Also Read: How To Get To Lamu
Shortly after landing at Manda, the only airstrip in Lamu. I was received by Omar-a tall middle-aged man with a smile as wide as the Lamu sun. It was nearly impossible to miss both his charming smile and the sign he held up. “ Welcome to the Kijani hotel ”
Kijani Hotel is a leafy green paradise located on Shela beach. A smooth 30-minute boat ride aboard Kipepeo. A beautiful blue and white dhow captained by Mohaji. As part of the Kijani, the hotel conveniently provides free boat transfers on arrival and departure.
The hotel istruly a labor of love, the owner Pierre Oberson, worked passionately for years on end, restoring it from a formerly residential home into the endearing hotel it is today.
It’s divided into three structures with 10 guest rooms. Its design is faithful to the Lamu architecture of white-walled stone houses with both Makuti and flat roofing tops.
Instinctively, Ramba kills the engine, something I imagine he’s done innumerable times- allowing us to remain motionless for what seems like an eternity
Upon arrival expect a delightful coconut drink alongside a refreshing wet hand towel. I notice the straw is made of paper and understand they are big on conserving the environment.
The rooms are modest and elegant. The white theme of the structure’s walls seeps into the inner space creating a Moorish feel. I especially loved the arabesque framed paintings the furniture has the same patchy lime white painting found everywhere around the hotel.
One interesting aspect of the room is its unique custom-made mosquito net that’s drawn to the sides during the day and splits the spacious room into half.
A canopied king-size bed with white beddings adds a touch of luxury, calmness, and opulence to the room. Beside the bed are two rustic lamps that furnish the room with a cozy golden ambiance.
One can check some emails by the reading table with studiously carved friezes into its chest drawers. On top, observe: a candle paneled with glass, a map of the island, and a brass vase of freshly picked bougainvillea flowers. The wardrobe is simple yet highly functional.
My room (room 9) has an exceedingly gorgeous view of a tropical garden, freshwater swimming pool, and beachfront! Enjoy a delicious breakfast on the verandah while catching glances of the sailing dhows, locals going about their business, and fishermen working on the boats.
WHERE TO EAT IN LAMU
WINE & DINE
Kijani has an idyllic open-air, Makuti restaurant that allows you stunning views of the sea and its tropical abundance of plants in the garden.
The floor takes the blue hue of the ocean that’s met, picked and continued by the coral white of the walls. Potted plants are strategically placed around the restaurant giving the space a fresh and outdoorsy look.
The space is furnished with an assortment of tables and benches and planter chairs- all made from locally sourced tropical wood and given the thematic antique look with a patchy lime white painting.
The restaurant offers scrumptious free breakfast, Swahili dishes, and seafood. I highly recommend the Calamari, the best I’ve ever had. Kijani Hotel in Lamu is perfect for vacationing couples, solo travelers, or a group of friends!
Have you visited Lamu? Is Lamu on your bucket list?
Also Read: How To Get To Lamu