Nyuma Gereza Hotel is a guesthouse wonderfully situated in the center of Lamu Town, just behind the market.
The owner strongly dislikes beach boys and other touts, so it is not as widely known as the other hotels, which gives you some tranquility.
The building is a typical old swahili house. Rooms are nice (ask for 8), with a ceiling fan, and bathrooms OK given the age of the house.
Staff consists of one nice young guy called Alex who will make you a excellent breakfast.
Just be aware that Lamu Town is a true town, albeit as it would have been some centuries ago.
So don't complain of cocks singing very early, or of the muezzin call, or of the occasional power failure, and if you want only the beach go to Shela.
But otherwise take advantage of this guesthouse to really immerse yourself into the wonderful atmosphere of Lamu.
Abdullah, the owner, was a considerate no-nonsense host, providing us with excellent advice on what to see, what scams and touts to avoid (!), where to eat or buy food for cooking ourselves...all with a view to us getting the best local prices, real local experiences and reliable service.
This is one of the only places in town that doesn't pay commission to the touts claiming they've found you a place to stay and who, in the process, increase your accommodation costs.
Our room was clean and comfortable, and also very charming as the hotel is in one of the oldest buildings by the old fort and has many original features.
There is a small courtyard with beautifully kept plants where we enjoyed sweet tea and local cakes that we bought nearby.
We also found the option of a small stove and catering for ourselves for the odd meal a real bonus.
We also stayed for a few days in a place on the seafront, but on balance we preferred this location which we found more atmospheric and ideally placed for ambling the alleys and lanes of Lamu Town.
Listening to the old town come to life in the evenings, the sun setting in the sky, the market traders advertising their wares and residents congregating in the fort square for their nightly chat was a delight.
To avoid the touts and get to the hotel unscathed, just turn left along the promenade when you get off the jetty, turn right when you see the fort on your right hand side and then walk around to the top left hand corner of the fort - Nyuma Gereza is just opposite.