13 Unique Hotels in Kenya – Visit Kenya
Unique: It’s not all about looks; it’s an experience
Perched in a helicopter sweeping over the grassland and arid plains of Northern Kenya, the air safari aficionado may get a glimpse of one the unique hotels in Kenya near Mount Kenya. Here one finds, down among the forest groves, on a eye-catching disturbance in a natural clearing of 100 acres, the world-famous Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club. A fly round to see Northern Kenya by air – a popular activity among the wealthy and elite holidaying at one of a handful of the unashamedly beautiful luxury lodges around the Conservancies of Laikipia – highlights the impressive and mixed bag of ecological gamut seen in Kenya. Concomitantly, the fertile highlands all around Mount Kenya were healthful for European Settlement in the early 1900’s, owing to the pleasant climate and productivity. After the founding of towns and associated infrastructure, settlers and missioners migrated into Central Kenya, growing it to a thriving farming region. They also attracted hotel investors who put up the distinguished hotels waxed lyrical about like: Nyeri Club, White Rhino Hotel, Outspan Hotel and Aberdare Country Club. What is more, it was in the heart of big game country with year-round fine weather. The Central Highland of Kenya could not be any more different in experiential delights from the Maasai Mara and Coast Region of Kenya, which in the own rights as Africa’s best safari destination and Africa’s best beach destination (by the World Travel Awards) host several unique hotels.
One advantage Kenya has over destinations like the Far East and the Caribbean is the closeness of its beaches to areas of wildlife reserves, enabling travellers to combine beach and safari holidays. This is a factor which is perhaps responsible for the continued upward trend in amazing and unique hotels along the coast of Kenya. Tourism at the coast accounts for 46% of all tourist bed-nights in Kenya.
The principal interest for many travellers to the coast region of Kenya is in the four popular areas along the Indian Ocean (stretching for 512 kms) at Mombasa in the North Coast, Diani Beach in the South Coast, Watamu / Malindi in Kilifi County and the Lamu archipelago. In these four locations, a great deal of hotels have been built in response to increased traveller traffic. The coast resource also includes fine sand beaches fringed with palm groves and the warm ocean water sheltered by coral reefs. In general, the indication is that the wildlife and beach life of Kenya have their origins highlighted primarily to serve the recreational needs of settlers and travellers from Europe. In the same light, the capacity in Nairobi hotels and game lodges, albeit expanding much slower than the safari destinations and coastal hotels, has a pleasant array of unique hotels. Nairobi, as the center for many incoming tours, attracts as both the commercial center and the capital city. A hub for Africa. With good conference facilities, Nairobi hosts many international conferences that have become an established division.
13 Unique Hotels in Kenya
1. Mount Kenya Safari Club
Originally built as a holiday home for famous American actor William Holden – one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1950’s and 1960’s – this sublime hotel with dazzling gardens and stunning views is now one of Kenya’s unique hotels and as famous as the icon it was built for. Mount Kenya Safari Club is unique in that it caters, luxuriously, for the world’s wealthy. Set on the slopes of Mount Kenya, above Nanyuki, it boasts a heated swimming pool, a chain of ornamental lakes, frequented by hundreds of rare birds imported from the world over, and such facilities as riding, safari trips, a golf course, bowling greens, croquet, and a private wildlife sanctuary. The Club also has its own team of African dancers, and is internationally regarded as one of the best resort of its kind in the world. Its 120 rooms set in 100 acres are hemmed-in by well kept lawns, gardens, trout filled rivulets and, priceless all-round views. It is located 10 kms from Nanyuki Town, turning left onto a dirt road nearby Lions Court and the Equator Marker.
2. Maasai Mara Keekorok Lodge
The least of all worries when planning a trip to the Mara is a place to stay. With nearly 290,000 holiday-makers visiting this colossus wildlife theater each year, development of hotels has been rapid in response to demand; particularly along the outer perimeter of the Masai Mara National Reserve, within the hatful of wildlife conservancies. Unique to the Keekorok Lodge is that it was its foremost establishment – both in Masai Mara National Reserve and the Mara Ecosystem. Established in 1962 with a bed capacity of 25 and the inestimable privilege to select the best vantage, Keekorok Lodge is ideally situated in the direct path of the spectacular migration. And in its favour, development of hotels within the Masai Mara National Reserve is highly restricted. Into that bargain, the lodge enjoys all 1,510 km2 of the wonderful scenery and abundant game consisting of rolling grassland plains, woodlands, and thicket patches. Still and all, Keekorok Lodge has stayed the course of providing many a memorable holiday and now has 85-Standard Rooms, 12-Chalets, 1-Executive Suite, and 1-Presidential Suite.
3. Angama Mara
The Mara – a name that seems to conjure up all that’s wildest about Kenya – is 1,510 km2 of plainsland with the adjoining ranches and conservancies covering 4,566 km2, reachable from Nairobi, Mombasa, or from Nanyuki by air. Masai Mara National Reserve is globally unique and widely famed for the great annual wildebeest migration as well as hosting a year-round spectacular concentration of wildlife, making this an irreplaceable part of Africa’s faunal natural heritage. Siria Escarpment, also known as the Oloololo or Ol Donyio Escarpment, over 6,000 feet high and sloping westwards with the Mara River at its eastern foot, forms a break roughly down the western side of Masai Mara National Reserve and Narok County. It rises 1,000 feet over the surrounding flat plains, breaking the unvarying and unrelenting grassland monotony, to form one of the Mara’s most distinguished features which is especially wondrous when sighted at the Angama Mara Lodge set-up on Siria Escarpment’s edge. Near Mwita, the Siria reaches its highest elevation of about 6,500 feet, where the ridges forming the northern extension of the Karri Highlands occur. West of Siria Escarpment, the surface slopes towards Lake Victoria (3,500 feet) at about 35 / km. The lodge is split into 2 camps, each with 15 suites. Angama Mara has a new kind of safari experience. Named after the Swahili word that translates as hanging in mid-air.
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