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All reviews swahili house the owner old town home away from home lamu town norbert wilson arab rooftop peace
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Reviewed 14 January 2014

I travelled to Lamu solo. My arrival was dramatic considering I used a bus to reach Mokowe (the mainland). Bus delays made me arrive 3 hrs before the 2014 new year jump off. My idea was to be in Lamu by 6 pm!
Nevertheless all that trouble was worth it.
I was met by Evanson (Maliks gracious staff at Baytil ajaib), a boat ride was quickly organized to take me to Lamu beach restaurant on Manda Island where Malik had reserved for a new years eve dinner sitting for me which was already in progress. It was glooorious!!!
Malik is enchanting and is the perfect host.
I stayed at the Garden cottage which was lovely with a spacious verandah with 2 day beds. It was sultan luxury.
For a 3 nights stay i had the chance to explore Lamu, the beautiful Manda island beach and mingling with both locals and foreigners at peponi hotel in shela. But of all the treasures that the Lamu archipelago can offer..none really matches the tranquility, grace and sultan royalty experienced once you enter the doors of Baytil-Ajaib. Photos will never do this 400 yr old house justice.
The kind of work put in to restore this monument is invaluable and one doesn't need to be an expert to see the attention to detail and the love that this old house has received from Malik and Norbert.
Staying at Baytil-Ajaib is an experience. The house throws you back 400 years ago. The decor, the high beds replicas of the bed of the king of kilwa, the day beds ....the lighting at night all make this place the only authentic place to stay in Lamu. A number of chic properties have come up, but they all make Baytil Ajaib stand out in the most remarkable way.
Like old wine, Baytil-Ajaib will only get more enchanting as it gets pitted against new architectural styles.
In the evenings I would sit with Malik up on the rooftop while sipping his favourite cocktail "dawa" and the life and positive energy radiating from him as he told the story of restoring Baytil to what it is now is quite inspirational. Lamu is blessed to have found a man who has fallen head over heels with the Swahili culture to the point where he is now gatekeeper of ancient swahili luxury.
The staff, Evanson and Morrison were quite attentive and I was spoilt.
Mine was a new years to remember and am currentlly planning a 2nd visit to the "House of wonders".
I recommend flights to Lamu as opposed to bus travel.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Matu1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
calvin paul W, Owner at Baytil Ajaib, responded to this reviewResponded 10 May 2018

Thank you so very much for this heart felt description of Baytil Ajaib and that we were able to portray the real essence of what we re concerned and desire most sincerely to share with our esteemed clients in this rare delicate culture that is slowly disappearing.

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Reviewed 15 December 2013

Imagine staying in a 400-year old restored Swahili home in the middle of a World Heritage site with the perfect host at a very reasonable price! I'm not really a beach person, so staying in the labyrith of Lamu City was perfect for me. My friend and I felt right at home, thanks to our wonderful host, Malik. It was an amazing experience and I would love to go back!

Room Tip: There are 4 rooms and any one of them would be an excellent choice.
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Mary M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
calvin paul W, Owner at Baytil Ajaib, responded to this reviewResponded 10 May 2018

Thank you so very much for this heart felt description of Baytil Ajaib and that we were able to portray the real essence of what we re concerned and desire most sincerely to share with our esteemed clients in this rare delicate culture that is slowly disappearing.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2013

Arriving to Baytil Ajaib on the island of Lamu after working in Kenya was truly magical and it slowly unfolded over the five days of our stay. Malik our host was the essence of hospitality and took care of our every plan, calling his boat man or wonderful staff to treat us with care. The house is lovingly restored with attention to every detail. I still lie in my bed in Canada in the morning and before opening my eyes spend time imagining that I am back in Lamu. Thank you Malik I truly hope I will get back there some day to have a glass of wine on the terrace.
Helen

Room Tip: All beautiful sleeping outdoors was the best
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Helen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
calvin paul W, Owner at Baytil Ajaib, responded to this reviewResponded 10 May 2018

Thank you so very much for this heart felt description of Baytil Ajaib and that we were able to portray the real essence of what we re concerned and desire most sincerely to share with our esteemed clients in this rare delicate culture that is slowly disappearing.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2013

Malik (the owner of the hotel) gave us an unforgettable experience in Lamu. The hotel itself is a beautiful, restored Swahili house. The rooms are decorated immaculately with antique furniture and are exceptionally clean. And Malik is a great host who caters to every guest's needs and will even take you around town. If you want an very intimate, local experience I would highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Hetal D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
calvin paul W, Owner at Baytil Ajaib, responded to this reviewResponded 10 May 2018

Thank you so very much for this heart felt description of Baytil Ajaib and that we were able to portray the real essence of what we re concerned and desire most sincerely to share with our esteemed clients in this rare delicate culture that is slowly disappearing.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2013

Lamu island offers nice restaurants and beaches, but the real attraction is the history and culture of this World Heritage Site. My apartment was painstakingly restored, beautifully furnished and exceedingly comfortable. Malik is a wealth of information and great fun. I will be back.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank Anna392
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
calvin paul W, Owner at Baytil Ajaib, responded to this reviewResponded 10 May 2018

Thank you so very much for this heart felt description of Baytil Ajaib and that we were able to portray the real essence of what we re concerned and desire most sincerely to share with our esteemed clients in this rare delicate culture that is slowly disappearing.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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