I am currently interning at a Data Centre and data centres don’t close for the holidays. And everybody needs a getaway every so often. So last weekend my family and I decided to grow our own tourism industry and took a drive to Nanyuki, a town in Kenya through which the equator passes, and see our beautiful land. We stayed at the Fairmont Mt. Kenya Safari Club (FMKSC); a 5 star resort at the foot of Africa’s second highest mountain. For the longest time ever the hotel was just Mt. Kenya Safari Club, but management changed and became Canadian and they threw in the prefix ‘Fairmont’. Did you know the Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi is also now ‘Fairmont’ The Norfolk Hotel?
The picture quality isn’t the best. resorted to phone pics after realising we forgot our camera charger.
FMKSC was established in 19-fifty-something by a guy called William Holden who used to hunt and make movies with wild animals. It was his estate, set on 120 acres, that he turned into a hotel. Sorry my history is sketchy. I wasn’t really paying attention. Read more here.
Here’s why I loved my stay:
1. Beautiful grounds
Most Kenyan hotels, the top notch ones at least, have amazing grounds and FMKSC is definately (sic!) one of them. The lawns are a lush green with flowers dotting the grounds with colour. The have a brood of peacocks (and hens) that love to pose as well!
2. Loads of recreational facilities and activities
FMKSC has one million things (I exaggerate) for you to do while on Safari. Horse-back riding (in the Mt. Kenya national park), golf, table tennis, lawn tennis, cycling in the park, fishing, hiking, Nanyuki town tour, croquet (who knew that there were croquet facilities in Kenya!) and lots more! Oh, they have a maze that me and the fam got lost in but finally conquered! The pool has a window through which you can have ‘undersea’ photos taken, and it’s heated too! It has a book/ gift store as well with lovely souvenirs.
Not sure what this falls under, but there is an old chapel with a capacity of around 30 if one needs to meditate and/or pray. It has an old piano that terribly needs tuning and servicing.
I loved the queen-size beds, state of the art telly, the Meridienne Chaise, the old earthy fire place, the regal mountain-facing window, the lush bathtub and shower, everything! well, everything except the old stained carpet. Hotels need to stop having carpets that they can’t maintain. A rug will usually do.
The members of staff are extremely friendly. They were quick to help us e.g. by giving us an electrical adapter and parking the car for us. They were constantly checking up on us. They also drive you around in golf carts should you need a ride. Not very green, but sometimes necessary on 120 acres!
5. Decor and Ambiance
They had fresh flowers as center-pieces everywhere! In the rooms, cloak rooms, restaurants and reception. 🙂 Wild animals’ heads and skins were splashed all around the the premises. I felt bad for the poor animals who lost their lives thanks to Mr. William ‘huntsman’ Holden. They were beautiful though, I just wish they were faux skin and heads! The supper restaurant had an ambiance that made me feel like I was in an old English tavern. Not that I’ve been in an old English tavern. Movies, you know. It was lovely.
6. Food and Drink
I enjoyed the food! They cater very nicely for vegetarians e.g. through their Indian food. I can’t list everything I ate but I must say they have the best naan I have tasted in a while. The calamari was okay. Their soups were out of this world although their salads weren’t anything to write home about. But my cherry on top was the steaming home-made brownie, ice cream and chocolate syrup for dessert at supper. Boy was it good. They have a variety of wines on their wines list although quite pricey. There is a ‘Dine in the Wild’ option that they offer at an extra cost where you can wine and dine in the national park. Oh, their bar is called “ZeBar” and it has a Zebra theme! How original? Wordplay thoroughly impresses me!
I loved FMKSC. I only regret that I didn’t see the mountain. Don’t let the sunshine fool you, the mountain was enveloped by clouds. I’m so over Mombasa after being in the highlands. Well, you can’t quite substitute the ocean, but I liked the change of scenery.