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“Relaxing surprise at Safaris end” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Peponi Hotel

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Peponi Hotel
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Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Lamu Island
Certificate of Excellence
New York
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Relaxing surprise at Safaris end”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

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.

Room Tip: The rooms in the 20s were very quiet right on the beach and the further up the hill away from the be...
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  • Stayed August 2013, 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
Helpful?
Thank ClarkNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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202 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    157
    26
    6
    7
    6
See reviews for
35
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (50)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

First, don't let any negative US State Department reports prevent you from visiting Lamu. We never once felt unsafe. We visited neighboring Manda Island (where 2011's troubles occurred) and we saw several security forces there. Don't let more-than-two-year-old news reports sway you!

And now on to Peponi Hotel... I wish we could have stayed longer!

The hotel is very comfortable, situated right where the leeward side of Shela becomes the windward side. That means you get a consistent cooling breeze. It also means you have great views of the channel and Manda Island.

Carol and Andrew were perfect hosts. Because I didn't provide the person booking our stay with some necessary information, there was a minor hiccup with our room, which they corrected right away, switching us to a much better room! Both had tons of suggestions and were very informative. They couldn't have been warmer, nicer people.

What else? The food is amazing. The wine list is terrific. The motor boating excursions were lots of fun. Shela's beach is easily one of the prettiest we have seen. And Shela itself is charming. If we'd stayed longer, I am sure I could go on!

Hope to visit again!

Room Tip: We had rooms in two different parts of the hotel... room 24 was nice and quiet... but we loved "...
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  • Stayed August 2013, 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
Helpful?
1 Thank seansheer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

Peponi is a lovely hotel located on the water in Shela. Staff are very friendly and the manager is great - gets to know each guest's name and provides lots of helpful tips. My large room was very comfortable and overlooking the ocean - went to sleep to the sound of waves each night. They meet you at the airport and take you by boat to the hotel.

You can swim right in front of the hotel or walk 5-10 minutes down the beach to the dunes area. Never crowded. Shela is a charming town a short boat ride (or 40 minute walk during low tide) from the town of Lamu itself. Everyone very friendly.

Diverse clientele.
Great place to relax. Hope to be able to return.

Room Tip: Was very happy in room 25, but they all seem to be good.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
Helpful?
1 Thank LifeofRyley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Poway, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

Stayed here with my husband and bestie for two nights. They were very very accomodating. The food was delicious and they had a nice wine selection, too.
The rooms were great and had awesome mosquito nets, too.
I would stay here again in a heart beat.

Room Tip: All of the rooms are great!! No need to book a special room, even the stadards are above standard.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 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
Helpful?
Thank CCSatKyiv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Level Contributor
50 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

We (a family of four) stayed at Peponi some years ago and had wonderful memories. This year we decided to go back there and I must admit I was apprehensive. Would the reality of the second visit live up to the memories of the first?
I am happy to say that the second visit was probably even better than the first!
Carol and Lars were away and Andrew the GM was an impeccable host. Attentive, amusing and always present, he was instrumental in making this a really wonderful week. The food had improved from our first stay - not that it was bad then but it has got even better. the crab dishes are excellent and the Swahili dinner is not to be missed. Service is friendly and efficient.
Peponi is a place where you really can dictate your own pace. You can have slothful days lying on the swinging bed on the verandah or you can go on all day activities - fishing, snorkeling, etc.
The sunset dhow cruise is a must.
We walked the long beaches every day, we saw turtles hatching, had massages, did yoga at a nearby retreat and tried delicious cocktails (Old Pal is recommended) on the very special front verandah.
We will go back again!!

Room Tip: Rooms 23/24 are right on the water's edge and the gentle swish of the waves is the most relaxing...
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  • Stayed July 2013, 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
Helpful?
Thank Mark W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013 via mobile

Effortless style, service with a non-intrusive touch and sumptuous meals - puts Peponi Hotel above the rest in its class.
From airport pick-up to water-skiing and sunset sails - it's all impeccably organised. We especially liked eating seated on the floor like Pashas in The Private Dining Room.
If you're lucky your visit may coincide with a turtle hatching - Peponi Hotel owner Carole has been instrumental in setting up Lamu Marine Conservation Trust - a Responsible Tourism project - integrating local people the environment and marine ecology.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 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
Helpful?
Thank Storm S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stavanger, Norway
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

After a week living in the bush, we felt like we were arriving in heaven when greeted by the owners at Peponi, served drinks and given our keys to our room. They were friendly, non pushy and approachable. The only drawback would be the lack of aircon in our room, but we got used to it. I loved the pool area, which had a certain 1920s Gatsby look to it, with its old architecture.
We hired a boat one day and got taken out snorkeling, fishing - and then eating the fish under a tree on a private beach. It was paradise. Also highly recommend supporting the turtle conservatory by making a visit or donation. Perhaps not recommendable for the easily scared, as we had to sit on the back of a very fast moped for 20 mins. I would come here again!

Room Tip: Ask for air conditioning
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Delfi83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Peponi Hotel

Property: Peponi Hotel
Address: Box 24, Lamu Island, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Lamu Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Lamu Island
Hotel Class:4 star — Peponi Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Also Known As:
Peponi Hotel Lamu

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