We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Paradise!”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 1 more site!
Banana House & Wellness Centre
Ranked #2 of 34 Lamu Island B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 August 2013

We stayed at in the Banana Penthouse for the final 5 nights of our honeymoon and it was the perfect end to our trip. The managers were very patient in dealing with not knowing when we would be able to arrive (due to problems caused by the Nairobi airport fire) and gave us additional information over the phone when were trying to arrange transport.

The boat was sent at short notice to collect us from the airstrip late in the day, and on arrival we received complimentary shoulder massages as a much needed welcome. The penthouse was stunning and the whole atmosphere felt more like staying in someones home than in an impersonal hotel. Food was excellent, particularly the fish, and we were blown away by a Swahili banquet hosted by Monika and prepared by local women from Shela village.

We did very little in terms of activities, preferring to mooch and explore Lamu and Shela, but Banana House made sure we knew exactly what was on offer throughout our stay. A late afternoon dhow ride to the Takwa ruins was a real experience ending in a stunning sunset on the water.

Staff were a joy, and made a huge effort to ensure our stay was enjoyable. We shall miss the banana pancakes for breakfast! We will be back for sure!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank VolcanoMeg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (159)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

92 - 98 of 159 reviews

Reviewed 1 August 2013

Thanks to Monika for a wonderful stay in Banana house - we couldn't have asked for more, a quiet restful holiday spot with brilliant fresh food prepared in house by resident Chef. Local Crab and Lobster with the freshest of salads. Charming service with a smile and nothing left to chance. These people know how to make you feel special in this amazing place.

Room Tip: The rooms are clean and quiet with ample natural breeze may be cheese one near the sun deck
See more room tips
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Balconymanager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Monika F, Owner at Banana House & Wellness Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 2 August 2013

Thank you dear guest for your great review. We feel very honored by it, as you own the best bar and restaurant at another marvellous place in Byron Bay Australia. We take it as a big compliment!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2013

We have stayed in the Banana penthouse for two weeks and loved every minute of it. It felt like a home away from home with the exception of all the staff taking great care of us, our room and lounge area. We practiced yoga twice a day and really enjoyed our classes taught by Monika, Morris and Kelly. Most nights we would have dinner on our own porch; Banana House has a great kitchen with wonderful curry's, veggies, fish etc. It is advisable to check what they can do for you since there is much more possible than you can think of yourself. Staying in Shela was also a great choice we felt since we could wonder around Shela without being hassled (more so in Lamu) and you can stroll to the best beach in the area or take a boat just across to Manda beach. Thanks everyone for a wonderful stay, we are sure to come back and visit you again! Brian and Josta

Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank Josta V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Monika F, Owner at Banana House & Wellness Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 5 August 2013

Dear guests, it has been an absolute pleasure having you as guests in our house. you came as unknown people and left as friends! We really appreciate your help in taking photo's for our upcoming Lamu Yoga festival in March and we will keep you updated! thank you on behalf of our whole team for your kind words.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2013

This as a beautiful home being open for people who want to experience a true relaxing atmosphere in a charming village. I didn't expect a hotel, but I actually expected to find a traditional reception area, a restaurant with a written menu and a bar serving a tasteful drink. Never found it, but never missed it. The service from everyone we met was high-class. A friendly smile, a few questions about our wishes and then they just made it happen. Tasteful dishes served in our private livingroom and local guiding to wherever we needed to go. Thanks to Monika, Patricia and the entire staff for making our stay so charming. Thanks to Saadi for his smooth organizing of Dhow-sailing and interesting local guiding.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank KennyOslo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2013

I had heard excellent reviews of the Banana house, so was very disappointed with what I experienced here. Maybe it was because it was off season (we were here in May 2013), but still felt that for the price we paid, we did not get value, especially after scoping out other houses in Lamu and Shela and finding much more welcoming and economical options.

On the first night, we were over-charged for boat trip that was organized by Banana House to take us to Lamu for dinner - which was very annoying to find out the next day. Breakfast was ok (fruit, good coffee and eggs), and on time, but I felt that the dinners we had at the house were over priced for what we were served. On the second night although we had been told they would get us grilled king prawns, we just ended up with regular shrimp, with no explanation for the change in the menu, and they still charged us the equivalent of $30 for the shrimp dish (which might be ok in Nairobi, but really in Lamu?). A full meal at the Lamu House with dessert and alcohol cost us about the same as the meal in the Banana House (without alcohol or dessert). That said the food was well prepared and tasty.

Overall, the service was ok, but everything seemed just a notch down and less detail oriented. For example, most mornings I had to be careful not to trip over the bags of cement in the entrance, due to the construction going on in the other house. We were serenaded to hammering all day long, which is to be expected I guess during low season - but I'd actually suggest shutting down rather than putting guests thru that. The place was completely infested with mosquitoes, which could be because of the rains, but we had to request mosquito coils to be able to sit in the main room. The pool was looking kind of greenish and not very clean. Overall, it just looked a bit run down.

It was a bit shocking when the person I assume was the acting manager came on the second night and asked us to pay our total bill up front, as he needed funds to complete the renovations going on in the next house, and when asked for a receipt he was a little offended. He apologized the next day.

The yoga was the best part - the instructor, Morris, was excellent and the yoga studio is lovely - but the yoga mats all were very stinky and obviously had not been cleaned for a while. If you do yoga there, best you bring your own mat, or at the minimum, a towel or kanga. When I mentioned the stinky mats, Morris spent the morning cleaning them. One of my friends had a massage, and he said it was excellent; the prices in general for yoga, massage and other spa treatments were very fair.

In summary, I felt for off-season it was over-priced without the attention to detail that other reviewers mention. I definitely would not recommend the Banana House in off-season. Maybe in high season it’s a better deal, but I’ll check out other options before coming back.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank joodmc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Monika F, Owner at Banana House & Wellness Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2013

Dear Guest, we do appreciate if guests write a review about our house as we do value opinions and we learn from it. We would like to comment on your experiences at Banana House as we feel it is not correct what you stated. The boat trip to Lamu by night is double the price as a day trip, we charged you less than double the price, the diner we served you was normal prawns, indeed no jumbo prawns, but we charged you the price for normal prawns (14 US$). It has been unlucky for you that we just in this week did renovations on our house and we had about 7 bags of cement on the side (to protect from the rain). We had informed all our travelagents but your booking was via a local person in shela and he might not have informed you. Our swimmingpool is cleaned every day, the color of our pool is yellow which reflects the water as more green instead of blue, though you can see that the water is clean. The first batch of yogamatts had just been cleaned but still hanging to dry on laundry (with the rain everything smells not fresh). Im happy you enjoyed your yoga class with Morris. He is our local yoga instructor as we promote yoga for locals as well. Banana House has a good name and reputation, we do not sell our house at bottom rock prices even not in low season as it is not fair to other guests, but we do give low season rates to all our guests. Personally I feel pity that I just missed you, I departed on the plane you arrived, so we could have met and I might have been able to give you another room. It is our aim of our whole team to make our guests comfortable and at home, we are willing to listen to a problem and we do our best to find solutions. We do hope you will come back another time.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2013

Banana House reflects the unique charme of Shela. A beautiful swahili house set in gorgeous garden. We know the owners, Banana and Monika, since more than a decade and enjoy every year the time we spend with them. The staff hasn't changed since Banana house was opened and this says a lot about the quality of the people as well as Monikas and Bananas social commitment. The relaxing and easy going athmosphere in Banana house made us even more addicted to this special island. A must for all people looking for an eco-friendly and exclusive holiday spot. The real luxury lies in the fact that the people of Shela share their paradise with us. Banana and Monika, we will be back!

Paolo and Sofia Tonti, Zurich, Switzerland

Room Tip: Banana rooftop is just fantastic
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank PaoloT325
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2013

We have just returned from our trip to Kenya, visiting family, and having a 4 night stay in Lamu to complete our holiday.
From the moment we stepped through the door into the Banana House we felt at home. The staff were extremely friendly and welcoming, nothing was too much trouble. We got lost on our first trip out and a member of staff spotted us and escorted us back!
We loved the "sitting areas" illustrated on the website, and enjoyed many a cup of coffee and a relaxing read there. The pool was perfect after we ventured outside and sometimes got too hot.
We went on two trips, one to Lamu town which was most interesting, and one full day on a dhow in order to snorkel. This was the highlight of our stay - a beautiful boat trip, interesting snorkelling, a visit to a deserted beach and the most delicious lunch cooked on board. Perfect!
The food was lovely at the hotel, we enjoyed discussing our evening meal with the chef in the morning. The breakfasts were very enjoyable.
I don't know if we'll return to Lamu, but if we do, we'll certainly stay at the Banana House again! Thank you.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Retiredrelaxers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Lamu Island
0.1 mi away
Kijani Hotel
Kijani Hotel
#2 of 10 in Lamu Island
126 reviews
0.8 mi away
The Majlis Hotel
The Majlis Hotel
#1 of 1 in Manda Island
198 reviews
2.1 mi away
Jannat House
Jannat House
#4 of 10 in Lamu Island
49 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
The Red Pepper House
The Red Pepper House
#6 of 10 in Lamu Island
12 reviews
2.0 mi away
Lamu House Hotel
Lamu House Hotel
#3 of 34 in Lamu Island
216 reviews
7.4 mi away
Kizingo
Kizingo
#3 of 10 in Lamu Island
123 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Banana House & Wellness Centre? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Banana House & Wellness Centre

Address: Plot 318 | Shela, Mkunguni, Lamu Island 80500, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Lamu Island
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 34 B&Bs / Inns in Lamu Island
Price Range: £80 - £112 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Banana House & Wellness Centre is small and cozy, yet spacious enough to let you enjoy its rarity. Retreat to Banana House, a very cool, elegant private guesthouse and the wellness centre offering yoga, retreats and massages. It has great views on the sea, the dunes and the village. The house is simply and tastefully furnished in Swahili style, with many different sitting areas, daybeds and hammocks. You will feel the love that Monika and Banana have put into the house to give it a homely and welcoming atmosphere. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Jovago.com, Booking.com and Agoda so you can book your Banana House & Wellness Centre reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing