Peponi Hotel

Lamu Island
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Peponi Hotel
Lamu Island

“One of the greatest little hotels of the world and unquestionably the place to stay on Lamu.”

A Lamu legend for more than 50 years, Peponi has grown from a simple beachfront guest house to a unique and characterful boutique hotel with a worldwide reputation. Family-owned and run, with a celebrated restaurant and bar, Peponi is at the charismatic heart of stylish Shela village

Accommodation at Peponi is in 29 ensuite bedrooms

All About Peponi Hotel

“With its whitewashed buildings and riot of bougainvillea, Peponi’s charm is undeniable and its restaurant – serving French, Italian, Indian and local food, excellent wine and cocktails, and perfectly cold Tusker beers – is famed.  This is Lamu’s chilled hotspot”

Evening Standard

“The truth is Peponi ‘happened’. It was a house that grew into a hotel, an idea that little by little, took shape from its sea-mad proprietors. An entire village looks to Peponi as its watering hole, its nexus of entertainment, its fountain of gossip. Throughout the decades I’ve been coming, Peponi has benefited from this popularity; it has gained and regained inspiration from the surrounding culture it celebrates. It is life’s exception; a place that is both luxurious beyond one’s dreaming and innocent of all pretence. If I want to escape, I close my eyes, and dream of Peponi; swimming at dawn on the world’s most beautiful beach, mornings in which I can bombard myself with discoveries; Islamic/Swahili history, dhow culture, natural history above and below the very blue sea, eccentric expatriates joining me in the bar for bitings of fried coconut and glasses of lime juice. (Believe me Lamu limes are different from all others.) Dinner distinguished by a plethora of new ways of celebrating seafood with ginger, lime and garlic. A staff that is ultra-attentive but never obsequious, day’s end in a bedroom designed for the play of the evening winds. When you go, pick your traveling companion well. Peponi and Lamu are not to be wasted.”

John Heminway

“There are no words to describe the beauty, the mystery, the tranquility of Shela. It’s like something out of a dream. It is and always will be my dream vacation.”

Vanity Fair

“Marrakech on the beach – talcum-soft sand, maze-like alleyways filled with the scent of spices and ancient dhows bobbing on the Indian Ocean…”

The Guardian

“The eight-mile crescent of Lamu Beach runs south from the Swahili village of Shela. The dawn walk along the water’s edge is a rare chance to explore a virgin Indian Ocean beachscape. Translucent pink crabs scuttle into the sea, sand dollars litter the beach like confetti and birdsong drifts from the dunes beyond.”

The Daily Telegraph on The World’s Best Beaches

“Lamu is a tiny island filled with hot, hot days, perfect sea breezes and empty white-sand beaches. It has crumbling Arabic houses, narrow twisting streets, hectic marketplaces, stunning sunsets… In short, it is wonderful.”

The Times

“Where do European jet-setters and grubby backpackers collide in Africa? Only on the island of Lamu. With its rich and raffish history as an Arab trading port, its idyllic beaches and its downright bizarre mix of characters, Lamu may just be Africa’s most exotic hideout.”

W Magazine

Summary
  • A charming and iconic coastal hideaway – atmospheric, sybaritic, simple yet sophisticated
  • Designed, built and furnished in traditional Swahili coastal style
  • Exceptional cuisine, waterfront dining – warm, hospitable and personal service
  • Freshwater swimming pool, tropical gardens, direct access to Lamu’s wonderful 8-mile beach
  • Water sports galore – including windsurfing, waterskiing, snorkelling, SUP, kayaking, dhow sailing, deep sea fishing
  • Explore the many historic and cultural attractions of Lamu, Manda and Pate islands
  • A choice of standard or superior rooms, family rooms and apartments – 29 bedrooms in total
Destination – Kenya Coast
Location - Lamu

Tucked up against the beautiful, unspoilt northern Indian Ocean coast of Kenya, Lamu Island is one of the most beguiling places on earth.  Little changed in centuries, Lamu has long been renowned for the warmth of its welcome to visitors, its rich and colourful maritime trading history and its distinctive Swahili culture – a unique amalgam of African, Arabian, Indian and European influences. Unique and unpackaged, tranquil and traditional, sleepy yet sophisticated – in a world that is increasingly rushed and regimented, Lamu remains a wonderfully authentic and unhurried retreat.

Lamu is just 8 miles long and under 4 miles wide (less than 13 x 6 km) with few vehicles and no real roads, almost all transport is still by sailing dhow or motorboat, donkey or foot.  Lamu Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the oldest living town south of the Sahara and the best-preserved settlement in East Africa.  One of Lamu’s glories is its traditional Swahili Architecture – its unique stone townhouses, many dating from the early 18th Century, are celebrated for their intricately carved wooden front doors, imposing entrance porches and shady courtyards, the grandeur and elegance of their interiors and their beautiful decorative stucco plasterwork.

Simple yet stylish Shela Village sits two miles to the south of Lamu Town at the start of the island’s wonderful 8-mile beach. One of the most relaxing and seductive places you will ever visit, Shela has a languid, undisturbed atmosphere all its own.  In the past few years numerous ravishing holiday homes and guest houses have been built along the village’s pretty waterfront and jumble of narrow sandy streets. Beyond the legendary Peponi Hotel, centre of Shela social life, the beach stretches almost as far as the eye can see – miles of empty white sand facing the Indian Ocean and backed by magnificent dunes.

Getting to Lamu is easy – forcing yourself to leave can be harder.  Lamu is best accessed by air and there are several scheduled flights per day to and from Nairobi’s Wilson and JKIA airports.  Flights land at the airport on next door Manda Island. Manda is less than a mile away from Lamu and the boat trip across to Lamu Town or Shela Village takes only a few minutes.  Some flights also arrive or depart via Malindi or Mombasa.

In Detail

Accommodation

  • 17 Superior Bedrooms –
  • 6 Superior Twins
  • 9 Superior Doubles
  • 2 Superior Family
  • 12 Standard Bedrooms –
  • 5 Standard Twins
  • 6 Standard Family
  • 1 Standard Family

All bedrooms have –

  • Ocean View
  • Balcony
  • Ensuite Bathroom
  • Personal Safe
  • Beach / Pool towels
  • Hairdryer
  • Overhead Fan

Additional in superior bedrooms –

  • Swinging Hammock
  • Mini Fridge
  • Additional space

Restaurants

  • The classic Dining Room
  • On the terrace overlooking the channel
  • At the pool among the Baobabs
  • On the rooftop under the Balanites
  • Outside the bar under the Bougainvillea

Bars

  • Peponi’s legendary bar
  • The Jahazi Bar
  • Rooftop bar

Event spaces

  • The Palm Garden – up to 100 pax
  • Jahazi Bar & Grill – up to 30 pax
  • Pool & Rooftop – up to 30 pax

Activities at a fee

  • Sunset dhow sail
  • Guided runs and dune hikes
  • Guided shopping trips
  • Guided tours of historic sites –
  • Lamu Town – Unesco World Heritage Site
  • Shela Village
  • Takwa Ruins on Manda island
  • Pate Island – Siyu Fort, Shanga Ruins, Pate Town
  • Yoga
  • Massage Treatments
  • Private Trainer
  • Deep Sea fishing
  • Traditional fishing by dhow
  • Water sports with instruction – water skiing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, donuting
  • Snorkelling (October – March)
  • Laser sailing, kayaking, SUP
  • Creek Floating
Visitors' Book

“Peponi – true to its name – really is a piece of heaven! I went for the first time 17 years ago and it’s as great now as it was then in terms of comfort, service, food and atmosphere. The place has soul and Carol and her team are incredibly helpful and hospitable.”

“This is our third time at Peponi and it NEVER disappoints – in fact it keeps getting better. Peponi is probably one of the most iconic hotels in Kenya – it has charm, history, a boho feeling to it whilst being child-friendly and sophisticated all at the same time. The staff are friendly, attentive and we couldn’t complain about anything. If you haven’t been here before, book without hesitation. We can’t wait to be back.”

“Peponi could not have been more perfect for a wind-down from an 8-day safari. The owner and staff were absolutely amazing – as was the hotel and restaurant. The sunset dhow excursion and the day spent on a dhow visiting a beautiful island with an incredible lunch thrown in were wonderful. We strongly recommend Peponi!”“It is the unexpected things in life that can make a place and an experience so memorable, even remarkable. Peponi Hotel is exceptional. The cuisine is excellent and the freshness of its ingredients could rival any top European restaurant. The menu has many choices from fresh fish dishes, sushi, and local cuisine. The hotel prepared a Swahili feast for our family and set up a low table with cushions so we could have an authentic experience.”

Rates

tbc

All About Peponi Hotel

“With its whitewashed buildings and riot of bougainvillea, Peponi’s charm is undeniable and its restaurant – serving French, Italian, Indian and local food, excellent wine and cocktails, and perfectly cold Tusker beers – is famed.  This is Lamu’s chilled hotspot”

Evening Standard

“The truth is Peponi ‘happened’. It was a house that grew into a hotel, an idea that little by little, took shape from its sea-mad proprietors. An entire village looks to Peponi as its watering hole, its nexus of entertainment, its fountain of gossip. Throughout the decades I’ve been coming, Peponi has benefited from this popularity; it has gained and regained inspiration from the surrounding culture it celebrates. It is life’s exception; a place that is both luxurious beyond one’s dreaming and innocent of all pretence. If I want to escape, I close my eyes, and dream of Peponi; swimming at dawn on the world’s most beautiful beach, mornings in which I can bombard myself with discoveries; Islamic/Swahili history, dhow culture, natural history above and below the very blue sea, eccentric expatriates joining me in the bar for bitings of fried coconut and glasses of lime juice. (Believe me Lamu limes are different from all others.) Dinner distinguished by a plethora of new ways of celebrating seafood with ginger, lime and garlic. A staff that is ultra-attentive but never obsequious, day’s end in a bedroom designed for the play of the evening winds. When you go, pick your traveling companion well. Peponi and Lamu are not to be wasted.”

John Heminway

“There are no words to describe the beauty, the mystery, the tranquility of Shela. It’s like something out of a dream. It is and always will be my dream vacation.”

Vanity Fair

“Marrakech on the beach – talcum-soft sand, maze-like alleyways filled with the scent of spices and ancient dhows bobbing on the Indian Ocean…”

The Guardian

“The eight-mile crescent of Lamu Beach runs south from the Swahili village of Shela. The dawn walk along the water’s edge is a rare chance to explore a virgin Indian Ocean beachscape. Translucent pink crabs scuttle into the sea, sand dollars litter the beach like confetti and birdsong drifts from the dunes beyond.”

The Daily Telegraph on The World’s Best Beaches

“Lamu is a tiny island filled with hot, hot days, perfect sea breezes and empty white-sand beaches. It has crumbling Arabic houses, narrow twisting streets, hectic marketplaces, stunning sunsets… In short, it is wonderful.”

The Times

“Where do European jet-setters and grubby backpackers collide in Africa? Only on the island of Lamu. With its rich and raffish history as an Arab trading port, its idyllic beaches and its downright bizarre mix of characters, Lamu may just be Africa’s most exotic hideout.”

W Magazine

All About Peponi Hotel

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