Take a look at our choice of three wonderful exclusive hotels in Nairobi’s leafy suburbs, with wildlife on the doorstep and you won’t be in such a hurry to set out on safari.
An East African safari, for many, doesn’t start until leaving Nairobi and heading out into the open countryside with its rural villages – but we think that you’ll be missing a trick.
Let us show you our choice of three wonderful hotels, in green surroundings away from the city centre with wildlife practically on the doorstep, that will encourage you to add at least a couple of nights at either end of your trip.
Arrival in Nairobi is usually after a long and tiring flight, so these exceptional, high-end, stylish and exclusive hotels on the outskirts of the city will set the scene for a wonderful start to your holiday. Conversely after a couple or more weeks in safari accommodation, however luxurious, you’ll appreciate the ability to sit still and settle into unhurried and elegant surroundings before returning home to normality.
Each of our choices has several attractions on its doorstep including Nairobi National Park, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, famous for rehabilitating orphaned elephants, the Giraffe Centre and Sanctuary, as well as Karen von Blixen’s farmhouse museum (of ‘Out of Africa’ fame) – so if you must leave the peaceful sanctuary of your hotel, there’s plenty to see.
Each is also within approx. 8mls of Wilson Airport (the main internal safari hub) or 20mls (40mins) of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport – so great for linking the various elements of your safari.
House of Waine
Situated within Karen (named after Karen von Blixen) House of Waine is on the edge of Nairobi National Park and surrounded by the Ngong Hills in well-manicured 2.5 acre gardens of its own.
Its style is hard to pinpoint but for us it sits most comfortably as an elegant ‘Planter’s House’ with all of the wood panelling, furnishings and decoration that you’d expect of a wealthy colonial landowner used to gracious living.
It’s not grand but stylish and superbly comfortable, so you’ll come here if you want to enjoy a homely relaxed environment with personable service that has a pace and polish of its own without being intrusive and overpowering.
The family friendly, eleven room hotel has a tariff that is room only with optional dining/drinks charges and most expected facilities are present including complimentary Wi-Fi. You can also visit or stay at House of Waine on a ‘day room’ basis to dovetail with your schedule and they’re completely flexible about dining requirements around this.
‘Dine when and where you wish and treat the place as your own’ is the introduction we’re given and it’s by far the best way to get the best out of House of Waine, to start or end your safari into, or out of, the dry and dusty bush.
If you like ‘grand’ with a capital ‘G’ then Hemingways is for you. Acres of marble, sweeping gardens, personal butler service and pillars at every pace create a palatial feel that is reflected in every pore of the building, its presentation and service.
You’ll come here if you seek the exclusivity of this boutique hotel with its 45 airy and spacious 80sq metre suites set in formally manicured 10acre gardens in the heart of Karen.
Its overall presentation and service, whilst sincere, is perhaps more self-conscious than we normally like, preferring the more ‘homely’ and ‘lived in’ approach of our other two choices but you can’t deny that you’ll have every facility you could possibly want at your fingertips at Hemingways.
Your choice of Hemingways will be dictated by your personal preference for ambiance and architecture when comparing it with our other two choices but rest assured you’ll be staying in 5 star luxury with all of the attendant pampering you might desire. Built in 2013 it reflects a modern take on colonial style.
‘Day room’ visiting is also available at Hemingways and you can design the tariff basis to suit your travel requirements, albeit a stay at the hotel is normally on a B&B basis. Other than the pool, its less suitable for families.,
You’d be forgiven for thinking that you’d walked on to an English Country estate when you approach Giraffe Manor, with its ivy clad walls, towering chimneys and white multi paned windows that punctuate its broad fronted stone-built façade – if it wasn’t for the Giraffe roaming the grounds.
Its heritage is very much 1930’s colonial British, when hunting parties in search of trophies were very much de rigueur in East Africa. Nowadays Giraffe Manor continues the style (if not the practice) and is an exclusive boutique hotel, set in 12 acres of private land within 140 acres of forest in the Langata suburb of Nairobi. It’s one of Nairobi’s most iconic buildings, with stately façade, elegant interior, green gardens, sunny terraces and elegant courtyards.
It’s not endowed with many of the ‘modern’ attractions of current hotels but you’ll feel like the personal guest of a friend and very much at home amidst the cosy rooms, wood panelling, fireplaces and airy patios. Its Spa and art collections will keep you occupied if a guided stroll through the reserve isn’t for you.
Its fame, nevertheless, stems from its unusual house guests. Set on the edge of Nairobi’s Giraffe Centre, you’ll often find the endangered Rothschild’s Giraffe joining you for breakfast as they extend their long necks through the windows to share a tasty morsel.
Otherwise, casual visitors are discouraged, so you’ll enjoy an exclusive stay in the select company of the occupants of the ten rooms and suites with fully inclusive service and dining that reflects the family atmosphere of the manor.
As with each of our recommendations – Giraffe Manor is an ideal ‘before or after safari’ stopover.
If you’d like more information on each of our three choices we’ve featured then click on the links below:
House of Waine Hemingways Giraffe Manor
However, why not ask us to arrange your own tailor-made travel to include any one of these luxury properties as part of your own wonderful safari in East Africa?
Let us plan your own inspiring safari to Kenya and East Africa
Why not download the TLC World guide brochure or give us a call today on 01202 030443, or simply click ‘enquire’ to submit your own personal itinerary request