There is much that is excellent about the Peponi hotel. So let's run through that before we look at what is not so great.
First of all, the Peponi is an institution on Lamu - THE place to stay and dine. Even if you choose to stay elsewhere, chances are that you'll end up at the Peponi if you tend towards high-end holidays. To be sure, it is not a luxury hotel - the rooms, facilities, etc are no more than 3 stars by European standards. But the hotel has character and patina and that makes up for much of it - it is an exclusive place. The restaurant is very solid and stylish - don't expect Michelin-level service and cooking, but everything is very fresh and well prepared and at 20 EUR for a main course it is nicely priced. The hotel offers a bunch of organized trips, not for groups, but for you alone. Deep-sea fishing, coral reef, etc - nicely done.
Now the Peponi is a family-run business - and family and business don't always go together. Other reviewers have pointed out the odd couple who own the place - and I would second that. The place is run by a stern woman, who has dollar signs in her eyes - she's struggling to give the place the hip and relaxed atmosphere the hotel claims for itself. They can be pushy when it comes to sales. (White) management is seen bossing around and berating (black) staff here and there - unprofessional and unpleasant. The owners are supported by a soft-spoken young Englishman, who repeatedly complained about his staff to us - unnecessary and unpleasant. Peponi economics is also interesting - they pay their staff 2-3 EUR a day, and employ around 100 people. Their payrol is thus about 250 EUR a day and that's the price of just one double room. The place must be hugely profitable and you wonder how much they do for their employees in terms of perks. It's sad then too see them charging 40 shilling (40 Eurocent) extra if you want your sandwich toasted - this fight for every penny pervades the place. Another guest advised us to tip staff directly, since it was uncertain the tip box would reach the staff.
If you stay for just a few days you'll notice very little of these distractions. For a longer holiday, be prepared to be drawn into some of these shortcoming.
- Also Known As:
- Peponi Hotel Lamu