“One of the best houses in one of the most magical places in the world – Lamu island is like nowhere else on earth and Forodhani is without doubt one of the most amazing houses there. Metres from the ocean, with amazing sea views in two directions, you are right above the pier in Shela. The dhows sail past so close to the terrace it feels that your should be able to reach out and touch them. The staff are incredibly friendly and the chef is among the best in Shela – the house is also one of the few in Shela which boasts a pool.”
Forodhani House makes the very most of its breezy location on the eastern tip of Lamu island. It combines the best of traditional and modern Swahili architecture and design, and is furnished and appointed with style and attention-to-detail throughout.
Forodhani’s carved wooden front door leads directly from the Shela jetty and beachfront to a grassy front garden shaded by a spreading acacia tree. Looking onto the garden is the spacious dining room, where the house staff will be pleased to serve your choice of dishes cooked by gourmet chef Amos. The dining room features a wall of intricate zidaka niches – traditional in Lamu houses in centuries past and echoed in the carved plaster ceiling friezes throughout the house.
“This perfectly-situated house is not only idyllic but comes with excellent staff, fantastic contacts for all the fun things to do in Lamu and has the most amazing corners for everyone staying to relax in. Thank you to you all for our perfect stay – and for those yet to book Forodhani House – don’t hesitate!!”
Cloistered galleries with Moorish archways lead from the dining room to the airy living room, seafront terraces and freshwater swimming pool – all elevated 2.5 metres above the waterfront. Overlooking the pool and lower garden is a relaxing hardwood deck under another shady acacia.
Elsewhere on the Ground Floor are an ‘eat-in’ kitchen (ideal for children’s meals) and a Double Bedroom suite – its bathroom has large hamman-style shower and doors to the lower garden, which has built-in baraza sofas and Egyptian mashrabya window screens. On the First Floor there are three double bedrooms – two of which share a spacious bathroom and can be arranged to sleep up to six children.
“I cannot recommend Forodhani House enough. I wish it could remain my private secret hideaway, but this would be incredibly selfish and so I can but only recommend and urge my fellow travelers and those looking for somewhere idyllic to stay in Lamu to visit Forodhani House and experience sublime bliss.!”
On the Second Floor is the Master Bedroom Suite – with spacious bedroom, bathroom and private veranda. Next door is a small lounge with built-in bed and bar area. The Third Floor walled rooftop (perfect for sunbathing) has spectacular 360-degree views of Shela, the Lamu channel and neighbouring Manda Island.
While Forodhani is a wonderful place in which socialise and entertain, with generous living and dining areas, gardens and terraces, there are also numerous private places in which to disappear and relax. And, while it sits in one of the most prominent positions in Shela, the house has few close neighbours and is serene and undisturbed.
“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”
Some of the many delights of staying at Forodhani are the wonderful marine views from every floor. It is hard to tire of the ever-changing seascape and the sight of fishing boats and dhows slipping past along the channel – often just a few metres from the house.
Dhow-sailing, water sports, sea-fishing and beachcombing are all available from your doorstep, and the house staff will be happy to arrange a variety of other excursions and activities – from yoga and massage to explorations of the rich culture and history of the islands.