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
Visited Fairmont for 2 nights with friends. Stayed in the riverside cottages which were spacious and had a touch of old world charm with the fireplace lit up in the chilly evenings. The baths were clean and luxurious with both a bath and shower. The grounds are superbly photogenic with beautifully maintained greens, a few ponds scattered around the extensive grounds, birds of various species flitting about and peacocks parading their plumage and even joining you on the terrace for breakfast ( one was bold enough to steal my omellet :) -definitely memorable breakfast).
The buffet offerings were plentiful and delicious and the waiting staff attentive and friendly. We were celebrating my husband's birthday there and Chef Kiran was kind enough to make us a delectable cake as per our request. Thank you for making the day extra special Chef!
We enjoyed the close interaction with the residents of the animal orphanage and the meandering walks.
An excellent weekend break. Highly recommended.
1. The horse ride because of the albino zebras!
2. The lamb shank at the "fine dining" portion.
3. The lamas.
4. The chef was accommodating as one of our party had a baby and requested baby food be made.
Lowlights: *sigh* where do I start.
1. Uninspiring food (stay away from the chicken) the fish and the cheesecake were the best of the lot. The line cook at the stirfry station was open to suggestions on how to add flavor so that was a plus. The cheese was laid out 2 hours before dinner was to start...why?
2. On the coldest night during our stay, the turndown team prepared the most tepid hot water bottle. *slow clap*.
3. All the reviews about the shower are right. It requires a degree to figure out how the taps work...a little instruction card would help.
4. The maze is not a maze. It is a stroll through some high bushes.
5. They charge.extra.for.everything - water, activities, room service, to sit at the bar etc
6. If you are a Luhya man the ugali is apparently not much to write home about.
Not a single person in our party was satisfied with their stay. I don't think Fairmont Mt Kenya would be top of mind when recommending places to stay in the area.
We stayed at Fairmount by accident since Serena tented lodge decided to “give away” our paid reservations. Our travel agent was able to switch us to Fairmount. This place turned out to be gorgeous. animals walking about the property. Service was excellent. Accommodations great that we did not want to sleep and instead stayed up to enjoy the room. We were lucky enough to have a fireplace which they started going for us. Teas and coffee machine in the room. Hot water bottle in bed. Grounds were well kept. Nice gardens. Tons of birds. llama. Peacock. Entire experience was terrific.