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“Best balcony in Shela”

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Stopover Guest House
Ranked #8 of 32 Lamu Island B&B and Inns
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Best balcony in Shela”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2012

Since Stopover is the first guesthouse you see when arriving at Shela's seafront from Lamu, my gut instinct was to see where else we could stay, but we could not have imagined a more perfect, relaxing (and very clean) place. Hamid, the manager of Stopover, made us feel very comfortable and safe, and the staff was extremely friendly and helpful.
Stopover is a spacious, airy and beautiful building. The top floor room has breathtaking views of the channel from its huge private balcony - on which you can have breakfast every morning and gaze up at the millions of stars at night.

Room Tip: Top floor is the best room - and worth the difference
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Priya P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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46 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    20
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Business
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
55 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 August 2012

Having stayed in various places in both Lamu town and Shela, Stopover blew us away with its amazing rooms, great views over the sea, amazingly friendly and helpful staff, and clean, good facilities. There's even a kitchen on the second floor where we made a great dinner and eat on the terrace overlooking the sea

Room Tip: Get a room overlooking the sea!
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JamesBelgrave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dakar, Senegal
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 June 2012

My boyfriend and I stayed at the stopover guesthouse for two nights in June 2012. After two nights in Lamu Town at the beautiful Subira House, stopover was recommended by the staff. It is a small guesthouse with just 6 rooms, situated right on Shela Beach. We took a room on the second storey, a beautiful, simple and clean room with stunning beach views. The staff were friendly, and were happy to bring us freshly squeezed juices and our meals to our lovely balcony table and/or day bed!

Stopover was amazing value, being low season, and Lamu being so quiet, we were able to negotiate what we felt was an extremely reasonable price. Our stay at stopover and on Shela Beach was the perfect way to end our holiday.

Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank kellyinafrica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
111 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 January 2012

If you're on a budget, Stopover is the perfect place to stay in Lamu. A great location, with most rooms having a view over the sea. Every morning I watched people coming and going, donkeys transporting goods to Lamu town, men sitting on the huge olive tree outside chewing the fat, the man with the orange beard feeding the cats. It's a short walk to either the long stretch of beach in Shela or Lamu town (although it was so hot when I went walking wasn't really an option).
The rooms are simple; Lamu beds (with nets), a table and hanging space with a clean en-suite wet room but what more do you really need? They were cleaned every day (fresh sheets). The restaurant seemed to need a fair bit of notice if I wanted to eat there but when I did, and tried a swahili option, I was given a delicious fish curry that was one of the best I tasted.
The staff were very friendly. I didn't find them pushy. Yes, I was offered boat trips but why not? This is a poor island, with visitor numbers suffering since recent problems with nearby Somali pirates. Why wouldn't the manager try to ensure I booked through him and not one of his nearby competitors? And it's worth mentioning that I was a single, female traveler. I didn't have any problems in Lamu or Shela - yes, I got attention from locals but it was friendly and inquisitive. And when one beach boy went too far, I told him to leave me alone and he did. But I never felt threatened or unsafe.
If you are traveling on a modest budget, so you can visit all the places you want to in Kenya, this is the perfect place - clean, friendly, convenient.
If you're after luxury, a resort with all kinds of facilities, a room you can hang out in all day, it's not for you. But then maybe you should be on a boring package holiday in Spain anyway!

Room Tip: The rooms at the top can be booked together to create a sort of family penthouse!
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank louchoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yarraville, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2012

I really enjoyed my time at stopover, location was fantastic and place looks amazing.

Recommend the penthouse, which has an amazing balcony ( view is brilliant) and great daybed for lounging. all rooms have a balcony and great views

Staff were always very helpful and I didn't experience them being pushy at all. They were very upfront about the wait times for food which was a long time. food was good however and found prices reasonable.

I left a good tip because this was a great place to stay and I recommend it to family and friends.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Boy_from_aus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Valencia, Spain
Level Contributor
148 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 November 2011

There is very little wor writing about this place except 'avoid it like the plaugue' and make sure you really want to visit Lamu, that you understand what you are going for. We were two women traveling alone, everything pre booked and we even had a Lamu contact to make sure we were safe. Still, oppressive, all eyes following us, no women to be seen for most of the day.
Stop Over was a lovely illusion at first sight but quickly deteriorated before our eyes as the fans didn't work, cleanliness was a real issue - and we had been living in huts that were more hygienic, the stench in the hallway was gag worthy, we simplyncould not wait to leave.
Forget eating there, dirty eater for tea, we both got ill and stopped eating there even though it wa paid for.
The 'manager' was present but absent in every way from his duties, all he wanted was our money and excuses for every issue to be resolved flowed trippingly off his tongue. No change at the end when we paid our tab, just a simple and blank brain staring at us.
Truly, the worst we have experienced in all of Kenya. They should gut it and start over!
Forget paradise, think parasites!
Find a place that respects you... Perhaps the guest house nearby which is a renovated palace, 300 years old, lovely and spacious with a kind and considerate owner. Birma or something like that, google it if you are interested.
Unlike many we couldn't wait to leave Lamu and Shela, fortunately our evening flight was cancelled so we got the earlier one..
It is safe, that I will say. Beyond at, I will be asking myself forever what people see in the location...

  • Stayed November 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank R0shanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Level Contributor
24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 October 2011

We spent 3 days and had such a great time
Frist the Staff (Patrick and his colleagues) were very professional
We had a wonderful welcome and they were always keen on helping us
The location cannot be any better straight on the beach: rooms have such an amazing view
The rooms are all great, but the one on the last 2 floors are obviouly better with the terrasse and the day bed facing the sea.
It was a lovely experience to have breakfast or meals served at no extra cost!!!!!! in the room/terrasse
In short, don't hesitate if you wish to stay in Shela, stopover is your place.
The food is also such a great experience ...
I would return there without hesitating

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lmartinoni
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 #8 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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