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“Fantastic place for a healthy and peaceful retreat”
Review of Mkoko House

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Mkoko House
Ranked #9 of 34 Lamu Island B&B and Inns
Reviewed 6 March 2014

I just stayed 3 days in mkoko house. I could not imagine better for a treat after hard work in Nairobi. The atmosphere is really relaxing and the deco is just great and simple. The food cooked at home from Idi with fresh product from the day was succulent. I strongly recommended mkoko for a short or long stay on Manda or Sheila! And btw you feel really safe there!!

Room Tip: First floor suite is fantastic
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
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Thank Romain D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (38)
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8 - 14 of 38 reviews

Reviewed 20 October 2013

this is such a lovely house, with a very high concentration of lying down areas, perfect for what we were looking for. Idi looked after us wonderfully and made delicious food at market price. all the fittings and soft furnishings were new and clean. garden full of tropical birds. felt very safe despite people's perceptions. would love to go again.

Room Tip: all lovely!
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank jack m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2013

We can only repeat the wonderful and accurate comments given by previous reviewers - this house, the location and the hospitality are truly outstanding and we would recommend whole heartedly. We spent 4 days at Mkoko house just after the recent attack in Nairobi, and we are so glad that we went ahead with the visit. We felt very safe and our stay in Lamu was one of the highlights of a whole month in East Africa. The house is on Manda island, 15 minutes boat trip from the airport, 10 minutes boat from Shela where the lovely Peponi hotel is a great place to visit for lunch or drinks, and 25 minutes boat from Lamu town which is busy but authentic and worth a look. Manda has three bars/ restaurants, including the lovely Lamu House Beach club for great food and beach loungers, and the more low key Diamond Beach Resort which has a great pizza and film night on Saturday. Manda beach is stunning - almost deserted, great sand and very warm water. Mkoko house is spacious, cool, well appointed and nicely decorated - it is 5 minutes walk away from the beach on a footpath and hence very quiet and tranquil. There is no hot water, but the shower is good and the water warm, and with the lovely weather all year round this was not a problem at all. The house comes with a charming housekeeper, Idi, who provides excellent and seamless service. He makes the bed each day, will do laundry daily, and buys and cooks local food for amazingly tasty meals according to whatever you fancy - he is a very talented chef and with supremely fresh seafood we had some very memorable meals on the first floor open air verandah. He can also organise a boat to take you anywhere you want to go, and a very good masseuse to come to the house. We couldn't have been happier with our stay, and left in high spirits and very refreshed - a hidden gem and excellent value for money!

Room Tip: There are three rooms, by far the nicest is the large double on the first floor which has an ensuite...
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank JTC80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MkokoHouse, Owner at Mkoko House, responded to this reviewResponded 12 October 2013

Many thanks for the great review! we are very glad that you had a great time at Mkoko House. Just wanted to comment on the room tip. Actually we do have 3 ensuite bedrooms therefore the 2 rooms downstairs each have their own bathroom. The bathroom upstairs is just a guest bathroom. Looking forward to host you again in Lamu!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2013

Lovely house luscious gardens fantastic food , fabulous location what more could you want, Idi was an excellent chef, I wish we could have stayed longer. The lack of hot water was a tiny bit dissapointing, but everything else was paradise on earth !!!!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Ruth331
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2013

I'm not exaggerating, but staying at Mkoko House on Manda Island felt like staying in paradise! We had this beautiful house all for ourselves including a private cook Idi, who prepared the most delicious meals. Every morning we had fresh pancakes with either cinnamon or lemon flavour with fresh mango, papaya, bananas, passion fruit, fresh orange juice and Kenyan coffee. For lunch and dinner we had something fresh from the sea with either coconut rice or potatoes and veg. Just amazing! But Idi was far more than our cook, he also helped us to organise some trips to Lamu as well as a dhow trip, which was a fantastic experience.
Manda island is beautiful with all the mangroves and some funny baobab trees. There are not many people on the island, so it felt like having our own beach. At the same time it only took a short boat ride to "escape" the peaceful island and visit Shella or Lamu. These two places are definitely worth checking out.
All in all the combination of Mkoko house, the landscape and the friendly people made our trip unforgettable and I'm absolutely sure it wasn't the last visit.

Room Tip: Mkoko room is the best one.
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank MarteDie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2013

When you arrive at Mkoko House on Manda island it is really like entering a safe haven from the world, from the moment you step off the boat onto the sandy beach across from the gorgeous Shela Village there is total calm.

There are many beautiful beaches and islands in the world, but there is something special about the mix of natural beauty, rich culture and the great people of this Lamu archipelago.

Somehow the week spent at Mkoko went by so quickly with trips to Lamu and Shela, a dhow trip to Manda Toto, boating through the mangroves to Takwa Ruins, drinks and dinner at Peponi and Franks, cinema/pizza night at Diamond's down the road, testing recipes with the amazing cook/housekeeper Idi and swimming on what seemed like a private swimming pool at high tide on Manda Beach.

There is plenty of space to relax and read or simply do nothing, but there is also choice if you want to keep busy and try all the things that the archipelago has to offer.

Am already missing spending the week in flip-flops and waking up to the sound of birds singing above the mangroves, if you are lucky you may even see a little monkey or two! The view from the house extends over the mangroves until you can see the sea and Lamu's bay from afar.

Idi's cooking is also hands down the best food in the area, breakfast in the garden or in the first floor dining area is a feast of fresh fruit - mangoes, papayas, passion fruit, oranges, bananas and whatever else you fancy. We had fresh fish in a myriad ways, octopus, Swahili food, clams with spaghetti and the delicious Swahili chai and cake every afternoon.

The house is eco-friendly, relying entirely on solar panels for electricity and a water tank which fills up during rainy season so you can take showers as normal. The house is built in traditional Swahili style with a big Makuti roof and decorated with furniture made by local artisans on every floor.

All in all, staying at Mkoko House was a wonderful experience and definitely one to repeat. Make sure you go to the first floor terrace at night to look at the stars, you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Gabriella Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2012

Mkoko House is a gorgeous, airy house surrounded by a sea of green treetops, and the perfect getaway for those who make it across the channel from Shela. Idi, the house's caretaker, makes guests at Mkoko feel right at home and his food is, hands down, the BEST we had in one week in Lamu! Just have a brief conversation with Idi and Beka about the meals you'd like to have, and give Idi money to buy the ingredients.. Leave the rest to him and you'll be wishing his meals never ended!

We will never forget our stay in Mkoko and hope to come back one day very soon for more than just one night!

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Priya P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mkoko House

Address: Ras Kitau, Lamu Island, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Lamu Island
Amenities:
Beach
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 34 B&Bs / Inns in Lamu Island
Price Range: £53 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy the beaches, the warm coastal hospitality, the delicious Swahili cuisine, and the peaceful and quiet surroundings of the house. Fully indulge in everything the Lamu archipelago has to offer and you will be sure to fall in love with this little gem. ... more   less 

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