We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Wonderful Hotel, great value for the money.”
Review of Msafini Hotel

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 1 more site!
Msafini Hotel
Reviewed 13 September 2011

We stayed here a year ago and loved it, even when it didn't have hot water. Then we rented out the entire hotel for our wedding guests and everyone loved it, especially the new solar hot water.

The staff are attentive and friendly. The food is some of the best in Shella and the view from the roof top is breathtaking.

We highly recommend Msafini.

  • Stayed: August 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank macmartinis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (48)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

33 - 39 of 48 reviews

Reviewed 29 April 2011

My wife, 10-month-old and I stayed at Msafini last Easter weekend. We were on Lamu for three nights. The first two nights we stayed at two different places in town, which we weren't happy with, and the thirs night we decided to move to Msafini. They picked us up in town with one of their boats and brought us to their place, which is probably the biggest building in Lamu. The room, and the entire hotel, was clean. There is a nice pool which, for most of the day, is partly shaded-- good for a little kid with fair skin. The hotel is in Shella, which is windier (read: cooler temperatures) than in town where the wind is weaker and less constant. Also there's less mosquitoes in Shella due to the wind. Of course Shella doesn't have the cultural attraction that town does, but you can always walk or take a boat ride to town if you want. Overall: Msafini is great value-- slightly more than $60 for a double, and good quality. Don't be dismayed by their website which makes the place look like a Motel 6.

Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
2  Thank radiatorre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2011

Msafini is an absolute gem.

Everything from the tranquil environment, to the clean and spacious rooms, the beautiful sea view from the roof top restaurant, to the friendly and always helpful staff makes for a wonderful and relaxing stay. I spent 10 nights at Msafini and had a superbly prepared dinner there every single night! Value for money is outstanding compared to other hotels in and around both Shela and Lamu...

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Travelhungry7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2011

We chose at Msafini after walking into and checking out almost every guest house in Lamu and Shela as it offered an incredible value for what was inside. The Msafini was spotless and authentic, the food was outstanding and the view incredible.

Our rooms were perfectly done up with crisp brand new sheets and pillows (uncommonly clean, starched and white for these parts...), a welcome message spelled out in flowers and reeds on our bed. Furniture is solid and authentic - made in the old swahili style and gorgeous. Bathrooms were large, open but had decent fixtures and were again very clean. No AC in our rooms, but the fans, shuttered windows and doors let a perfect sea breeze through; no problems sleeping or any mosquitos or street noise (this is MUCH more than I can say about staying ground level in Lamu town proper).

Lamu and Shela are known for their yummy juice - you can get iced passion fruit, papaya, Tamarind, guava etc. etc. almost anywhere, but the hotel's versions were absolutely incredible. Although this may have been partly due to the fact that we sipped them while floating in the cool blue pool as purple bougainvillea petals floated by... We snacked on Samosas every day as they were the best (beef, veg or prawn) I’ve ever had. And I’ve had a lot of Samosa. Breakfast was included and the menu pretty extensive; service was amazing - having breakfast brought up to you with a fresh juice and tea as you look out over the coast from your balcony......was nice.

We were a bit concerned that the hotel would have no character compared to other guesthouses as it looks like a bit of a monstrosity of height and pastel, but the decor and furniture is pleasant and traditional, while the upper floors offer the best view of this part of the coast bar none (more on that later). Speaking of bar Muhamad Ali (I know I know) the manager, does not serve alcohol, but did not mind his some staff running to the bottle shop on our behalf.....

Having a pool on premise is absolutely worth it with the heat of the day. It’s a cute but deep pool that you can’t do laps in but is more than capable to jump and swim around in. Location is very close to Shela beach, but a long walk or quick boat ride to Lamu town. We stayed in Lamu town for about 5 days then switched to Shela/Msafini and never regretted it. Lamu is where the party is, but Shela is so much more clean and peaceful - its great that the party is 3 minute boat away... As for rest of the hotel, dining area is fine, tiny gift shop a bit hokey and it can be a bit of a hike up the stairs if you’re on the third floor.

But let me tell you, you want to be that high: check out pics for the view, but realize you get a HUGE balcony if you score the top floor suite(s). It’s so high you’re secluded (sun tan!) and there are hanging day beds, Swahili chairs, tables, ledges for lounging etc. Jsut awesome. We ended up inviting some friends to come stay with us so rented out both suites on the top floor for a decent discount - we felt like Kings. The hotel itself is located about a 2 minute walk back from Shela beach/waterfront restaurants - and can be a bit confusing to find teh first time, but works out great and the streets are SO much cleaner than in Lamu Town.

Can’t wait to go back there - if you have the chance, after a month on the coast I couldn’t recommend a better place for the price. Other than Lamu House ($$$) this would be my only other guaranteed pic for Lamu/Shela.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Lukehee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2011

We stayed one week in Msafini hotel during NY holidays. Actually we just loved this place, both hotel and Shella vilage.
Hotel is new and very clean. Rooms are big and each room has big balcony.
In the hotel they have very good chef. He were cooking very good. Since one moment we started to eat only there:)
In general staff is very friendly and helpful.
I would say that hotel is not ideal, some small stuff were not completed yet or something was done in a strange way, but all of that was minor issues and were not reflecting to our general very high opinion about this place.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank SasAlex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2010

i've spent 3 nights in msafini. the place is new, clean and have a friendly staff. i had a top floor room and the view is great. however, the roof terrace is also a restaurant so in the morning and evening there are other people hanging around. i did not really mind but others might. and while the room is clean and nicely furnished, it did not have a/c, fridge or tv...the food is good, especially Swahili. however, having the restaurant on the 4th floor of the building without the elevator means that service might suffer if they have to serve more than 2 tables. but the staff is very very friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank mahdisrevenge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2010

The Msafini is very new and is nestled a little back in Shela. It is really nice and the particular room we got was top class. It was the top floor facing Lamu town and overlooking everything. The hotel is small and very quaint. As with everyhing in Shela when you arrive via boat you walk to the hotel. Of course, bags etc are all taken care of. We met the owner, manager and the staff were all great and very accomodating. If you have not been to Lamu is it is most relaxing place I have ever been, we figured it is because there are no cars, no motorbikes and while we did not ride a donkey, you could. Thank you all for a great time.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank paddyinny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Lamu Island
2.1 mi away
Jannat House
Jannat House
#5 of 10 in Lamu Island
49 reviews
0.1 mi away
Kijani Hotel
Kijani Hotel
#2 of 10 in Lamu Island
134 reviews
0.8 mi away
The Majlis Resort
The Majlis Resort
#1 of 1 in Manda Island
208 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0 mi away
The Red Pepper House
The Red Pepper House
#6 of 10 in Lamu Island
14 reviews
7.4 mi away
Kizingo
Kizingo
#3 of 10 in Lamu Island
124 reviews
4 mi away
Shella White House
Shella White House
#6 of 29 in Lamu Island
2 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Msafini Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Msafini Hotel

Address: Shella Lamu | PO Box 226, Lamu Island 08500, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Lamu Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 29 Speciality Lodging in Lamu Island
Price Range: £42 - £77 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Msafini Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Msafini hotel situated in shella village of Lamu island of kenya, located just 2 mints far from the sea shore of indian ocean. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Jovago.com and Agoda so you can book your Msafini Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing