Shela is teeming with fantastic accommodation options, and yet, I am always seduced by the sheer beauty and magnificence of Forodhani House. Imagine a majestic three-storied white villa where five lavishly furnished rooms that can accommodate up to 13 guests in total snuggle, all en suite and with large windows and private, tastefully furnished terraces overlooking the azure ocean. These are complemented by a swimming pool located right next to an indoor coconut tree complete with an open dining room from which the friendly staff serve up an array of Swahili cuisine or whatever else your heart desires. This beachfront property offers unrivalled panoramic views and the perfect vantage points for people watching: amiable fishermen at the jetty, the excitement of arriving guests and the numerous dhows as they cruise gently past the periphery. The ambience will lull you into a blissful state leaving you content to take leisurely strolls to the beach, responding to greetings from friendly villagers and chatting up the seafront beach boys.
In an island where the weather calls for lightweight clothing, this quirky boutique located at the heart of Shela offers visitors beautifully embroidered breezy kaftans, kimonos, trousers, baskets, satchels, jewellery, sandals and more, handmade from extraordinary fabrics carefully selected from India and Africa. With their distinctively Moroccan vibe, these bohemian yet chic designs are inspired by the rhythm of life in Lamu itself, by owner Sandy Bornman who was born and raised in South Africa but has lived in Lamu for almost two decades now, her outspoken love for the place knowing no bounds.