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“A city lost in time” 5 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
Johannesburg, South Africa
1 review
“A city lost in time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2014

It was such a pleasant surprise when I arrived to a warm welcome of Andrew and he's team at Peponi hotel. The food menu is out of this world. The staff are so helpful and friendly and the ambiance is nothing like I've experienced before. I'm in love! They get a double thumbs up from me.

Room Tip: All rooms are sea facing
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Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
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152 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    109
    26
    5
    6
    6
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26
74
5
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 (38)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Newport News, Virginia
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2014 via mobile

I stayed at Peponi in late January on my first visit to Lamu. Peponi provided a boat to meet us at the mainland airport on a traditional kind of boat (except this one had a motor). Each guest alighting at Peponi was greeted individually by one of the staff who seated us on the veranda overlooking the beach, set us up with a complimentary drink before checking us in. Definitely the best check-in process I've ever experienced!
We had a beach front room with a beautiful balcony overlooking the beach. The balcony was equipped with a table and two chairs as well as beautiful blue-covered mattress, covered with pillows suspended by chains from the ceiling.
While the room did not have airconditioning, the open windows and the high speed ceiling fans kept it very comfortable, with the breezes coming in off the water. The mosquito netting, while practical, also provided an exotic feel to the already classically appointed room.
We were only able to stay at Peponi one night and that's the only thing that was wrong with our stay.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, ON
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

I think most of the other reviews have described just how wonderful this hotel is in terms of setting, location, rooms, pool, dining, etc. I agree with all these comments. Peponi is a very special place. But for us, the really outstanding aspect of our stay was the personal attention we received from Carol (the owner), Andrew, and Mwabane (I hope I spelled her name correctly). Not only were we welcomed with a drink, but Mwabane went over our stay, our options for excursions, the property, information about Shela and Lamu, and many other things that helped us orient ourselves to Lamu Island for the next four nights. Our first morning, Carol came to see us at our room (number 12 - a wonderful spot in the Palm Garden), and she also discussed the options for excursions, dining, etc., and answered some of our questions.

Of course, much of this service is designed to ensure that guests dine at the hotel and take advantage of the excursions offered by the Peponi, but we never felt we were being sold or pushed to do anything. The service was discreet, professional, and above all, effortlessly friendly.

On top of all this, both my husband and I came down with a gastrointestinal issue, that was either viral or bacterial, and again, Carol and Andrew went out of their way to provide us with appropriate food, rehydration powder, etc. The dining staff were also aware and often asked how we were feeling, etc. The level of concern seemed genuine.

We also went on a couple of excursions provided by the hotel - one a snorkeling, island lunch, and bird-watching expedition, designed personally for us by Carol. It was a wonderful day, and our guide - Cheena - did everything he could to make it fun and safe. He was our boat captain, snorkel guide, oyster catcher, cook, and general host, and he made the day memorable through his own unobtrusive but engaging guidance. I also had the opportunity to participate in one of Carol's excursions in support of her Turtle Project, watching and helping turtle hatchlings make it to the sea unharmed. The hotel put out coffee and fruit before we left and extended the breakfast hours to allow people to eat when we returned.

We are independent travelers who generally figure stuff out for ourselves and prefer to do it that way. But the style and quality of this personalized service was never intrusive and made our stay that much more enjoyable.

I have traveled quite a bit and have to say that I have never experienced this level of service at a hotel of this size. I would recommend Peponi to anyone and would return in a heartbeat.

Room Tip: We loved our room - number 12 - at the end of the Palm Garden.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2014

I do not want to write a repetitive review and others before me have exclaimed the fabulous food, service and amenities at Peponi and it is all true. But the best thing about the hotel and the reason that it should be ranked #1 is its location. Steps from 12km of white sand that is Shela Beach, steps from the sweet village of Shela and a short & complimentary dhow ride into Lamu Town every morning. Nothing beats that, period. Carol, Andrew and the entire staff do not seem to know the word "no". You want to eat dinner on your private veranda? Yes. You want a picnic of fresh grilled fish on a deserted pile of coral in Manda Bay? Yes. You want to come back again and again? YES!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 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
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2014

I am hesitant to write this but I told Andrew, the charming hotel manager, that I would. We stayed here for five nights this past January and can not wait to return. From the gracious owner's first hello coupled with her fabulous signature "Old Pal" cocktail, to the flexibility to dine poolside or in our room or on the gorgeous rooftop verandah....to our (sad) departure on their striking, signature dhow....Peponi is pure magic. Food was exceptional, service attentive but not fussy, accommodations a perfect shade of rustic, boho chic that worked perfectly for this incredibly laid-back yet elegant island. An authentic, calm and cool energy exudes from the sprawling (and sweet) Frangipani, and the pool is really something else nestled between these magnificent, ancient Baobob trees. Love Tulum. Anguilla. Hamptons. But Lamu was in a whole other class. Sigh. It's our not-so-secret spot that we hope everyone seeking romance, sophistication and sun will have the chance to experience. Thank you Carol and Andrew and everyone else! We shall see you again. - Carrie and Kamuti

Room Tip: We stayed in beach-facing #24 but I imagine they all are unique and wonderful.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Hartford, Connecticut
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

Enjoyed the water front exposure, the cuisine, the staff, and the rooms
We enjoyed the fact that the hotel is not located in old Lamu town, and that the beaches (best) are just around the point, easy walking, and beautiful swimming!

Room Tip: most of the rooms are wonderful
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

Stayed here during the Lamu Cultural Festival. As before it was fantastic. Great hospitality, friendly, helpful and above all relaxing. The festival is also great - every November. The food in Peponi remains top notch, and this time I discovered the pool too, which is a nice place to cool down a little after exploring and shopping in Shela or Lamu Town. If you get the chance to stay here don't hesitate.

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes
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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