Just the word ‘Lamu’ is soaked in romance. Kasbahs evoke a deep nostalgia andseclusion. So The Kasbah on Lamu island is an African story of private escape and pure romance. It will render you speechless, and then have you gasping in wonder. If ever there was a place so enchanting it feels other worldly, this is it.
Lamu is low key and dusted in charm. In narrow streets and alleyways, craftsmen carve the renowned Swahili wooden doors and lintels, but there are tinkers, tailors and silversmiths all hard at work too. Down a narrow sandy path are imposing and beautifully hand-carved doors, but you will certainly not expect what lies beyond. This is the entrance to The Kasbah, a world within a world.
In every way, The Kasbah reflects the decadent Golden Age on the island. It’s simply exquisite, built in the traditional Swahili style that echoes classic Arab architecture with characteristic arches and studded with niches and nooks – and stylish white walls of stucco. The space is filled with light and serenity; décor is soothing white on white, with splashes of happy blue alluding to the historic Portuguese influence on the island. Being there is instantly rejuvenating top to toe.
Central to The Kasbah is the large swimming pool of clear blue water. Around it is a collection of four suites and two apartments, each one individually appointed with such fine attention to detail. Each also has its own personality and outdoor leisure space. Some look onto the pool, others have terraces, fully equipped kitchens, dressing rooms or their own pool. Some have indoor lounges and dining areas, and one is a double storey maisonette. All are generously spacious and effortlessly stylish, and have individual, gorgeous views. You can book just a room or the whole Kasbah for exclusive use, if you wish.
When you venture beyond The Kasbah walls, there’s lots to see and do on Lamu and in the surrounding warm waters. Experiencing the rich history and culture of the town, shopping for local crafts, enjoying a myriad watersports like paddle boarding, snorkelling or deepsea fishing, walking, swimming or doing yoga. Catch a dhow for a silent sailing experience, possibly accompanied by dolphins or flying fish. If your timing is good, you could also catch a festival. The friendly folk of Lamu love celebrations, so there are cultural, music, yoga and even a hat festival to attend. But mostly, the experience of time spent in The Kasbah will remain one of the most beautiful holidays of your life.
What we love!
- The sense of calm is palpable in The Kasbah.
- Décor and detail is so exquisite, it’s simply beyond words.
- Seafood – and all fare – is fresh and flavourful and beautifully presented.
- The private relaxation spaces are all so inviting – especially the built-in daybeds in some suites.
- The net-draped, four-poster beds ooze romance.
Need to know…
- Lamu is serviced by commercial flights from Nairobi, Mombasa and Malindi
- Children are not catered to at The Kasbah.
- Malaria is not a great concern here.
Reviewed by Keri Harvey