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“A Perfect Coast Experience!”

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Baitil Aman Guest House
Ranked #10 of 34 Lamu Island B&B and Inns
Reviewed 31 August 2010

This perfect guest house, in the style of the old Swahili palaces in Shela, is more of an experience than a hotel. I stayed here with a friend, but it would be the perfect romantic getaway for a couple. The rooms are gorgeous, large, and clean, and the staff is amazingly friendly and helpful. I would highly recommend having dinner there at least one night, because the chef cooks the best food I had in Shela and the rooftop restaurant is gorgeous. The location is perfect, a 5 minute walk from the quiet, beautiful beach. I was sad to leave the place and the people!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank dnsmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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10 - 16 of 19 reviews

Reviewed 19 July 2010

This is a tue genuine swahili place, run by locals of Lamu/Shela and not by foreigners. Esthetically the guest house represents a good example of the original swahili sober style, the managers and the waiters are kind and friendly. Rooms are clean and spacious and the restaurant is very good. The only problem is getting some good sleep because the mosque's loud speakers start to work at 5 am!

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank immiru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2010

Batil Aman is absoutli amazing! Very-very-very beautiful place, great friendly and helpfull staff, delicious food...We felt ourselvs like in a fairy tale. Our room was huge, elegantly furnished and decorated with flowers. Very romantic place!

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Alex_JaneRu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2010

My husband and I stayed at Baitil Aman at the tail end of an extended stay in Kenya. We stayed at various places throughout Kenya and this was our favorite. Several friends had recommended we stay in Lamu but we were thrilled by our decision to stay in Shella - we wanted a more low-key, quiet experience. We researched various hotels on the island and, in our opinion, Baitil Aman is by far the best (especially for the price). Baitil Aman is a former Swahili royal house, which has been renovated and restored to an 8-room guest house. The owner and staff are warm and attentive (but not in your way) and the food is perhaps the best I had in Kenya. We had planned to eat out at various places throughout the island during our three-day stay but we often found ourselves back at Baitil Aman - the food was extremely fresh, creative, and delicious . Dinner was served on the top floor under the stars and breakfast was served either outside our room (in our own private seating area overlooking the white-washed buildings of Shella) or downstairs in the garden. We loved our room on the top floor, but all of the rooms are spacious and airy. We couldn't have been happier with our experience at Baitil Aman and recommend it without hesitation.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank viaje2010_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 December 2009

We found Baitil Aman through LamuRetreats.com, and the place seemed very beautiful and, while we really had spent last 6 weeks traveling independently in the dusty and bumpy inland of East Africa, we wanted to find the best value for the money we still had left. Baitil Aman turned out to be exactly the perfect choice and much more than we could have imagined!

Transportation from the airfield on Manda island near Lamu island was organized with a boat and guys who helped us with luggage to the Shela town a couple of kilometers from Lamu town. The guest house manager himself accompanied us on the sturdy dhow boat used to carry passengers. Stewards helped us with luggage all the way to the airy penthouse apartment after we were refreshed with heavenly passion juice (decorated with fresh flowers) and hot towels.

The building itself is a very impressively renovated swahili palace built for a noble wife. There are plenty of spots where you can rest with nothing else for the stewards to do than pamper you the best they can. We really got the whole guest house to ourselves, which was especially nice in the dinnertime every night we spent sitting on pillows in the rooftop terrace enjoying great seafood, starheavy sky, totally car-less environment, listening to the wailing of donkeys, squeals of cats, and the sound of wind in the palmtree canopies.

Our two wonderful stewards, Kazungu and Amos were there for us at any instance we needed to know something were it information about the town, hotel, or just anything. In the downstairs office we could use the internet anytime we wished for a little charge.

The room was tidied twice a day as soon as we left the key at the reception. Fresh flowers were used to decorate our large bed every time. The room had a lofty high ceiling constructed the traditional way using timber and palmtree leaves. Bathroom was simple but spacious and perfectly clean. Hot water was something we had to wait for some time since the room was in the 4th floor.

The guest house wants to ensure customer satisfaction by also organizing daytrips, city walks, dhow cruises and activities by only the very good professional service providers. This is a very good opportunity to completely forget about the usual hustlers in the streets of Lamu, who offer to you anything for a seemingly low price. Prices of Baitil Aman appear fixed but negotiation might not be impossible considering time of year and seasonal changes you know to expect.

If you are only planning one visit to Lamu, check this coral palace. It's a lot more character and old time charm than a large hotel and it is located very short distance away from the 8 km long beach.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Miqqo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2009

In life, to stumble upon a little hotel like this is very special. It has been created by it's owner out of a pride & awareness of his own heritage & the heritage of his own home town, Shela, on the tantalizing island of Lamu. We saw the Guest Hotel on a brief visit last year & vowed to return. We were not disapointed. The August crowds had left & were were, to begin with the only two in the hotel. We had ogiginally planned to only spend a couple of nights & then move on sampling other places....we stayed! Everyone was charming, helpful & supplied all we required with a willingness that is rare in many modern hotels....After the early morning call to prayer had roused us gently from a deep restful slumber...the gentle tinkling sound of waiters stealthily arranging our breakfast table was lovely.
Sunlight streamed through the windowless blinds & white curtains...Bliss.! evening meals were taken on cushions on the roof & while we waited for it to arrive we gazed up at the Milky Way....something that we only see in Africa....London, I guess has not seen the Milky Way since Dickens was a boy!!
The food is simple, but because of that, wholesome...I could stay any number of nights on the simple grilled Snapper & rice, or grilled Chicken, or a delicious Swahili curry just to ring the changes.
We took our 'sundowners' down by the water & then ambled back to the 'Baitil Aman' through the dark but not black streets of Shela....feeling perfectly safe & feeling a part of what feels like one large family where everyone seems to know each other.
This hotel is probably one the Coasts best kept secrets. The building itself was a family home way back & has been renovated over a period of years. The plasterwork & Swahili galleries & faithfully kept.....I could go on & on....Go see for yourself!! We loved it!!! & we are hard to please. We plan to return as soon as possible.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank MzeeTim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2009

Baitil Aman is a former palace which has been very beautifully converted into a small boutique hotel and makes you feel like being in a fairytale.The rooms are unbelievebly spacious and airy.The rooftop restaurant is covered with cushions and makes for a most romantic setting under the stars.The beach is only 5 minutes away.What we also liked is that the place is still owned and run by a local swahili family.These people and their amazing staff will do just about anything to make you feel at home.We stayed on Lamu for quit some time and can honestly say that Baitil Aman with its authentic charm is the best option in Shela beach.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank saskia-TRIP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Baitil Aman Guest House

Address: Shela, Lamu Island, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Coast Province > Lamu Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 34 B&Bs / Inns in Lamu Island
Price Range: $84 - $212 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Baitil Aman Guest House 3.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Baitil Aman is a spacious old palace that has been carefully renovated into a small luxurious guest house and restaurant. It is located in the center of Shela village on Lamu Island overlooking a beautiful garden. Dinner at the rooftop of the hotel under the stars is highly recommended. The beach is five minutes away. ... more   less 
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