Neem House was designed and built in traditional Moorish style by legendary white hunter and safari guide Frank ‘Bunny’ Allen. All the rooms are large and airy and feature Arabesque archways and antique carved doors from Lamu and Zanzibar. The spacious ground floor living rooms have a lovely selection of traditional teakwood furniture, and the 3.6 metre dining room table comfortably seats twelve.
Ceilings, supported by traditional Mangrove wood boriti poles, are all over three metres high. Floors are tiled with cool flagstones, sourced from the nearby Galana River. All the large exterior windows are enclosed with ornate wrought iron and the interior ‘windows’ are fitted with cane blinds or teak shutters – ensuring that the living spaces are cool and open and breezy.
“We stayed at Neem House in palatial comfort, with gorgeous views, beautiful gardens and friendly and proactive staff. Sun, sand, beaches , delicious healthy locally sourced cuisine, day trips out for rare sightings, snorkelling in crystal clear water on pristine coral reefs, colourful markets… the list goes on. We could have stayed forever! Asante Sana!!”
Karin, Botswana, 2015
The house sleeps a maximum of twelve guests in four bedrooms, three of which have ensuite bathrooms. All have overhead ceiling fans and large walk-in mosquito nets. The Master Bedroom has a large veranda with two additional single beds – ideal for parents with small children. The fourth bedroom, with four single beds, is a classic Zanzibar-style room with a makuti roof – ideal as a dormitory for older children.
The traditional flat roof covers an area of over 100sq metres and sits high among the tops of the Neem trees that surround the house. The views are breath-taking – particularly at sunset when the dhows are in full sail, heading home after a day’s fishing. It is a great spot for a sundowner and you will probably be joined by a charming little Sykes monkey – please don’t feed her!
There are teak loungers and relaxing day beds around the pool and on the numerous verandas around the house. The lotus-shaped plunge pool is located in a private courtyard area and is 2.5m deep. There is an outdoor shower beside to the pool and also a large stainless steel barbecue.
“Words can’t describe how gorgeous & relaxing this house is. It is beautifully laid-out and spacious with plenty of rooms, ensuring privacy and alone time if many people are staying. There were only two of us so the house was enormous but we enjoyed every inch of it. The house is very safe and secure and the staff are out of this world! Sammy and Charo welcomed us warmly and catered to our every need. We plan to come back & tell everyone we know about Neem House!”
M.K. California USA, 2015
There are four full-time staff at Neem House – Kahindi, an experienced chef, produces classic Swahili dishes and sources only the freshest ingredients from the market. Charity is responsible for all housekeeping and laundry duties. Sammy, the groundsman, is in charge of the one acre gardens and the pool. Kombe is the night watchman and is on duty from dusk until dawn.
The house staff will be pleased to shop for food and provisions, and Abu the fisherman comes to the house daily with fish, prawns, calamari, oysters, crab or crayfish – his catch dependent on the weather. There are some excellent restaurants in Malindi and we recommend The Old Man and the Sea and The Baby Marrow.
Neem House is about 350m from Malindi’s wonderful beaches – with access either via the Driftwood Beach Club, a charming and long-established private beach resort – or down Coconut Lane. The Driftwood offers daily or weekly membership for a modest fee – which entitles guests to use all their facilities, including restaurant, bars and swimming pools.