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“Remote yet elegant” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Peponi Hotel

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Peponi Hotel
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3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Box 24, Lamu Island, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Lamu Island
los angeles, ca
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Remote yet elegant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2011

We visited this hotel a few years ago on the advice of a travel agent to unwind before our Safari. What an amazing place. You arrive by local motor/sail boat after landing at the air field on the nearby mainland. The hotel is owned and operated by a European couple who have been there for decades are well respected for their local involvement. They even run a sea turtle rescue and beach clean-up operation! The employees are all long timers and local offering wonderful personal service. The amazing part is you walk out of the beachfront compound and you are immediately in a Muslim village with no cars, numerous mosques, fascinating mostly non-tourist shops, and wonderful walking opportunities. The larger town is about 20 minutes by foot or there is a water taxi. This town too is fascinating.
The hotel accommodations are excellent, the food exotic and wonderful and the staff first class. A great retreat before or after a safari!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • 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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163 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    120
    26
    5
    6
    6
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30
76
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4
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 (39)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Nairobi, Kenya
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2011

I stayed at Peponi last month (November) and it was great, first we got an upgrade to superior rooms due to the fact that there are not so many bookings after people canceled out of fear of Alshabaab...

It felt very safe and the peaceful, I loved every bit of it. From the sun downers at the terrace, the pool, the beach walks and the food...simply awesome

I am not a big fan of the speed boat ride so that wasn't the best part but again it is inevitable for as long as you are in Lamu

The only thing you have to watch out is mosquitoes, as much as they have nets there are so many of them that you will need a repellent

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2011

In Kenya for beach and safari visit. Stayed weekend at Peponi and had a super relaxing and enjoyable stay. In spite of all the scare of visiting Lamu we found everything to be fantastic including the amazing snorkeling, evening walks along the beach, visits to historic Lamu, great food and drink, and friendly reception. I would go again without hesitation.

Room Tip: We stayed in a superior room which was nice as it had a private terrace with view of the bay.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 4 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.
Reading, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2011

We had lunch at Peponi's during our recent stay on Lamu and it was fabulous - sitting outside on the terrace, under the trees, a gentle breeze, watching the activity on the water and eating delicious and original food. Try the calamari and the seafood risotto! Despite all the press reports, it feels very safe and security is being taken very very seriously. Go - you will get a great deal and have a wonderful holiday!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Brasilia, DF
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2011

We have just spent another charming weekend at Peponi Hotel to enjoy the Lamu Festival. The hotel, above all, is as comfortable, charming and friendly as ever, although there was a wedding celebration on Saturday. I enjoyed the nice weather, a change from Nairobi raining days, and the excellent food. One of the things we like at Peponi is that we can chose a different site for lunch, all with nice see views. Both Pepopi and Lamu are profiting from additional safety measures, and the only threat we had come from an unexpected raise of the tide, when I was distracted playing with my kite in a sand bank at the beach near the hotel :-).

Room Tip: I've visited a few rooms and all were very nice. However I prefer the ones that are closer to th...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 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
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2011

For the fifth time, I went back to the Peponi hotel, in Shela, Island of Lamu. This time, it was during the Lamu Cultural Festival. This was my first visit after the kidnapping of a French resident in the adjacent Manda Island, which generated bad publicity to Lamu and negative travel advice which has brought tourism in the Island to a stand-still. The local population, famous for their warm welcome of foreigners, has shown their best hospitality to all visitors, particularly foreigners, who came to participate in the swahili festivities. I have spotted the Ambassadors of France and Spain, as well as the Director of Alliance Française, walking calmly amidst the crowd or on their way to the beach, contradicting alarmist warnings against travelling to the region. The Kenyan government has boosted security measures by patrolling the waters around the island with police boats and spreading armed policeman to surveil the beachfront. Given that these are muslim communities, the local leaders (sheikhs) seem also to have increased their vigilance, sharing information with adjacent communities.

As for the Peponi Hotel, it was as pleasant as ever. The rooms are spacious and very well appointed, using swahili furniture and local handcraft (all rooms have mosquito nets and fans over the beds, and the ones I recommend have a small fridge where guests may keep their choice of cold drinks). Breakfast is a-la-carte, ranging from a normal English breakfast to bircher-muesli and tropical fruits. I normally enjoy having lunch by the pool, under the shade of three huge baobab trees ,or on the roof-top terrace, where a gentle breeze is always blowing. Dinner is more pleasant in the restaurant area, particularly in the candle-lit terrace, under the stars. The cuisine is mostly with local ingredients, particularly their delicious mangrove crabs and other seafood, prepared with a swahili flavour of exotic spices or in Thai or Oriental styles. A nice walk to the sand dunes behind the Peponi at sunset or the refreshing experience of watching the dhows sail by while lounging in the shallow part of the salted-water swimming pool are my favourite ways to pass time, while in Shela.

A half-an-hour boat ride takes us to Lamu village, which is a World Heritage site. One particular feature of this place is that there are no cars, so, all transportation is either by boat or on donkeys. Dead coral reefs are used as bricks for the typical houses, and the narrow alleys are bustling with life: merchants carrying goods on donkeys, women covered in black veils, children playing as in any other village in the world. I recommend dinner in Lamu house or a drink in one of the roof-top terraces to catch a breeze. Don't be surprised with the lack of appropriate sanitation (open-air gutters are everywhere), given that this adds to the local atmosphere, like time-travel. I also recommend a dhow trip to the ruins of Takwa, at the end of a channel into the mangroves - particularly at sunset, with sparkling wine kept chilling in an ice-box for a toast just before dusk (arranged by the kind manager of Peponi hotel).

Room Tip: I particularly recommend rooms 22 to 25, which are closest to the beach and have nice balconies over...
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  • Stayed November 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2011 via mobile

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here, but I have to admit I was hoping for more.

The highlight was a Dow ride and walking around Lamu town.

The room was so-so, though it did have a great outdoor bed-swing.

The staff was friendly but not particularly helpful. We wanted to see a turtle hatching, and despite emailing them in advance and telling them this immediately on arrival, I was disappointed to see a group head out about 2 hours after our arrival with nobody telling us. This is a once-in-a-blue-moon event.

The food was great - the "Swahili Dinner" by the pool and the sushi particularly so. The wine list was a huge letdown though.

Dont take their advice on having lunch at local "Ali"s house. It was very awkward with him just sitting there while you eat. You dont enter his house (he has a special Mzungu room) and you dont meet his family. Nice enough guy, but this was a mistake.

The beach is fine if you go down far enough. Immediately in front of Peponi is full of boats and has very little beach.

Shella feels much safer than Lamu town, so that is a big plus.

  • Stayed October 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Peponi Hotel

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

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