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“Fantastic place, wonderful atmosphere”

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Banana House & Wellness Centre
Ranked #2 of 34 Lamu Island B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Amsterdam
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fantastic place, wonderful atmosphere”
Reviewed 29 March 2009

We stayed for a week at Banana's and loved it. It is the sort of place you know you will go back to. Why? Because it is so tasteful, done up in the local style but with all the luxury of a western 5 star hotel. The first hour we were there we just walked around amazed. All is beautiful; the rooms, the lounge areas, the garden, the pool, the sea views. All details are just right and show the love and the care of the owners. Like the fresh flowers they put everywhere. The food deserves special attention, as does the superfriendly and professional staff. But let me start with the cooks; i don't know how they do it (we tried to learn their secrets without succes) but they made the best food: pure, straight forward wonderful food. A mix of African and Indian and all fresh ingredients. When Banana goes fishing you are lucky: he returns around noon and half an hour later you've got the best, fresh tuna on your plate. I've never eaten so well in my life! The staff has the same care for details as you see everywhere else in the guesthouse. And they are just so friendly. We did some yoga with Monika; the wellness area is also wonderful. I can only highly recommend it.
Darina

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank dariemus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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154 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 November 2008

This is the first time I have posted on Trip Advisor but thought banana house definately deserved a review.

We had spent the first month of our honeymoon overlanding through Africa and wanted some relaxation before coming back to earth...banana house gave us EXACTLY what we wanted. The penthouse was fantastic with the ocean breeze coming through to cool us down. Karisa (the chef) was amazing and would cook us anything we wanted..including, fresh lobster, crab, swahili dinner for the food market value!! All the staff were very welcoming and helpful.

The new pool was a very welcome suprise and a great place to meet people, the trips organised were fantastic and Monika and Banana fantastic hosts. i would definately recommend Banana house to anyone wanting to get away and relax.

We will definately be back.

  • Liked — The penthouse and the Food
  • Disliked — The laundry....some of our clothes came back like they hadn't seen water.
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank krisandjase
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
2 reviews
Reviewed 7 April 2008

You will feel immediately welcome at the Banana House and the title Wellness Centre really does do it justice.
Everything here urges you to relax and unwind.
The people are so lovely, kind and caring and really look after you well. As they say - it really does feel like your home, only with amazing surroundings, wonderful fresh food, beautiful gardens and furnishings and spectacular views.
You are catered for in your own apartment - we stayed in the penthouse which is extremely spacious and well furnished. We loved the indoors/outdoors freedom and the lazing options. Beautiful Lamu bed and swinging bed being just some!
We enjoyed wonderful, fresh food cooked for us and served to us there- making us feel very special.
It's a place with a atmosphere all of its own, you really can gain peace of mind here.
We absolutely loved it and will be returning as soon as we possibly can.
Thank you to Monika and all at Banana House for making our honeymoon so special.

  • Stayed February 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jbri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 March 2008

We spent a heavenly week staying in the Banana House penthouse apartment gazing down on the rooftops of Shela. The apartment gives the perfect balance of privacy and attentive service: your own rooftop, ocean-view home with the best chef in Shela and a team of warm, friendly and endlessly helpful staff. Banana and Monika have designed and built a beautiful indoors-outdoors house that effortlessly marries Islamic and Mexican architectural influences to create a chic, relaxed boutique hotel that feels like a very elegant home-from-home.

The rooftop apartment, Banana Penthouse, has two private decks and an open-air sitting room with a vast built-in sofa laden with oversized kikoi-covered cushions in bright stripes. The bedroom is large and airy with a simple but just-right shower-room behind a jingling shell curtain.

The only problem with Banana Penthouse is leaving, even for the afternoon. The lure of the sunny cushioned decks, the lazy hammock-bed and the big planter's chairs is strong, so it's tempting to just stay put and let the world get on with it without you. Basically that's what we did, with brief forays out into Shela for a sundowner at Peponi's or a walk on the beach, always returning happily to the cool polished floors and warm smiles of Banana Penthouse.

  • Liked — Everything.
  • Disliked — Nothing.
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NikkiH13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2008

Ok to premis this review. I love 5 star hotels/service (and have stayed in the best) but I really love unique personalised experience that you will have for rest of your life... especially when you are travelling to a place like Lamu....

From the moment we landed we felt like kings and queens. From being greeted at the air strip and being escorted to the Banana house, to the private dinners cooked by the chef and served on our terrace to the personal greeting by Monika on arrival detailing how the guest house works, it was all just an amazing experience...

If you are the 5 star (room service at the press of a button) hotel type this may not be what you are looking for, the service here is real and personal, like you are staying with friends who try everything to please you... really lovely people work here...

When we arrived and we were welcomed with a European double kiss we automatically felt at home...

I could really write for paragraphs on how much we loved this place and will come back one day to relive it...

You order your dinner a day in advance... and you have what ever you want... amazing, and CHEAP.. .only the local cost of food...

all activites can be organised for you... you really live like a king/queen...

You really should try the Banana house! It is real!

OK I will post some pics but I don't want to ruin the surprise...

oh one critical point.. we stayed in the Roof Top Terrace which is probably why we loved it soooo much...

Just imagine the sunrise waking you up and getting up and seeing the ocean and feeling the morning breeze...

anyway.. feel free to contact me if you have any questions...

Thanks Monika and Banana and THE WHOLE TEAM!!!

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing.... it was amazing!!!
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank CamJones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stockholm
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2007

We booked this through an agent (Lamu Retreats) from Nairobi.

We stupidly enough pre-paid (we had to) and judging from the images on their web-site we were prepared to arrive at a hostel/house located near or on the beach, quiet surroundings, nice food etc etc

Banana House is not even remotely close to the beach - there is no restaurant - but instead you have to preorder your food like 6 hours ahead.

The house per se is situated between 3 construction sites and even though I've travelled the word - this place gave me the creeps. No door to the toilett.

We did not get our money back even though we never stayed the night. Monica robbed us of more than $220 USD!!

  • Liked — Nothing
  • Disliked — Everything
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank frodencom
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, 10 November 2014
Dear Guest, It is very unfortunate that you have written a review about our house while you did not stay at our house. We feel we are victim of somebody who was jealous. It is now 7 years later, we never had such a review from anybody like yours, but your review has had impact on our rating for trip advisor, which we always felt very painful. I have send emails to Trip advisor asking to remove your review but that was not possible. I felt that it was now the time to reply to you. I would like to invite you to come again to Banana House and see how lovely place it is! Quiet, relaxed, well maintained.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Banana House & Wellness Centre

Property: 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 (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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