The Banana House , Shela, Lamu, Kenya


Banana House and Banana Wellness and Yoga Centre in Shela Village, Lamu, comprises two private houses which have evolved into a friendly 'Bed & Breakfast' alternative in Shela.
Banana House was designed and constructed by master builder Mohamed Ali Mbarak (alias Banana) a well known local figure, and his wife Monika Fauth. Monika is an Art of Living and Yoga instructor and runs various wellness courses in Lamu each year.

The house is the culmination of their combined imagination and craftsmanship. Cool and elegant with beautifully plastered and waxed neru walls the house is very spacious, and has numerous attractive sitting and lounging areas, hammocks, and day beds and a beautiful tropical garden within its walls. The atmosphere is homely and welcoming.

Rooms and living areas are, like all Retreats, simply and tastefully furnished in the classic Lamu Swahili style combining sumptuous Arabic elements with cool, clean surfaces and treasures combed from Lamu's beaches. You can either rent a room, a floor or the whole house.

On the ground floor, there are three (3) bedrooms, which can all be interconnecting and share two (2) bathrooms, making these ideal for families with young children if required. The four (4) first floor bedrooms are all ensuite, with hot water showers, and lead off the airy, covered dining area and living area with a sunbathing deck.

The top floor boasts a private penthouse with double bedroom, private dining facilities, and veranda with sun-beds which are equally ideal for star-gazing and moon-bathing! The house has great views of the Lamu Channel from first and top floors and is two minutes walk from the lively seafront where dhows and small boats are moored, and a further five minutes to the fabulous Shela Beach and Peponi Hotel if you stroll through the village or along the sea. Or stretch your muscles and take a hike over the dunes to watch the sunrise before dropping down to the beach to hunt for sand dollars in the cool of the morning.

Small Banana House is annexed to Banana House and is a self contained two bedroomed house which can be rented as a private unit or as rooms. With its two large en suite bedrooms and access to the swimming pool, garden and Yoga Hall it is an ideal Retreat for two couples or a small family wishing to enjoy Lamu without the formality of a hotel environment.

All three houses have excellent chefs and fully equipped kitchens at the disposal of house guests. As with all Retreats the chefs will prepare lunches and suppers of your choice, and will charge only for the ingredients which makes Banana House a flexible and economical option for couples or smaller groups who may not wish to rent a whole house but would prefer the freedom of staying in a home rather than a hotel. The staff will make your stay at Banana House very relaxed as they take care of the whole household.

Banana Yoga and Wellness House is right next door and has five bedrooms all beautifully decorated and furnished in a fusion of Swahili and Indian décor. Each floor has a veranda with dining and living area and there is a rooftop for sunbathing. The house shares the lovely new swimming pool with Banana House in the garden adjoining both houses which is a gorgeous spot for moonlit dinners and daytime child’s play.

Banana Wellness offers yoga programs, massage and other holistic treatments and hosts frequent Art of Living and other lifestyle changing courses on cookery, meditation and yoga which they host in the ground floor Yoga Hall. Regular Yoga sessions are available daily with mats and expert tuition provided for all levels. Or you can just have fun and chill with your friends and family.

Monika and her staff are excellent sources of local knowledge and can help you to arrange all manner of activities during your stay. Sundown sails, snorkelling trips, dhow cruises, Lamu cultural excursions, beach parties and overnight stays on Manda Island can all be organised and for a special occasion or birthday a traditional Swahili dinner in the lush garden of Banana House under the southern skies will always be fondly remembered.

Monika and Banana also built and manage La Joya House, another family home in Shela. The house is designed and furnished in Swahili style on three levels with plenty of private areas and views of the Lamu Channel. Like Banana House, her little sister La Joya may be rented as a whole house or at B&B rates for rooms.

Banana House Photos

Nairobi Serena Lounge
The Banana House , Shela, Lamu - Lounge
Nairobi Serena Hotel - Garden Suite
The Banana House - Penthouse - Bedroom
The Banana House, Shela, Lamu - Superior Penthouse
The Banana House - Pool Side

Nairobi Serena       Hotel