The Fort

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Nestled along the sand dunes of Shela Beach, the House has been hailed as a monument to Omani architectural ingenuity. Built in 2001, the Lamu Island landmark is the epitome of privacy and seclusion. Its architecture is truly unique and occupies an unrivaled position overlooking the Indian Ocean on the deserted 14 kilometer Shela beach.

Peaceful and tranquil in its setting, surrounded by natural dunes and breezy casuarina’s, An elegant and unique sanctuary offering seclusion combined with personalized hospitality. Extremely private and secure, this oasis is just a ten minute walk along the beach to Shela Village.

Constructed of local coral stone and is enclosed by an imposing 50-foot high sandstone wall. The Omani-style heavy wooden entrance, decorated with iron studs, opens onto the main floor of the property, where large arches surround the central courtyard. The living area, dining area and lounge look onto the picturesque pool and garden.

From the upstairs formal dining area, guests can enjoy spectacular views of the Indian Ocean as traditional dhows sail-by and donkeys and camels cruise the beach. Peering out at the pristine Shela beach one is reminded that time here has stopped.

The house comes with a full staff to take care of all of your needs and desires. We can arrange day excursions to Lamu Town, neighboring islands, as well as fishing, snorkeling and diving trips.

The Fort boasts a state of the art kitchen serving up a variety of culinary delights. Guests can opt for full board or self-catering packages.

Featuring the best in local produce and fresh seafood, our chefs tastefully combine local Swahili inspiration with Mediterranean influences.

The Fort was the dream of the late Dr. Antonio Ferro, an Italian aristocrat and a man of great vision, honor and strength. Originally built to welcome friends and family, Gabriella Ferro has kept his dream alive and now welcomes guests to her unique home.

Their love story began in 2002 when Gabriella was visiting on holiday while Antonio, after having spent decades all over the African Continent, had eventually settled on Lamu Island, “his” gem in the Indian Ocean. After having moved to Lamu, Gabriella and Antonio’s love story and their dream to live in The Fort together continued.

Your host Gabriella speaks English, German, Greek, as well as Italian and is available to ensure your every need throughout your stay.


Around the place
  • Airport shuttle
  • Good access roads
  • Family friendly
  • Laundry service
  • Room service
  • Towel and linen service
  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Chef
  • Kitchen
  • Gardener
  • Housekeeper
  • Security guard
  • Hot water
  • Pool


Accuracy Value Cleanliness Location Service Check-in
12 reviews
4.9 12
Matthew USA
It's a pretty unique experience to stay at this location and I'd do it again without thinking twice, but it may not be for everyone. PROS: * Excellent location on a very secluded beach, you basically have it to yourself. * Staying in a fort (I mean how many times can you really stay in a castle for this cheap?) * Staff - The staff at the fort will cater to your every need, including making food, making runs into the city, organizing trips and assisting you in any way imaginable. They even arrange bag porters and a boat free of charge to transport you from the airport. CONS: * a 10 minute walk to the nearest restaurant, which is pretty dark at night (bring a flash light) * some of the rooms are a bit rustic, and the bathrooms could use a bit of refurbishment. Didn't bother me, but my wife was a bit put off (but she said the pros significantly outweighed the cons) * WiFi and power are somewhat intermittent. This was actually a pro for me, as it's one of the few places in the world that you can disconnect.
Stayed with host at Double Room @ Castle on Shela Beach as a couple in November 2015
Anna Kenya
We spent our holidays in Lamu and the Fort in Lamu is really the place to be! Wonderful location, amazing hotel, excellent food and a unique service... Gabriella the host really made us feel so welcomed...everything was perfect and we are already looking forward to be back to the Fort!
Stayed with host at 3 Bdrm Suite @ Shela Beach Castle as a family in April 2014
Lea Greece
Wonderful views, beautiful decoration, cosy ambiance, tasty & creative cuisine from all around the world, friendly staff. Gabriella is a chilled out, friendly and accommodating host who goes out of her way to help guests. Very, very highly recommended!!
Stayed with host at Beachfront 9 Bedroom Castello as a couple in February 2014
Julian Cheal UK
An amazing fort in a beautiful location, Gabriella is such a friendly host. Her and her staff took complete care of us. The food was some of the best I've had. Many thanks!
Stayed with host at Double Room @ Castle on Shela Beach as a couple in February 2014
Our time at the fort passed too quickly. Gabriella took excellent care of us. The delicious home-cooked meals, the ambiance, and the location were all better than we could imagine. It's only a short walk to town with the best commute imaginable -- a ten minute walk on an immaculate white-sand beach.
Stayed with host at Beachfront 9 Bedroom Castello as a big group in February 2014
Dennis Holland
The fort is a great building just located on Shela beach. It's just located on Shela beach, which makes it easy to take a dive into the sea every day. You can easily take a boat to other islands or walk to Shela (5 mins) or Lamu town (30 mins). The staff does a very good job in service. Dinner, breakfast and lunch are really good. The area is a relaxed, laid back place where you can retreat and relax. Hakuna matata.
Stayed with host at Beachfront 9 Bedroom Castello as a small group in January 2014
Laurian Romania
This place is amazing, spacious rooms, largest king size beds I ever seen, perfect beach and incredible food and service.
Stayed with host at Beachfront 9 Bedroom Castello as a small group in January 2014
Greg France
"The fort" is ... a 400 m2 fort (!) directly on the beach in Lamu, on the coast of Kenya. This part of the beach is a UNESCO protected landmark: around 12 kilometers of virgin sand. Gabriella is a really friendly host and also a great cook (even the bread is homemade!). I also really enjoyed the pool, the swahili architecture and the staff. Oh and the view is just unbelievable.
Stayed with host at Beachfront 9 Bedroom Castello as a big group in January 2014
Response from Gabriella — Dear Greg, a little correction - the Fort has 2000 m2 :-)
Nick USA
The Fort is an amazing place to stay, very open and spacious with friendly staff and a view that can't be beat!
Stayed with host at Beachfront 9 Bedroom Castello as a big group in January 2014
Michael Germany
Probably one of the most beautiful places I've been to.
Stayed with host at Beachfront 9 Bedroom Castello as a big group in January 2014
Tonje Norway
We live like queens and kings in the most wonderful place situated on the beach a few hundred meters from Shela village. The Fort is so beautiful, so exclusive, so relaxing and we feel we are living in a fairytale. Every evening we fall asleep to the sound of the waves and the wind. The kitchen is fabulous, we have the most wonderful meals every day. Our children have the best fun ever in both the pool and the beach and are enjoying the spacious surrondings. The staff fulfill every wish. In the evenings our masai watchguard follow us along the beach, under the stars to Peponi where we meet for drinks. We have been many times in Shela, but never in such a exlusive and relaxing ambience. We highly recommend the Fort and we will be come back again and again!
Stayed with host at Beachfront 9 Bedroom Castello as a small group in June 2012
Erik Kenya
The Fort was awesome, of course, and the whole team from Ushahidi loved it. I wouldn't be surprised if we head back there next year.
Stayed with host at Beachfront 9 Bedroom Castello as a big group in January 2012 Guarantees

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