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Double Room  
  • Shela Village
  • 11 Bedrooms, 9 Bathrooms
  • Yoga Retreat and Meditation Centre
  • Full Board
  • Room Rates Available.
  • Sublime grounds and gardens.

To visit Lamu is to travel in time and become part of a history that still lives and breathes. Gillies Turle's Fatuma's Tower is a treasure trove of Swahili artefacts.

The welcome, rich textures and peaceful corners of the house combine and begin to make you feel better within minutes...even if you thought you were fine before you arrived.

It is simply one of those rare places that nourishes the heart.


Fatuma's Tower

About Fatuma's Tower

Even in Shela, itself a tiny village of a hundred or so houses, Fatuma's Tower seems to draw in on itself and nestle in the lee of the dunes that form the backdrop to the village, rising above the relative bustle. It is not possible to wend through the streets of Shela at midday and then to enter the Yoga House as Fatuma’s is known to Shela residents, without feeling a tangible peace descend on you. It is no accident that Fatuma's Tower is rated as one of the Top 150 Best places on earth by Harpers & Queen.

The main Tower can be rented either as a whole unit with 4 doubles and 2 singles or as two self contained apartments The penthouse apartment rises to dune height and offering tantalizing sneak previews of the channel has private access and can be booked separately from the remainder of the house. It consists of 2 double rooms both of which are en-suite and private areas to relax and enjoy the breeze……perfect for two couples or a small family.

The second part of the Tower consists of the first floor Balcony Room a double en suite with an extra single bed and on the ground floor the Garden Room with a double bed, single bed and an en-suite bathroom and having access directly to the main garden area. Also on this floor are 2 smaller single rooms which share a bathroom. The lower apartment can therefore sleep up to six adults plus a couple of kids quite comfortably making it ideal for a larger family or group of friends.

Leading from the first floor of the Tower are two large open plan rooms, one the Yoga Hall and the second a reading room, lined with interesting books and comfortably furnished in the traditional manner. Below this is an elegant dining room opening onto a courtyard beneath the sheltering boughs of a lovely tamarind tree. Meals are often taken in the garden, another place to inspire contemplation or simply read yourself to sleep in the dappled shade.

The private living space for Gillies and Fiammetta, your hosts, is the first floor of the Sand Castle. Underneath this is the spacious Sand Castle Apartment.  Its two doubles and one twin (all en suite) may be booked individually or the whole unit taken as a private house on a combination of self-catering or catered packages.

Fatuma’s Tower also offers the Garden Cottage a two bedroom self-contained cottage within Gillies’ idyllic garden. The cottage has a first floor double bedroom and a ground floor double/twin both sharing for the moment one bathroom (….but Gillies plans to add a second). With its own kitchen Garden Cottage can also be rented on a self-catering basis.

SanctuaryAll the houses and rooms are furnished with bags of style and more than a passing nod to Gillies' years in the antique trade. His eye for interesting pieces lends Fatuma's Tower a timeless quality without clutter, enhancing the air of tranquillity that permeates the house.

Room rates, self-catering rates B&B, Half Board and Full Board packages allow for yoga-like flexibility in planning your holiday package.

Meals are usually taken communally around the long dining table, and breakfast, a palette of fresh fruit and squeezed juices, home made bread and eggs is served before the first yoga class or when you rise. Lunch and dinner bring more wholesome healthy delights of fresh seafood, pastas, salads and traditional Swahili recipes fused with Fiammetta’s Italian flair by Fatuma’s excellent chefs. Good food coupled with fascinating company makes mealtimes a delight.

Fatuma's Tower offers a wonderful Yoga program and although not obligatory, the retreat will well suit groups looking for a more meditative holiday. The yoga hall is 50 square metres with plenty of space for 15 mats. The centre works by both welcoming teachers of yoga and other holistic practices to bring their own groups and teach in seclusion and has teachers on hand inviting individuals, groups or families, to join their daily yoga sessions. In addition various massage and other holistic treatments may also be available.

Whatever type of holiday you are looking for Gillies will accommodate you with great hospitality and charm. Fatuma’s wonderful location at the foot of the dunes embracing Shela village will afford you a shady retreat in the heat of the day just a few minutes walk from the beach either through the village or over the top to the sand-dollar strewn surf line beyond.