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“All Round Wonderful Stay” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Msafini Hotel

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Msafini Hotel
Nairobi, Kenya
1 review
“All Round Wonderful Stay”
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Travelhungry7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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45 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    28
    14
    3
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    0
See reviews for
8
16
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Lukehee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SasAlex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Khartoum, Sudan
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mahdisrevenge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
virginia
Level Contributor
43 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank paddyinny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2010

A friend and I stayed at Msafini for 5 nights and were blown away. The hotel was beautiful, very clean and comfortable, extremely affordable and the staff was amazing. We had the top room so we had the pleasure of waking up to the most amazing 360 degree views of the island each morning. The location was great...in the heart of Shela just a couple minutes walk to the beach/waterfront and close to an internet cafe.

The food was good but the service was even better. We enjoyed our stay so much that my friend decided to have all of her guests stay here when we come back for her wedding next summer! It is a much better value than any property on the waterfront as well as much quieter and removed from the loads of tourists that flock to Lamu in August.

I highly recommend it!

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank alberty5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 September 2010

We went to Shella with some friends very last minute we moved hotels 3 times and finally stumbled across this gem. It was fairly quiet and we managed to get the top room for what we thought was a bargain price of 4500 a night, I think Ive got that right, what ever works out at about 40 pounds. The hotel is new and has really friendly staff and a swimming pool which was a bonus as we found the beach very windy, If you;re in to wind surfing I would think Shella would be a top spot. The top room has an amazing terrace with a hanging day bed, table and chairs etc basically everything you need, it is really nice decorated with potted palms etc. The room is big a spacious with a massive bed and a clean bathroom. The food at the hotel was also good although was slightly up and down but compared to everywhere else we ate was a fairly safe bet. We also ate the Palace hotel in Lamu town which was good and you can take your own wine, the crab was particularly good. It is very hard to get alcohol in Shella as it is a Muslim island, there is an off license seemingly run by the police half way between Shella and Lamu town. Get a local to take you and you can stock up on everything you need and just keep in the fridge on your terrace. There is a local guy called Yusuf who is a Mr fixit and can sort most things out for you. There is also a really cool shop selling cool beach stuff and clothes. You can get real Havana flip flops for 7 pounds and it has really cool big beach towel type things as well as loads of other stuff, well worth a visit. Not sure exactly where it is in Shella but it is only a small place. Our friends ended up moving into this hotel and staying in another nice room but agin if you get the top one on the 3rd floor pull out all the stops as we thought it was amazing.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ras78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Msafini Hotel

Property: 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 #3 of 25 Speciality Lodging in Lamu Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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 
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