Siani Plantation Estate
Lamu’s most elegant and exclusive shamba – a magical thirteen acre retreat of seaside coconut groves and mango plantations, together with the wonderfully romantic Siani House, attractive guest house, swimming pool and more…
The truly idyllic Siani Estate is hidden away just off the coastal path between Lamu and Shela. There is a great feeling of peace, privacy and seclusion throughout its five hectares of gardens and orchards - yet it is just a few minutes stroll (or only a few moments by speedboat) from historic Lamu Town, fashionable Shela Village and the island’s spectacular eight-mile beach.
The gently rolling shamba land that makes up most of the estate is dotted with century-old mango trees and coconut palms – and the estate produces around 20,000 mangos and 10,000 coconuts every year. The estate has over 300 metres of sea frontage facing the Lamu Channel, and just in front of the property is a charming little sandy beach cove – ideal for swimming and a safe boat anchorage.
Siani Estate is the inspired creation of renowned interior designer and magazine editor Marie-Paule Pelle. Over several years she has completely renovated, remodeled and redecorated the original old colonial-era Siani House with immense flair and attention to detail. In doing so, she has created a house that is sophisticated yet unpretentious, elegant yet rustic and which fits beautifully into its surroundings – a wonderful place in which to entertain in style and comfort, or simply to escape, relax and unwind.
Much like Lamu, Siani House combines African, Indian, Arabian and European influences to wonderful and harmonious effect – and is filled with beautiful and unusual furniture, objets and decorative features gathered up and inspired by Marie-Paule’s travels and experiences. Siani House has featured in several international design magazines – including World of Interiors, Elle Deco (USA), Casa Vogue and Maison Francaise.
On the ground floor of Siani House there are two spacious double guest bedrooms with private verandahs, two bathrooms, a large verandah sitting room, entrance hall and library/games room. On the first floor there is a master bedroom suite with atmospheric ‘Hammam’ style bathroom, a dramatic high-ceilinged drawing room with zidaka niches, dining room, guest bedroom, office, and open terrace. There are two airy verandah-style sitting rooms at the front and rear of the first floor, each with built-in baraza sofa seats – one leading off the drawing room, one off the master bedroom. A service staircase leads from the ground floor to the first floor kitchen and store.
The main house is surrounded by a large fenced informal garden of approximately an acre, beautifully planted and maintained, and blending harmoniously with the surrounding bush. The shady outside dining area sits beneath a huge ancient spreading mango tree just beside the house. Close by is a charming circular baraza seating area – an ideal place for drinks under the stars.
The separate and very private two-story guest house sits in an elevated position among the palm trees, yet close to the main house. Downstairs are two bedrooms, bathroom, kitchenette, outside shower and store. From the lovely first floor makuti thatched terrace there are views across the treetops and across the Lamu channel to mangrove-fringed Shaka La Siyu and Manda Islands. A hundred yards or so from the main house sits the swimming pool – cleverly converted from a huge old existing old cistern water cistern. The pool is six by six metres in size and two metres deep. It has a sun deck and a shady makuti-thatched pavilion.
The property has three huge underground water cisterns, where rainwater is collected to water the plantations and garden. Water for the house is also supplied from three wells on the property. Out of site of the main house are spacious and well-designed staff quarters – with four staff bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, storerooms and laundry area.
It is hard to overstate the charm and magic of Siani, or the time, skill, effort and imagination that have been lavished on its creation and transformation. The estate is big enough to become a resort or a luxury boutique hotel, and there is plenty of room to build more dwellings amid the plantations. Or it could simply remain as it is - and as it has been for centuries – a beautiful, atmospheric and very desirable country estate.
Total Area – 13 acres / 5.25 hectares
House Area - tbc
Guest House Area - tbc
Price - On Request