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“Peponi is what you make of it ...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Peponi Hotel

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Peponi Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Box 24, Lamu Island, Kenya   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 11 Hotels in Lamu Island
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Peponi is what you make of it ...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2010

My experience: I treated myself to a trip to Lamu & Peponi after visiting good friends in Kenya, I'm very glad that I did. My experience was a good one, especially as a solo traveller - Carol and her team were very friendly and welcoming and I appreciated their consideration in making my brief stay enjoyable.

As Lamu, Peponi is unique and has its quirks but that is certainly part of the appeal, depending on the expectations that you do or don't arrive with. The rates were above what I ordinarily pay when travelling privately but I was not disappointed, I'm sure that you could find fault with Peponi if you wanted to but, as with life and travelling it is what you make of it.

Ps: it has taken me a while to sign up to TA and write this review but I always intended to as this site has virtually guided me to some lovely places - a tip that fellow travellers I met gave me (in Shela coincidentally) is to compare the reviews made by disaffected travellers across the places they have visited to assess their tendency to whinge ... enough said.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled solo
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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176 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    132
    26
    5
    7
    6
See reviews for
32
83
7
5
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 (44)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2010

The original hotel on upmarket and highly social Shela Beach just outside Lamu Town. Superficially attractive with relaxed pleasantly-decorated public rooms Peponi Hotel doesn't bear close inspection - it's grubby and badly maintained with poor over-priced facilities. I'm glad I stayed elsewhere and only used the bar and restaurant, because it's infested with the owners' noisy and rude hooray chums and regulars. And the owners cannot contain contain their dated and offensive snobbery: 'who are you?', 'Never heard of you' when trying to book their New Year's Eve dinner. If they wish to run a private club that's fine (though it's distressing to see how they treat their local staff), but not acceptable for an expensive hotel + restaurant.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yokohama, Japan
Level Contributor
121 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2010

Peponi must be the perfect place to relax on Lamu. It's around a 45 minute walk into town but there's a free boat in around 9 am and coming back around 12. Service is great. Carol (the owner) and her team including Andrew, Benny, Abdul and co are very efficient and helpful and made the trip great fun. Food is excellent at Peponi and it's easy to run up quite a bill. Breakfast was included and was marvellous. We took the opportunity to go and see turtles being released into the sea by an ex poacher - one of Carol's local initiatives - and that was most heart warming. Lamu itself is a great place to visit with it's tight donkey sized maze of streets and shops. 2 great cafes at each end make enjoyable goals after a long walk in each direction. We stayed at Peponi at the beginning of the season so it was quiet and the place was just getting up and running. Some 'touching up' was still being done and it felt a little as everyone was getting tuned up for the season. We had a most comfortable and enjoyable time however and would thoroughly recommend this place to anyone in Kenya for a holiday - it made for a fantastic post safari chill out before we flew home - a wonderful end to an amazing holiday.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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All over Europe
Level Contributor
43 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2010

Peponi hotel has a beautiful location, nice rooms, very well kept grounds, but I think it is quite overpriced when you consider the pushy nature of the staff, and the fact that the "famed restaurant" knocked me flat with food poisoning on the second night. On the staff, apparently they have been instructed to push the tour where you go see the turtles hatch. Despite telling them we were not interested, we were asked over and over and over again and eventually it was more than a little annoying. We didn't go on the trip, but somehow the price of it showed up on our bill anyway. In general the staff are always sticking their nose in, often interrupting your conversation or even your meal, which is not why we chose to come here at all (privacy and some peace and quiet come to mind). On top of this, we ate at the restaurant and I got a wicked bout of food poisoning. The first night was great food, but the second there was obviously something wrong with the tuna and I spent half of my weekend being sick. This happens I suppose, but what really annoyed me were the number of excuses and ridiculous questions and statements that the management asked me - almost like they did not believe I actually got food poisoning from their hotel (even though that is the only place I ate and drank at). They did take the dinner off the bill and I will give them points for doing that, but it was the treatment I received and the badgering questions which really turned me of this place. All in all, Peponi Hotel seems to be riding on its reputation (which has clearly gone to the management's head) and the atmosphere is really unpleasant now. Many other nice places exist in Lamu, so do some research and find a hidden gem.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midi-Pyrénées, FRANCE
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2010

We had the most wonderful time at Peponis. There wasn't anything we could fault (and we're hoteliers), but not only that, the staff were so helpful and kind and always smiling. We were made to feel utterly at home from the very moment we hopped off the dhow onto the island. Carol, Andrew and Margot were always helping us plan boat trips and picnics, fishing anventures, swimming with the dolphins and other things we could do with two young chidren. The food was the highlight- every night we had something more delicious than the night before- from prawn mchuzi to fresh magrove crab. We dined in the restaurant a few times, on our terrace in the room and by the poolside. The famous bar, which we'd heard about before booking our trip, lived up to its reputation and we enjoyed many a 'dawa' cocktail there, overlooking the beautiful sea. Our boys enjoyed themselves so much, it was hard to tell them at the end of the week that we had to leave.
We will recommend this hotel to all our friends and we will definitely go back

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • 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
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Washington, DC
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
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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Northern Hemisphere
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 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 3
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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
Hotel Class:4 star — Peponi Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 24
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Also Known As:
Peponi Hotel Lamu

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