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“Great food, but waaaay overpriced” 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
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Washington, DC
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Great food, but waaaay overpriced”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2010

We stayed elsewhere in Lamu but came to Peponi's for several meals and had a great time. As others have noted, the location is gorgeous and the food was excellent ... but it's so absurdly overpriced that you couldn't help but feel a bit gouged. Too bad -- they could easily lower the prices to less grabby levels and still make a healthy profit. But still, you're on vacation, life is short, why worry about it ...

No complaints about the service, though -- very friendly and helpful staff. And we enjoyed an evening drink on the patio until it filled up with local beach boys and loud British twits, which gave it a clique-ish atmosphere. Not so enjoyable. All in all, though, Peponi's is worth trying for dinner (or lunch under the bougainvillea, after a morning at the beach) at least once.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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169 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    126
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    5
    6
    6
See reviews for
31
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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 (42)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Northern Hemisphere
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2010

While we didn't stay at this hotel we did visit several times to eat. The food is without a doubt some of the best on the island but the service is such that, in spite of the great food, we stopped going to the restaurant.

There are expectations that are set-up, with Peponi's high prices, nice decor and fine table settings, that are simply not met when it comes right down to it. The servers are under-trained and unresponsive to simple requests, bordering on rude.

We've lived in Kenya off-and-on for years, and have visited most parts of the country. There's nothing cultural in what we experienced - it's simply a matter of unhappy servers and a pretentious atmosphere that doesn't live up to its promise!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 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.
Derbyshire
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2010

Peponi's is one of our favourite hotels in the world (and we travel a lot!)
Carol and her staff are AMAZING
Nothing is too much trouble
She is gracious and accommodating (even when some clients are out of their depth in a unique hotel with the "quirky" attendants of East Africa escapism living)

The pool is idylic ...
If residents do not want to use the public bar area - do not wnat to ix with locals of all castes and creeds - the 'Residents Only' private balcony is available

Peponi is a very special place !

  • Stayed September 2009, 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.
Washington, DC
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2010

Lying on one of Peponi's swinging beds while watching the sun set over the ocean and listening to the breeze rustle through the palm trees is amazing. The rooms, pool, and grounds are absolutely lovely, and the food is first-rate. Do not expect a television, air conditioning, or good cell phone signal. Do expect a memorable, relaxing stay in beautiful, unique surroundings.

  • Stayed March 2010, 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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london
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2010

yes its a lovely place with candle light, ocean views, breezes and eclectic crowds. But the food is expensive, Carol the owner is a bossy control freak to her staff and guests, the bar is crawling with local beach boys hustling tourists, the speed boats are old and the pool is an afterthought. Unless you are part of the UK or European clique of repeat customers, it can be a lonely place as they get preferential treatment to the exclusion of hotel guests.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Toronto
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2009

Traveled all over the world. 108 countries. Done a lot. Yet the Peponi - not sure why - is an amazing experience. Over 2 months in Africa and the 10 days at Peponi were among the best. It's the Ricks Cafe of East Aftica I am sure. Loved it. Just watching the characters coming through is just a ton of fun. So if you stay 3 days you are a character. If you stay 10, your are part of the woodwork. Its such a unique place. Yea its expensive and I am cheap but this place is definetly worth it. And the people are so nice. Do anything for you. We stayed 10 days and finally after 8 days I insisted they take some payment. or at least a copy of my credit card. I likied it so much this is my second review 11 months later. Cant get the place out of my mind!!!

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2009

We stayed at Peponi's for 6 nights after our Safari and we had a lovely time. It really is the only place to stay and once you've visited Lamu town you'll be glad to return to Shela. The beach at Shela is amazing - a 12k clean sandy beach which was almost deserted. Peponi is of a very high standard, the rooms seemed to all be different, we booked a superior room which we had to move out of due to some faulty plumbing but we were moved into a honeymoon room with its own sundeck. The first room had a fridge but the second didn't, neither had TV and both had a fan but no aircon. There is limited sun bathing space if you don't have one of the rooms with a deck. The pool is lovely but very shaded, we were there in September and it was very quiet, the hosts were very pleasant and the owner very accommodating. The food is fantastic, the only anomaly is that you have to order what you want for dinner before 5 pm but the choice is excellent. My husband is wheat and dairy intolerant and the owner Carol bought in soya milk and gluten free bread as well as offering to make anything he wanted. She really was excellent, she is very authoritative but extremely pleasant. There isn't a great deal to do on Lamu and we missed being able to sample other hotels or restaurants for lunch or dinner - there really isn't anywhere else to eat apart from Peponi's. Also the standard of Peponi's food is so good that it seems pointless to hunt for another restaurant that probably isn't as good. We wouldn't hesitate to recommend Peponi or Lamu if you are looking for a few days relaxation, the only reason we wouldn't return is that there isn't enough for us to see or do on Lamu. Also as there are no roads or cars, transportation is limited, there are 2500 donkeys and the streets in Lamu town are not paved, its quite hot, dusty, smelly (due to open drainage) and a very interesting place but I wouldn't recommend staying in Lamu town....go to Peponi.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Peponi Hotel

Address: Box 24, Lamu Island, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Lamu Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Lamu Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Peponi Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 24
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Peponi Hotel Lamu

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