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.

“Is there a more relaxing place to stay on the Kenyan coast?”

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 2 more sites!
Banana House & Wellness Centre
Ranked #2 of 32 Lamu Island B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Warsaw, Poland
1 review
“Is there a more relaxing place to stay on the Kenyan coast?”
Reviewed 25 August 2010

" We thought you might like an upgrade" is always a great way to greet arriving guests - especially when that means a rooftop penthouse with incredible views over the surrounding, unspoilt coastline. Arriving at Banana House by boat from the airstrip on nearby Manda island, we were overwhelmed by the beauty of tiny Shela village, just a few minutes from Lamu. The premises are perfectly planned, taking advantage of the cooling breezes to ventilate each simple but stunningly-decorated room. But what really takes your breath away is the warm, relaxed and above all genuine welcome - within minutes you're decompressing and settling into the laid-back island atmosphere. All the staff are friendly and accommodating in a completely natural way - no forced customer sevice training here! (We'd lost our luggage, and Lisa and her team could not have been more supportive in ensuring we recovered it promptly). Overall, I'd advise anyone planning a trip to Lamu to stay in Shela, and in Banana House - it's truly an oasis from which to explore the wonders of a magical region.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gavinperkins23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

153 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    113
    31
    3
    4
    2
See reviews for
25
61
24
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Kapoeta, South Sudan
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2010

My girlfriend and I went to Banana House for a long weekend. As we both work in a stressful place, Banana House was just what we needed to unwind a bit. It's a great hotel, at a wonderful price point. The staff is tremendous. everyone is remarkably friendly, personable and courteous. From the cooks and cleaning staff, right on up to owners Monika and Banana, everyone at Banana House is extremely approachable.

The rooms are clean and well appointed. The beds are huge and comfortable, and there is enough cross-ventilation to keep them cool even on a hot equatorial day. There are no hot showers, but Lamu tends to be rather hot, and so they're not really necessary. The public areas of the house are similarly clean and comfortable.

The thing that sets Banana House apart from other hotels I've stayed at in Lamu is their food. Their cook is amazing. First of all, there's no set menu. You talk to the cook in the morning, set a menu and give him a food budget. He will go out, purchase the fresh ingredients and produce an absolutely delicious meal. I've eaten at a number of restaurants on Lamu, both high end and local dives, and their cook might just be the best on the island. This is no joke. This little gem is worth a couple of nights just for the food alone. You have to try the ginger/chili crab. Yum.

The hotel is set away from the beach, about three minutes walk down the labyrinthine streets of Shela village. This isn't bad, though, as their gardens are well landscaped and exquisite. They are a perfect place to set up a candle lit dinner at a private table, something the staff is more than happy to help set up.

Needless to say, we really enjoyed ourselves over the holiday, and I'd recommend it to anybody.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CapnBrady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dolores, Colorado
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed 1 July 2010

My husband and I rented the roof top room.
It was very private, relaxing and the staff was great.
The food ( per request to the chef) was excellent. We sampled other restraunts in Lamu and Shela , nothing compared to the fresh and tasty food at Banana House.
It was low season and the beaches were empty. It was lovely walking. jogging an swiming in the clean beaches.
Even though it is not at the beach, it is close enough to walk.
Banana house also has a garden and pool which we enjoyed.
We watched some World cup games at a Village Hall... it was different and fun.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EMHowser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Den Haag
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 May 2010

We truly enjoyed our stay in the gorgeous Banana house!
The owners Monica and Banana go out of their way to ensure you will have a great stay at the island. The staff is extremely polite and friendly and the cook will prepare delicious fresh food on request. The hotel is located near the beach in Shella, the more laid-back town of the island. Top rooms have huge terraces and beautiful views of the ocean. The hotel is run in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way. An oasis of relaxation!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Emmy070
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
paris
Level Contributor
60 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 May 2010

The room was large and clean, the large patio right outside my room had a lovely view of the sea and trees in bloom, and was decorated with taste, with cushions on which you could read and chill out. The service and the staff were very friendly, the food is very good, and it was really nice to be able to take yoga classes. It does feel like just a big house. I stayed there for a week as I very much needed some R&R and it was lovely. It was a bit awkward as I was travelling solo to have to share a table with a couple at every meal. Also the mosquito nets were full of huge holes, and the very nice swahili man who promised to fix them never did. You can't really go wrong staying there. However I found out later that one of the high end hotels by the pier (not Pepponi) was offering rooms at a huge discount, nearly the same price --and I might have considered it if I had known.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ploumParis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Holland
Level Contributor
72 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 January 2010

We stayed for 8 days in the Banana House which is owned by Monika and Banana. Our room was the penthouse of the Welness house. This is a wonderfull nice spacious penthouse. Two sleepingrooms with each own bath room. Sober, but all you need is in. we had our own terrace with diner table and enough place to relax in the shadow or sun. The terras had two hanging beds.
There is no restaurant with a menu, but there is a kitchen and a chef cook. You just give him money and tell what you want to eat in the morning and he will do the shopping and prepare the food. When the money is finished, he will let you know. the food was delicious!!
Breakfast is simple but tasty with a platter of food and toast with eggs or pancakes and fresh juice.
Walking to the beach is only 5 minutes, but this is the fishermen beach. The relaxed clean beach is approx 10 minutes walk .
the people are all very friendly and helpfull.
During our stay we followed the course "Art of Living" which was given by Monika herself. This cours takes 5 days, only 3 hours/day. Very refreshing course. I can recommend to combine your stay with this course which is held regularly.
Monika also give Yoga lessons each morning and each afternoon. If you want to join, you just go there. No need to apply in advance. Very relaxed!
Banana and Monika have created a relaxed laid back atmosphere. if you need to unstress, you go here. I did and it worked!

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KristineS-vdK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cravenette
Level Contributor
33 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 January 2010

Just back from a trip to Lamu where we stayed with Monika at the Banana House. Most of the comments given describe the place well, but want to give my tuppence worth.

Rooms are fairly basic, but comfortable enough. There are two buildings, the Wellbeing House & the Banana House. Both work in the same principle - rooms with a patio area where breakfast & dinner are served. There is an honesty fridge where you can pick up soft drinks or beer, just settle up at the end of your stay.

Dinner is on request, where you just pay for the ingredients - it's not a restaurant - it's a kitchen & chef. We eat extremely well, prawns, crab, lobster,chicken, everyone suberb and about half the price you'll pay in the Peponi hotel.

There is a small swimming pool with sun loungers, and these were deserted when we were there.

There are various activities that can be arranged for you. A local guy comes around and checks what may be of interest (great for the 1st couple of days - but he got a bit of a pain towards the end of the week when we'd done everything we fancied). We took a Dhow trip to the coral reef, snorkelling, and lunch included. I also did a fishing trip (not the deep sea fishing that they were trying to sell me & about half the price), and left my catch with the chef to give us lunch and then dinner the next day.

The only potential downside is if the rooms are full, you'll be sharing the table with your fellow guests. We were lucky and had the place mainly to ourselves. To avoid this, thake the penhouse if you can afford it, it may well be the best upgrade you've ever done.

Evening entertaiment is restricted to watching the geckos, best reality TV ever.

We went to Lamu town. Not worth the trip. Busy, dirty place, with a museum that is way over priced to get in.

Enjoy your stay

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cravenette
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
2.1 mi away
Jannat House
Jannat House
#4 of 10 in Lamu Island
47 reviews
0.8 mi away
The Majlis Hotel
The Majlis Hotel
#1 of 1 in Manda Island
188 reviews
0.1 mi away
Kijani Hotel
Kijani Hotel
#3 of 10 in Lamu Island
114 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 32 in Lamu Island
213 reviews
0.1 mi away
Msafini Hotel
Msafini Hotel
#3 of 25 in Lamu Island
47 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

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Priceline, Jovago.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