Hotel Kipepeo Guest House in Lamu is located right on the ocean front on the north end of Lamu.
It can be spotted from the boat ride up.
From the beginning we were pleased with its appearance as it is in a quiet spot of town -- away from the hustle of the jetty where everyone congregates for restaurants, souvenir shopping, transport, and museum touring.
It is just north enough to escape it all while being 5-7 minutes walk along the boardwalk to it. The location is very good.
Once inside, we realized the Kipepeo is a different sort of hotel.
It is actually a true guesthouse modeled as a residence.
It does not have a restaurant but has a full kitchen on the main floor for self-caterers and mini fridges in each room which is wonderful
At first we were concerned that the lack of restaurant may become a dining problem but realized that the idea is brilliant for Lamu.
First there are restaurants aplenty everywhere so you don't have to worry about finding good places to eat.
Second, having no restaurant actually ensures quiet in the hotel because of the lack of customers.
(Remember people smoke everywhere in Lamu so no diners means no second hand smoke or loud talking.)
And third, Lamu is ideal for this type of no restaurant situation because it is incredibly safe at night.
You do not have to worry about walking back from any restaurant -- unlike Nairobi -- at any hour.
The walk is actually ideal
on the boardwalk under the beautiful stars to the sound of waves and donkey
love making. Lamu at night is magical.
The rooms are more than adequate for the price.
They are done up every day, have clean sheets, and hot water.
There is breezy air from the windows and the bathrooms are clean.
There is an outside shared patio that is often empty and you can take naps and call it your own.
At night you can come out on the patio and
watch the tides recede right in front of your eyes. You are literally only 5
meters from the water. Mosquito nets are provided.
Dagmar and Ali, the owners, are wonderful people.
They will check on you if you want them to or they will leave you alone, making the service top notch.
The best thing is they give sound advice as to prices on the island – whether for a dhow ride or museum visit -- and places to eat because as said before, they do not have any stake in either.
Ask them anything and they will tell you like it is.
They can be found easily which is a great plus since owners who live inside the guesthouse typically assure quick service, quiet, and responsiveness to last minute changes.
Check out their website for their cell phone numbers. Call and they will answer.
By the way, George, the housekeeper, does the most inexpensive, friendly laundry one could ask. We are talking literally 5-10 cents an article of clothing. You can get all your dirty safari clothes done for 200 shillings or less.
We were very pleased overall and while we visited many hotels on Lamu and even Shela beach, we found ours to be the best for the money.
I would suggest only staying at Shela beach if you have 2-3 days and really want major beach time.
For anything else, stay at the Kipepeo and you will be very satisfied. We were and hope to get back there soon.