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“autenthic swahili experience”

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Baitil Aman Guest House
Ranked #12 of 32 Lamu Island B&B and Inns
Austria
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“autenthic swahili experience”
Reviewed November 6, 2010

It was the guesthouse we wantet to have.
A very stylish, puristic Swahili place
Very clean, very nice and gentle people
Try the massage
The restaurant is good, but a dinner highlight go to Peponi (excellent seafood)

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank dwuestn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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19 reviews from our community

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12
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Rating summary
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England
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed September 11, 2010

We stayed here for 4 days in August 2010. After a month of travelling around Kenya this was our final stop! The guest house was very beautiful, it was like staying in a museum. The old palace has been nicely restored and the rooms were simple but nicely decorated! We stayed in the rooftop room which had an amazing view of Shela village and a lovely breeze. It had a mosque next door and we were awoken with the morning prayer every morning. The hotel offers a roof top restaurant were you sit on cushions on the floor and have a candle lit meal under the stars. We had dinner there (prawn curry), although we suspected it was made from frozen prawns. The next morning, myself and my partner were woken up with severe food poisoning. This lasted for 2 days and we were very disappointed that the hotel food had ruined the last couple of days of our holiday in such an amazing place!
i would recommend staying here as it is such a beautiful enchanting place but i would recommend avoiding the food. Peponi hotel serves very nice food located on the seafront.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank the_travelfiend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
1 review
Reviewed August 31, 2010

This perfect guest house, in the style of the old Swahili palaces in Shela, is more of an experience than a hotel. I stayed here with a friend, but it would be the perfect romantic getaway for a couple. The rooms are gorgeous, large, and clean, and the staff is amazingly friendly and helpful. I would highly recommend having dinner there at least one night, because the chef cooks the best food I had in Shela and the rooftop restaurant is gorgeous. The location is perfect, a 5 minute walk from the quiet, beautiful beach. I was sad to leave the place and the people!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank dnsmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 19, 2010

This is a tue genuine swahili place, run by locals of Lamu/Shela and not by foreigners. Esthetically the guest house represents a good example of the original swahili sober style, the managers and the waiters are kind and friendly. Rooms are clean and spacious and the restaurant is very good. The only problem is getting some good sleep because the mosque's loud speakers start to work at 5 am!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank immiru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Russia
Level Contributor
136 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2010

Batil Aman is absoutli amazing! Very-very-very beautiful place, great friendly and helpfull staff, delicious food...We felt ourselvs like in a fairy tale. Our room was huge, elegantly furnished and decorated with flowers. Very romantic place!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Alex_JaneRu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maine, USA
1 review
Reviewed March 14, 2010

My husband and I stayed at Baitil Aman at the tail end of an extended stay in Kenya. We stayed at various places throughout Kenya and this was our favorite. Several friends had recommended we stay in Lamu but we were thrilled by our decision to stay in Shella - we wanted a more low-key, quiet experience. We researched various hotels on the island and, in our opinion, Baitil Aman is by far the best (especially for the price). Baitil Aman is a former Swahili royal house, which has been renovated and restored to an 8-room guest house. The owner and staff are warm and attentive (but not in your way) and the food is perhaps the best I had in Kenya. We had planned to eat out at various places throughout the island during our three-day stay but we often found ourselves back at Baitil Aman - the food was extremely fresh, creative, and delicious . Dinner was served on the top floor under the stars and breakfast was served either outside our room (in our own private seating area overlooking the white-washed buildings of Shella) or downstairs in the garden. We loved our room on the top floor, but all of the rooms are spacious and airy. We couldn't have been happier with our experience at Baitil Aman and recommend it without hesitation.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank viaje2010_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helsinki, Finland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 18, 2009

We found Baitil Aman through LamuRetreats.com, and the place seemed very beautiful and, while we really had spent last 6 weeks traveling independently in the dusty and bumpy inland of East Africa, we wanted to find the best value for the money we still had left. Baitil Aman turned out to be exactly the perfect choice and much more than we could have imagined!

Transportation from the airfield on Manda island near Lamu island was organized with a boat and guys who helped us with luggage to the Shela town a couple of kilometers from Lamu town. The guest house manager himself accompanied us on the sturdy dhow boat used to carry passengers. Stewards helped us with luggage all the way to the airy penthouse apartment after we were refreshed with heavenly passion juice (decorated with fresh flowers) and hot towels.

The building itself is a very impressively renovated swahili palace built for a noble wife. There are plenty of spots where you can rest with nothing else for the stewards to do than pamper you the best they can. We really got the whole guest house to ourselves, which was especially nice in the dinnertime every night we spent sitting on pillows in the rooftop terrace enjoying great seafood, starheavy sky, totally car-less environment, listening to the wailing of donkeys, squeals of cats, and the sound of wind in the palmtree canopies.

Our two wonderful stewards, Kazungu and Amos were there for us at any instance we needed to know something were it information about the town, hotel, or just anything. In the downstairs office we could use the internet anytime we wished for a little charge.

The room was tidied twice a day as soon as we left the key at the reception. Fresh flowers were used to decorate our large bed every time. The room had a lofty high ceiling constructed the traditional way using timber and palmtree leaves. Bathroom was simple but spacious and perfectly clean. Hot water was something we had to wait for some time since the room was in the 4th floor.

The guest house wants to ensure customer satisfaction by also organizing daytrips, city walks, dhow cruises and activities by only the very good professional service providers. This is a very good opportunity to completely forget about the usual hustlers in the streets of Lamu, who offer to you anything for a seemingly low price. Prices of Baitil Aman appear fixed but negotiation might not be impossible considering time of year and seasonal changes you know to expect.

If you are only planning one visit to Lamu, check this coral palace. It's a lot more character and old time charm than a large hotel and it is located very short distance away from the 8 km long beach.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Miqqo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Baitil Aman Guest House

Property: Baitil Aman Guest House
Address: Shela, Lamu Island, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Lamu Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 32 B&Bs / Inns in Lamu Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Baitil Aman Guest House 3.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Baitil Aman is a spacious old palace that has been carefully renovated into a small luxurious guest house and restaurant. It is located in the center of Shela village on Lamu Island overlooking a beautiful garden. Dinner at the rooftop of the hotel under the stars is highly recommended. The beach is five minutes away. ... more   less 
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