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Review of Peponi Hotel

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Peponi Hotel
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Lamu Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 March 2014

I had need to get away by myself, and was treated like royalty during a week-long stay. Peponi arranges for its guests to be met at the airport, and transported by ancient dhow (a sailboat) to the hotel. While checking in, a drink materialized without being sought, and hostesses Carol and Andrew visited with me, as if I were a special friend of a friend. I had a king room overlooking the baobab tree-shaded pool. On the porch was another swinging bed, ideal for afternoon naps. It's not that Peponi is the fanciest, or most up-to-date hotel. It's that the attention to your well-being is looked after carefully. The staff acted as though they cared whether I was having a good time. And I did!
I took most of my meals at Peponi, because the food was so fresh, delicious, and inventive. Additionally, Carol arranged for me to dine with different guests on occasion, so I wouldn't feel alone. That is an extra special touch. I met wonderful, adventurous people from all over the world.
I took a few walking excursions about the island, and even arranged for a tailor to make me two dresses from some kikoi fabric I found in the hotel gift shop. The dresses were expertly made, quite inexpensive, and delivered overnight. I was cautioned not to wander down the beach toward the ocean by myself, and that a staff member should accompany me. There was a kidnapping at a different hotel in 2011 that ended in death. So, I was cautious. I travel extensively, and I do believe my experience at Peponi Hotel was in the top 5 of my life.

Room Tip: Facing the ocean, to the right of the dining room. I enjoyed being near the pool. I had a large cor...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Martha D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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99 - 105 of 250 reviews

Reviewed 16 March 2014

Nice view of the ocean, amongst the very few hotels in Lamu offering this and probably why it's popular. Had great food although left with the stomach flu, probably from the food handling. Great staff and the manager was friendly, thanks Carol. Rooms could do with an upgrade especially the bathroom could be much nicer. Very high bed from the ground, not sure why but well not so bad.

Other than the great view from the restaurant, everything else pretty standard...overall an Ok hotel.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank smwelu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2014

It was such a pleasant surprise when I arrived to a warm welcome of Andrew and he's team at Peponi hotel. The food menu is out of this world. The staff are so helpful and friendly and the ambiance is nothing like I've experienced before. I'm in love! They get a double thumbs up from me.

Room Tip: All rooms are sea facing
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Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
Thank Zandy2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2014

I stayed at Peponi in late January on my first visit to Lamu. Peponi provided a boat to meet us at the mainland airport on a traditional kind of boat (except this one had a motor). Each guest alighting at Peponi was greeted individually by one of the staff who seated us on the veranda overlooking the beach, set us up with a complimentary drink before checking us in. Definitely the best check-in process I've ever experienced!
We had a beach front room with a beautiful balcony overlooking the beach. The balcony was equipped with a table and two chairs as well as beautiful blue-covered mattress, covered with pillows suspended by chains from the ceiling.
While the room did not have airconditioning, the open windows and the high speed ceiling fans kept it very comfortable, with the breezes coming in off the water. The mosquito netting, while practical, also provided an exotic feel to the already classically appointed room.
We were only able to stay at Peponi one night and that's the only thing that was wrong with our stay.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
1  Thank Christina H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2014

I think most of the other reviews have described just how wonderful this hotel is in terms of setting, location, rooms, pool, dining, etc. I agree with all these comments. Peponi is a very special place. But for us, the really outstanding aspect of our stay was the personal attention we received from Carol (the owner), Andrew, and Mwabane (I hope I spelled her name correctly). Not only were we welcomed with a drink, but Mwabane went over our stay, our options for excursions, the property, information about Shela and Lamu, and many other things that helped us orient ourselves to Lamu Island for the next four nights. Our first morning, Carol came to see us at our room (number 12 - a wonderful spot in the Palm Garden), and she also discussed the options for excursions, dining, etc., and answered some of our questions.

Of course, much of this service is designed to ensure that guests dine at the hotel and take advantage of the excursions offered by the Peponi, but we never felt we were being sold or pushed to do anything. The service was discreet, professional, and above all, effortlessly friendly.

On top of all this, both my husband and I came down with a gastrointestinal issue, that was either viral or bacterial, and again, Carol and Andrew went out of their way to provide us with appropriate food, rehydration powder, etc. The dining staff were also aware and often asked how we were feeling, etc. The level of concern seemed genuine.

We also went on a couple of excursions provided by the hotel - one a snorkeling, island lunch, and bird-watching expedition, designed personally for us by Carol. It was a wonderful day, and our guide - Cheena - did everything he could to make it fun and safe. He was our boat captain, snorkel guide, oyster catcher, cook, and general host, and he made the day memorable through his own unobtrusive but engaging guidance. I also had the opportunity to participate in one of Carol's excursions in support of her Turtle Project, watching and helping turtle hatchlings make it to the sea unharmed. The hotel put out coffee and fruit before we left and extended the breakfast hours to allow people to eat when we returned.

We are independent travelers who generally figure stuff out for ourselves and prefer to do it that way. But the style and quality of this personalized service was never intrusive and made our stay that much more enjoyable.

I have traveled quite a bit and have to say that I have never experienced this level of service at a hotel of this size. I would recommend Peponi to anyone and would return in a heartbeat.

Room Tip: We loved our room - number 12 - at the end of the Palm Garden.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Rainangel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2014

I do not want to write a repetitive review and others before me have exclaimed the fabulous food, service and amenities at Peponi and it is all true. But the best thing about the hotel and the reason that it should be ranked #1 is its location. Steps from 12km of white sand that is Shela Beach, steps from the sweet village of Shela and a short & complimentary dhow ride into Lamu Town every morning. Nothing beats that, period. Carol, Andrew and the entire staff do not seem to know the word "no". You want to eat dinner on your private veranda? Yes. You want a picnic of fresh grilled fish on a deserted pile of coral in Manda Bay? Yes. You want to come back again and again? YES!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank grusha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2014

I am hesitant to write this but I told Andrew, the charming hotel manager, that I would. We stayed here for five nights this past January and can not wait to return. From the gracious owner's first hello coupled with her fabulous signature "Old Pal" cocktail, to the flexibility to dine poolside or in our room or on the gorgeous rooftop verandah....to our (sad) departure on their striking, signature dhow....Peponi is pure magic. Food was exceptional, service attentive but not fussy, accommodations a perfect shade of rustic, boho chic that worked perfectly for this incredibly laid-back yet elegant island. An authentic, calm and cool energy exudes from the sprawling (and sweet) Frangipani, and the pool is really something else nestled between these magnificent, ancient Baobob trees. Love Tulum. Anguilla. Hamptons. But Lamu was in a whole other class. Sigh. It's our not-so-secret spot that we hope everyone seeking romance, sophistication and sun will have the chance to experience. Thank you Carol and Andrew and everyone else! We shall see you again. - Carrie and Kamuti

Room Tip: We stayed in beach-facing #24 but I imagine they all are unique and wonderful.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Carrie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Peponi Hotel

Address: | Shela Beach, Lamu Island, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Lamu Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Lamu Island
Hotel Class:4 star — Peponi Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 24
Also Known As:
Peponi Hotel Lamu

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