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You are here: Home Kenya Lamu Island,Kenya Baitil Aman Guest House

Baitil Aman Guest House, Shela, Lamu, Kenya

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Baitil Aman Guest House - Roof TopSidiki Abdulrahman of the Timimi family is a well loved figure in the Shela community. He owns the Island Hotel and another rental property in the village as well as running several other businesses with members of his family. In 1999 he started a labour of love, the restoration of the former palace which has become the sublime guest house Baitil-Aman, or Place of Peace.

The house is steeped in history and dates back to the 18th Century when it was built as a wedding gift for a beautiful Shela maiden Bintu Luali by her suitor Hajj Abdalla. The Title for the house, a drum full of money and silver embroidered slippers known as bulibuli, made up the dowry and were delivered by a servant woman Hajibiki who also sang a wedding song about the palace built for Bintu Luali.

However luck did not move with the young woman who eventually sold the palace after being thrice widowed and left childless, leaving behind her the faithful servant Hajibiki who lived in the house as it slowly crumbled around her, eventually being renamed as "gofu la hajibiki" or "Hajibiki's Ruins". The house came into the possession of the Sheik Mohamaed Salim family and Sidiki, a son-in-law of the clan, took the restoration task upon himself.

Built in the Swahili tradition around a central courtyard Baitil-Aman is a stunning piece of architecture and almost a living museum, where every step worn by the tread of decades seems to tell a story. The house has been refurbished with privacy and space as priorities and is full of hidden niches and corners to escape into private fantasy.

The house has Eight (8) large, self-contained, en suite rooms having their own fans and private sitting areas. They are traditionally restored and furnished and are light and cool with the outside elements allowed their gentle ebb and flow through the drapes and arches. For those who hunger for the slickness of modern design Baitil Aman will feed the eye with its cool, cavernous expanses of silky, smooth neru walls punctuated with ancient, plaster vidaka of exquisite detail.

In the central courtyard is a refreshment bar where visitors may take a delicious fruit juice or cold soda. Alcoholic drinks are not available at Baitil-Aman as a concession to the grand old building's Arabic history and in deference to Sidiki's family.

Breakfast is served in the Hajibiki Restaurant, on the Terrace or in your room from 0700-1000hrs. Lunch is available from 1200-1400hrs and sumptuous Swahili dinners can be arranged on the roof terrace in the traditional Swahili fashion, under the whispering palms and within the hiss and hush of the surf drifting in from the channel.

Your day will become attuned to the mosque's call to prayer and slip into Shela time. Welcome to a Place of Peace.

Baitil Aman House Photos

Baitil Aman Hotel Lamu - Exterior View
Baitil Hotel Lamu
Baitil Aman Guest House - Room
Baitil Hotel Lamu - Standard Room
Baitil Aman Guest House - Bed Room
Baitil Anam Guest House - Suite Room

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