Overview of Kenya Hotels: Four Distinct Properties,
Four Distinct Experiences
By Lin Low
As part of our recent travel agent familiarization tour through Kenya, we spent two days in Nairobi doing sight-inspections of four hotels: Giraffe Manor, Norfolk Hotel, Macushla House, and Ngong House. Below is a short summary of each property.
As its name implies, the Giraffe Manor estate is home to the world’s tallest and one of the world’s most endangered animals, the Rothschild Giraffe . In spite of its unusual animal guests, Giraffe Manor is internationally known for its world class elegance and warm hospitality.
With five double bedrooms and an annex, it was built in the 1930’s and continues to offer immaculate traditional furnishings, complete with large four-post beds, antiques, and art deco bathrooms. One of the unique features of the Giraffe Manor is the breakfast area where the guests can enjoy the company of a live giraffe when it sticks its head through the open window.
Giraffe Manor, with its 140 acres of private forested grounds, not only provides the ideal setting to relax; it is also the home to several native animals besides the famous Rothschild Giraffe. Here one might get a glimpse of the more than 170 species of birds, or even a warthog, ducker, bushbuck, or a leopard!
Norfolk Hotel, built in 1904 and completely renovated in 2000, is a very popular, upscale hotel often booked through high-end tour operators. Despite its recent renovation, the hotel has not lost its old charm or character, quickly transporting its guests back a century in time. The Norfolk Hotel has 167 rooms, a large spacious veranda overlooking the countryside, and an award winning restaurant, the Ibis Grill, which specializes in international cuisine.
Our group enjoyed lunch at this family friendly bed-and-breakfast. This private home has two wings of rooms, each with rooms with beamed ceilings and beautiful original art decorating the walls. Visitors can reach them at this phone number: 02/891-987.
Ngong House was my favorite property. Located on land which was originally part of Karen Blixen’s vast coffee estate, it is named after the surrounding hills which she often wrote about.
Ngong House is unique. It consists of several grass roofed two-story treehouses crafted by local artists. Each tree house is perched fifteen feet above the unspoiled-forested ground, providing spectacular views of the Ngong Hills.
Though the tree houses appear rustic, each interior is elegant and comfortable with unique personalities. For instance, one room had a bed, which was designed to look like an Arab dhow, while another had a bathtub made from a canoe! This truly is a unique escape for a romantic first or second honeymoon. You can even have candlelit dinners and full breakfasts delivered directly to your private tree house to further enhance your getaway!
Before returning home, Kenya Tourism Board hosted a spectacular gala dinner under a tent in Nairobi National Park at sunset. It was just so beautiful at night with sunset. There were many staffs from the tourism board and we were delighted to meet them. We had a barbecue feast Kenya style. We were entertained with Kenya traditional cultural dances and a fashion show. We wrapped up with dancing, all happy and thrilled that we had one of the best times of our lives. I believe everyone should come to experience the wonderful diversity of magical Kenya.
*www.ngonghouse.com - info on Lin’s favorite property, Ngong House treehouses.
*www.lonrbhotels.com – more on the Norfolk Hotel.
*www.giraffemanor.com - photos and more on the Giraffe Manor
* www.peponi-lamu.com - details of the Peponi Hotel
Outdoor Expedition Safaris Ltd.
P.O. Box 44406
Kenya Tourism Board
P.O. Box 59159
Minneapolis, MN 55459-8257