call to prayer is something we will always remember, truly beautiful. The hosts and staff were beyond accommodating and friendly, and we knew that anything we needed or any question we had would be tended to with warm personal attention. The food..we gained weight! It was amazing, mouth watering and always plentiful. We still speak of our time here on a regular basis and recommend it to everyone! Although this review comes very late, thanks to everyone at Peponi's that helped make the couple from Costa Rica have an amazing 40th 50th birthday and unwind after two weeks on safari bouncing around a car and sleeping tents! The perfect place!

  • Stayed April 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
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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 Peponi Hotel

Address: Box 24, Lamu Island, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Lamu Island
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 11 hotels in Lamu Island
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Peponi Hotel 3.5*
Also Known As:
Peponi Hotel Lamu

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