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“Wonderful and relaxing!”

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Banana House & Wellness Centre
Ranked #2 of 32 Lamu Island B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Holland
1 review
“Wonderful and relaxing!”
Reviewed January 11, 2011

Bananahouse is really a wonderful place, super relaxed atmosphere in a tastful decor. Beautiful garden with swimmingpool, very helpful staff and the yoga is super in a beautiful yogastudio in the house. The food is excellent. Truly a superplace to stay!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Dina1963
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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153 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
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English first
Boston, MA
1 review
Reviewed December 15, 2010

We ended up staying at the Banana House in Lamu at the last minute. It was a great decision as it's a 10 minute walk to Shela beach, and it was such a peaceful relaxing place to stay after hiking and going on a safari in Tanzania. The rooms are a great size with mosquito nets and private bathrooms. The grounds are kept very very well - there are beautiful flowers everywhere, a small pool, hammocks and chairs to relax in after the beach. The chef will cook you whatever you would like for dinner/lunch - you just give him some money and he goes into town to buy it - we had a lot of delicious seafood! It is also one of the few places on the island where you can buy wine/beer which was nice. They offer yoga twice a day and Lisa is a fabulous teacher! Saadi also helped us organize a 1 overnight dhow trip to Manda Toto island where we went snorkeling, relaxed on the island while the captain cooked us fresh fish for dinner and lunch. We stayed in a tent on the beach which was way too hot for us - if we were to do it again I would recommend staying on the boat with the crew to stay cool! It was on the pricey side, but was fun to see another island. We walked to Lamu town one day - took about 40 minutes on a nice path along the water. You can easily take a dhow as well if you don't want to walk. Overall, was a great place!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank reklaw61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warsaw, Poland
1 review
Reviewed August 25, 2010

" We thought you might like an upgrade" is always a great way to greet arriving guests - especially when that means a rooftop penthouse with incredible views over the surrounding, unspoilt coastline. Arriving at Banana House by boat from the airstrip on nearby Manda island, we were overwhelmed by the beauty of tiny Shela village, just a few minutes from Lamu. The premises are perfectly planned, taking advantage of the cooling breezes to ventilate each simple but stunningly-decorated room. But what really takes your breath away is the warm, relaxed and above all genuine welcome - within minutes you're decompressing and settling into the laid-back island atmosphere. All the staff are friendly and accommodating in a completely natural way - no forced customer sevice training here! (We'd lost our luggage, and Lisa and her team could not have been more supportive in ensuring we recovered it promptly). Overall, I'd advise anyone planning a trip to Lamu to stay in Shela, and in Banana House - it's truly an oasis from which to explore the wonders of a magical region.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank gavinperkins23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kapoeta, South Sudan
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2010

My girlfriend and I went to Banana House for a long weekend. As we both work in a stressful place, Banana House was just what we needed to unwind a bit. It's a great hotel, at a wonderful price point. The staff is tremendous. everyone is remarkably friendly, personable and courteous. From the cooks and cleaning staff, right on up to owners Monika and Banana, everyone at Banana House is extremely approachable.

The rooms are clean and well appointed. The beds are huge and comfortable, and there is enough cross-ventilation to keep them cool even on a hot equatorial day. There are no hot showers, but Lamu tends to be rather hot, and so they're not really necessary. The public areas of the house are similarly clean and comfortable.

The thing that sets Banana House apart from other hotels I've stayed at in Lamu is their food. Their cook is amazing. First of all, there's no set menu. You talk to the cook in the morning, set a menu and give him a food budget. He will go out, purchase the fresh ingredients and produce an absolutely delicious meal. I've eaten at a number of restaurants on Lamu, both high end and local dives, and their cook might just be the best on the island. This is no joke. This little gem is worth a couple of nights just for the food alone. You have to try the ginger/chili crab. Yum.

The hotel is set away from the beach, about three minutes walk down the labyrinthine streets of Shela village. This isn't bad, though, as their gardens are well landscaped and exquisite. They are a perfect place to set up a candle lit dinner at a private table, something the staff is more than happy to help set up.

Needless to say, we really enjoyed ourselves over the holiday, and I'd recommend it to anybody.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank CapnBrady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dolores, Colorado
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed July 1, 2010

My husband and I rented the roof top room.
It was very private, relaxing and the staff was great.
The food ( per request to the chef) was excellent. We sampled other restraunts in Lamu and Shela , nothing compared to the fresh and tasty food at Banana House.
It was low season and the beaches were empty. It was lovely walking. jogging an swiming in the clean beaches.
Even though it is not at the beach, it is close enough to walk.
Banana house also has a garden and pool which we enjoyed.
We watched some World cup games at a Village Hall... it was different and fun.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank EMHowser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Den Haag
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 18, 2010

We truly enjoyed our stay in the gorgeous Banana house!
The owners Monica and Banana go out of their way to ensure you will have a great stay at the island. The staff is extremely polite and friendly and the cook will prepare delicious fresh food on request. The hotel is located near the beach in Shella, the more laid-back town of the island. Top rooms have huge terraces and beautiful views of the ocean. The hotel is run in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way. An oasis of relaxation!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Emmy070
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paris
Level Contributor
60 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2010

The room was large and clean, the large patio right outside my room had a lovely view of the sea and trees in bloom, and was decorated with taste, with cushions on which you could read and chill out. The service and the staff were very friendly, the food is very good, and it was really nice to be able to take yoga classes. It does feel like just a big house. I stayed there for a week as I very much needed some R&R and it was lovely. It was a bit awkward as I was travelling solo to have to share a table with a couple at every meal. Also the mosquito nets were full of huge holes, and the very nice swahili man who promised to fix them never did. You can't really go wrong staying there. However I found out later that one of the high end hotels by the pier (not Pepponi) was offering rooms at a huge discount, nearly the same price --and I might have considered it if I had known.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank ploumParis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Banana House & Wellness Centre

Property: Banana House & Wellness Centre
Address: Plot 318, Lamu Island, Kenya
Location: Kenya > Coast Province > Lamu Island
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 32 B&Bs / Inns in Lamu Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Banana House & Wellness Centre is small and cozy, yet spacious enough to let you enjoy its rarity. Retreat to Banana House, a very cool, elegant private guesthouse and the wellness centre offering yoga, retreats and massages. It has great views on the sea, the dunes and the village. The house is simply and tastefully furnished in Swahili style, with many different sitting areas, daybeds and hammocks. You will feel the love that Monika and Banana have put into the house to give it a homely and welcoming atmosphere. ... more   less 
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