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“Romantic & Peaceful”

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Shela Bahari Guest House
Ranked #8 of 34 Lamu Island B&B and Inns
Vancouver
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
“Romantic & Peaceful”
Reviewed 30 September 2008

A gorgeous little guesthouse in Shela- just one place beyond Stopover, it was worth going the extra 100 ft- Wish we had booked in advance to get the top floor suite- comes with its own private balcony with romantic daybed. Instead we stayed on the main floor and shared a balcony with other travelers- which was fine too- it had two daybeds out there for everyone's use and which were very comfy to lie on and watch the sun go down after a hard day at the beach!! Also very close to Peponi's where one can go in Shela for a cold beer! Food was excellent, plentiful. The owner was very nice and helpful; let us store our baggage in the office on checkout day so we could enjoy the beach without our backpacks until it was time to leave :( so sad to leave. They also helped us negotiate a fair price for boat transfer to the airstrip. Rooms were comfy, showers were clean & somewhat warm & staff were courteous & friendly. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank love4africa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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40 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
london
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 September 2008

I HAD THE BEST 3 WEEKS OF MY LIFE IN SHELLA which is on Lamu island in Kenya. a 3 day trip turned in to 3 weeks in fact! i stayed at Bahari hotel which is right on the sea... when the tide is in you can jump of the top balcony in to the sea (great fun, big height!). the stunning roof top balcony is incredibly relaxing, a breathtaking seaview where you can see all the dhows off on sailing trips or docked just outside Bahari. Taufiq the manager is so friendly and treats you like family, on friday he burns incencse from hot coals under your bed so your room smells wonderful. Hassan is also an incredibly nice guy, i loev chatting to him, and he will happily bring you freshly squeezed juices, coffee or head off on a dhown to fetch you a beer from Lamu town (Shela is muslim so most guesthouses cannot directly sell alcohol) and bring it up to the balcony, or hammock side!) the rooms are spacious and airy with really big beds. i was travelling alone but made really good friends with other guests as the atmosphere is very relaxed and people chat over the delicious breakfast of fresh exotic juices, tropical fruit, banana/mango pancakes, eggs, delicious kenyan coffee/tea, and in fact joined up with them to go on dhow trips- fishing/sunset cruises/too see baby turtles hatching. there are lots of captains from the dhows who will want to take you out on trips- i can recommend highly Yusuf or Taimir (do ask for either of them- everyone will know who you mean- also a great thing aboutt shela is becasue it is so small, everyone knows everyone and these 2 will take you on the best trips). when i went fishing with Yusuf he cooked the best fish lunch- freshly bbq'd in front of us on the boat, rubbed in a paste he knocks up in a pestle and mortar from lime, chilli, garlic, spices (smells amazing) and served up with fresh salad and ciapatti bread- all on board as you sail gently across the sea with stunning views and the sun shining on your back- you can't help but feel exhillarated with calm and happiness! it is so relaxing! Yusuf will also sing you swahili songs (or bob marley upon request!) with his crew mates- perhaps some drumming as well- especially if you stop by the floating bar at sunset for a relaxing beer or kenyan gin and tonic (the kenyan limes make for the most incredible g and t!) also yusuf and taimir are members a drumming band- aboutt 10 of the shela guys sing traditional songs and drum- they often play at private parties- and they are seriously good, i was lucky enough to see them play on a couple of occasions- and i loved watching them- defintely worth asking when you can catch them performing...especially when they are accompanied by lukeman who firedances and is an extraordinarily gifted dancer!
the beach is 2 minutes walk away and stretches on and on- perfect for walking, massive stretch of white sand, camel rides available, the sea is perfect temerature. you can have windsurfing lessons or undertake kite flying. little red crabs scuttle in to the water, and the peach is peppered with exotic shells.

Unique Qualities: jump of roof balcony in to the sea!
fresh juices brought up to hammock on the roof!
fabulous fresh breakfast.
dhows docked outside the guesthouse so trips incredibly easy.
staff are the friendliest i have ever met (taufiq and hassan)
very good value-i would have been happy to have paid double than what i did!
incredible/massive beach with smooth, white sands, in walking distance.

i couldn't recommend more as a holiday destination... all i can think about is going back... email me if u want more info...
it is a place that would suit ALL travellers (i went solo, am female aged 23) but would be great for honeymooners/families/young people...etc

rosanna.boone@gmail.com

  • Liked — beautiful views, beautiful set-up, friendliest/kindest staff ever
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled solo
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Helpful?
7 Thank rosysophie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Odessa, Ukraine
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 September 2008

we stayed here for two nights, and really enjoyed our stay. The food is good value and tasty, with the chef and the owner making it fresh, then and there for you. They were really friendly, and flexible. The room was spacious with a Zanzibari bed. Cold showers (think all guesthouses in Lamu similar to this were the same), but clean. We had the roof top room, which had a hammock, armchairs, tables and a great view of the water - completely private. They were really helpful, friendly and welcoming.

  • Liked — lovely view
  • Disliked — Cold showers!
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FL99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington D.C.
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 August 2008

staying at the bahari house was great. you are right on shella beach and not too far walking of course from peponi and other great restraunts such as the new star guest house and restraunt. the bahari house staff is so friendly and willing to help you in taxi via dhow to lamu town and even bus excursions to mombasa. the food there was great. also the rooms are clean and i love that they leave flowers on the bed when you arrive. the experience was great this is my second time in lamu, shella beach. and i plan on staying at the bahari house. also during really high tide you can jump off the rooftop into the ocean. but only do if you are brave enough.

  • Liked — The easy access to the beach
  • Disliked — Mosquitos
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank rahandra24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herts
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2005

This was a remarkably cheap place to stay compared with other places on the island. We managed to bargain for 2 nights with what money we had left and a pair of Armani jeans - don't think I'll ever pay for accomodation in this way again.

Room was very spacious and clean.

Staff were friendly. Views absolutely amazing.

If I came back to Lamu again I would definitely head back here - perfect for access to Shela beach.

  • Stayed August 1999
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
9 Thank 0h_behave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shela Bahari Guest House

Property: Shela Bahari Guest House
Address: Box 59, Lamu Island, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Lamu Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 34 B&Bs / Inns in Lamu Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 5
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Also Known As:
Shela Bahari Guest House Hotel Lamu Island

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