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“Lovely! Only one warning..Swale!”

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Stopover Guest House
Ranked #9 of 32 Lamu Island B&B and Inns
Mombasa, Kenya
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Lovely! Only one warning..Swale!”
Reviewed 9 October 2011

Stopover was in an idyllic location looking over to Manda Island and minutes from Peponi Hotel - which has AMAZING food and beer! The room was simple & very beautiful and I spent most of my lazing on the outside Swahili beds. Coming off the boat was a bit of a stench and guys were peeing whilst we walked on salty muddy water (gross!). The menu was limited though, they didnt have a lot of availability of food despite a great menu so I only ate there once.
However, the kitchen/waiting staff went out of their way and then some to accommodate your needs, tended to you with room service & escorting you around the winding streets...they were amazing guys! Only one warning - don't book with or fall for the *seemingly sweet Swale - who gives you lots of free info a first & offers boat trips. But we were on the most uncomfortable boat ever,and once we got to go, realised we'd been fobbed off looking at what other people had paid for and service they recieved. We were literally left in blazing sun to eat our lunch, whilst others were cooked for in huts on much larger boats that actually had seats rather than a stick of wood! Once we refused a guided tour to Lamu he lost complete enthusiasm and interest in us after spending days there and was actually very rude. He caused a lot of issues on checking out, despite disappearing and sending the guys to do it, who kept apologising for him. Such a shame, because the rest of the staff and the owner was really lovely and the place is simplistic BEAUTY! Just don't feel like you have to do ANY trips with Swale, he swears no-one is as trusting or reliable as him but actually he's quite a nuisance!!

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Lesley_kenyabeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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46 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Colorado
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 August 2011

Loved our two-night, three-day stay here. We stayed on the third floor and, as there were no other guests on that floor, we had the entire beautiful, clean sparkling balcony with incredible ocean views all to ourselves. It was very hot this time of year but we were able to sleep out on the balcony on a very comfortable daybed, where a cooling breeze blew all night long. Breeze kept the mosquitos away, and the fresh juices, flowers and meals kept us happy. Nice, airy rooms; lovely, clean bathrooms; and really topnotch location in Shela, away from the heat and chaos of Lamu Town and close to Peponi's Restaurant (where you'll have to go for your sundowners, as this hotel is muslim owned and therefore dry). The staff was great, our only complaint was that the manager tried very hard and persistently to sell us a fairly overpriced boat tour that we didn't reall want to do, and he was not into negotiating until he realized that we were just not going to go. We never did take the trip, so can't say whether it would have been worth the high price or not, but were able to find another dhow trip out of Lamu Town that was very enjoyable, if on a very old boat...

Room Tip: Top two floors (3rd and 4th) are optimal for rooms, ocean views, and breeze. Try to get one all to...
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank colorat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
san francisco ca
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 23 July 2011

Stopover is a very pleasant, moderately priced guesthouse but is seriously in need of a manager. Our reservation was not honored, and we were shunted to a different hotel. The owner was not honest with us about what had happened. I learned that this was not an unusual situation. So, yes, it's a nice place, with a good restaurant, but since the owner has been managing it, it just hasn't been reliable about pre-booking. Our advice: just show up and try to get a room. Otherwise, pre-book somewhere else.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank africatraveler2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nairobi
Level Contributor
66 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 June 2011

Spent the night of 12 June 2011 at the Stopover Guest House which was the ideal end to our time on Lamu island after two nights in Lamu Town. After the 35-minute walk to Shela from Lamu we reached Stopover Guest House and didn't need to look further for a place to stay. The staff member said the rooms were KES4,000 per night but we said we wanted to spend KES2,500. Agreed on KES3,000 in total for a double room with breakfast included. We stayed on the first floor. Rooms on the second and top floors were at least KES4,500. Our room had a private bathroom and sea view out of two windows. No fridge in the room but there's a large fridge and good kitchen area for communal use. The sea was almost under our balcony at high tide. Dinner and non-alcoholic drinks are available from the restaurant downstairs. We had dinner and breakfast on our balcony. Shela Beach is about 15 minutes walk away via the waterfront or alleyways of Shela Village. Highly recommended and would stay at Stopover again when back in Shela.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kuzurura
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
62 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2011

I checked-in at Stop Over Guest House on the 28th of March until the 1st of April and i was in total paradise.Was met at Manda Airstrip and shown to the boat which whisked me to the Shela and was met by a very charming mzee Swalihina who explained and showed me everything.Enjoyed a glass of cold passion-fruit juice before i settled down.While at Stop Over,i had breakfast every morning in the restaurant and also indulged in dinner,too.Since i was in Shela,i felt that i should try Swahili food(biryani and pilau)which was spectacular!! Mzee Swalihina made sure i visited Lamu town well and also arranged a fishing trip with a very knowledgable nahodha(captain) and his son.I will return and stay for a longer time soon.The entire staff were very nice indeed although i didn't meet mzee Hamid since he was away visiting family in Mombasa.

Room Tip: Clean,comfortable,close to splendid Shela Beach
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Msafiri_Mwenyeji
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2011

Just returned from my third New Year's Eve in a row staying at Stopover in Shela, and happy to report it's going from strength to strength. They've repainted all the rooms and public areas, fixed the fridge (it now makes ice...!), and in the process not lost any of the charm. The location is hard to beat, right on the waterfront overlooking the channel, five minutes walk from the beach. You can order food from the restaurant on the ground floor, which has a pretty extensive menu - ginger crab or jumbo prawns were favourites in my group (we were 11 and hired all six rooms).

They've also now built a beautiful pentouse suite on the top floor, with two double beds and its own private (enormous) terrace. Highly recommend that, even if its a couple of thousand shillings more per night.

There are still some quibbles over the speed of service - if you order from the restaurant downstairs and busy times, it can take a very long time for your food to arrive. But, hey, this is Lamu, there's no hurry (and if there is, just be sure to chase your order if it's taking long).

Aside from that, can't recommend it high enough. Prices have risen slightly (about 50 to 80 euros a night B+B for a room), but it's still the best mid-priced option in Shela, or even all of Lamu, I'd say.

Best points? The huge airy rooms, the day beds on the terraces, the cool breeze, the food, the location, the staff, the price/value.

Mike Pflanz
East Africa Correspondent
The Daily Telegraph (UK)

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank MikePflanz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Russia
Level Contributor
136 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 November 2010

Honestly, I did not stayed there, but dined every day!
The food, waiters, cook, kitchen, prices, service, assortment of seafood - all are the best I've been across Kenya, even comparing to expensive ones in Nairobi! Really!

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Alex_JaneRu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Stopover Guest House

Property: Stopover Guest House
Address: Shela Harbour, Lamu Island, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Lamu Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 32 B&Bs / Inns in Lamu Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 5
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Also Known As:
Stopover Guest House Hotel Lamu Island

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