In this Northern most Kenya coastal area, the emphasis is on exploring Lamu Swahili culture in the streets of Lamu island or at the sites of Lamu island historical ruins or monuments. You can also return to nature –explore a coral reef, sail on a dhow, or a stay in a romantic grass shack on a secluded beach.
To reach Lamu Island you must cross by boat. There is no motorized transport on the Island. Visitors tend to stay either in Lamu Town for closer contact with the Swahili culture, or in the nearby fishing village of Shela, where there are better hotels and access to a swimming beach. You can also elect to stay in beach resorts further away or in Lamu private owner vacation homes and rentals.
Lamu Island-Lamu Town
As an interesting and historic city of Kenya, Lamu town attracts many visitors. Situated on Lamu Island with only donkeys and dhows for transport, the ancient town has narrow winding streets, open sewers, historic mosques, a fort, colourful markets and many eager local guides.
There are some boutique hotels and houses in Lamu town. However, if you choose to stay in the town, you could put up in some of these:
Petley’s Inn Lamu-Five star Lamu hotel
This old, well known hostelry is on the waterfront near the museum. It is steeped in Lamu tradition. The hotel became quite run down, but was acquired by new owners who closed the hotel for complete refurbishment. The hotel has 11 bedrooms and a three-room family suite. Some rooms have air-conditioning and others have ceiling fans. There are traditional Lamu four poster beds and private balconies. There is a small swimming pool taking up most of the second floor, a rooftop restaurant and a pub on the ground floor.
Lamu Palace Hotel- 5 Star Lamu Island Hotel
This is a fairly large new hotel on the waterfront. The advantages of this hotel are its proximity to downtown Lamu and the fact that it has air conditioning through-out. It has a Lamu style décor. There is a restaurant with an extensive menu. The bedrooms seem small and enclosed
Stone House- (4) four star Lamu Island House
Stone House provides bed and breakfast in an 18th century house. The house derives its name from Lamu’s historic stone houses with their Swahili Islamic architecture. The rooms are all doubles and have Lamu furniture, a telephone, and a private bathroom. The house has its own water supply-a boon in Lamu town. There is a restaurant which offers seafood and Swahili delicacies. Stone house is advertised as being ”small” with a “serenely quiet and private” atmosphere and “personal and friendly service”. Sorry, there is no alcohol here.
Yumbe House-Four star Lamu accommodation
Yumbe House is in an old-style building deep in Lamu Town. It is quite basic and has the feeling of a well-set-up youth hostel. Rooms have private bathrooms and can hold up to three beds. There is a rooftop lounge with city and harbor views. Breakfast is included. There are fridges in the rooms and friendly, helpful management.
Robert is a Kenya travel expert in the East African Kenya with landmark safaris- Online booking Lamu Island Hotels Kenya. http://www.landmarksafaris.com