All inclusive beach holidays in Lamu, Kenya
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    Baytil Ajaib Hotel Lamu Island Kenya Africa & Lamu Accommodation Vacation Packages

    Baytil Ajaib is a stunning boutique beach hotel which radiates elegance and serenity with great attention to detail and quality which you can see and feel in everything. Baytil Ajaib is a small charming, privately run beach resort located in Lamu town on a high incline providing one with a wonderful view of the town. Other views include the Lamu archipelago, sailing dhows returning from fishing, the occasional school of dolphins that pass through the channel not to mention some of the most breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. Baytil Ajaib hotel caters to the guests every need, with verandahs or an open courtyard on each floor this charming beach house is often frequented by birds and butterflies at different times of the day. One of the major features of a traditional stone house is that they are completely open.

     

    This "House of Wonders" is a beautifully restored patrician house with great character and immaculate interiors, all done in a pale sepia finish that underscores the ancient influence on its design. There are two apartments and two suites gorgeously furnished with a mix of authentic Swahili antiques and appropriate reproductions (ask for the suite with a bed similar to that belonging to the sultan of Kilwa). Much of the life of the house happens in the sunlight-dappled central courtyard, with its palm trees and ferns, and in the nearby original well, still stocked with fish that serve as a natural control against mosquitoes. There's been great respect for the house's original design elements, and the result is a thoroughly peaceful abode and a true Swahili experience, affording simple, appealing luxury that emphasizes the functionalism of the Swahili home. There are also as a variety of nooks and spaces for you to lose yourself in silence, and a rooftop terrace from where you can peer down into the heart of Lamu's intriguing laneways. Step outside and you're in the heart of the town, instantly part of an ancient culture that's changed little over the centuries. Baytil Ajaib is a beautifully restored 18th Century palatial Swahili House, It took 11 years to renovate the building in order to remain true to original Swahili style - the result is a stunning stone house impeccably restored to its previous splendor, the mixture of materials used and the architecture provide the natural air-conditioning, the house is always cool. Frangipani flowers float in traditional pools of cool water, scenting both the water and the air. Secret alcoves, balconies and terraces provide rooftop views of Lamu town and the Lamu archipelago. The dining room is on the ground floor, and for those who can't quite make it to the breakfast table, it can be served in the apartment. Baytil Ajaib offers the chance to turn back the hands of time and experience life as it was at the turn of the century. Owner Paul Weaver is a character in him self and personally hosts you which adds a unique ingredient to your stay in Lamu. Baytil Ajaib, or ‘House of wonders’, is the stuff of dreams, or at least one man’s dreams. Peter Weaver is an American from Michigan who met his friend and business partner, Norbert Herget, when he was working as a banker in Germany. They started visiting Lamu regularly more than a decade ago, and in 1989 found a dilapidated 18th-century town house and bought it for a snip.

     

    Weaver has been on Lamu ever since and converted to Islam, assuming a new name, Abdul Malik Bilali, in the process. Malik, as he is known, is now a prominent figure in the town’s religious community: a slightly eccentric, disarmingly charming character, his enthusiastic chatter laced with references to the Koran. Over the past eight years Malik has painstakingly restored the house, preserving and enhancing the original features (basic Swahili homes are centered around a large courtyard, with inward-facing rooms), and dividing it into five apartments. Baytil Ajaib is extravagantly decorated. The ceilings are made from mwangati wood, painted traditional black and red: the walls are made from five types of lime-coral stone, including snail shell, with alcoves engraved with turtles, representing fertility and resistance to evil spirits. Malik has amassed treasure troves of African and Western ornaments and objects d’art. Including German Meissen china, his intension was to attract discerning travelers who would stay for a week or two the kind who are writing books, perhaps, or who just want time to think. For inspiration. They could do worse than to sit on the huge roof terrace, surrounded by the sights and sounds of Lamu town, which never seems to sleep. Baytil Ajaib offers 2 double apartments and 2 double suites. All apartments and suites have their own private bathrooms. There are also scattered seating arrangements in Baytil Ajaib for those that may want to curl up and read in some other part of the house. "Neither Africa nor Lamu is every man's thing. Lamu is an island in a third world country with some drawbacks. Individuals who are not use to traveling in Africa may find it rather difficult to their normal life style and have difficulty in adjusting. Guests will not be walking on the Croisette in Cannes doing the film festival or some dreamy idea like that. There are basically two types of individuals that come to Lamu. Those that hate it immediately and those that love it instantly. Most clients fall in love with Lamu because of all the natural beauty, the friendliness of the people, the endless clean beautiful beaches with no one on them, the safety that prevails here not to mention the fresh giant crabs and lobster to be found in these waters. Shrimp, calamari, fish of many kinds as well as local exotic food dishes.

     

    The moment a client leaves the front door of Baytil Ajaib he or she are in a total African environment and will have to deal with it. There's no Club Med here! What a horrible thought of such a possibility." Malik Weaver, Owner. Baytil Ajaib is the ultimate in African chic, the beautifully restored townhouse mirrors the traditional stone dwellings found throughout Lamu’s old town, and blends opulent Arabian furnishings with elegant Swahili decor. Antique rosewater decanters and incense holders line elaborately carved wall niches and, in the sunlit courtyard, birds swoop down to perch on the covered well. Four interconnecting apartments, each with a private verandah, provide seclusion, and the pillow-strewn harem terrace is perfect for larger gatherings. What else? After a day spent exploring the archipelago by dhow or wandering Lamu’s winding streets, let the chef and full staff prepare tuna capriccio or freshly squeezed lemon juice for you. Baytil Ajaib’s rooftop opens to a view of stone houses and minarets, with dhows passing in the distance.

     

    Baytil Ajaib Hotel Accommodation

     

    All apartments and suites open up onto a veranda or a courtyard normally supported by arches and columns. Baytil Ajaib offers two double apartments and two double suites. All apartments and suites have their own private bathrooms. There are also scattered seating arrangements in Baiytil Ajaib for those that may want to curl up and read in some other part of the house. The dining hall is on the ground floor. And of course for those who can’t quite make it to the breakfast table, it can be served in the apartment. It seems many centuries ago that after a seemly long ride from Mombasa to Lamu, which thoroughly exhausted my vehicle capacity in time and comfort, we arrived somewhat dismayed, overwrought, over heated and over dusted to the dreamy island of Lamu. Little did we know that this small adventure was to be the beginning of a passion that would lead to the study of the construction of Traditional Stone Houses and among them Baytil Ajaib, part of one of the most sophisticated and beautiful cultures on the eastern coast of Africa. A three-day weekend turned into a two-week stay and the purchase of a near ruin of an old 18th century palatial town house. My business partner and I were amazed at the building techniques used hundreds of years ago to build these remarkable palatial stone townhouses not to mention the size of the buildings. Unfortunately for us it became clear that the ancient techniques used in the past were no longer in possession of the inhabitants of the island.

     

    This situation led us to seek information concerning the properties and usage of lime, created from coral stone burnt at a very high temperature and mixed with various forms of sand in different ratios. Traditional Stone Houses were built with coral stones held together with lime and sand and have stood the test of time for hundreds of years. Cement being a substance of rigidity prone to cracking, having almost no elasticity and a poor conductor of air was not used hundreds of years ago for obvious reasons. We were amazed at the benefits of constructing using the old techniques which produced a much cooler building during the hot periods of the year and a warmer building during the rainy season. Lime, coral and sand permit the buildings to absorb a limited amount of rain which is necessary to re-enforce the lime to hold the coral rocks and sand together and at the same time permit the building to breath and possibly mend (on its own )any cracks that might have occurred in the building. Having retired from my professional life as a banker, I decided to move to Lamu and busy myself with the restoration of Baytil Ajaib, wonderful building. To my great surprise lime has been used for centuries in many parts of the world, by the Egyptians, in India, the Italians are famous for their Stuccatore in the late 18th century. The research that followed on my behalf not only led to the rediscovery of the proper usage of lime in the restoration of these old buildings in Lamu but goes even further in proving not only is it financially cheaper but also ecologically sounder to construct in this manner. The understanding of the properties of lime has enriched our restoration techniques to the point that we are now able to produce decorated walls of various colors due to studied technique combinations of marble dust and lime. Other overwhelming aspects of these beautiful homes are the spaciousness of this gracious living. Some of the Baytil Ajaib suites are over 120sqm in size opening up on private courtyard commanding the entire stage. Walls and columns that grace ceilings covered in mwangati wood (a very hardwood that comes from close to the Somalia border) painted red, black and inlaid in white lime at a height of no less than 4 meters only adds to the once upon a time splendor that reigned. Palm trees growing out of houses, apartments supported by columns opening on to private courtyards, decorated walls of exquisite stuccato lavoro in beautiful white plaster of marble dust and lime, apartments furnished in original antiques of that époque, not to mention that all courtyards and private verandas are open to sun, weather, and different birds at certain times of the day giving one the feeling of being outside while the contrary prevails is a marvel of construction and nature at it's best. Man is a combination of himself and his surrounding nature! His mental and spiritual state depends on a balance of the two. Baytil Ajaib and homes like these were created for this balance hundred of years ago and it is with great joy that we wish to share this with others. Now more than ever our western societies are seeking different avenues to regain a proper mental and spiritual balance to our lives and hopefully Baytil Ajaib can serve as one of these avenues.

     

    Baytil Ajaib Hotel Dining

     

    Baytil Ajaib has its house staff to cater to your needs. Bed linen, mosquito nets, and house towels are provided, but please bring your own beach towels if required. Baytil Ajaib offers half-board, full-board or B&B dining which is flexible and for those who want to get in on the action you can help arrange the menu. Basic foodstuff, fresh vegetables and fruits are available in the local Lamu market while other supplies are flown down from Nairobi. Fish, lobster, crab and fresh oysters come to the door or can be ordered. The kitchen is well-equipped with an electric and gas cooker, fridge, deep-freeze, food processor, coffee and pepper grinder, and a proper espresso coffee can be magically produced. Baytil provides a flexible service and for those who want to get in on the action they can help arrange the menu. The dining hall is on the ground floor. And of course for those who can't quite make it to the breakfast table, can have it served in their room

     

    Lamu Island Information

     

    Kick off your shoes. Grab your book. Apply the sun tan lotion. Make for your favorite hammock or spot on the beach and relax. That is what Lamu Island is all about – perfect, pristine, deserted beaches, vast expanses of pure white sand lapped by turquoise blue waters. It’s an archipelago of small, hot, almost desert-like islands just off the Kenyan coast in the Indian Ocean and together with the adjacent stretch of Kenyan coastline it offers some of the very best “get away from it all” beach holiday hideaways anywhere in the world. We recommend combining Lamu vacation with one of our other Kenya safaris including Tsavo safaris or Masai Mara flying safaris what’s your choice?

     

    As you step down into the awaiting dhow, the clocks seem to wind backwards and you enter into a world where time seemingly stopped more than a century ago: Lamu. The wind slowly fills the vast sail and you are transported back in time where thoughts of work, telephones and computers are meaningless, and thus you embark on a beach holiday without equal. Lamu is a small island on the Kenyan coast that historically served as a teaching centre for the Islamic religion and a trading hub for spices and ivory. For over two thousand years, wealthy Arab merchants impacted heavily on the local culture and architecture before abandoning Lamu Island for Zanzibar Island and other trade-rich islands. Today, it is an unparalleled mixture of African and Arabic culture, which seems to have survived intact, making the island a unique living museum. The Lamu Island boasts one motorcar, owned by the District Commissioner, and transport is either by boat, foot or donkey. The streets of Lamu town are narrow and meandering, surrounded on either side by the tall, interconnected, ancient Swahili structures built by the Arab merchants of long ago that now serves as the homes of Lamu resident population. Some of these buildings are still very much occupied and lived in despite appearing to be in a crumbling and almost utterly deteriorated state.

     

    The new and the old co-exist side by side. Although the Lamu Island has slowly allowed some of the vestiges of the modern world to seep in, it has only really been in little more than the last decade that the island has been rediscovered and become a premiere tourist travel destination. It boasts some of the most expensive real estate prices in Kenya. Backpackers, boaters and those in search of unspoiled locations long ago discovered the secret of Lamu Island and are now finding it difficult to share their once private haven with the international up- market tourists who are now infiltrating the town and the miles of unspoiled sandy beaches. The waterfront is the hub of activity for the coastal community of Lamu, whose economy is now largely dependent on tourism and marine industries. The main road, Harambee Avenue, runs from Lamu town all the way to the village of Shela: an easy 30-minute hike when the tide is low. Along the avenue are a myriad of shops, stalls, restaurants and maritime industries. The heat is blistering and by mid-day the smells and sounds can be overpowering. It becomes clear why most things slow to a stop in the afternoon, as the town 20,000 permanent residents take a well-needed siesta. In the past, most visitors to Lamu Island stayed either in Shela or Kipungani as accommodation of international standards was more readily available than in Lamu town. Lamu town only had basic budget accommodation available, more suited to the back packing crowd or tourists travelling on a limited budget holidays - interested in the location rather than the accommodation.

     

    All of this has changed with the recent opening of Baytil Ajaib resort, a beautifully restored Swahili house located in the heart of Lamu town. It took the owner, Paul Weaver, an American from Michigan, eleven years of research and painstaking work to complete the project. Paul has made the island his home since he and his business partner, Norbert Herget, purchased the 18th century palatial townhouse more than a decade ago. This engaging and dynamic individual is an absolutely delightful and charming, if not somewhat offbeat, host. On settling in Lamu, Paul converted to the Islamic religion and changed his name to Abdul Malik Bilali or Malik, as he is more commonly known. He is now a prominent figure in the local religious community, and his conversation is full of tales from his international travels interspersed with allusions to the Koran. He has an absolute passion for Lamu and its people and is a well-known character around town conducting his daily business dressed in the traditional flowing kanzu robes. Malik doesn’t undertake anything lightly and the restoration of the townhouse was no exception. In order to remain true to the original Swahili style, he spent a considerable amount of time studying the architecture and materials used in constructing traditional stone houses five types of lime-coral stone, including snail shell - before embarking on this project.

     

    The result is a stunning townhouse impeccably restored to its previous splendour, sub-divided into five unique and private apartments. Frangipani flowers float in traditional pools of cool water, scenting both the water and the air. Secret alcoves, balconies and terraces provide rooftop views of Lamu town and the Lamu archipelago. The rooms are all decorated with authentic Swahili furniture and a mixture of African and Western art and artefacts collected during Malik travels. Collectively, the result is a visual and sensory journey back in time. For those who want far more than just a beach holiday, Baytil Ajaib in Lamu town offers the chance to turn back the hands of time and experience life as it was at the turn of the century. We as Lamu experts offer a selection of Lamu beach holidays and luxury house rentals on the beautiful Lamu Island in Kenya. Lamu is not a typical tropical beach holiday. Do not expect to find beaches swept by attendants and dotted with fiercely contested umbrellas and sun-loungers. There are no parasails or large yellow inflatable being towed neither up and down the channel nor are there beach bars every twenty metres. However all our Retreats are only a few minutes walk from the sea, where the dhows and local fishing boats are moored. The water laps at the foundations of Shela's front row houses and the walk to the Peponi Hotel and the miles of open beach beyond may require a detour through the village to avoid wet feet if the tide is in. Sadly after that all the place has to offer is miles and miles of virtually deserted beach. Shela village is a maze of narrow sandy lanes where the only oncoming traffic you are likely to meet is a donkey and even bicycles are almost unheard of. There are three or four cars on the island, not that they can go very far, as there are only a few hundred meters of road; a track from the outskirts of Lamu town to the D.C's house and another along the breakwater to the hospital. The road does not extend as far as Shela so there are no cars at all in our little village! The four kilometer trip from Shela to Lamu town is a pleasant walk or a few minutes boat ride in one of the frequent taxi boats.

     

    Lamu Town, despite its wealth of sights, smells and sounds is a really sleepy little port with a harbour front, one narrow main street and a shady Town Square, ideal for people watching. Sip on a passion juice and deal with the day's big decision....the crab or the lobster for lunch? Lamu is for people who enjoy a destination steeped in the tradition of bygone times, spiced with Swahili style and mulled with the mellow companionship of family and good friends. The generosity of the sea and the benevolence of the climate have bestowed on the Swahili people a security that has been supplemented for half a century by the benefits of a steadily growing flow of foreign travelers, most of whom return year after year and some like us, who buy houses and make a bigger investment in Lamu. There is a feeling of all people being equal under the sun in Lamu and warmth shared by all...perhaps that is why so many celebrities find the simplicity and privacy of Lamu boutique hotels so attractive.

     

    Baytil Ajaib Hotel Lamu Booking Information

     

    Lamu vacation packages offer exclusive hotel rates and experiences. If you've been searching for the ultimate way to enjoy ease of booking, affordability and a fabulous resort-style hotel vacation, this is your lucky day. Loaded with perks especially for families, our hotel rates in Lamu are made even more affordable when included in these special packages. For visitors to Lamu Island, few other accommodation options can match the perfect blend of location, facilities and service of Baytil Ajaib, this hotel lies within easy reach of the beach, with views overlooking the beautiful beachfront. From the comfort of your beach hotel, you can choose to relax and enjoy the year-round warm weather, host of facilities on offer and those iconic beach views, or head on to explore the rest of Lamu Island and its many attractions. Whether you are visiting on beach holiday, or honeymoon; let Baytil Ajaib show you all the warmth and hospitality of the Kenya coast. Ideal for travelers who want an affordable beach resort without having to skimp on quality, comfort and style, if your looking for the perfect place to stay in Lamu Island? Choose from a wide range of options, including Lamu resorts and hotels, Inns and Bed & Breakfast, depending on the mood or occasion. Whether it’s a family vacation, a romantic getaway there is variety different types of accommodations in Lamu to compliment your needs and budget.

     

    From trip advisor rated five-diamond resorts, family friendly hotels, quaint bed and breakfasts, and historic hotels, Lamu Island offers the best places to stay all within the diverse neighborhoods and regions. Our all-inclusive Beaches Resorts offer Luxury Included Vacations where kids and grownups alike can do as much—or as little—as they want. Vacations at our all-inclusive family resorts in the Lamu are all about you, and taking the time to relax, unwind and spend quality time together with loved ones. Our all-inclusive Lamu resorts have everything you need, from amazing dining choices that let you decide where and when you want to eat, to Lamu accommodations that give you the space you need. Happy days turn into magical nights, giving you so much to share, talk about and laugh about. And, most of all, you’ll remember it all for years to come.

     

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