Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari
What We Love
- Magical location in the shadow of Mount Kenya
- Raft of facilities, including a nine-hole golf course, riding stables, tennis courts, an outdoor pool and an animal orphanage
- Bygone-era vibe, from the colonial-style architecture to daily afternoon tea
What To Know
- It can get cool at night, so pack an extra sweater or make use of the wood-burning fireplace available in most rooms
- The modern wing of the property is a short walk from the main building
- Animals roam the manicured grounds; expect to see wild peacocks and monkeys
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
In the foothills of Mount Kenya, a short drive from Nanyuki, this former hunting lodge dates from the 1950s and retains an upscale country club vibe that was once enjoyed by Winston Churchill and Bing Crosby. There’s an animal orphanage named for the original owner, movie star William Holden, and guests can stay in his (now revamped) cottage on the manicured grounds. Elsewhere, the 120 guestrooms have a colonial-era style, with glossy hardwood furniture, heavy curtains and framed vintage maps on the walls. They all have stocked minibars, tea- and coffeemaking facilities and spacious bathrooms with rainfall showers or deep soaking tubs, and Miller Harris amenities. For a working fireplace and a view of Mount Kenya opt for a Fairmont Room, in the main building. On the dining front, the indoor/outdoor Tusks restaurant serves inventive international fare with views of Mount Kenya, and there’s also Zebar and the swimming pool bar for cocktails and snacks. The lodge is known for its on-site activities, which include game viewing on horseback, golf, croquet and nature walks with the resident naturalist. There’s also a gym and a three-room spa for a dose of pampering.
In the Area
The property is a destination unto itself, so plan on downtime that mixes on-site activities and local daytrips. The hotel’s animal orphanage (home to rare albino zebras) is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., or you can venture farther afield on a guided three-hour game walk in the neighboring forest reserve. For adventure lovers, the concierge can organize horseback rides to the base of Mount Kenya or mountain-bike excursions to the lower slopes, while fishermen can cast off at Lake Rutundu, an unspoiled high-altitude lake that’s a one-and-a-half-hour walk from the lodge.
How to Get There
Overall experience was great. The staff was very welcoming, it was like they had been waiting for us to arrive and were happy when we did. We should have done more research because we didn't know that there was a dress code for the restaurant but the a la carte menu in the bar was very good. We will definitely go back.
Since the hotel is far and our kids had high expectations, we didn’t feel like we could turn around when we were told we had to spend a minimum of 2,000KSH ($20) per adult to enter the gates.
We only wanted to visit the animal orphanage so it turned into an expensive day (entry fee on top of the 2,000KSH was 1,500KSH per person at the orphanage).
We decided to have lunch there, as a way to spend the 2,000KSH, but service was slow and the food underwhelming.
Loved this stay as part of our Tauck Kenya and Tanzania safari. Many agreed it was our favorite of the trip. Lovely grounds, buildings and beautiful, comfortable rooms with wood-burning fireplaces! You turn the sign on the mantel to let them know if you want a fire burning - or not -when you come back from dinner. So pretty and cozy. Next door to the animal center where orphaned wild animals are safe. Had a great massage as well. Wish I was back there right now!