If you have been looking forward to doing something really out-of-the-ordinary this festive season then a trip to the Hippo Point House might just do it for you. Set in the serene surroundings of Lake Naivasha, Hippo Point House is a beautiful sanctuary built in the 1930s to capture the elegance and grandeur of Tudor architecture.
The house, restored and renovated in 1998, boasts 7 double bedrooms, a swimming pool and gazebo for those fancying a spa treatment. The untamed terrain dotted with patches of yellow acacia fever trees and an occasional giraffe, hippo or buffalo, provides a contrasting backdrop to a lush traditional English garden adorned with roses and green lawns.
Here you experience luxury with a touch of simplicity while you get lost in a private wonderland of sorts. But what really is fascinating about this place might as well go down as one of Kenya’s best kept secret – a 9-storey, 40 M needle-like folly, only known as ‘the tower’. The tower so blends well with the acacias that it is said the hippos mistake it for one of the trees.
The tower contains a fabulous mahogany-panelled lounge and deck on the first floor. The 3 middle floors each have a double room furnished with huge mahogany beds lined with Russian linen and covered verandas followed by a minaret-style meditation room, furnished with big cushions and a surround view.
Above the meditation room at the top is an observation lookout where one can capture a 360 degree view of breathtaking scenes of Lake Naivasha over the Oloidien valley.
Built by Dodo Cunningham-Reid, as a weekend escape for her and her husband Michael when visiting their 600 acre Nderit estate, the tower was designed by a local architect and built by local craftsmen using local material – everything local.
Food at the Hippo Point is an unforgettable experience. An organic garden supplies the house with fresh vegetables, while seafood comes from the Indian Ocean. Meat is supplied by nearby farms.
But that is not all about the eating experience at the Hippo Point; staff here go out of their way to provide ambience to go with the food. For instance, there are lakeside barbecues under the moonlight, silver service candle-lit dinners, extensive breakfasts under the acacia canopy, poolside buffets, lakeside sundowners and English-style afternoon teas on the tower veranda.
While here, do not forget to visit the nearby Lakes Nakuru, Elementaita, Crater Lake and Naivasha. You can also visit Hell’s Gate National Park. Did we convince you enough? Go there this Christmas, then come back and share your experience here. We would love to hear from you.