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“Place of Peace” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Baitil Aman Guest House

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Baitil Aman Guest House
Ranked #13 of 36 Lamu Island B&B and Inns
Helsinki, Finland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Place of Peace”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 December 2009

We found Baitil Aman through LamuRetreats.com, and the place seemed very beautiful and, while we really had spent last 6 weeks traveling independently in the dusty and bumpy inland of East Africa, we wanted to find the best value for the money we still had left. Baitil Aman turned out to be exactly the perfect choice and much more than we could have imagined!

Transportation from the airfield on Manda island near Lamu island was organized with a boat and guys who helped us with luggage to the Shela town a couple of kilometers from Lamu town. The guest house manager himself accompanied us on the sturdy dhow boat used to carry passengers. Stewards helped us with luggage all the way to the airy penthouse apartment after we were refreshed with heavenly passion juice (decorated with fresh flowers) and hot towels.

The building itself is a very impressively renovated swahili palace built for a noble wife. There are plenty of spots where you can rest with nothing else for the stewards to do than pamper you the best they can. We really got the whole guest house to ourselves, which was especially nice in the dinnertime every night we spent sitting on pillows in the rooftop terrace enjoying great seafood, starheavy sky, totally car-less environment, listening to the wailing of donkeys, squeals of cats, and the sound of wind in the palmtree canopies.

Our two wonderful stewards, Kazungu and Amos were there for us at any instance we needed to know something were it information about the town, hotel, or just anything. In the downstairs office we could use the internet anytime we wished for a little charge.

The room was tidied twice a day as soon as we left the key at the reception. Fresh flowers were used to decorate our large bed every time. The room had a lofty high ceiling constructed the traditional way using timber and palmtree leaves. Bathroom was simple but spacious and perfectly clean. Hot water was something we had to wait for some time since the room was in the 4th floor.

The guest house wants to ensure customer satisfaction by also organizing daytrips, city walks, dhow cruises and activities by only the very good professional service providers. This is a very good opportunity to completely forget about the usual hustlers in the streets of Lamu, who offer to you anything for a seemingly low price. Prices of Baitil Aman appear fixed but negotiation might not be impossible considering time of year and seasonal changes you know to expect.

If you are only planning one visit to Lamu, check this coral palace. It's a lot more character and old time charm than a large hotel and it is located very short distance away from the 8 km long beach.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Miqqo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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17 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
London
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2009

In life, to stumble upon a little hotel like this is very special. It has been created by it's owner out of a pride & awareness of his own heritage & the heritage of his own home town, Shela, on the tantalizing island of Lamu. We saw the Guest Hotel on a brief visit last year & vowed to return. We were not disapointed. The August crowds had left & were were, to begin with the only two in the hotel. We had ogiginally planned to only spend a couple of nights & then move on sampling other places....we stayed! Everyone was charming, helpful & supplied all we required with a willingness that is rare in many modern hotels....After the early morning call to prayer had roused us gently from a deep restful slumber...the gentle tinkling sound of waiters stealthily arranging our breakfast table was lovely.
Sunlight streamed through the windowless blinds & white curtains...Bliss.! evening meals were taken on cushions on the roof & while we waited for it to arrive we gazed up at the Milky Way....something that we only see in Africa....London, I guess has not seen the Milky Way since Dickens was a boy!!
The food is simple, but because of that, wholesome...I could stay any number of nights on the simple grilled Snapper & rice, or grilled Chicken, or a delicious Swahili curry just to ring the changes.
We took our 'sundowners' down by the water & then ambled back to the 'Baitil Aman' through the dark but not black streets of Shela....feeling perfectly safe & feeling a part of what feels like one large family where everyone seems to know each other.
This hotel is probably one the Coasts best kept secrets. The building itself was a family home way back & has been renovated over a period of years. The plasterwork & Swahili galleries & faithfully kept.....I could go on & on....Go see for yourself!! We loved it!!! & we are hard to please. We plan to return as soon as possible.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MzeeTim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The Netherlands
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2009

Baitil Aman is a former palace which has been very beautifully converted into a small boutique hotel and makes you feel like being in a fairytale.The rooms are unbelievebly spacious and airy.The rooftop restaurant is covered with cushions and makes for a most romantic setting under the stars.The beach is only 5 minutes away.What we also liked is that the place is still owned and run by a local swahili family.These people and their amazing staff will do just about anything to make you feel at home.We stayed on Lamu for quit some time and can honestly say that Baitil Aman with its authentic charm is the best option in Shela beach.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank saskia-TRIP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Baitil Aman Guest House

Property: Baitil Aman Guest House
Address: Shela, Lamu Island, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Lamu Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 36 B&Bs / Inns in Lamu Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Baitil Aman Guest House 3.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Baitil Aman is a spacious old palace that has been carefully renovated into a small luxurious guest house and restaurant. It is located in the center of Shela village on Lamu Island overlooking a beautiful garden. Dinner at the rooftop of the hotel under the stars is highly recommended. The beach is five minutes away. ... more   less 
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