“The staff were absolutely wonderful – very proactive and responsive to our requests and at New Year they created a very special dinner for us by the pool. They were very friendly and honest – you have great team at the property. The menu and quality of food was really good and the chef was excellent and very creative. We really enjoyed the culinary experience and the variety of seafood that was available. The management team was great – very proactive and responsive to our needs.”
Kuni Jogoo House has a superb waterfront position overlooking Kizingoni’s beautiful unspoilt beach and the channel separating Lamu Island from mainland Kenya. The house is built in a U-shape around a central swimming pool and has been designed to maximise the panoramic views. It is a perfect house for a gathering of friends and family, accommodating up to eleven guests.
Kuni Jogoo is spacious, luxurious and beautifully designed – with intricately-carved wooden doors, antique furnishings, traditional Lamu beds and bright kickoy-covered safari chairs. A curved coral staircase leads down to the beach directly in front of the house, and the numerous plants and trees help maintain the house’s privacy as well as providing a home for the resident birdlife.
There are five spacious bedrooms at Kuni Jogoo. On the Ground Floor are two double rooms and two twin rooms – all are ensuite with private terraces leading out onto the swimming pool. Upstairs on the First Floor is the spacious Master Bedroom Suite, with a large terrace to the front which can be closed off for privacy. There are sea views from the bed and the two bathrooms – one with a shower and one with a bath and shower. There is also a single bed here which can be used for a small child or as a daybed.
The lovely 9-metre swimming pool is at the heart of the house and forms the focal point of the property. Around the edges are plenty of areas in which to soak up the sun – or to retreat into the shade if you prefer. From the pool area you look across pretty gardens and down the sand dune onto the beach.
Dine alfresco or at one of several dining tables on the makuti-shaded verandas upstairs and down, then relax on a swinging bed overlooking the beach and channel and watch the dhows sail past. There are numerous other living and lounging areas around the house, including a spacious indoors drawing room with expansive baraza sofa seats.
A separate building away from the main house is home to the well-equipped kitchen and pantry, laundry, stores and staff accommodation. There are 6 staff to look after guests, house, grounds and boats – Alfred (waiter), Johnson (chef), Mary (room steward), Abu (boat captain) and Lerno & Isaac (Samburu askaris).
“Kuni Jogoo was completely gorgeous. The pool and balcony were cleverly positioned to deliver incredible views of a deserted beach and picture perfect sunsets. These offered the opportunity to enjoy what the Kenyans charmingly call ‘sundowners and bitings’, cocktails and canapés to enjoy as day became night. Christmas Day, in particular will forever be etched in our minds for a potted palm decorated with lights and a moonlight swim. We enjoyed ten luxurious days of swimming, walks on the beach, sandy cricket matches and a lot of lolling about on hammocks. Heaven.”
The house speedboat ‘Little Bob’ is available for guests’ use and comes with the services of a boat captain. It carries a maximum of 8 passengers at any time. Guests pay for fuel for the boat ‘at cost’ on departure. The staff will monitor usage and keep guests informed of how much they have used and at what cost. Fuel supplies are kept in stock in a store separate to the house. Kizingoni Beach’s ocean-going dhow ‘Kiliindini’ is also available for sailing trips and sundowner cruises (prices on request).
Lunches and dinners are usually based around which delicious fish, prawns, shellfish etc. are available at the time or on the day. Local fishermen will bring freshly-caught fish and seafood to the house daily. For puddings the chef makes great cakes, ice creams and sorbets – plus lots of delicious ‘bitings’.
A suggested menu will be made available of a dozen or more of the chef’s specialities for guests to choose from when planning meals in advance. Relevant food and drink shopping can be done by the staff in advance of your stay and supplies are charged ‘at cost’ – plus the cost of boat fuel when necessary.
The charming Kizingo Lodge is just down the beach and has an excellent bar and dining room – guests at Kuni Jogoo are welcome there for meals and drinks (please book meals in advance). If you are desperate to keep in close touch with the outside world then Kizingo also has wi-fi. Kuni Jogoo enjoys a good Safaricom 3G phone signal – so guests still feel reasonably well connected.