What makes Baytil Ajaib so special?
Baytil Ajaib, the house of wonder, is the finest example of non-static architectural designing .All too often is the Swahili culture referred to as something o f the past and none evolving. This is a myth that needs to be brought into its property perspective. Great pains have been taken with the restoration so as to safe guard the authenticity of the layout, embellished with original antique furniture, and a variety of mystic symbolic mural designs. Painting a more exact picture of Baytil Ajaib it’s a building that’s completely close off from the outside but the interior structure features apartments with personal verandas and suites that encompasses an entire floor with open courtyards garnished with collections of plants that are frequently visited by birds of all natures. The building is an open structure but from within not outwardly. Traditionally these palatial townhouses where spiritual sanctuary for the family’s protection and storages for supplies to be sent abroad. The structures also manifested the origin of the dweller, often their religion orientation and their wealth. There’s much talk about ecology today but Swahili architecture and construction embraced this principal in the late 17th century and 18th century. The material composition of the structure, using sand, lime and coral stones produces a climatically coolness that keeps the structure airy and cool in even the hottest times of the year. Residing at Baytil Ajaib offers our clients an experience into a pass life style that continues to evolve and blends well into today’s hectic realms by offering an intimate atmosphere, seclusion, spaciousness, languishing on Asian devon and for those who can be touched by the spiritual inner peace that prevails, enjoy a sense of well being and harmony.
Baytil Ajaib radiates a structural harmony also that is found in the proportions of this palatial townhouse. Residing at Baytil Ajaib offers integration into a family like situation even, if so desired, one may even join the cook in the kitchen learning exotic dishes. Baytil Ajaib is a show case of antiques that have been collected from various part of the world that are directly or indirectly associated with this culture. The blending of styles is often a very rare thing if not impossible but Swahili architecture blends wonderfully with modern day concepts and ideas. Swahili architecture and interiors furniture are a mélange of Arabic, Asian and African designs. It is this fusion of these three different cultures over the centuries that have led to the birth of what one calls Swahili. Interestingly, even the Chinese were here in the early 15th century leaving remnants of Chinese porcelain and DNA. Many of the rare collected treasures adorn the niches and inner walls of Baytil Ajaib. Entire walls murals of heights of over 3 meters, composed of rare architectural mixtures finished off with encasement in alabaster and marble dust, simply overwhelms the eyes and gives great visual appreciation of these extraordinary carvings.
These murals themselves were and still are spiritual guidelines expressed only in Lamu. Everything about Baytil Ajaib, architecturally and spiritually was conceived over 250 years ago and both these elements we’ve tried to maintain for the benefits of not only for the well being of the clients but also for our inner peace. The entire structure is a living organism that has passed through centuries of mystical and spiritual evolution for the protection of the inner sanctum of the structure which hopefully reigns still today. It is out of an enormous respect that Baytil Ajaib has been restored to its once former glory paying careful attention so as to bring in only modern day elements that enhances the original architecture. Visually Baytil Ajaib is truly a House of Wonder. It is a maze, a labyrinth of hidden walls, doors , niches, corners, tucked away areas that rob the visual sense on every turn. The rooftop views during the day give great views of the entire city, outlining farming areas, neighboring islands, as well as the channel passing between the island of Manda and Lamu. The night time views leave you breathless due to the multitude of stars that adorn the heavenly body which is very special on the equator. It’s this experience of privacy but one is still exposed and surrounded by floods of different times of daylight, sunrises, sunsets not to mention the floods of sounds of the city manifest from the playing of the neighbor’s children , the occasional un-inhibited singer going by, the call for prays five times daily, the braying of galloping donkeys passing through the streets, the smells of cooking and wonderful spices that are foreign but demanding your gastronomical attention, that creeps up, over and through the walls of Baytil Ajaib.
Norbert and Malik , as far as the client permit, give up much of their personal time to integrate their clients into the folds of their newly acquire temporary Africa experience. They, Norbert and Malik, try always to be aware of each client’s sensitivity which can only be found in a Hotel de Charme. The generosity of the two can be expressed by various presents that the clients are offered such as native attire known as a Kikoi, which is a form of skirt that men and women ware for comfort due to extreme temperatures, sandals or just corsages of jasmine that they find discretely place on their pillows at night. Baytil Ajaib is Discretion in persona. These mixtures of sensitivity, spirituality and discretion for their clients have and still leads to often personal relationship that continue long at the departure of their guests. Customized adventures for the clients are always personal experiences of the owners themselves. Also through our personal contacts here on Lamu we’re often able to arrange personal meetings between our guests and various renowned individuals who have taken up residency in Lamu.