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!
- Also Known As:
- Stopover Guest House Hotel Lamu Island