My husband and I just returned from an amazing safari with Tropical Ice in Kenya. The owner/ guide, Iain Allen had recommended we take a few days and enjoy the Kenyan coast and that Lamu was an ideal spot to visit and that Carol at Peponi Hotel would take great care of us. He was right on all accounts. I admit, that I fell victim to the negative pirating press issued by the US State Department and played out in the media. I couldnt have been more wrong. I felt completely safe and at ease.
First, Lamu is a throwback in time. Its the oldest standing Swahili village, dating back to the 7th century. We stayed in nearby Shela at Peponi which was exquisite. Lamu is a very old muslim trading port and the center of action. Shela village, the location of Peponi is its upscale neighbor a short walk away.
When we arrived at Peponi we were graciously greeted by Andrew and a welcoming cocktail called an Ol Pal. Refreshingly delicious. Andrew gave us the lay of the land and walked us around the property . Styled in the traditional Swahili architecture ( think Mykonos or Santorini with sharp angles) the grounds were lush and spacious . Carol and her team of placed subtle placards on the various plants on the grounds so guests have no problem identifying the often unusual plants or trees. Do to a room mix up we were lucky enough to experience two rooms. The first, room 24 on the beach front was a delight. Simple and tasteful, you are lulled to sleep at night by the sounds of the waves lapping against the shore. The second room..(was called Top according to our key) was an even larger version of the first with a terrace equally as large. It is over the bar and from 8- 10 or 11 you can here the guests downstairs but it was never too noisy and didn't last all night. It was terrific, we spent the mornings lounging in our hammock, wearing Kikoys, the native wraps provided by the hotel and then afternoons walking the most spectacular dunned beaches imaginable . If you do visit, make sure you walk the beach at low tide. its extraordinary and the dunes reach 7 stories high. Peponi also provides a full range of water activities from water skiing, to windsurfing . After our outings we always found ourselves sitting on the restaurant terrace enjoying an amazing meal. One night we opted for the traditional Swahili dinner which was a dining event. Served in the magnificent garden by the pool. You sit on plush pillows and throws and enjoy what was for us, 6 courses.
One of the extraordinary attractions of the hotel is its staff. Headed by the fabulous Carol ( a force of nature on the island) they did everything and more to make us feel welcomed and very well taken care of. It was also very nice to see how Team Peponi gives back to the community. Launching turtle tagging and nesting programs, helping provide scholarships to many of the towns children: it really was nice to see. As you can see, I could go on and on about how wonderful our experience was. Its a MUST for anyone looking for an exotic beach getaway that is off the beaten path.
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- Also Known As:
- Peponi Hotel Lamu