Experiencing the High Life in Kenya

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“From time to time,” says Jones of Ker & Downey, we’ll rent villas on the coast or we’ll send clients to Lamu. One of the properties that we use there is called Peponi and it’s not as much that it’s ultra-luxurious, it’s because it’s part of the Swahili coast culture—the old Arabic culture that’s so unique with it’s architecture; it’s so special.” The 24-room boutique hotel is located near the Lamu Old Town—Kenya’s oldest living town—but forewarn clients the only vehicle on the island is owned by the mayor so transport is limited to donkey, camel, dhows and speedboat. The island, too, is strictly Islamic so appropriate dress is required.

Stine at Cox & Kings says, “Lamu does have a lot going for it—it’s kind of like a sleepy Zanzibar. It’s not really too overdeveloped yet. There’s a lot of Hollywood people who have homes there and it’s actually a series of islands. In the stone town itself, there are a lot of cultural things happening and there’s Peponi that’s kind of their flagship property. But for more exclusivity, I’d stay across the channel. There’s a nice new property there called the Majlis. They have huge villas with different areas—it’s almost like you’re staying in a room in someone’s house but the owners have gone on vacation. It’s perfect for honeymooners.”