“I thought I should drop you a line to say we have just spent our first amazing night in Shela and at Gaba Gaba House. The house is stunning and the staff are excellent! Everything has completely exceeded our expectations. Many many thank yous!”
The plain white lines of Gaba Gaba’s exterior give little hint as to the colour and richness that lies within. One of the meanings of Gaba Gaba is ‘doubly relaxed’ – and inside is a house that has been designed to ensure that guests become exactly that.
Through the carved front door and up the grand staircase is the imposing central courtyard – part open and part shaded. In the evening the courtyard is a magical place – ideal for relaxing, entertaining or watching a film with the house projector. It has a turquoise Moroccan-style pool with palm tree, a 12-seater dining table and a sitting area with comfortable sofas and intricate ‘mashrabya’ window screens.
The large and fully-equipped kitchen is also accessed from the courtyard – although guests will probably not want or need to become too acquainted with it during their stay – as they will be very well looked after by the Gaba Gaba team of Tommy & Abdullah. As well as cooking, cleaning and laundry they will be pleased to help organise dhow trips and excursions.
“I would just like to thank you for your help and information. We had a great time in Lamu – and especially at Gaba Gaba House! Tommy and Abdalla were very helpful and friendly and the food Tommy made was first class! We really hope to go back to Lamu again.”
The house sleeps six guests very comfortably – with three double bedrooms on the First Floor – all with en-suite bathrooms and solar-powered hot water showers. One room also has an extra single bed. Each bedroom looks outside – across the sand dunes and across the village to the sea – and also inside down into the courtyard. This design keeps the bedrooms, and the house, cool and airy.
The Master Bedroom has an Emperor-sized wooden ‘Samodara’ bed, wooden floors and louvred wardrobes. This room also has air-conditioning, if required. It is accessed via the wooden balcony bridge overlooking the courtyard.
The second Moroccan bedroom has been decorated with rich warm colours and a four-poster bed. The third bedroom is light and airy – taking its colour inspiration from the sea – and is known as the Turtle bedroom. The First Floor is also home to the study with a house computer, air conditioning and an extra bed, which is used for massages. There is also another sitting area with daybed.
“Thank you so much – Gaba Gaba, Shela, Lamu and everything here is truly fantastic! Tommy and Abdulla are taking good care of us – we are already planning to come back another time.”
Up on the Second Floor terrace under the makuti roof you will find the Sunset Bar – a great space to relax or entertain during the day with built-in sofa, hammocks and floor cushions. It’s also the perfect place to enjoy your evening sundowner while watching the sunset across the dunes. The bar is equipped with fridge and sink.
Also up on the roof is a substantial plunge pool, next to a part-shaded area with sunbeds. These beds can be easily moved out to the open area of the roof for evening star-gazing – or sleeping under the night sky. One of the bed frames can also be used as a table to eat under the stars – just ask Tommy.
Gaba Gaba House stands in a quiet position high up towards the rear of the village and enjoys panoramic views of the sand dunes, views towards Lamu Town and the channel – as well as grandstand seats for the famous and much-used Shela football pitch. The wonderful 8-mile beach is a few minutes’ walk away – through the village, along the seafront or over the dunes.
“What a beautiful house and wonderful staff! We could not have had a better place to stay. Hopefully we can make another trip to Gaba Gaba again soon.”