Forodhani House, Shela, Lamu
|Minimum Stay||3 nights|
Suitable for childrenYes
Suitable for the elderlyNo
|Theme||Luxury, Romantic, Beach, Ocean, Village|
Description from the owner
It was love at first sight, Isabelle Simon was immediately captured by the Swahili culture and rich mix of traditions. She fell for the Lamu Archipelago and its communities instantly and, with the inhabitants of Shela Village, decided to build Forodhani House. She wanted the house to reflect the architecture of the island, so, with the best local craftsmen they started to design this masterpiece. Three years on the house was completed and it is everything that sje ever dreamed of, a joyful celebration of Lamuâ€™s heritage and ancestry.
Forodhani House has 5 spacious, stunningly designed bedrooms with open terraces on every level. On th...Read more
Forodhani House, Shela, Lamu
Additional Location Information
Shela is a village about 2 miles from Lamu Town. The origin of the village is unknown, but according to tradition it was settled by people from nearby Manda Island. In 1813 the elite of Pate Island, allied with the Mazrui clan from Oman, attempted to subjugate Lamu in the Battle of Shela. This attempt failed totally, and the defeat of Pate at Shela signalled the rise of Lamu as the leading power in the archipelago. Shela's golden age was from 1829 to 1857, when 5 of its 6 mosques were constructed. It is especially known for the Friday mosque.
Shela is now a centre for tourism on the island, with several guest houses feature by the coast. Shela is also home to the most spectacular beaches on Lamu island. The appearance of the area is much more in keeping with the imagined East African coastline, with its almost pure white sand, traditional dhows, and clean appearance. It makes a sharp contrast to Lamu town (directly opposite the airstrip on Manda) which lacks a beach and functions as a relatively busy port.
Location Type Beach, Ocean, Village
Rates shown in $ USD (Rental listed originally in EUR) (change)
|Rate Summary||$791 - $1,582||$791||$5,538 - $11,076||$0||3 nights|
|Jul. 1 2012 - Sep. 7 2012
|Sep. 8 2012 - Dec. 14 2012
|Dec. 15 2012 - Jan. 17 2013
|All Other Dates||$791||$791||$5,538||-||3 nights|
|Can't find rates for your travel dates? Contact the owner|
- Damage deposit - $79 - Security Deposit
AvailableUnavailable Last updated: May 21, 2013 ◀▶
What Past Guests Are Saying
A beautiful house that is starting to show its age in a very goo
We stayed at Forodhani House in April 2013. The house is large and very open and has a great location on Shela Beach in Lamu. The only complaints I have are that our room, the double room on the top floor, had a strange bug infestation for our whole stay. It was disgusting. The staff would clear the bugs once a day but they just came back. The other complaint is that the pool water was in extremely poor condition for the entire stay. The staff turned on the filter once but it did not help. It was in serious need of some chemicals, but there was no effort by the staff to add any. If you were under water with goggles on, you could not see your hand one foot in front of your face...it was that bad! Not sure it was even safe. If those issues were resolved, I would probably recommend this house to others.
What can I say about my stay in Forodhani ? I am neither poet nor novelist so have not words enough to describe it, but let me try.
Imagine awakening to hear the fishermen leaving the jetty at sunrise, an evocative sound that only helps one dream further with only the sound of the waves lapping on the jetty till the children board the water taxis to head to school in nearby Lamu town. This should waken you as by now the sun is burning brightly through your front windows. So you shower and head downstairs to the kitchen where the coffee is waiting, and you discuss with the chef your preferences for breakfast.
You sit in the dining area with open view over the the garden and lagoon to Manda Island with the occasional dhow sailing by. If you are lucky, as I was, you could see a pod of dolphins swim by. During breakfast the chef will ask if you have any special wishes for lunch or dinner, maybe freshly caught lobster or red snapper or maybe just calamari? After breakfast, the beach is at your front, so depending on the tide you can either walk outside for a swim in the sea or jump in the swimming pool.
Time passes deceptively slowly in Shela, and unfortunately before you know it, you will have have to leave this paradise. The memories however will never leave you: the evening sunset cruising on the dhows, the sundowners at Peponi Hotel only 100 meters away, the walks along the virtually empty beach, the deliciously fresh seafood meals. Yes, I want to do it again!
Response from ADVANTAGE East Africa - 01/28/2013
Many thanks for your review of Forodhani and we are so happy that you had such an amazing time and how fantastic that you also got to see the dolphins - that really is a magical sight!
I hope that your trip back was good and that you can cone and visit us again soon!