Forodhani House, Shela

A spectacular new seafront house in perhaps the best position on the island, Forodhani sets new standards in comfort and style.

  • 5 double bedrooms, 4 bathrooms
  • 9 metre (30ft) freshwater Swimming Pool
  • Exceptionally spacious accommodation, wonderful sea views
  • Direct access to Shela beach, waterfront and harbour
  • Less than 100 metres from Peponi Hotel
  • Sleeps 10+, Standard rate - 600 Euros per night

"So close to the Indian Ocean that when you look out from its terraces you could almost be on the deck of a ship, Forodhani means lookout post in Swahili and - with its sprawling panoramas and 7½-mile white sand beach - you can see why. Gather a group of friends and hang out here, swimming in the pool, watching dolphins and dhows or wandering the alleys of Lamu town" The Guardian newspaper, London

"Yet another stay at Fabulous Forodhani – my third to date - we just can’t stay away from this wonderful house! Festus and co looked after us so well again- we leave Lamu relaxed and ready to face the world. See you again as soon as we can" Susan, London

"What an incredible house – the design, the setting and the views really were unmatched on the island. Staying in Lamu and at Forodhani was the most incredible experience – and one that undoubtedly did me the world of good - indeed I feel mightily refreshed & invigorated. I look forward to bringing the rest of my family to be thoroughly Lamu-ised!" Neil, Scotland

One enters Forodhani House directly from the Shela beachfront path – through beautifully-carved teakwood double doors set into surrounding walls of fossilised coral stone, and up terrazzo steps to a grassy garden area shaded by a huge spreading acacia tree.

Looking out onto the garden is the spacious dining room, with an entire wall of beautiful and intricate zidaka niches – traditional in Lamu houses in centuries gone by, and echoed in the attractive carved plasterwork ceiling friezes throughout the house. Cloistered terraces with traditional Moorish archways look out across the Lamu Channel and lead to the exceptionally large and airy living room.

Also on the ground floor are a well-appointed, ‘eat-in’ kitchen with 4-seater table (ideal for children’s meals) and a double bedroom suite – its adjoining bathroom has a large hamman-style shower, and doors lead outside to the lower garden area, which features built in baraza sofas & tables and Egyptian masharabya screen windows looking down to the waterfront below.

The 9m (30ft) freshwater swimming pool runs along the northern side of the house beside the living room, and is elevated 2.5 metres above the neighbouring seafront – it is 2.65 metres wide and 2 metres deep. Next to and overlooking the pool and lower garden is a spacious mvule hardwood deck under the sheltering branches of another mature acacia.

On the First Floor there are three bedrooms – two of which share a spacious double bathroom with twin washbasins. These two rooms – one with two or three single beds and one with a large wooden ‘platform’ bed - provide very flexible accommodation. They can be arranged to sleep four adults or up to six children.

To the front of the house, with views to north, east and south is another double bedroom with bathroom and adjoining covered and open terraces. To the rear of the house is an acacia-shaded sofa area and 4-seater dining table – another lovely, easy place to eat and relax outside, particularly in the evening.

On the Second Floor is the expansive Master Bedroom suite – spacious bedroom with baraza sofa, roomy bathroom, and part open, part covered private terraces. Next door is a small lounge with single baraza bed, bar area and fridge. From the Third Floor walled rooftop (perfect for sunbathers) there are spectacular 360 degree views of Shela Village, Manda Island and the Lamu Channel.

Forodhani is well thought-out - and furnished and appointed with style and attention to detail. There are ceiling fans inside the mosquito nets in every bedroom - not that you will probably need them as the house sits in a lovely breezy position, with louvered windows and jalousie shutters throughout. Room lights and fans can also be controlled from the comfort of your bed. Each bedroom has a writing desk or dressing table, together with ample wardrobe and storage space (including a small safe for valuables). Forodhani also has Wi-Fi internet access and plentiful solar-powered hot water for showers and bathrooms.

While Forodhani is a wonderful place in which socialise or entertain, with expansive living and dining areas, gardens and terraces, there are also plenty of places in which to disappear and relax. Each of the bedrooms has its own secluded terrace or comfortable sitting & lounging area strewn with mattresses, cushions and pillows. And, while it sits in one of the nicest and most prominent positions in Shela, the house has few close neighbours and is private and undisturbed.

Forodhani House sits on the very Eastern tip of Lamu Island – on the site of an old customs house from colonial times. Forodhani means ‘beside the jetty’ or ‘beside the port’ in Kiswahili (a name reflected in Zanzibar’s lovely seafront Forodhani Gardens) and the house looks out to the Peponi Hotel jetty and to Chapel Rock – itself the site of a Portuguese Catholic chapel several hundred years ago.

Apart from the pleasures of the house itself, one of the chief delights of staying at Forodhani are the wonderful marine views from every floor. It is hard to tire of the ever-changing seascape, or of the sight of fishing boats and sailing dhows slipping past along the channel - often just a few metres away from the house. And at Forodhani one is also only seconds away from the other attractions of Shela village, including Peponi Hotel and the island’s fabulous beach.

Standard Rate 600 Euros
Low Season (May & June) 400 Euros
Summer Season 900 Euros
Christmas & New Year 1200 Euros

Rental rates are for the entire house per night - and this includes the services of the house staff. Forodhani House is available either on a full board or self catering basis. Please contact us to enquire about availability, to make a booking or for any further information or advice.


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