House of Waine
Although every Kenyan adventure starts or ends with a night in Nairobi, it doesn't have to involve a run-of-the-mill city hotel. House of Waine is proof of this. Set well outside the central business district on 2.5 acres of soul-satisfying gardens, this boutique hotel starts your vacation off on the right foot. Once the family home of the Waine family, it still retains the feel of a stately, yet homely place to rest and regroup, or plan and prepare. Rooms are individually decorated to make every successive trip something to look forward to.
At the lodge
There are plenty places to enjoy beyond your room at House of Waine. Several lounge areas make any lazy cup of coffee or whiskey on the rocks more intimate than in a large, general lounge. The leather couches and thick upholstered chairs invite you to go over the last details of your trip ahead or reminisce over what has been. In the dining area, the menu changes daily and meals are made with local, seasonal produce.
The boutique hotel has only eleven rooms and the decor and furnishings of each celebrates a different Kenyan culture or landscape. The Manyatta is inspired by the Maasai while the Ziwa is decorated in cool clue and earthy browns. The Malaika is the only suite and has an extended lounge area. The Victoria has a cast-iron four-poster bed and fireplace. Each room sees daily fresh flower deliveries and all luxury amenities expected from a top-class hotel.
There is lots to do beyond the hotel. Day trips in and around Nairobi are themed by culture, shopping or history. The Giraffe Center is just around the corner and protects the endangered Rothschild giraffe. This dangly, curious creature is found only in the grasslands of East Africa. The Karen Blixen Museum is also nearby. A former coffee plantation and previous home of the Danish author who wrote "Out of Africa", it is ideal for an idle afternoon.