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“A wonderful corner of paradise”

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Banana House & Wellness Centre
Ranked #2 of 32 Lamu Island B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A wonderful corner of paradise”
Reviewed 23 July 2014

We had a very pleasant stay in this unfortunately too quiet a corner of paradise (although very nice for us) - with the current insecurity on the nearby mainland of late.

All we can say is that Lamu and Shella are somewhat needlessly suffering as a result of the travel warnings - and we could not have felt safer or more relaxed. The folks at Banana House were simply great - in every way, and the local communities of Shella and Lamu wonderfully welcoming and hospitable. The food at Banana House was fresh, tailored to local seasons, the staff kind and helpful in showing us around town, and Monika's yoga classes were just perfect.

So, folks, travel warnings aside (let's face it, you'd be a bit unlucky to be caught in a random terrorist event, none of which have occured on Lamu Island) for those of you not quite as risk adverse as some, how about visiting Lamu and contributing to the local economy in a hard spot. Goodness knows, local folks would appreciate your visit.

Room Tip: The penthouse is very spacious and airy - with a beautiful view of Shella and the Lamu Channel
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Andrew W
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 review, 30 July 2014
Dear guest, thank you so much to write on Tripadvisor that you had a wonderful time in Lamu, in Shela and in Banana House! As it is so true what you write, we are all perfectly fine, Lamu ISLAND has always been peaceful and is also now very very peaceful. We have had NO INCIDENTS at the island! We do encourage everybody to come and experience it yourself. This is the best advertisement we can get! From other travellers! At this moment we also have British guests and they have a fantastic time, everybody is friendly, the weather is nice, the food excellent!
Karibuni Lamu!
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152 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 2 July 2014

My sister daughter and I stayed at banana house at the beginning of June 2014. It is the rainy season and we all became ill and needed a doctor. The local nurse told us there was a diarrhea epidemic in lamu and shela and she tried to treat us but what we really needed was proper medical advice. I was very ill for 8 days and was seen by a doctor only when I returned to nairobi. Patricia teh manager was on holiday and I think the staff tried to help but there was no guidance for them to deal with this and despite a doctor being promised, he did not appear. We also dicovered that there was an outbreak of Denge fever in the area as well as typhoid which banana house seemed unaware of.

I think banana house staff have to be equipped to support holiday makers who may become ill and help with a doctor and taking samples to the hospital on Lamu. This will support their clients recovering quickly if they are ill as they can be prescribed the correct drugs. They also need to stock simple medication such as rehydrating salts.

Lamu and Shela beach are amazing places, Banana house may be a welcoming place to stay but our stay here was not at all good.

LYNN

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank lynn k
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 review, 5 July 2014
Dear Guest, I'm terribly sorry for you that you have been sick for 8 days. I would like to reflect on your review about our house. The day you arrived, as you travelled by road, one of you was already feeling sick. Therefore you have not fallen sick because of the service of Banana House. Our manager Patricia had just started her leave but came to see you. As your sickness did not improve our manager on duty , Saadi, helped by sending the nurse form our local dispensary to Banana House to see you and treat you. We have only a dispensary in Shela, not a hospital. the doctor was not around. The nurse gave you medicine and we also provided the local dehydration salts. We did our best to help you as much as possible but we are also no doctors. If Patricia or me would have been around I could have given you from our first aid box an antibiotic, but our staff can not give out medicine. Your suggestion to have some medicine available is a good one, we have our medicine box is ready. I hope you and your family have recovered again and that your doctor could tell you which virus or bacteria had caused your illness.
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Khartoum, Sudan
2 reviews
Reviewed 18 June 2014

Title says it all - there are rats living in the grass roof of the hotel. Not a comfortable discovery. I would therefore suggest you check that this problem is eradicated before booking any of the top rooms -even if they do have the nicest wiew....

Room Tip: Avoid the top rooms before you check -at night- that rats have been eradicated.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Dinaskatt
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 review, 25 June 2014
Dear guest, we have read your review and we feel sorry for you that you have come across nature in our house. Rats or mice are never nice to see, specially not in your room. As we already had explained to you while you where at Banana House, our house is open, we have thatched roofs and we are in nature. With the rain season sometimes mice hide themselves in the thatched roof. Unfortunately you have experienced one. We already got rid of the mice while you where there. We do apologize. We are eco friendly but we do like mice to keep outside the house.
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Antiguo Cuscatlan, El Salvador
Level Contributor
33 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2014

We stayed here twice in 2014 and both stays were very nice. Lamu is wonderful and is not to be missed-the best place on the Kenyan coast by far. Banana House is nicely decorated, comfortable and well located near the beach. The food is very good and the staff very attentive. The salt water pool is great and there are a lot of nice places to sit on the porch. Of course the pool gets filled with debris during the day as it is windy, but the staff cleaned it again when I asked We enjoyed the activities-sunset dhow and traditional cooking. I highly recommend it.

Room Tip: If you want a bit more privacy ask to not be by the common areas.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Acebo R
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 review, 5 June 2014
Dear guest, we are happy to hear you have come back and enjoyed Banana House again. We are a place home away from home and we love it when people can truly relax and enjoy the simple yet tasteful style and life of Shela and our house. We are pleased to hear that you just ask the staff if there is something you would like to be changed and that they can help you immediately. We hope to welcome you again!
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Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 June 2014

Really lovely place to stay. Very welcoming, rooms are very clean and are turned down every evening. Chill out areas with hammocks outside your room. Food is lovely and if you catch anything on a days fishing the chefs will prepare a delicious feast for you.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Idocarealot
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 review, 5 June 2014
Dear guest, thank you for writing a review . We are happy to hear that you enjoyed the house, the staff and the food. Despite some rain you clearly know how to enjoy Lamu and Banana House.!
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Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 June 2014

I came from a couple of days in Lamu House so it was a bit of a climb down. It felt like I was in a lower middle class home - with its unkempt corners and cheap facilities. It was not very clean and pool area (with sea water) is unkempt. But staff were great - great crab, got a henna painter and swahili food for me

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wamuyu G
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 review, 5 June 2014
Dear guest, Thank you for taking your time to write a review about out house. We regret that you where disappointed in our house. People have different opinions and different moods which we respect. May I inform you that our swimmingpool is indeed salt water, but not sea water. We do not want to work with chlorine as it is very bad for the environment, as we are Eco rated Silver therefore we think high of the environment. You stayed one night with us in a standard twin room, all other double rooms where full. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed our food and staff. Next time you visit Shela you might want to book Banana Penthouse and have the luxury you are looking for!
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Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2014 via mobile

Went on holiday with a friend. Received great recommendations from friends. We had a lovely room and a lovely lounge area with swinging beds and a communal dinning area. Breakfasts were a bit small, but good. They make their own bread. Dinners were up to you to order and were all very delicious. You can have beer or ask for wine, as alcohol is harder to find on the island. We brought some wine as well from Nairobi. The yoga was great, but it is at extra charge. The pool was good because it was very windy and we didn't always want to be on the beach. They have a great list of activities and we did. Dhow cruise and a trip to the ruins. But I did find the push to go and do activities a bit aggressive. However all in all a great stay! You should also note At the time I stayed there was no credit card payment option. They said they would be adding this soon, but check before you arrive.

Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Brrrratatat
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 review, 23 April 2014
Dear guest, thank you very much for taking your time to write a review about our house. I’m pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay and felt so relaxed! We will give back feedback to our kitchen about breakfast, as in fact we have a choice next to the standard breakfast we give of fresh bread, fresh juice, lots of fruits and eggs (all kind of variations) and you can choose pancakes, swahili breakfast, yoghurt/muesli/honey or porridge. I feel good that you enjoyed the activities though the approach of our activity manager can be improved, I will definitely give feedback to him as well. With regards to the creditcard machine, we will have it from july onwards. We hope to welcome you again, and thank your friends and you for good recommendation!
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Additional Information about Banana House & Wellness Centre

Property: Banana House & Wellness Centre
Address: Plot 318, Lamu Island, 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 32 B&Bs / Inns in Lamu Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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 
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