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“Simple, stress-free Stopover”

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Stopover Guest House
Ranked #9 of 34 Lamu Island B&B and Inns
London
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Simple, stress-free Stopover”
Reviewed January 13, 2012

If you're on a budget, Stopover is the perfect place to stay in Lamu. A great location, with most rooms having a view over the sea. Every morning I watched people coming and going, donkeys transporting goods to Lamu town, men sitting on the huge olive tree outside chewing the fat, the man with the orange beard feeding the cats. It's a short walk to either the long stretch of beach in Shela or Lamu town (although it was so hot when I went walking wasn't really an option).
The rooms are simple; Lamu beds (with nets), a table and hanging space with a clean en-suite wet room but what more do you really need? They were cleaned every day (fresh sheets). The restaurant seemed to need a fair bit of notice if I wanted to eat there but when I did, and tried a swahili option, I was given a delicious fish curry that was one of the best I tasted.
The staff were very friendly. I didn't find them pushy. Yes, I was offered boat trips but why not? This is a poor island, with visitor numbers suffering since recent problems with nearby Somali pirates. Why wouldn't the manager try to ensure I booked through him and not one of his nearby competitors? And it's worth mentioning that I was a single, female traveler. I didn't have any problems in Lamu or Shela - yes, I got attention from locals but it was friendly and inquisitive. And when one beach boy went too far, I told him to leave me alone and he did. But I never felt threatened or unsafe.
If you are traveling on a modest budget, so you can visit all the places you want to in Kenya, this is the perfect place - clean, friendly, convenient.
If you're after luxury, a resort with all kinds of facilities, a room you can hang out in all day, it's not for you. But then maybe you should be on a boring package holiday in Spain anyway!

Room Tip: The rooms at the top can be booked together to create a sort of family penthouse!
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank louchoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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46 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Yarraville, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 9, 2012

I really enjoyed my time at stopover, location was fantastic and place looks amazing.

Recommend the penthouse, which has an amazing balcony ( view is brilliant) and great daybed for lounging. all rooms have a balcony and great views

Staff were always very helpful and I didn't experience them being pushy at all. They were very upfront about the wait times for food which was a long time. food was good however and found prices reasonable.

I left a good tip because this was a great place to stay and I recommend it to family and friends.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Boy_from_aus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Valencia, Spain
Level 6 Contributor
149 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2011

There is very little wor writing about this place except 'avoid it like the plaugue' and make sure you really want to visit Lamu, that you understand what you are going for. We were two women traveling alone, everything pre booked and we even had a Lamu contact to make sure we were safe. Still, oppressive, all eyes following us, no women to be seen for most of the day.
Stop Over was a lovely illusion at first sight but quickly deteriorated before our eyes as the fans didn't work, cleanliness was a real issue - and we had been living in huts that were more hygienic, the stench in the hallway was gag worthy, we simplyncould not wait to leave.
Forget eating there, dirty eater for tea, we both got ill and stopped eating there even though it wa paid for.
The 'manager' was present but absent in every way from his duties, all he wanted was our money and excuses for every issue to be resolved flowed trippingly off his tongue. No change at the end when we paid our tab, just a simple and blank brain staring at us.
Truly, the worst we have experienced in all of Kenya. They should gut it and start over!
Forget paradise, think parasites!
Find a place that respects you... Perhaps the guest house nearby which is a renovated palace, 300 years old, lovely and spacious with a kind and considerate owner. Birma or something like that, google it if you are interested.
Unlike many we couldn't wait to leave Lamu and Shela, fortunately our evening flight was cancelled so we got the earlier one..
It is safe, that I will say. Beyond at, I will be asking myself forever what people see in the location...

  • Stayed November 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
1 Thank R0shanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2011

We spent 3 days and had such a great time
Frist the Staff (Patrick and his colleagues) were very professional
We had a wonderful welcome and they were always keen on helping us
The location cannot be any better straight on the beach: rooms have such an amazing view
The rooms are all great, but the one on the last 2 floors are obviouly better with the terrasse and the day bed facing the sea.
It was a lovely experience to have breakfast or meals served at no extra cost!!!!!! in the room/terrasse
In short, don't hesitate if you wish to stay in Shela, stopover is your place.
The food is also such a great experience ...
I would return there without hesitating

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank lmartinoni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mombasa, Kenya
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 9, 2011

Stopover was in an idyllic location looking over to Manda Island and minutes from Peponi Hotel - which has AMAZING food and beer! The room was simple & very beautiful and I spent most of my lazing on the outside Swahili beds. Coming off the boat was a bit of a stench and guys were peeing whilst we walked on salty muddy water (gross!). The menu was limited though, they didnt have a lot of availability of food despite a great menu so I only ate there once.
However, the kitchen/waiting staff went out of their way and then some to accommodate your needs, tended to you with room service & escorting you around the winding streets...they were amazing guys! Only one warning - don't book with or fall for the *seemingly sweet Swale - who gives you lots of free info a first & offers boat trips. But we were on the most uncomfortable boat ever,and once we got to go, realised we'd been fobbed off looking at what other people had paid for and service they recieved. We were literally left in blazing sun to eat our lunch, whilst others were cooked for in huts on much larger boats that actually had seats rather than a stick of wood! Once we refused a guided tour to Lamu he lost complete enthusiasm and interest in us after spending days there and was actually very rude. He caused a lot of issues on checking out, despite disappearing and sending the guys to do it, who kept apologising for him. Such a shame, because the rest of the staff and the owner was really lovely and the place is simplistic BEAUTY! Just don't feel like you have to do ANY trips with Swale, he swears no-one is as trusting or reliable as him but actually he's quite a nuisance!!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Lesley_kenyabeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 12, 2011

Loved our two-night, three-day stay here. We stayed on the third floor and, as there were no other guests on that floor, we had the entire beautiful, clean sparkling balcony with incredible ocean views all to ourselves. It was very hot this time of year but we were able to sleep out on the balcony on a very comfortable daybed, where a cooling breeze blew all night long. Breeze kept the mosquitos away, and the fresh juices, flowers and meals kept us happy. Nice, airy rooms; lovely, clean bathrooms; and really topnotch location in Shela, away from the heat and chaos of Lamu Town and close to Peponi's Restaurant (where you'll have to go for your sundowners, as this hotel is muslim owned and therefore dry). The staff was great, our only complaint was that the manager tried very hard and persistently to sell us a fairly overpriced boat tour that we didn't reall want to do, and he was not into negotiating until he realized that we were just not going to go. We never did take the trip, so can't say whether it would have been worth the high price or not, but were able to find another dhow trip out of Lamu Town that was very enjoyable, if on a very old boat...

Room Tip: Top two floors (3rd and 4th) are optimal for rooms, ocean views, and breeze. Try to get one all to...
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank colorat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san francisco ca
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed July 22, 2011

Stopover is a very pleasant, moderately priced guesthouse but is seriously in need of a manager. Our reservation was not honored, and we were shunted to a different hotel. The owner was not honest with us about what had happened. I learned that this was not an unusual situation. So, yes, it's a nice place, with a good restaurant, but since the owner has been managing it, it just hasn't been reliable about pre-booking. Our advice: just show up and try to get a room. Otherwise, pre-book somewhere else.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank africatraveler2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Stopover Guest House

Property: Stopover Guest House
Address: Shela Harbour, Lamu Island, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Lamu Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 34 B&Bs / Inns in Lamu Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
Stopover Guest House Hotel Lamu Island

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