When it comes to top holiday destinations in Africa, Kenya is well-endowed with every ingredient that makes it a desirable wonderland. While the country has become synonymous with safari, the diversity of things to do, as well as resorts to visit will astound you. Whether you’re looking for a beachy holiday, an adventure of a lifetime, or a romantic getaway, you’ll find it in the endless array of Kenya’s luxury destinations.
Here are some unique samples to help you decide where to stay next time you visit the East African paradise.
Boasting eight luxury villas in a 50,000-acre private game reserve, Segera is a unique lodge that sits on a vast open landscape in Laikipia, one of Kenya’s most famous safari spots. With striking views of Mount Kenya to the east and the Great Rift Valley to the west, Segera is the perfect destination for anyone looking for a combination of fun, adventure, and absolute luxury. The lodge provides a peaceful environment where you can relax amid beautiful gardens of exotic flowers, cacti, and bougainvillaea.
There’s a lot you can get into here, including taking a guided game drive to see the diversity and wonder of the animals around the area. If you feel like taking it easy, you can unwind in the pool or get pampered at the spa and give your body and mind some much-needed revitalisation.
The eco-friendly lodge operates on what it calls the 4Cs policy – conservation, community, culture and commerce – making sure the tourism development does not destroy the wildlife sanctuary in the area. “I run Segera one-hundred percent on renewables with rainwater harvesting. I felt we needed to create a win-win situation for the surrounding communities,” explains Jochen Zeitz, owner of Segera Retreat.
Rates start at US $1,150 per night.
Arijiju, winner of the Hotel Residences Award at the 2017 International Hotel & Property Awards, is another elegant piece of heaven located on the Laikipia Plateau. The venue consists of five large luxury en-suite bedrooms, as well as open-plan living and dining areas with floor-to-ceiling windows that let you freely take in the outstanding views. There is also a lounge and bar area that is lit by candles in the evening to create an intimate and relaxed ambience.
When it comes to adventure, Arijiju delivers in spades. With more than 90,000 acres of land devoted to activities such as quad bike safaris, abseiling, horse riding, and game drives, there’s something for everyone at this glorious resort. Some of the animals you can expect to catch sight of include the Big Five, wild dog, and the cheetah. There are also some 330 bird species in the area for the avid birdwatcher.
Apart from being a stunning safari resort, Arijiju is also a world-class wellness retreat, offering a memorable health experience with its spa, gym, yoga deck, tennis court, and squash court.
Arijiju is available only on an exclusive-use basis, with rates starting at US $7,500 per night for up to six guests.
Set in the sleepy Nairobi suburb of Karen, Hemingways Nairobi is the perfect destination for anyone looking to escape the commotion of city life. Built in 2013, the upmarket boutique hotel takes elegance to a whole new level with its plantation-style architecture, contemporary and classic decor, and award-winning cuisine.
The hotel has 45 rooms, each with a private balcony overlooking the magnificent Ngong Hills. Enjoy fine dining in a sophisticated and tranquil atmosphere, indulge in luxury spa treatments, relax beside the pool, or take a refreshing walk in the beautifully manicured gardens. Looking to do more fun activities? Just around the corner is the Out of Africa author, Karen Blixen’s house, which has been turned into a museum. The Giraffe Centre, David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, and Nairobi National Park are just a few minutes away, too!
Room rates at Hemingways range from US $375 per night.
Welcome to Angama Mara, where exquisite accommodation conspires with exceptional game viewing to give you a one-of-a-kind safari experience. The first clue of the uniqueness of this lodge lies in its name. The Swahili word ‘Angama’ means to be suspended in mid-air. This is, therefore, an apt name for the lodge that balances high on the Great Rift Valley, giving the impression that it’s hanging in the air.
“Our plan was to design and build a lodge that is timeless in its design and appeal,” shares Steve and Nicky Fitzgerald, owners of Angama Mara. “Guests love the classical safari design vernacular but it has been done – perhaps even overdone – at our end of the market. Framed images of animals, old suitcases, layer upon layer of rugs, Africa artefacts, wall hangings and endless tones of cream and khaki. We are in the heart of Maasailand and, as such, red is our colour – a first in a safari lodge,” the Fitzgeralds note.
The resort’s 15 tented suites feature swanky floor-to-ceiling windows, which give you unobstructed, mesmerising views of the mighty Maasai Mara Game Reserve and the surrounding areas. Every morning, hot air balloons glide past, enticing you to join in on the fun. The lodge also offers walking safaris, game drives, village visits, and picnics.
Prices range from US $825 per night.
Upon stepping into Tribe Hotel, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve entered a design museum. The hotel’s astonishing décor is creatively done and is the first thing to catch your eye. Vibrant, colourful furniture and an arresting collection of statues and paintings adorn the interior of the boutique hotel, making it one of Nairobi’s coolest accommodations for both leisure and business travellers.
The Tribe Hotel boasts a host of bedrooms that all feature king-sized beds, floor-to-ceiling mirrors, and LCD televisions. There is also a heated pool surrounded by waterfalls and lush gardens, perfect for those laid-back afternoons when you just want to take a refreshing swim or lounge poolside and enjoy a light lunch. You can also chill at the rooftop bar and have a drink while gazing at the bright Nairobi sky. There’s a well-equipped gym and spa that offers African and Thai treatments. The hotel is conveniently located close to the Village Market, a large shopping mall with over 150 stores for your shopping pleasure.
A night at the Tribe Hotel will cost you anywhere from US $196.
Located in the gorgeous coastal town of Watamu, home to some of the best beaches in the world, Medina Palms is a one-of-a-kind hotel. One of the qualities that sets it apart from other resorts in the area is that Medina Palms offers more than just rooms – it has villas, too. The large five-bedroom villas are en suite and come with a kitchen, private lounge, and roof terraces with a plunge pool.
When you feel like being pampered, you can retreat to the hotel’s rooftop spa for relaxing and therapeutic treatments. To pass the time, you can hang out at the cocktail bar on the beach and sip on some sumptuous cocktails while watching the sunset. For the adventurer, there is a range of water activities, including scuba diving, snorkelling, windsurfing, and sports fishing.
For a night at Medina Palms, you can expect to fork out anywhere from US $242, depending on the season.
Leopard Beach Resort & Spa
You don’t need to have visited Leopard Beach Resort & Spa to understand why the resort was, for the sixth time in 2016, voted Kenya’s Leading Resort at the prestigious World Travel Awards. Perfectly located on the beautiful white sands of Diani Beach in the South Coast, Leopard Beach offers excellent accommodation and facilities that make it the preferred destination for holidaymakers.
You can choose between standard and superior rooms, suites, cottages, and luxurious private villas, all scattered across the 26-acre space, and surrounded by lush tropical gardens. What could be better than waking up to the revitalising abundance of greenery and striking views of the ocean?
Dining is a real treat at the resort with an array of restaurants to choose from. Highlights include a Chaine des Rotisseurs grill room, stir-fry beach restaurant, fresh pizza and pasta restaurant, and a nyama choma (Kenyan braai/barbecue) restaurant. There are also plenty of bars where you can put your feet up and enjoy some wonderfully-made cocktails while gazing at the endless ocean.
For an unforgettable, all-round experience, don’t leave without indulging yourself at the Uzuri Spa, which has an adult-only private pool, outdoor Jacuzzi, sauna, and steam room.
Lying serenely on a private stretch of the Mara River, Sanctuary Olonana is a tented safari camp positioned in the heart of Kenya’s most famous game reserve, the Maasai Mara.
If you’re looking for a close encounter with animals, Sanctuary Olonana offers the best sightings of the Big Five and a host of other resident animals. For game lovers, what’s perhaps more exciting about staying at this safari camp is the opportunity to witness the epic Wildebeest Migration between July and October, where over a million animals journey between the Maasai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park in search of better grazing lands.
Sanctuary Olonana caters to the whole family and offers romantic honeymoon suites for the lovers, too. Apart from game drives, you can take part in other activities such as cultural visits and hot air balloon rides.
Olonana’s rates range from US $350 per night and up.
Elsa’s Kopje Lodge
This eco-friendly lodge is located in the heart of Meru National Park and offers a romantic escape surrounded by doum palms, giant baobab trees, and lush flora. Named after Elsa the Lioness from the award-winning book and film Born Free, the lodge boasts luxurious cottages that have elegant interiors made of local wood and stone. Each cottage has large open-fronted bedrooms and sitting rooms, where you can lounge and gaze out at the scenic views.
There’s a host of exciting activities to choose from. You can enjoy day and night game drives in open 4×4 vehicles, take nature walks, go river fishing, or visit the park’s rhino sanctuary. You can also have a picnic at the Tana River, Kenya’s longest river. Apart from safari activities, you can unwind by taking a dip in the lodge’s beautiful infinity pool or treat yourself to a massage.
Rates at Elsa’s Kopje range from US $585 per night and up.
Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa
Whether you’re looking for the perfect destination for a family getaway with children, a romantic retreat with your special someone, or a beach wedding, Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa caters to everyone’s needs. Hands down, Sarova is one of Mombasa’s finest beach resorts, boasting stylishly-furnished rooms that have spectacular views of the ocean.
The retreat provides a delicious array of restaurants with menus that will please your palate. You will enjoy different cuisines such as indigenous African, continental, Asian, Arabic, and Mediterranean. You can also have a relaxing drink or sundowner at the beachside bar while taking in the beautiful ocean views.
For a night at Sarova, you can expect to pay anything from US $197 per night and up.
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Originally published at Africa.com