“What a great place this is! We stayed for six days but I could have easily stayed longer. The house is a haven of tranquillity – we specially enjoyed the amazing rooftop which has a great view and very comfortable lounge area. There is also a constant breeze so it never feels hot on the rooftop, which made it our favourite place. The house manager was very friendly and resourceful which was a great asset for our holiday. I would definitely recommend Nyota House and I’m hoping to come back again soon. Thanks so much!”
Nyota is a house of clean lines and well thought-out spaces – a cool, calm and uncluttered take on a traditional Lamu house – which cleverly incorporates traditional Swahili and Islamic decorative elements such as zidaka niches, carved plasterwork designs, ceiling friezes and mashrabya screens.
A defining feature of Nyota is the spacious freshwater plunge pool built into the foundations of the house. With its inset nyota star design, underwater baraza seats, underwater lighting and waterproof uplighters highlighting the surrounding archways, it is a wonderfully atmospheric place in which to cool off and relax.
The cloistered and very private Ground Floor of the house, entered through a traditional daka entrance porch with baraza seats and carved teakwood front door, also houses an occasional single bedroom and shower room, the downstairs kitchen – and an expansive built-in sofa seat which is ideal for lounging in front of the pool.
“We really enjoyed our stay in Lamu. Nyota House is very beautiful and provides a good feel for Swahili architecture and culture. While the house provides the opportunity to fully immerse oneself in Swahili life and the Old Town, it is also private and peaceful with a beautiful small pool and cool roof terrace.”
On the First Floor there are two double bedrooms – each with twin beds and bedside tables and lamps housed under all-enveloping mosquito nets. Each has a spacious ensuite shower room, and ample wardrobe and storage space.
The Master Bedroom suite – comprising double bedroom with four-poster bed, dressing room with built-in wardrobes, ensuite bathroom and living room with sofas and tables – is housed on the Second Floor. All the rooms interconnect – making it a lovely private territory for the master and mistress of the house. The living room can also be accessed from the main stairway and second floor landing – and so can also be used as an indoor family room.
Unusually for Lamu Town, Nyota House is completely detached – with streets and open spaces on all four sides – making it unusually airy and well-ventilated – and the upper floors are further refreshed by the cooling effect of the swimming pool and louvred bedroom window shutters all around the 3-storey central atrium. Should you need any further ventilation there are ceiling fans in all bedrooms.
“Our stay on Lamu was really incredible – such a beautiful, interesting and accessible island to explore! And Nyota House was wonderful – the pictures did not disappoint!”
The breezy and part makuti-thatched rooftop houses a semi-enclosed dining room to its rear – its table seating up to eight guests – and kitchen area with cocktail fridge and sink. The central area of the rooftop features spacious baraza sofa seats and tables under the makuti roof, while the front deck is open to the sun and to the beautiful Lamu night sky.
Views from the rooftop are wonderful and unimpeded – one of the great pleasures of a stay at Nyota is observing all the comings and goings of neighbouring rooftops, streets and alleyways, the local birdlife and catlife, the passing parade of dhows and motorboats on the channel – and the arrival and departure of planes at the airport across on Manda island.
Centrally situated in an elevated position in Old Lamu – and just a minute or two from the waterfront and jetty, Lamu House Hotel, the town’s museums and main shopping street – all the attractions of the town and island are all close at hand. One can enjoy the bustle of local street life, boat and beach trips and cultural visits – and then withdraw to the privacy, seclusion and relaxation of Nyota.